Pan Pacific Hotel’s Denny Suite offers just the right urban getaway in Seattle, Washington.
While Pacific Northwest urban folks escape the city by heading for the islands, mountains or maybe a secluded rural retreat, when it’s getaway time, I long for the city. As an island dweller for nearly 40 years, I love the peace and quiet of my home and surroundings, but slick cities lure me in with their big buzz and vivacious vibe. Whether it’s Seattle, Portland or Vancouver, BC, I love nothing more than pretending I’m a city girl for a few days — feasting at restaurants, imbibing at lounges and tapping into the culture and arts.
One of my favorite places to unwind and rewind is at the Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle. Located in the South Lake Union neighborhood, I’ve often fantasized about living in this 160-room contemporary designed hotel. It’s sort of my West Coast version of Eloise at The Plaza, but in this case, Sue at the Pan Pacific.
For an extravagant indulgence, book the Denny Suite for a special night or two, or just because. The 1,250 sq. ft. penthouse suite was named after Arthur Denny, one of the founding fathers of Seattle. Arriving on Alki Point in 1851, Denny went on to establish the city of Seattle five years later, and the Denny Suite is a tribute to Denny’s family and “the pioneering spirit and perseverance critical to the establishment of the city we now know as Seattle.” A welcome plaque in the Denny Suite includes additional history about the family.
The entrance into the Denny Suite is subtly grand, complete with a limestone floor and zebra wood walls leading into the expansive living and dining room. The floor-to-ceiling glass offers “Wow!” views of the Space Needle, Lake Union, and the Seattle skyline. Although I’m not much of a window watcher, the panorama is impressive, whether it’s a blue sky sunrise, multi-colored sunset over the Olympics or rain pelting sideways as the color grey wraps its arms around the Emerald City. There’s also a wet bar and fully-loaded entertainment center, including a 55” LCD TV. If work calls, there’s an executive writing table, Herman Miller chair, plus complimentary internet and local phone calls. A full-size dining room table can comfortably accommodate six people.
The master bedroom is separate from the main living area and includes a large walk-in closet with vanity and a king-sized Hypnos bed outfitted with 360-thread count Egyptian linens and a pillow menu. There’s also a 42” LCD TV.
Just off the bedroom is a master bath with oversized European soaking tub and separate walk-in glass shower, plus a view of the Space Needle. Plush bathrobes, slippers, and Aveda amenities complement the high comfort level.
The only drawback to a suite with such spectacular surroundings inside and out is leaving it. You don’t have to. Enjoy signature in-room dining from Sea Star Restaurant & Raw Bar. The on-site restaurant is headed up by chef-owner John Howie, also known for his highly acclaimed John Howie Steak in Bellevue. The custom menu is seasonal, and wine pairings are provided according to guest preferences and selected cuisine. My husband and I enjoyed a three-course sharing menu of more than a dozen offerings that included Dungeness Crab Cakes, Sesame-Peppercorn Crusted Ahi and Vanilla Bean Creme Brule. A regular in-room dining menu by Sea Star is also available featuring breakfast, all day and dinner menus — plus a special overnight menu from 11 p.m. – 6:30 a.m.
If you decide to depart for a spell, there’s plenty to do in the burgeoning South Lake Union neighborhood, home to biotech companies and Amazon’s new campus. The area boasts a plethora of restaurants and shops and the 2.6 mile South Lake Union Streetcar stops just outside the hotel. Nearby attractions include the new Museum of History and Industry and the 12-acre Lake Union Park. My two favorite activities while indulging myself at the Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle are post-lunch shopping at Whole Foods (just down the stairs) and finishing off the afternoon with a fabulous massage at Vida Spa, located across the courtyard from the hotel. Eloise never had it so good! —by Sue Frause, RFT Contributor