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Maxwell Hotel, Seattle, WA

Lobby of Maxwell Hotel

Elegant Meets Hip in Queen Anne.

Large room at Maxwell Hotel

The Maxwell’s rooms are generously large and elegantly decorated.

At the foot of Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill with a view of city’s iconic Space Needle, the Maxwell Hotel is redefining what travelers can expect in a moderately-priced hotel. The attractive brick building on Roy Street just off Mercer in one of Seattle’s most vibrant, art-filled neighborhoods, offers guests 139 rooms and suites that blend classic hotel elegance with hip, modern style, and a wide range of amenities all at an affordable price.

The Maxwell Hotel, named after owner Michelle Foreman Barnet’s son Max, has adopted the pineapple, an international symbol of hospitality, as its mark. In the American colonies, pineapples were costly and hard to come by. If you gave a guest a pineapple, it was a symbol that you’d spare no expense to welcome him/her. You get the same “pineapple feeling” when you stay at The Maxwell.

The generously-sized rooms and suites make you feel like you can stretch out. All the rooms are smoke-free and some are even pet-friendly. They’re decorated with classic elements like big mirrors and overstuffed chairs, and modernist pieces like sleek oval, vinyl-covered ottoman/coffee tables, all in eye-popping colors and patterns think stripes and hound’s-tooth).

Art in the lobby of the Maxwell Hotel , Seattle WA

Art is everywhere in The Maxwell and includes this colorful mural in the lobby.

Art is everywhere from the large, colorful mural that graces the spacious lobby to paintings and drawings of dancers, acrobats, and circus performers throughout the halls and rooms.

The dark, faux wood floors in the rooms give the guest rooms a modern, European feel and the thick, red throw rugs in the sitting area warm them up. Butter yellow walls with an emerald green curved accent wall lighten things up, making the area feel even more spacious.

Each room comes with one or two queen or king bedd with high-quality sheets, duvets, and plenty of pillows, a safe, microwave, mini-refrigerator, big flat screen TV with DVD player, a desk area that’s large enough to work on, and a Keurig one-cup coffee maker with Tully pod-style coffee and tea, ceramic coffee mugs, and real half and half (in the refrigerator). The suites also offer an over-stuffed chair with a good reading light, an ottoman/coffee table, and a couch that folds out into a double bed. Every room also comes with free, high-speed, wireless internet.

While the lighting is generally good in the rooms (something that many new urban “hip” hotels lack), RFT would love to see the addition of lamps (even small, clip on headboard lights) and small end tables on both sides of the beds.

Maxwell Hotel's Indoor Swimming Pool

The Maxwell offers something many hotels do not — an indoor pool. With the Northwest’s rainy weather, guests will appreciate this amenity.

The bathrooms feature black marble counters, a large walk-in shower, and elegant Gilchrist and Soames and toiletries. Fluffier towels would feel more indulgent, but they’re plenty large. We appreciated the in-room recycling bins, something that reflects the Northwest’s commitment to being earth-friendly.

The hotel also offers a series of in-room “carts,” some complimentary, others at a fee (on a first come, first served basis). For instance, free carts include the surf cart with a printer and office supplies and the kids’ cart filled with games and coloring books.

For $25, you can order an art cart loaded with art supplies. The romance cart, at $100, comes with chocolates, sparkling wine, a massager, spa products, and gift card for a local chocolate.

Hallway Mural at Maxwell Hotel

This tile mural in the hallway between the indoor pool and the fitness center was made by Seattle school children.

In addition, there is a small, fully-equipped fitness center, an indoor pool, secure guest parking, free bicycles for guests, and a business center with two computers and a printer. The gracious lobby is stunning and includes a number of inviting and intimate seating areas and a small alcove room with a gas fireplace and cozy chairs.

Real bottom line: The Maxwell Hotel is located across from the Seattle Center near the Space Needle, Paul Allen’s modernist Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the monorail. If you want an elegant hotel with all the amenities in a terrific central location and all at a moderate price, The Maxwell Hotel fits the bill. At RFT, The Maxwell Hotel is a place we’ll return to again and again. — BH

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Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor

RFT co-founder Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. An award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook, Bobbie is editor-in-chief at