Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, or Sea-Tac, is a 30-minute drive from the hotel. The largest airport in the Pacific Northwest, Sea-Tac operates non-stop domestic and international flights on all major airlines. There is a direct flight from London on Virgin Atlantic, and numerous domestic routes through Delta, United and other major airlines. Smaller regional airlines, including Kenmore Air, operate shuttles to the San Juan and Orca Islands. The hotel can arrange transfers from Sea-Tac for US$75.
King Street Station, a 10-minute drive from the hotel, is an Amtrak hub, serving Portland, Oregon, as well as Vancouver, British Columbia. Transfers are available for US$25.
A car is necessary for those looking to escape Seattle to explore the region’s stunning mountains and coastline. Valet parking is available for US$40 per night.
Worth getting out of bed for
Between its world-renowned hiking trails, stunning seascapes, locavore food movement and hip urban art scene, Seattle has something for every type of traveler, and the Thompson Seattle is ideally placed to take advantage of it all. The hotel is a coffee-bean’s toss from Pike Place Market, one of the country's oldest and most beloved farmers' markets and home to dozens of market stalls, fishmongers and specialty food shops. Grab a java from Storyville Coffee Company or pay tribute at the original Starbucks, then wander the multilevel market checking out the ultra-fresh fare. For panoramic Seattle views, head to the top of the Space Needle, Seattle’s most recognizable icon. Back at ground level, check out the nearby Chihuly Garden and Glass, an enchanting exhibition of gravity-defying illuminated glass gardens and canopies. For a taste of local Seattle life, head for Capitol Hill, home to some of the city’s best bookstores, restaurants and, of course, coffee shops.
Some of Seattle’s most alluring attractions are just outside the city: The Cascade Mountains, an hour outside town, draw outdoor enthusiasts from around the world for hiking, mountain biking and alpine skiing. Further afield, the Olympic Mountains are exceptional for rugged hikes and camping. The hotel has prime views of Puget Sound, which is renowned for its fishing, but also excellent for sailing on beautiful days.
Named for its setting on the top floor of iconic Pike Place Market, Matt's in the Market sources much of its exceptionally fresh fare from the farmers nearby, for dishes like wild king salmon with market vegetables and a robust shellfish stew with seasonal vegetables in coconut curry. Literary geeks and mollusk aficionados alike will love The Walrus & The Carpenter in Ballard. Named for a poem by Lewis Carroll — wherein the namesake characters eat every oyster in sight — Renee Erickson’s charming restaurant serves a daily selection of local oysters and other impeccable fish, as well as a nice selection of cheese and meat. Set in a midcentury-modern home with glorious views, Canlis has set the Seattle standard for fine dining since 1950. The prix-fixe menu of three, four or seven courses, draws on local bounty, including the Pacific Northwest's impeccable seafood. Highlights include the family recipe for romaine salad and the 90-page wine list.
There’s a reason Seattle has a reputation for coffee: Few cities in the world rival the scene here for shops pulling quality shots. For the closest to espresso ecstasy, head to one of the three locations of Espresso Vivace, founded as part of David Schomer’s quest to taste the perfect espresso. For some classes with your caffeine, venerable Victrola Coffee Roasters offers cuppings at its showcase cafe, in a converted 1920's auto dealership in Capitol Hill. For a sense of the classic Seattle-style shop, head for one of the 10 locations of Cherry Street Coffee House, all serving excellent coffee drinks made by expert baristas.
Few bars can surpass the Thompson’s own Nest for views, but Seattle has an excellent cocktail scene. Rachel's Ginger Beer, in Pike Place Market, serves refreshing Moscow Mules and more creative concoctions, all using the spicy house signature ginger concoction. The ginger beer itself is available for takeaway in 12-ounce pours or growlers.