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Posted: 4/20/2011 5:15:04 PM EDT
My vacation plans now include a couple of days in Seattle.  I've got a short time to make some reservations so need some help.  I've found a Best Western hotel that inexpensive but don't know about the area.  It's a couple of blocks from the Space Needle.  Is that an OK area as far as being safe to walk during the day and early evening?  Are there other areas that I should look at?

And while I've got your attention, what are some of the must see/do things in Seattle?

Appreciate the help.
Link Posted: 4/20/2011 6:02:28 PM EDT



Originally Posted By ScubaDachshund:


My vacation plans now include a couple of days in Seattle.  I've got a short time to make some reservations so need some help.  I've found a Best Western hotel that inexpensive but don't know about the area.  It's a couple of blocks from the Space Needle.  Is that an OK area as far as being safe to walk during the day and early evening?  Are there other areas that I should look at?



And while I've got your attention, what are some of the must see/do things in Seattle?



Appreciate the help.


Guess that would depend on how you feel about hookers and crack whores.  



 
Link Posted: 4/20/2011 6:27:56 PM EDT
The silver cloud in lake union, they have a shuttle bus that will take and pick you up anywhere in the city.  They also have an outstanding continental breakfast.
Link Posted: 4/20/2011 6:33:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/20/2011 6:34:31 PM EDT by ebrguy]
I used to live across the street from the Best Western in the Seattle Center area you are talking about. The general area is fine for foot sight seeing. I'm sure you won't have any problems. It's a good location for exploring Seattle you can walk to the Pike Place Market and pretty much anywhere you would like to go downtown. There is a free ride area that allows free bus travel in the downtown area too you'll have to walk a few blocks south to get into the free ride area though no biggie. You are very close to the EMP which is worth seeing if you are into music at all. And of course, the Space Needle itself. You could choose much worse spots to stay. Have a great trip.
Link Posted: 4/20/2011 7:19:03 PM EDT
What is you per night budget?  maybe we can help you find a better place.
Link Posted: 4/20/2011 7:21:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Gibby:
Guess that would depend on how you feel about hookers and crack whores.  
 


The wife is coming along on this trip so hookers and blow are out.  

Link Posted: 4/20/2011 7:22:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Wash-Ar15:
What is you per night budget?  maybe we can help you find a better place.


I'm trying to keep it under $120/night.  I don't want to rent a car so I'd like to be close to major attractions or at least a short bus/train ride away.

Link Posted: 4/20/2011 7:49:20 PM EDT
Sleep downtown where Starbucks puts its guests up.



Homewood Suites

206 Western Ave W

98119



A few blocks SW from Key Arena.
I send EVERYONE I know there and have NEVER got anything but great feedback.




Link Posted: 4/20/2011 7:57:52 PM EDT



Originally Posted By CavVet:


Sleep downtown where Starbucks puts its guests up.



Homewood Suites

206 Western Ave W

98119



A few blocks SW from Key Arena.
I send EVERYONE I know there and have NEVER got anything but great feedback.



This is hands-down my first choice as a place to stay when I stay in Seattle.  It is in a great location and you will get a good night's sleep.  Call ahead early as they frequently fill up.....





 
Link Posted: 4/20/2011 8:00:48 PM EDT
CarVet that looks like a nice place.  I'll check them out.  Thanks!
Link Posted: 4/20/2011 8:29:32 PM EDT



Originally Posted By ScubaDachshund:


CarVet that looks like a nice place.  I'll check them out.  Thanks!


I used to drive a taxi.



 
Link Posted: 4/20/2011 9:02:41 PM EDT
Both places mentioned are good.  If you want to spend a little more for a cool "boutique" hotel experience then check out Hotel Andra and Hotel Max.  Those are where I stay when we go downtown for the weekend.  Hotel Andra is our favorite.  Bonus is Lola is in the bottom of it.
Link Posted: 4/20/2011 9:06:43 PM EDT
I showed my wife the Best Western and the Homewood Suites.  She picked the Homewood suites because she liked that it had a view of Puget Sound.  Appreciate the help.
Link Posted: 4/20/2011 9:09:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/20/2011 9:33:18 PM EDT by TigerForce]
I don't think that Best Western is in THAT bad of a neighborhood. Just be careful at night, and be ready for lots of pandhandlers. It is in, or near, the Ride Free bus zone. The Silver Cloud suggestion is probably a little nicer neighborhood, though, and other hotels near there are probably fine, too- that's the South Lake Union area.

If you don't mind a ~1.5 mile bus ride north from South Lake Union, up Eastlake across the ship canal to Roosevelt Way, the Watertown and the University Inn on Roosevelt Way are both pretty nice. I think the Watertown is more expensive. There are regular bus runs along that corridor. These hotels are near the UW campus. They may be fuller during the week than on weekends, except during football season. There are some pandhandlers around there, too, though.

Seattle has a soft, crunchy liberal underbelly and is real "tolerant" , and the climate is relatively mild, so there are lots of "people not living in conventional housing." You've been warned. I don't give them money, and don't think you should feel guilty about not doing so, either. There are plenty of resources for them to get assistance from.

