Hot new hotels: Thompson Seattle

Stay smack in the center of the city’s downtown revival and still get that epic water fix.

Architect Tom Kundig is known for designing buildings that interact with their surroundings (think a lake house whose wall-size window pivots open via a hand crank, or a mountain home that resembles wagons around a campfire). For the Thompson Seattle, a new 12-story boutique hotel downtown, floor-to-ceiling windows that bring Pike Place Market and the water-front beyond right into the guest rooms typify his firm’s call-and-response design. “People are coming back to the urban core to live and to use the city,” says Kundig. “This building captures that change.”

But even in this pocket around trendy Belltown and South Lake Union, where a forest of cranes signal the burgeoning commercial revival, Seattle’s biggest sell is its natural setting. And so a quarter of the 158 guest rooms (all dark-wood paneling with white, navy, and brass details) offer unobstructed views of Puget Sound’s Elliott Bay—dazzling on Seattle’s sunny days, moody and meditative on gray ones. The Nest rooftop bar, with its 120-foot deck, delivers another eyeful of the bay and the Olympic Mountains. “We want it to feel idiosyncratic to Seattle—like the edge of the ­Pacific Coast, looking to Asia,” Kundig says.

That idea has rubbed off at Scout, Thompson’s glam-rustic restaurant, where ­Quinton Stewart oversees a locally sourced Pac-Northwest menu with an Asian-­influenced chef’s counter that seats ten. The city’s active vibe is also in evidence: The tasting menu might begin with apps in the hotel courtyard and end with a digestif on the roof. Says Stewart, “We want to get guests out of their chairs.”

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From: Condé Nast Traveler

 

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