The best place to be on a sunny day in Downtown Seattle
Downtown Seattle is still the most happening part of the city. This is a fact made abundantly clear when you’re enjoying a sunny happy hour cocktail at Frolik, the rooftop bar the Hilton Motif Hotel. On pleasant afternoons, the Motif, with its elevated view of Elliot Bay and the 4th Ave. below, becomes a magnet for everyone working or visiting Seattle’s commercial core. The site is an ideal place to get to know the city, and everyone from weekending locals to Asian and Europe visitors come to soak up its sense of place.
The rooftop is equally as enjoyable during cooler months, too, as the Motif’s patio transforms into a tented curling rink during the winter. The Seattle experience continues inside with rooms stocked with books on local food and culture, and tributes to Seattle’s famous music scene hidden in the hallways, bathroom artwork and anywhere in between.
No car required for the Space Needle and the ballpark
You don’t get much more central to Downtown Seattle than the Motif. A short walk brings you to Pike Place Market and the Seattle waterfront. It sits just a few blocks from the Sound Link Light Rail’s University Street station, which is about a 40 minute train ride from the airport. I-5 is also only about three minutes away if you’ve rented a car and want to explore.
Other nearby places to explore:
- The world famous Pike Place Market might skew a little touristy, but it’s worth checking out the flying fish and fresh produce if you’ve never been. Grab a beer at the Pike Brewing Company to calm your nerves after. It’s 10 minutes on foot.
- Stroll the Seattle Center, home to the Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, and Dale Chihuly museum. During hockey season you can catch the NHL’s Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena. Jump on the Seattle Monorail at Westlake Center a few blocks from the hotel, and the ride is barely five minutes.
- See some live music at the legendary Crocodile Café. The place where Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Death Cab for Cutie and even Macklemore got their starts is in Belltown, about 15 minutes away on foot.
- See the Sounders, Mariners or Seahawks in action. The city’s three best-attended teams all play downtown at T-Mobile Park and Lumen Field, both of which are 15 minutes south on foot.
- The original Starbucks isn’t much more impressive than any other Starbucks, but if you’re a PSL loyalist and want to see where it all began, it’s about a block from Pike Place Market.
- Explore the Seattle Underground. After the great Seattle Fire of 1889 destroyed Pioneer Square, it was rebuilt right on top of the ruins. You can walk through it all on Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour.
Business hotel-sized rooms with lifestyle décor
Though the Motif was originally a bank building, it’s been a hotel of some kind for several decades now. In older iterations, the Motif was more of a business hotel (it’s only a short walk from the convention center) so the rooms skew a little larger than those of the typical lifestyle brand. If you’re the sort of traveler who loves to unpack even if you’re only hitting a city for the weekend, you’ll love the full closets and large dressers. You’ll also love the local touches inside, like books covering local topics and bathroom art made from iconic Seattle album covers.
The Motif’s rooms come with three different views: Skyline, Partial Water, and Water. Rates vary depending on how much you value seeing Elliot Bay when you wake up. Each view is also offered in different room sizes:
Single Queen – The Motif’s entry level room still clocks in at an impressive 280 square feet, with a desk and ergonomic work chair, 49-inch flat screen TV, coffee maker and mini fridge. It’s done up in chic black and white, with large windows looking out on whichever view you’ve selected.
Double Queen – This room is essentially the same as the single queen amenity wise, with an extra bed and 350 square feet of space.
King – The King rooms are your best move as a solo traveler, as they’re the same size as the Double Queen and fill the extra space with a sofa. This creates a mini-suite in each room with a comfortable sitting/crashing area in addition to the bed and desk.
Suites – The Motif has two main suites, the Water/Skyline View King and Penthouse. The smaller suite is 770 square feet with a panoramic view of the city and waterfront. The Penthouse spans 1,200 square feet on the 20th floor, with a live edge wood dining room table and a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom.
One of Downtown’s best rooftops with fantastic food
The Motif isn’t teeming with guest amenities, mostly because the downtown location means you can find bars, restaurants and shopping within steps of the hotel. But you’ll still find one of the city’s coolest rooftops, as well as free water and fruit in the lobby, parking and a fitness center.
Motif’s biggest draw is Frolik, the rooftop bar and restaurant that draws downtown denizens as well as thirsty guests. Upon checking in, you’ll get a coupon for a free local beer or wine at the bar, an especially welcomed perk in a city like Seattle. Grab a Washington wine or IPA then take it out to the sunny patio to enjoy the view. Or if it’s winter, hit the rooftop curling rink where you can book special packages for you and your group. Frolik’s food is fantastic, too, adding Northwest touches to contemporary cuisine. For something extra local, try the Rain City Melt sandwich with Grand Central sourdough, blackberry thyme compote, mozzarella, and pickled red onion.
The Motif’s fitness center is spacious. It’s stocked with enough treadmills that you’ll never have to wait, a Peloton bike, and dumbbells running up to 50 pounds. The gym is open 24-hours.
Parking and charging
The Motif has an onsite underground parking garage with designated spaces for hotel guests. The spaces are $50 per day. The hotel also has an EV charging station in the same garage.