An art-filled oasis in Seattle’s most desirable tourist destination
The State Hotel is a study in Seattle’s evolution over the last century. The 1904 structure was originally a medical office building with a facade harkening to Seattle’s early days as a raucous miners’ hub. Inside, The State is filled with high-concept modern art, the sort of stuff that’s made the Emerald City a destination for colorful creatives. From a Shepard Fairey mural on the hotel’s western wall to a panel of doorknobs above the lobby’s cushy couches, art is everywhere at The State. But aesthetics are only part of the charm.
A block from fabled Pike Place Market, The State plays perfectly into its location. Its lobby boasts big, bright windows that allow for perfect people-watching and shelter from the Seattle weather. The communal downstairs space offers a daily breakfast buffet of gourmet muffins, fruit and coffee, and makes for a pleasant workspace away from home. Small marble tables and comfortable couches create a social hub on busy days. While rooms are small, the rest of the hotel makes it so you don’t want to spend much time there anyway.
Walking distance from pretty much anything in and around Pike Place Market
The State’s Location is easily its biggest asset. Set on the border of downtown Seattle and Pioneer Square, it’s a literal stone’s throw from Pike Place Market. While the big, red Public Market Center sign will beckon you to the city’s most famous attraction, there’s loads more to see within a short walk of the hotel. The original Starbucks is only about three blocks away, and the Olympic Sculpture Park — downtown’s calming art space — is also only a few minutes away on foot.
For the most notable and quintessential things to do in Seattle, check out our guide. And here’s a quickie list of cool spots close to the The State:
- Seattle Center, home to the Space Needle and the Museum of Pop Culture, is a short ride on the Seattle Metrorail. The Metrorail picks up at Westlake Center, a five-minute walk from the hotel.
- The Smith Tower, once the tallest building outside New York City, is still a Seattle skyline icon. Its 35th-floor observation deck doubles as an Asian-themed cocktail bar. It’s about a 10-minute walk down Second Ave.
- Live music abounds at the legendary Crocodile, where bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam played in their earliest days. It’s half a mile up Second Avenue.
- You’ll also find great indie music at Neumos, a larger venue a mile up Pike Street.
- The world’s most famous glassblower, Dale Chihuly, is a Seattle native. You’ll find an entire museum of his stuff at Chihuly Garden and Glass. It’s also in Seattle Center.
- Lumen Field — home of the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders — is only a mile away. Just past that, you’ll find T-Mobile Park and its Seattle Mariners.
Art and modern furnishings make small rooms feel modern
Back when The State was the Eitel Building in the early 1900s, spaces were just…smaller. Like when staying in any hotel in a historic building, you must remember the rooms aren’t going to be huge. While The State has done a wonderful job of updating its rooms with clean decor, modern lighting and cleverly tiled bathrooms, the rooms also aren’t the kind that encourage you to stick around all day.
Of course, when half the rooms boast one of Seattle’s most iconic views — looking out over Pike Place Market to the cruise terminal and Elliott Bay — you’ll almost feel guilty spending too much time inside and not out exploring the city. Don’t expect a ton of space to put your stuff away, and you’re better off working in the lobby than at the small desks. But, as a place to rest your head after a long day exploring, the rooms here are ideal.
The State’s rooms break down into a few categories, based mostly on bed size and view.
Queen and King – The State’s standard rooms are cozy spaces adorned in modern art, with a king- or queen-sized bed taking up most of the room. You’ll get a decent-sized dresser, an open closet and a couple of bathrobes to lounge around in. The TV is a 49-inch flatscreen, though you probably won’t watch it except to fall asleep. These rooms have views of the surrounding streets, so don’t expect the “Hello, Seattle!” moment you might in the water view rooms.
Queen and King Water View – These rooms are essentially the same as the queen and king rooms, with one small difference: They face the water. The view is fantastic, though the windows aren’t huge. Queen rooms run between 190 and 244 square feet, and king rooms are between 266 and 302 square feet.
Terrace King – This top-floor room category is definitely The State’s coolest, boasting a sunny (OK, not always, this is Seattle) private terrace to take in the city views. The room is still the same size as the standard king, but you’ll have space on the terrace to spread out.
Terrace King Suite – The State’s largest room is the terrace king suite, a two-room space with a generous terrace and a private bedroom. It still only clocks in at 561 square feet, but if you need space, the suite is the best option. Its view is pretty cool, too, offering a top-floor vantage point of the Seattle skyline.
Room rates begin around $160.
A cool rooftop and busting brasserie
For basic amenities, The State offers free Wi-Fi, bulk bathroom amenities, bathrobes, bottled water and coffee in the lobby. Beyond that, here’s what else you’ll find:
The State is overflowing with art, whether small works on room walls or the massive “Obey Fire Sale” mural by Shepard Fairey adorning an entire side of the building. You’ll also find colorful, patterned wallpaper on every floor from Kate Blairstone, each one a mashed-up tribute to the things she loved about Pike Place Market.
You’ll find another mural on The State’s rooftop, a bright, open space on the top floor open to all guests. The bar is only open seasonally, but you can grab a bottle of bubbly from the CVS across the street, take it up to the roof and make your own sunset cocktail hour over Elliott Bay. It’s one of Seattle’s best-kept hotel secrets, and just as lovely for morning coffee as evening nightcaps.
The State offers a small continental breakfast buffet in the morning with a nice selection of gourmet muffins, fruit and hot coffee.
The State has no parking, valet or otherwise. There’s a garage across the street that charges around $35 a night. Truth be told, The State’s central location means you probably won’t need a car.
The State’s fitness center is open 24 hours and lives in the basement next to the kitchen for Ben Paris. This means you may well find yourself smelling bacon, garlic and other workout-busting aromas during your time on the Peloton bike. It also has a couple of treadmills and dumbbells up to 50 pounds.
Food and Drink
This American brasserie is a tribute to the building’s history as a Prohibition-era gambling hall owned by a local character named Ben Paris. The food is rich, comforting and inviting, mixing Southern flavors with Pacific Northwest flair and a little bit of French inspiration. The seared albacore tuna loin with couscous and piquillo peppers makes for a nice starter, though the buttermilk hush puppies are perfect if you want something satisfying. For mains, the 8-oz. Wagyu burger with thyme aioli, red wine onion jam and brie never disappoints,but the seasonally changing pasta creations are always worth checking out.