Where to Stay in Seattle: The Hotel Ändra
Seattle is a beautiful paradox – historically, this famous Washingtonian city has been one of the most forward-thinking metropolises on the west coast. The Space Needle cemented this image in stone, when its opening at the 1962 World’s Fair told the world, “hey world! we’re a cool hip city that’s at the cutting edge of the future.” That idea catapulted Seattle into the city you find today, which is invigoratingly fast-paced and filled with a booming tech scene that’s poised to make San Francisco do a double-take.
But, all that said, despite the constant innovations and the ever-changing city center, there’s something about Seattle that makes it feel, somehow, exactly as you may have pictured it, even if you’ve never been here before. The architecture in various pockets of the city (like in Pioneer Square) harkens back to the city’s historic roots. The people are kind and approachable in a way that makes you feel like you’ve definitely run into them at least once before. And all of the city’s charms you go to Seattle to find – the coffee, the tulips, the sight of freshly caught fish, the smell of the Pacific Northwest’s signature sprawling mountains and the crisp outdoors – is all there, just waiting for you to arrive. Seattle packs such a punch with all there is to do and see, that you're going to want–no, need–a good place to rest your head during your stay. If you want to be in the heart of all of the downtown action, head straight to the Hotel Ändra, smack dab in the middle of the city center, which will be more than happy to welcome you ‘home’ for the weekend.
I’m not sure you can get much more central than this. Hotel Ändra is located at the epicenter of downtown Seattle, right at the edge of Belltown. If you don’t have much time in the city, you really can’t choose a more ideal place to be. Within a few blocks’ radius, you can walk to Pike Place Market, Washington State Convention Center, the Waterfront, the Seattle Great Wheel, the Space Needle, and more. And, for more of a workout, you can still journey on foot to South Lake Union or head up to Capitol Hill, either of which shouldn’t cost you more than a 20-30 minutes’ walk and lots of good sightseeing along the way.
There’s a no-fuss coziness about certain hotels that I can always respect. You know what I’m talking about? These are the hotels that welcome you in, give you exactly what you need, and then get out of your way. Hotel Ändra is the right level of cozy hotel comforts without going overboard or doing anything in excess, and for quick trips like this, that’s exactly what I needed. The split-level lobby draws you in immediately, especially because there is a cozy fireplace and tons of nooks and couches to warm you up and dry you off after walking around in the rain or snow. Giant windows and places to sit up on the second floor also make this lobby perfect for people watching the morning away when it’s too cold to go outside.
But while the hotel doesn’t try to knock you across the head with amenities or showiness, it does not skimp on sophistication or attentiveness. The decor suggests Scandinavian influence, there are small touches of thoughtfulness throughout (like a stand full of umbrellas at the entrance, should you need one. And you will), and the concierge is cheerful and talkative. We felt right at home immediately.
The Hotel Ändra has 119 rooms ranging from your standard hotel room all the way up to more spacious suites and studios. Depending on the season, you can book a room for anywhere from $250 - $350 a night, which sounds a bit on the higher side, but is actually pretty standard if you’re hoping to stay in the city center, where the sweet spot is right around $150 to $300, give or take.
Back to the room. When I say that the staff was attentive, I meant it. As soon as we got to our room, my eyes were immediately drawn to the coffee table – the staff at Hotel Ändra remembered that it was going to be our 2-year anniversary when we were in town (we mentioned it briefly over a month earlier, when we were emailing) and left us a hand-written note and a box of chocolate truffles to celebrate! I freaked. It was a simple touch but absolutely perfect attention to detail.
After we got over the chocolates and the note, we soaked up the rest of the room. We stayed in a Superia Room, which came with tons of space, a large king bed, a standing mirror, couch, desk area, wet bar, vanity, walk-in closet, robes, and slippers. While the building is a bit older and the windows weren’t huge, the view is impressive, immersing you right into the heart of downtown Seattle with its sweeping views of old and new buildings, brick walls, and busy streets below. We actually ended up spending more time in this room than I would have liked, because I got a little sick the 2nd day we were in Seattle, but having such a comfortable and spacious room definitely helped me relax and laze away in bed until I felt well enough to go back out and explore.
We spent all 3 days we had in Seattle exploring as much of the downtown area as we possibly could, and eating our way through as many neighborhoods as our appetites allowed. At night, we stayed out past our bedtimes and wandered around, getting lost in the sights, streets, and hidden bars the city had to offer after dark. Each night, this hotel definitely served as a welcome sight for a tired traveler’s eyes.
Booked your hotel and need to plan your itinerary? Read up on my recommendations for a weekend trip to downtown Seattle here.
– #OffDutyDestination –