Tourist season really cranks up after July 4 and is strong until mid-late August. Make your reservations early.


ETA: lotta good hotel leads posted above. I'll have to make note of them for any friends/family who come to town.
Originally Posted By ScubaDachshund:
And while I've got your attention, what are some of the must see/do things in Seattle?

Ride a ferry across the Sound and back- Bainbridge Island or Bremerton; cheap and easy to do.
Lots of good restaurants- we can recommend some, and/or ask at your hotel.
Museum of Flight- can take a bus or cab to there. Has an SR-71.
Go to top of Space Needle- there is a restaurant /bar.
Top of Bank of America Tower- tallest building in town.  That's a start...
Link Posted: 4/20/2011 9:21:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/20/2011 9:22:07 PM EDT by AnthonyL]
I've been walking around downtown Seattle for years all times of the night.  The area around the Best Western is not bad by any means, in fact nothing surrounding Seattle Center.  I had family in town staying there last weekend and they were just fine.

Ditto, I have never given the bums a single red cent.  You are just enabling them, not helping.
Link Posted: 4/21/2011 1:52:57 AM EDT
All good suggestions so far. Everything you'd care to see in Seattle is a walk or short cab ride away. I lived on Queen Anne for seven years and used to work right across from Homewood Suites - nice place. There are tons of good restaurants on Queen Anne, and if you like Thai, you're in luck - lots of them. Outside of the regular sights, you should walk up to the top of Queen Anne and check out the retail strip there. Lot's to see and you can enjoy the great views. Also, some nice old Seattle mansions to stroll by.
One note, if you do stay over on a Fri/Sat, avoid Belltown after midnight. It's directly South of your hotel about a half mile. Great restaurants and nightlife, but too many thugs shooting pistols as the bars close at 1:30-2am. Just keep your wits about you at night time, and perhaps a can of Fox Labs , and you'll be fine.
Link Posted: 4/21/2011 12:28:20 PM EDT
Thanks for the suggestions.  My wife and I are not the "nightlife" kind of people so I don't think we'll have any problems.  And since I live in SW Houston, I'm used to panhandlers, Urban Pioneers (aka bums, homeless people, vagrants), and assorted criminal types.  I'm also a former police officer so those kind of people . . . well, we've met.
Link Posted: 4/21/2011 12:55:26 PM EDT
If you want to splurge, the Edgewater Inn is a great place to stay
Link Posted: 4/21/2011 7:37:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/21/2011 7:38:27 PM EDT by TigerForce]
Good advise about Belltown. I had forgotten about that. The bars empty out at 2 am, and the drunks spill out onto the streets with their noise, fights and vomit. It's been a real mess. And that area has been developed as an urban residential area. A prior liberal mayor (well, they're pretty much all liberal) envisioned downtown neighborhoods of high-rises, where families could live, children could play in nearby parks, and people could walk to work instead of driving; and the guvment could rake in property taxes from their overpriced condos.


Pike Place Market is also on the list of things to do. Better to go during the week than on weekends. The original Starbucks is across the street from the Market. When ordering, a "single tall 2%" means, a single shot of espresso-tall latte, made with 2% milk. But since Starbucks has proliferated like rabbits, you may already know that.

Link Posted: 4/21/2011 8:05:30 PM EDT



Originally Posted By TigerForce:


Good advise about Belltown. I had forgotten about that. The bars empty out at 2 am, and the drunks spill out onto the streets with their noise, fights and vomit. It's been a real mess. And that area has been developed as an urban residential area. A prior liberal mayor (well, they're pretty much all liberal) envisioned downtown neighborhoods of high-rises, where families could live, children could play in nearby parks, and people could walk to work instead of driving; and the guvment could rake in property taxes from their overpriced condos.







The building that Belltown Billiards and Frontier room are in is owned by Plymouth housing, and is used for housing homeless people.  Part of the reason the BB sign had so many letters out is because crack heads would throw rocks up to the third story to try to get a hold of their dealers, and kill the florescent letters when they missed.  
But at least "Raspy" patrols the area!



 
Link Posted: 4/22/2011 6:39:35 AM EDT
what?  no "pics of the wife" requests???
Link Posted: 4/23/2011 10:32:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 7:58:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/24/2011 8:01:03 AM EDT by Genin]
The waterfront area has an aquarium, and interesting tourist stuff.  But it may be out of your price range.  Lots to see within walking distance though.

We stayed at the Edgewater a couple of times and liked the place.  Easy walking distance to all sorts of stuff on the waterfront.
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 11:34:25 AM EDT
So, normally the Pan Pacific is really expensive.  Stayed there one night, it was $300 (late checkout I think added to the price).

However, I get emails from them all the time, and the price has been half that at times.  It's a really nice place, IMHO, though it's pretty rare I frequent high-dollar hotels.  We had a nice view of the Space Needle (and a bunch of construction cranes) from our room.

