Who else but Seattle’s Pineapple Hospitality, the folks who brought us the cool Maxwell Hotel, could refurbish a tired Belltown Ramada Inn into the urban hipster Hotel 5?
Located on 5th Avenue at Blanchard on the famed monorail and close to some of the city’s coolest attractions, including the Space Needle, Experience Music Project, Seattle Center, and Pacific Science Center, Hotel 5 makes a convenient home base for Emerald City visitors.
The five-story, 116-room building looks nothing like its Ramada predecessor. The exterior has been painted in cool charcoal grey, red, and black and sports a colorful red and yellow neon sign that’s hard to miss. Inside, the grey-red-black color theme, accented with brightly colored artwork, continues. Grey walls, anchored by red accent walls, are used as a canvas on which to display plenty of splashy graphic art in reds, yellows, greens, and oranges. Even the doors are painted in a rainbow of color. The décor is decidedly modern in black and reds with polished chrome light fixtures, cool green glass sinks, and faux wood floors.
The lobby, while small, is comfortable with gatherings of couches and a screened off area with a large, flat screen TV. The business center, right next to that TV, consists of a single computer and printer. While the business center’s public location means you likely won’t get much more done other than checking emails or printing boarding passes, each room offers free Wi-Fi (and most serious business guests travel with their own electronics). Every afternoon into the evening, they offer tiny, tender pineapple cupcakes and Starbucks coffee in the lobby.
The guest rooms are reasonably-sized and come with a 32” flat screen TV, in room Kuerig by-the-cup coffee makers with local Tully coffee pods, and bottled water. They also have small safes, something many hotels forego, but which this reviewer feels is essential. My room, which was super -quiet, came with two queen beds and a partial view out a large window of the Seattle Space Needle. While the windows don’t open, each room has its own heating/cooling system. The beds are quite comfortable and come dressed with crisp sheets and duvets, which I found overly warm. (Every hotel should provide lightweight blankets in addition to duvet covers for those of us who are warm sleepers.) My bathroom’s shower/tub combo was roomy and came with a wonderfully luxurious rain showerhead and plenty of fluffy, over-sized towels. When I expressed the desire for a small refrigerator, one was promptly delivered to my room.
Pineapple Hospitality’s green ethic shows through. Instead of those heavily packaged and wasteful tiny soaps and shampoos, they offer eco-friendly, wall-mounted dispensers. They also provide free retro fat tire bikes for guests brave enough to attempt 5thAvenue’s challenging traffic scene. And, unlike many hotel staff, Hotel 5’s maids actually pay attention and followed my wishes when I hung up my towels for reuse and chose not to have my bed linens changed every day. Good for them!
The hotel has a small fitness room on the first floor as well as a modest-sized conference room that can be used for meetings or private dining. Guest parking (an extra $15/day) is secure in the hotel’s underground garage. In fact, with the sky-high cost of parking in Seattle and this hotel’s convenient location, guests would do well to simply park in the garage and walk, take the monorail or taxis around town.
The hotel boasts Max’s Downtown Café serving creatively delicious choices for both breakfast and lunch. (See our full review of Max’s Café) There are plenty of things to like about Hotel 5, including the location, the design/décor, and the restaurant’s delightful food.
However, the thing that really makes this hip, urban hotel stand out for me is the friendly, helpful staff and genuine customer service. When I called with requests, they were met within just a few minutes and always with friendly professionalism. The feeling I got from the staff at this hotel is that they enjoy their jobs and that their number one job is to take good care of guests. Genuine customer service has become all too rare in hospitality and it’s something that Hotel 5 and Pineapple Hospitality is bringing back into vogue at Hotel 5. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor
Check out our review of Pineapple Hospitality’s Maxwell Hotel too.