Richard’s Picks: Best Hotels in the World, Fall 2017
November 23, 2017
While working for Microsoft and Expedia in the late 90s, I lived and worked in Bellevue, a sleepy afterthought of a town across Lake Washington from Seattle. It was a family outpost, with several assisted living condos, and it rolled up the streets at sunset. Gertrude Stein might well have said, “There is no there.”
Well, that has all changed with the opening of the W Hotel in Bellevue, which has shifted the center of gravity. Now, the techno crowd from Seattle and around the Northwest flock to Bellevue for late-night soirées, good eats and entertainment. And the W is ground zero.
What makes the W so appealing is its celebration of quirk and eccentricity. The library is strewn with random paperback books, a pulp pleasure paradise; there is a working cuckoo clock in the bar, across from the tree-stub furniture; there a porch swing near the check-in; the speakeasy is called Civility & Unrest; the splatter paint on the rugs is on purpose; the shower is encased in glass in the center of the room; and in the toilet, there is a second roll of toilet paper labeled “Backup Plan.”