Weekend Wanderlust: Graduate Seattle

Courtesy Christian Horan Photography

The highlight of staying at Graduate Seattle near the University of Washington? No doubt the prime mountain views, best savored from an elevated, corner hotel room or from the wraparound patio of Mountaineering Club, a warm and inviting restaurant-bar.

Photo by Corinne Whiting

On a recent January evening, the sky erupted into an unexpected cascade of pastel hues behind Mount Rainier, as golden light from the west bounced off building windows to the east.

The hotel’s historic 1930s Art Deco digs are located in the University District — kitty-corner from Neptune Theatre (check out the venue’s upcoming music schedule here) and only a 10-minute stroll from campus. Those with UW connections will love nods to the school woven into the interior decor, as well as a selfie-worthy husky mural in the small fitness center.

Courtesy Christian Horan Photography

In the morning, grab a Verve coffee and fresh Salmonberry pastries or bagel sandwiches from corner cafe Pointdexter Coffee, depending on what’s in stock that day. The light-filled space boasts playful perks from “bouquets” of unsharpened pencils on each table to black-and-white images of nearby UW scenes jazzing up the walls and paying homage to the university’s past.

Consider grabbing a fireside seat in the hotel’s hip lobby, where macramé creations dangle from the tall ceiling, and nature paintings are stacked as high as the eye can see. 

Courtesy Christian Horan Photography

For top-notch panoramic views of the city and surrounding peaks — plus cool vibes, eats and cocktails, too — ride up to the 16th floor to The Mountaineering Club (reservations required, open to those 21+ after 6 p.m.). A somewhat limited dinner menu, best described as camping-chic, showcases items ranging from butter bean hummus and potato chip nachos to zucchini sandwiches and the uber-tasty Wagyu and Dungeness Dog. If you time it right, a DJ may just be spinning chill beats that perfectly complement your scenic meal.

The venue also serves a tasty Sunday brunch, and clever cocktails steal the show at any time of day. Try fan favorites like the Agua Bita (toasted golden beet-infused aquavit, genever, amaro, celery bitters, tonic, dill sprig) or Smoke Follows Beauty (mezcal, serrano pepper-infused triple sec, cucumber, lime, cilantro, agave syrup, sugar y sal de gusano, jicama).

Seasonal delights match the cozy ski lodge vibes, like the Meany Ski Hut (American malt whiskey, Islay scotch, rock sugar and coconut water syrup, lemon essence) or a warming mug of the Pear Toddy. Heated shelters on the wraparound deck now mean that alfresco dining/drinking is comfortable in any weather, rain or shine.

Courtesy Andrew Gianmarco Photography

A quick walk around the hotel’s nearby streets can take you to campus, especially alluring on blossom-filled days, alongside the casual Asian eateries (serving everything from noodle dishes and hot pot to steaming bowls of curry) and coffee shops of University Way or into the Henry Art Gallery. No matter where you roam, we suspect you’ll find it refreshing to wander a neighborhood you haven’t visited in quite some time (or perhaps, ever). Happy exploring!

A current special (when using code ALLINCLUSIVE) means your hotel visit includes a continental grab-and-go breakfast and overnight parking for each night of your stay.