Kimpton Palladian, Seattle, USA

Where did you sleep last night? Seattle’s Kimpton Palladian, a central Belltown hotel that distils the city’s indie cool into eclectic, edgy interiors

guard of honour greets you upon arrival at Seattle’s Kimpton
Palladian: four suited-and-booted oil paintings of recognisable
faces dressed in roughly Napoleonic military garb. Look right, and
you’re eyeballing Jimi Hendrix. On your left? Bill Gates,
heavy-rimmed specs juxtaposed with natty naval dress.

This nod to the city’s high-achieving golden boys is part of a
playful approach to design echoed throughout the 97-key hotel.
Located inside a 1910-built property in the historic Belltown
district, an elegant Beaux-Arts exterior belies the hotel’s
industrial interiors. There’s no doubt you’re in the Pacific Northwest with those heavy skies outside, but
the lobby’s distinctive paintings – and liberal use of dark greens,
blues and greys – bring the city’s characteristic indie cool
inside. As does the name of the downstairs bar. Nirvana fans paying
homage to their heroes’ home state will enjoy drinking in the
Pennyroyal. Upstairs, meanwhile, further celebrity depictions await
in the lighter, brighter guest rooms. David Bowie and Brad Pitt
grace pillows on the beds (the hotel always tries to meet requests
if you have a pillow-talk pal preference), offering quick-witted
and quirky accoutrements to slick city interiors.

The Kimpton Palladian Seattle
The lobby at Kimpton Palladian Seattle

Expect an edgy, industrial feel inside the 1910


Expect an edgy, industrial feel, softened here and there by
stacks of second-hand books (Plato, if you fancy), rotary
telephones, soft-underfoot kilim rugs and old maps of Seattle
neighbourhoods. TVs sit on artsy easels and – blissfully – there
are plug points right next to the bed (boring, but we’re so done
with jumping out of bed to switch off phone alarms). Some might
find the interiors a touch sparse, but given the US hospitality
industry’s famously underwhelming design ambitions, they measured
up just fine for us.

We were in a King One Bedroom Suite, offering a spacious living
area alongside the bedroom, with the two being divided by heavy
wooden rolling doors. The bathroom was special: a claw-footed tub
offers an easy warm-up when the weather’s bad outside, as does the
walk-in shower.

Ask for a waterfront-facing room to score a view. It’s no
180-degree ocean vista, but you’ll enjoy glimpses of blue breaking
up the city’s gritty skyline, and front-row seats to the urban
safari on the street below.

What’s for breakfast?

The speakeasy Pennyroyal serves up weekend brunches, but we
missed out on our weekday visit.

How about lunch and dinner?

The restaurant, Shaker + Spear, is a lesson in the Pacific
Northwest larder. It’s less farm-to-table in ethos, more
sea-to-sauté. Start with ocean-kissed oysters; try the miso-doused
Hood Canal clams; and don’t miss a plate of scallops with a
huckleberry gastrique. Interiors, meanwhile, are how Muji might
design a restaurant – all glass, wood and backlit shelves lined
with equidistantly placed curios. Pray you have Brent as your
server; his knowledge of Washington wines and congenial ordering
suggestions were all we could talk about on a post-prandial city

Is there a bar?

Yes, the dimly lit and moody Pennyroyal serves up excellent
cocktails over a marble bar. And you’ve got many of Seattle’s craft
breweries a short walk away, too.


Those bikes in the lobby? Guests can take them for a spin if
they’re in need of a city steed. The lobby is also where staff host
daily evening socials, offering cocktails and chat, as well as
complimentary coffee in the morning. The hotel has a small fitness
centre open 24/7 and yoga mats in all rooms. Valet parking is
available, at £39 overnight.

How about their green credentials?

Like all Kimpton hotels, the Palladian adheres to the IHG Green
Engage Programme, which includes the use of energy-efficient
lighting and water-efficient plumbing. We like Kimpton’s commitment
to restoring older buildings, too.

What about accessibility?

A range of variously sized rooms offer adapted space for
wheelchair users. Communal spaces are also accessible, as is the

What’s the crowd?

A fair few business bros, and couples on city breaks. Dogs, too
(expect Fido to be offered a bed, bowl and plenty of treats).

Things I should know

In what feels like a miss, WiFi is pay-to-use and costs £10.50
per day (unless you’re part of the IHG Rewards Club, in which case
it’s free).

Within a short walk I can find…

Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market. It might be in every
guidebook going, but the city’s four-storey market hall is still
worth a look. Head around the back to find hole-in-the-wall
Alley Espresso
, beside the city’s famously gross Gum Wall. A
seasonal latte from here will guard against the Pacific Northwest’s
famously grey skies.

The Lowdown

Doubles cost from £205 a night.

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