Basically, we were spending a long weekend in Seattle.  I gave the girlfriend a choice:  sleep in a tent for 3 nights with a really nice hotel one night, or a crappy hotel for 4 nights.  It was raining the whole time, and October or something, but it was worth it.  
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 3:47:00 PM EDT
If you want, you can probably find a good deal on a condo at www.vrbo.com







I've used vrbo for Orlando and Maui 3 or 4 times and have had good luck with it.
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 12:35:13 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 9:25:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2011 10:35:56 PM EDT by ScubaDachshund]
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone.  The wife and I had a good time in Seattle.  Ended up only spending one day there because of a screw up at the hotel and some health problems.  We visited Pike's Place Market and took the harbor tour.  Lots of places we didn't get to see so we'll have to go back when we have more time.

What's with the Town Cars?  Seems like every black town car we saw was trying to pick up a fare.  My wife thought it was great that I arranged for a "limo" to pick us up at the train station.  We ended up using the town cars exclusively while we were in town.  

Had a problem with the hotel.  We were at the Homewood Suites on Western Ave at a recommendation of one of the guys here.  I had looked at there web page and they showed these nice spacious suites.  I booked, and paid extra for, a bayview suite.  We got to the hotel a bit before noon.  Check-in wasn't until 3PM.  The clerk told us we were in luck because they had a room ready on the first floor.  I asked if it was a bayview room.  She said no, those are on the higher floors but there weren't any ready.  No problem, just stow our luggage and we'll be back later when you have the room we requested ready.  Filled out the forms and checked in, then went site seeing.

Well, I got a migraine while we were out so we decided to head back to the hotel around 4 or so.  Get there and the gentleman behind the desk says he's got 2 rooms.  He's got a huge room on the first floor (but it's by the street and real noisy), or we can have a quieter room on the second floor.  I told him we had already been offered the first floor room and turned it down.  I also told him that I had reserved, and paid extra for, a room with a view of the bay.  He said, "we don't have any of those left and they are the same price as our regular room anyway."  Excuse me?  So he and I discussed the issue for about 20 minutes.  I finally told him we would take the 2nd floor room because my head was killing me and I was getting nowhere.

Got to the room and it's like a cave.  A small living/dining/kitchen area.  A corridor connects it to a bedroom the size of a closet.  I'm not claustrophobic, but it felt like the walls were closing in.  And as far as it being "quiet."  Well the train tracks are less than a hundred yards away.  But you could see the bay.  It was past the parking lot, the telephone polls/lines, the trains, and you could see about 100 feet of it between two buildings.  I called the front desk and told them the room was unacceptable and I wanted to speak to the manager.  I was told it was the same guy who checked me in was the MOD.  I then asked to speak to the GM.  He wasn't there and wouldn't be back until morning.

After my migraine finally went away, we went out for dinner.  Stopped at the front desk and told the guy we'd be checking out in the morning since they failed to provide the room type that we reserved.  On the way back, we're walking down hill and the next thing I know I'm flat on my back on the sidewalk.  There was a metal plate in the sidewalk that was slick from the rain.  Didn't see it.  My feet went out from under me and I was on the ground before I knew what happened.  My wife thought I had broke my back.  It did take me a few minutes to finally be able to get up.  My neck and shoulder are messed up but getting better slowly.  Luckily I have muscle relaxers and Vicoden that I use for migraines.  Oh, and my migraine came back.

Amtrak -  nice ride from Vancouver to Seattle.  Great customer service.  My wife left her Kindle on the train.  Didn't realize it until we got to the hotel.  I called them and they said the train gets cleaned in Portland and they'd have the crew check for it.  Got a call a couple hours later to tell us they found it and they'd send it back on the train's return trip.  Got a second call a few hours later to tell us it was at the Seattle station.  Great job Amtrak!

So, here are the lessons learned.  Seattle, nice city and people.  Amtrak, nice ride and great service.  Homewood Suites, not as advertised on their webpage and not very helpful when they mess up.  Muscle relaxers and Vicoden are a good thing to have on hand.

Edited for spelling.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 9:35:46 PM EDT
Oh man! Sorry to hear about the hotel, migraine, and slip and fall! On behalf of Seattle, I apologize.

Unfortunately, Seattle has all sorts of metal plates on the sidewalks and potholes in the streets. I've personally slipped on those plates myself. Hopefully, overall, the good outweighed the bad. I can only imagine your next stay will be better! Where'd you go for dinner?
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 10:33:12 PM EDT
I don't blame Seattle one bit.  Just got a bad break on the hotel.  I think the guy at the desk (who I found out is one of the managers) screwed up and didn't want to admit it.  The lady who checked us in told us they had bayview rooms but they weren't ready yet.  We got there before noon and check in isn't until 3PM so that's understandable.  I sent email to corporate customer service and to the hotel's GM.  We'll see how/if they respond.  The other stuff is just life in the big city.

We really want to come back.  The city was great.  The people were friendly.  There are a lot of things we would like to see and do.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 8:54:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CavVet:

I used to drive a taxi.
 


That explains alot...
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