Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Seattle's Pan Pacific Hotel charms guests with service, beauty, extras

The Pan Pacific Hotel's appointments
are artful and Asian inspired,
creating an atmosphere both
soothing and stimulating.  Above,
a view from the 10th floor
elevator and at right,
the tastefully decorated lobby.


THROUGH MY years of travel, I've developed two hotel ratings lists --  "top ten" and "ten worst."
It changes with new finds -- sublime inns and guest houses that do everything right. Then there are the occasional stinkers. Today, a find! A real treasure.
A RECENT visit to Seattle's seductive Pan Pacific has me adjusting my list.  Either Pan Pacific will replace one of the other outstanding discoveries, or my list will grow from
Every staff member exhibits personality and concern for the guest,
here Ryan Crosby greets Cookie at the hotel's entrance. Above left,
the attractive neighborhood include community minded  philanthropies,
such as the Bill and Melinda  Gates Foundation. Upscale restaurants,
  Nordstrom's flagship, galleries amd boutiques are also near Pan Pacific.  
"top ten" to "elegant eleven."
Here's why:

*PAN PACIFIC looks beautiful and welcoming -- with tasteful contemporary art, live plants and pride in service!  A pretty outdoor dining and relaxing area beckons as a staff member welcomes you. The Pan Pacific specializes in personalized service, the kind well heeled businessmen and world travelers are
 Pan Pacific's ice chests are attractive wooden containers.
accustomed to.  The staff conveys an authentic interest in the guest. From the moment we were picked up by Jason and the courtesy limo, to our departure a few days later, we felt pampered, cared about and part of the Pan Pacific family.  The front desk manager wished us safe travels as he escorted us to our car.
* GUEST ROOMS are spacious and handsomely decorated, with thought to relaxing colors and fabric, top technology and an artistic Asian American flair.  Because Pan Pacific Hotel and Resorts spans the Pacific Rim, the elegant chain showcases the art of that vast region from North America's west coast across Asia to the coastlines of Australia.  My first Pan Pacific stay was in Singapore years ago, and I was reminded in its Seattle property of the many genteel touches. (Ice for the rooms is stored in an attractive wooden chest, looking like a piece of furniture.)
Some of the Pan Pacific's spacious suites have telescopes.
* PAN PACIFIC  Hotel Seattle offers spectacular views including one of the attractive Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the star of the progressive neighborhood.  We gazed at the Space Needle from sunrise coffee to sunset cocktails, relishing Seattle's gorgeous skyline with its multi-hued colors.  Located at 2200 Westlake Plaza, it's a superb location.  We walked a few steps to Whole Foods for wine and cheese. Nordstrom's (the flagship store), a fun deli, boutiques and a couple fun bars are within strolling distance.  We enjoyed a brisk and refreshing 20-minute walk to the pier to catch the ferry to
 Seattle's colorful waterfront is near --  a few blocks of pleasant strolling.
Bainbridge.  The property is only 20 auto minutes from Seattle Tacoma International Airport, and a few blocks from Seattle's efficient and much used high speed train, which travels to the airport in a speedy half hour.
* THIS IS A hotel with a social conscience.  Seattle's Pan Pacific recycles gently used soaps and toiletries to a nearby women's shelter, observes the "use your towel again" green rule and donates "unpresented" excess food from the catering department to Seattle's hungry, through projects and shelters.  The energy efficient Pan Pacific has a "Social Responsibility Committee" whose thrust is "giving back to the community."  The property's savvy community relations manager Ryan Crosby says the operation is both civic minded and eco-friendly top to bottom -- even the building's shell and core were made from recycled materials.
A fitness center, complete spa and whirlpool await.
*PAN PACIFIC is a well mannered inn. The staff is enlightened and gracious at every turn. The concierge mailed an art poster home for us, and made arrangements for a harbor cruise. The porter fetched us ice and brought a morning paper without our asking when he delivered our bags. It's obvious the staff enjoys its work and makes easy connections with guests.  Our drivers, concierge and waiters were personable, articulate and courteous, as was everyone we encountered. What an impression this makes.
