Inn at El Gaucho
The cool, Old Havana style of this boutique hotel might tempt you to light up a cigar (even though it, like all Seattle hotels, is nonsmoking). The 18 retro-chic guest rooms, with their pumpkin-and-lemon-colored walls and clubby brown leather sofas, seem to cry out for clouds of pungent Cohiba smoke; so does the dimly lit lobby lounge, where guests sip drinks from fireside banquettes. The amenities, gladly, are as modern as the vibe is old-school; all rooms are outfitted with 32-inch plasma screen TV’s, Bose stereos, Wi-Fi, and Egyptian cotton linens, towels, and robes. There’s a swanky steak house on the first floor, but room service will happily serve your chateaubriand bedside.
Tip: Before you shell out $25 per day for valet parking, look for free parking on the street.
Room to Book: The only rooms with a water view are Nos. 8, 9, 11, and 16; all others face the (somewhat noisy) street or a quiet but interior atrium.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.