There are few better things than getting to step beyond one’s day-to-day routine, encouraging a fresh view on life (and one’s own city). Coming from someone who greatly appreciates invites to experience local staycations, there are exciting things to report about a recent 48-hour excursion at Belltown’s The Sound Hotel. While this venue works well for couples and friends staying together, it’s also a great, central spot for solo travelers.
Here are some tried-and-true highlights and brand-new discoveries from this latest downtown stay.
THE SOUND HOTEL
The fairly new hotel—part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton—pays homage to the city’s music-centric personality and neighboring Puget Sound, with its subtly sleek decor and personality-filled touches (think vinyl art hanging in the lobby and light fixtures made of trumpets). Contemporary rooms and airy suites feature a sleek palette of gray, beige, navy and pops of mustard, plus amenities like Keurig machines, small fridges, robes and slippers, lighted mirrors and spacious showers.
The hotel’s prime downtown location makes it the perfect hub from which to explore all the city’s best attractions and nearby Amazon-land (you can glimpse the Spheres from some guest rooms). The Sound’s Belltown address places it within walking distance of typical tourist sites, from the recently-transformed Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass (check out special events like their upcoming yoga classes) to the Olympic Sculpture Park, downtown waterfront and, of course, Pike Place Market, which feels especially festive at this time of year.
EAT + DRINK
Enjoy tasty, locally-sourced food from casual on-site restaurant Currant Bistro. Try the flatbreads, BLTAs, salmon poke bowls and tandoori spiced chicken breast, accompanied by local wines, beers and creative cocktails. There’s a coffee counter next to the main restaurant (with grab-and-go goods for morning-time or afternoon snacks), but Hilton Gold and Diamond members enjoy complimentary breakfasts each morning in The Sound Bite—the hotel’s seventh-floor oasis with sensational Space Needle views.
Perhaps our favorite neighborhood find during this getaway was Bangkrat Market, a vibrant Thai eatery that pulled us in with its mesmerizing sounds and bright colors (tempting us to book a ticket to Southeast Asia stat). Other nearby gems include Tom Douglas’s Lola, consistently cozy Local 360, seafood-centric Shaker + Spear and Ethan Stowell’s Tavolata, where diners sit at long tables and tuck into fresh Italian pasta bowls and delicious seafood dishes too (tip: the albacore was excellent). Several old-school bars and pubs remain in this neighborhood, while newcomers like clēēn:craft® spice things up with cocktails that show off their sparkling CBD-infused beverages.
In a neighborhood that once boasted its own “Film Row” (starting in the 1920s) and was a 90s gathering spot for the city’s most famous grunge musicians, entertainment options abound to this day. Catch a movie directly next door to the hotel at Cinerama (where the chocolate popcorn is reason enough to spend time in front of the screen) or at nearby Big Picture, where you can enjoy adult beverages during your movie. Music lovers can catch shows at countless local venues, like Showbox at the Market, The Triple Door, Moore Theatre, rock ‘n’ roll institution The Crocodile and, even closer to your home base, Jazz Alley—a delightful music venue that has an old school dinner theatre vibe. (Jazz Alley dining tip: the mushroom quinoa croquettes were surprisingly sensational!)
And after you’ve explored to your heart’s content, your comfortable urban retreat awaits back at The Sound. Sometimes simply taking in city views from a welcoming hotel room is the perfect balance to anyone’s familiar, bustling routine.