Originally, Hotel Theodore had a crush on President Teddy Roosevelt: built in 1929, its first name was the Roosevelt Hotel – and it still has the red neon sign to prove it. These days, though, it’s crushing on Seattle – and you’ll share its affection for the city, following a stay here. Sample the Pacific Northwest's surf ’n’ turf bounty in ravishing Rider restaurant, join the locals enjoying coffee and cakes in mellow Made café, take in the city views from the loftiest floors and admire the dapper decor, which riffs on the sartorial leanings of the best-dressed locals.
Double rooms from £126.52 ($153), including tax at 15.7 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $22.05 per room per night on check-out and an additional local city tax of $4.00 per room per night on check-out.
Rates usually exclude breakfast, but include WiFi, access to the 24-hour fitness centre, and aperitivo hour in the hotel lobby (5.30pm–6.30pm), featuring free cocktails mixed by Rider’s bartenders.
Request an in-room massage or beauty treatment via Tousled: Seattle’s modern mobile salon and spa. You can also summon Well+Fit kits to your room, stocked with a Manduka yoga mat, barre3 bands, weights and a core ball, plus an iPad pre-loaded with fitness videos. Alternatively, make use of the hotel's free passes to local studios.
At the hotel
Coffee shop; valet parking; gym with weights, yoga mats, treadmill, elliptical, Peloton bicycle and stationary bicycle. In rooms: TV, WiFi, air conditioning, alarm clock, minibar, tea- and coffee-making kit, blackout curtain.
Our favourite rooms
We’d happily move into the Residence and never move out. The hotel’s penthouse sprawls across 20,000 square feet, occupying the entire 19th floor. Bespoke furnishings, designer lighting and original artworks decorate this handsome expanse. If your spatial requirements and/or budget are a little more modest, opt for a suite – they all have clawfoot bath tubs and Seattle-made raincoats for guests to borrow.
If you’ve booked a suite, don’t waste case-space by bringing a raincoat: the hotel helpfully lends guests his ’n’ hers numbers made in Seattle by Freeman. If you’d like to buy one/a pair to take one home with you, just let guest services know.
The hotel has a bedroom and bathroom adapted for wheelchair-users.
Four-legged Smiths weighing in at 50lbs or under are very welcome (for free). The hotel helpfully provides doggy beds, food and water bowls, and a canine welcome gift. See more pet-friendly hotels in Seattle.
Little Smiths can come, but the hotel reckons it’s best suited to teens.
That depends: do you want to spy on the food, or your fellow diners? If the former, sit at the restaurant counter and watch the action at the wood-fire grill; if the latter, nab a seat by the window in the main restaurant for prime people-watching.
Off-duty creative. Don’t go large on soft grey hues, unless you want to be mistaken for a member of staff.
We’re revved up for Rider, an industrial-glam affair with exposed brick and masculine styling. The menu champions the Pacific Northwest's natural double-whammy: the ocean and the forest. Dishes include delectable oysters and smart brunch options, such as smoked salmon with horseradish, dill and grilled sourdough.
Rider restaurant serves potent cocktails; we sipped a Guns & Flowers (grapefruit, lemon, lavender bitters, honey and bubbles) and Roughrider: a blend of averna, sweet vermouth, Peychaud’s bitters and absinthe. Don’t miss Aperitivo Hour in the lobby.
Rider has stamina, catering to guests from 7am until midnight.
Order options from Rider’s full menu throughout the day; pick from salads, sandwiches, burgers, seafood and steaks. You can also request cocktails, beer, wine, soft drinks and coffee. Fancy breakfast in bed? Pancakes are never a bad idea.
Hotel Theodore occupies a landmark building on the intersection of 7th Avenue and Pine Street, six blocks from the city's legendary Pike Place Market.
SeaTac International Airport is 14 miles away (a half-hour drive). Single hotel transfers cost $50 for up to three people in one vehicle.
King Street Station is a 10-minute drive from the hotel, with services connecting to all major cities along the West Coast. Single hotel transfers cost $30.
Hotel Theodore is on the corner of 7th and Pine in downtown Seattle. Once you’ve arrived on 7th Avenue, pull into the valet entrance, where you’ll be greeted by obliging staff.
Worth getting out of bed for
Stroll to Pike Place Market, which overlooks the Elliott Bay waterfront; it’s one of the country’s oldest public markets. Discover fresh produce, specialty foods and independent businesses, pausing for pit-stop nibbles and drinks. Admire some serious eye-candy on First Avenue at Seattle Art Museum, the Pacific Northwest’s centre for world-class visual arts. Chihuly: Garden and Glass is a museum in the Seattle Center that showcases the studio glass of Dale Chihuly. Chihuly’s famous series of glass artworks include Cylinders and Baskets, Niijima Floats and Fiori; he has also created critically acclaimed large architectural installations. Check the museum’s website for special events such as yoga, garden workshops, drawing classes and more.
Canter through Asian-inspired dishes (duck spring rolls; tuna crudo; blackened cod; ginger rice and the ilk) at Stateside, which occupies a swellegant building on Capitol Hill. Cocktails are excellent; try the pineapple margarita with mezcal. Bateau on East Union Street is Renee Erickson’s classy steakhouse; order a hefty sustainable cut of meat and don’t stint on sides: kale with anchovy dressing, egg yolk and parmesan, buttery mash, carrots with sorrel, cream, verjus and cumin, and so on.
Little sister and nextdoor neighbour to Stateside restaurant, Foreign National serves cocktails with Asian leanings – the Long Thailand, for example – alongside punchy bar snacks (we’d order the sticky rice sausages and sour pour again in a heartbeat). Worship at the altar of beer at No Anchor, an ambitious beer bar on 2nd Avenue that pairs its impressive array of top-notch brews with upscale snacks; there are also some intriguing beer-based cocktails.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this historic hotel in Downtown Seattle and unpacked their coffee beans and hand-blown glass, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Hotel Theodore in Seattle…
Sleepless in Seattle? We prefer sleeping in Seattle, particularly if we’re bedding down at Hotel Theodore, housed in a cloud-poking, landmark building, set in one of the city’s handiest ’hoods. Pike Place Market is an easy stroll away, as are a bounty of bars, boutiques, restaurants, sights and sites. Play Meg and Tom at this multi-talented treat, which counts an excellent restaurant, cocktail-acing bartenders, city views and dapper decor among its charms. You’ll get a true taste of the Emerald City here, partly thanks to the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), which has kitted rooms out with a carefully curated edit of Seattle-centric artworks and artifacts. The Lobby is cosier than many living rooms; the VIP Residence sprawls across an entire floor; the immaculate bathrooms star matte black fixtures and glittering white subway tiles, and the staff are so friendly, you’ll want to take them home with you. (Please don’t.) Pets are welcome and ice-cream fans will be in seventh heaven: Hotel Theodore has 24-hour access (via room service) to Salt & Straw, the Pacific North Coast’s cult ice-cream brand. Coconut mint-chip cupcake, anyone?