Thompson Seattle 110 Stewart St.; 206-623-4600; thompsonhotels.com/hotels/thompson-seattle
• Rates: From $239 in the low season; water-view rooms from $379.
• Basics: For proximity to Seattle’s greatest hits, it doesn’t get much better than this 12-story spot. If you splurge for a waterfront room, views don’t get much better. Beyond that, the usual sleek-and-satisfying Thompson approach is in place at the Seattle outpost, which opened in June 2016 — the brand’s first property in the Pacific Northwest.
• Location: Smack dab downtown, just a few blocks from the water, which means it is easy walking distance from Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum and Aquarium, the Olympic Sculpture Park and the Great Wheel (not to mention the major ferry terminals) — yet on a relatively quiet side street. Plentiful and varied dining and night life options are also nearby.
• The room: The floor-to-ceiling windows are the main eye-catchers here, especially if your room has a view of the waterfront and Puget Sound beyond, as ours did. (The exterior of the building, designed by the local firm Olson Kundig Architects, has the look of piled-up offset glass rectangles.) Our room, with two queen beds, was a cozy 320 square feet, with large, dark headboards and a mishmash of oddball art on the walls. A few welcome touches went a long way, like individual reading lights and a comfortable desk chair, above which hung a 42-inch TV, perhaps a tad oversized for the room.
• The bathroom: A few pluses (rain-style shower, DS & Durga products) outweighed the minuses (an inexplicably curved shower curtain, which meant that a shower left a corner of the room flooded). Another plus: the toilets have a water-saving low-flush option.
• Amenities: The friendly but not obsequious staff is happy to help out with restaurant and transit recommendations, and coffee drinkers can grab a free cup (Caffe Ladro, a local roaster, of course) from 6 to 8 a.m. Wi-Fi is free and functioned well for us. There’s no pool, but a small gym is available.
• Dining: Off the lobby, the 75-seat restaurant Scout does a sprightly business. I grabbed a drink at Nest, the 3,500-square-foot rooftop bar and lounge, which offers stunning views and solid cocktails, like the Pacific Loon, with Japanese Suntory Toki whiskey, orgeat, ginger and lemon. (There is also a selection of large-format cocktails for groups.) A list of spirits is also available, though it would be nice to see a few more locally produced options. Prices are not extortionate. (Reservations recommended for both spots, especially on weekends.) We also pre-ordered an excellent room service breakfast: quality gravlax, bagels and dill cream cheese, and yogurt, granola and fresh berries, as well as coffee and tea. When our daughter awoke an hour before our requested 7:30 delivery, the hotel sent it up within 15 minutes of our request.
• Bottom line: A sui generis neighborhood spot this is not, but the Thompson is perfect for those looking for a pleasant, modestly stylish environment with easy access to Puget-adjacent tourist options.