* AMENITIES, activities abound at Pan Pacific.  We happened to hit the Tuesday night wine tasting, when Pan Pacific invites vintners to set up shop and share their wares.  Locals and tourists mingled to sample both Washington and French wines near the fireplace.  Fun! We loved our room's Shoji screen doors, high-speed wireless, 42-inch flat screen TV and European soaking tub, added in a massive 2011 renovation. The state-of-the-art coffee maker actually steams the water, allowing for delicious coffee and tea in your robe and slippers, also provided at Pan Pacific.
 Pan Pacific's pretty, eco-friendly bathrooms feature compact flourescent
lighting, dual flush toilets, low-flow shower heads and deep soaking tubs.
* PHYSICAL COMFORTS lure guests.  A luxurious, upscale Vida Spa features 18 treatment rooms and every manner of engaging body and mind-nurturing offering.  A spacious fitness center tempted us, but we were having too much fun. Still, it's a must for long trips or the frequent business traveler, and several businessmen and women were working out in the 4,200 square foot facility, which is steps away from the lovely spa. Whirlpools and dry saunas are at your fingertips, too.
* IF YOU don't want to leave Pan Pacific, you don't have to.  The hotel offers 24-hour room service and a fabulous breakfast menu.  Our waiter, a native of Thailand, was gracious and accommodating and the
The Pan Pacific's spacious rooms are elegant, comfy. 
salmon omelettes, muffins and eggs Benedict were beautifully presented. The hotel's Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar are award-winning.
* BRING YOUR pup! Hooray for Pan Pacific for devoting part of its splendid space to dog friendly digs.  Increasingly, the best hotels are doing this, and we met several friendly pups during our stay.  We promised our new friends we'd return with our beloved Yorkies, Nick and Nora.  Turns out the restaurant manager has Yorkies, too:  hers are Sophie and Annabel!
* SPECIAL SPLURGE. If you really want to pamper yourself, Pan Pacific will tailor a wine tasting so you may select wines to accompany your meal (en suite or in the lovely restaurant.) Seastar's acclaimed Chef and owner John Howie, is hands on
Seattle's acclaimed Space Needle may be seen from many parts of the hotel.
with an international  menu that features fresh local ingredients, inspired seafood and meat offerings (the herbed halibut, melt-in-mouth tenderloin and spicy ahi are divine). Howie's global preparations are delivered with precision and flair.
YOU MAY also sample tasty sushi,
sashimi, ceviche, poke and freshly shucked oysters. Or if you wish to go light, try a tasty club sandwich, crisp and tangy Caesar salad or thick creamy soup. We celebrated Keller's birthday, toasting the Space Needle and our wish to return to this perfect property soon!
For rates and reservations, email: or go to www.panpacificseattle
2125 Terry Avenue, Seattle, Wash., 98121. 1 800 992-2694.

COMING UP:  Take a train ride into the wilds of Alaska, on Skagway's White Pass and Yukon Railway. Then join Cookie and Keller to mark "Cruise 100" -- with a tour of the Carnival Miracle bridge escorted by Captain Luca Lazzarino! Oh, yes, and a zillion-calorie cake is enjoyed by all!
Plus a tribute to our beloved, adopted "Papa," Grady Martin, who turns 90 on Sept. 26. How did he manage life's ups and downs -- "mostly ups," he says.  The piece will post on his birthday eve, Sept. 25. Remember to explore, learn and live, and check out our Wednesday and Saturday posts at


  1. Loved our time at this fine property. Understated elegance, delightful staff, welcoming, inviting lobby, fun area for wine after a long day touring. And thanks for the tip on the Space Needle view. Loved it. Will return.

  2. Scottsdale SojournersJune 11, 2016 at 5:31 PM

    What a pleasure to find this oasis in a favorite city. So unusual, and appreciated, to have the courtesy shuttle. Met two delightful drivers who recommended fine eateries. Many nearby, and a Whole Foods for great lunches. Love the place. We'll be back.