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On my recent mini-trip to Seattle I decided to stay at the Hyatt Olive 8. It is literally around the corner from the Grand Hyatt Seattle, so it was a hard decision between the two since the price was very similar for my dates. However, I gave preference to the Olive 8 as I had read very good things about it, and I love that they are a “green” LEED certified hotel. I will write more details about getting around Seattle in Part 2 of this post, but Olive 8 was just a few blocks walk from the downtown Light Rail stop of Westlake. It was a very walkable part of town, so I highly recommend just paying $2.50 to use the light rail from the airport if you are heading to this part of town. It was about a 40 minute ride and did not require any transfers.
The lobby was large airy, modern, and open. There was no real delay in checking in. The agent helping me informed that my originally assigned room on a higher floor was not yet ready, but she could put me on a lower floor now. That was no issue at all for me, and I was immediately given a corner king room on the 7th floor (which was a bit of an upgrade over my booked deluxe king room).
I was very excited when she told me about the Diamond breakfast options at this hotel. I was told that I get a $26.50 per person credit for each registered person in the room (and I was reluctantly honest that it was just me in the room). I was told I could use the credit in the restaurant or for room service. She said that the $26.50 could toward the prices printed on the menu and to not worry about any tax or delivery fees above that amount as they would be taken care of. I was also told I could leave a tip of up to 20% and that would also be taken care of. So, the reality is the benefit is really worth more than $26.50 per person. This was by far the most thorough and complete explanation of the Diamond breakfast benefit I have ever encountered. Major props to this hotel for the flexible policy and the execution!
The Corner King Room:
I was told that I needed to have my room key inserted in a slot near the entry to the room in order to turn the power on. This was similar to how it worked at the Park Hyatt Zurich, and I was thankful to have some instruction ahead of time so I wasn’t fumbling around like a total idiot.
When you first entered the room there was some storage on the right hand side, but then you have to turn around the corner to see the bulk of the corner room. It was kind of nice and made the room feel larger than it really was.
There was more than enough room for just me in this room. I love having huge windows all around the room so I could look out and enjoy being in Seattle (though the view from my particular room was not spectacular). Unlike in some cities, the road noise here was virtually non-existent from the room.
I also liked this little sitting area that I used to store my bag for easier access to my clothes without having to actually unpack. It was a nice little extra that was useful and appreciated.
Here are some brief videos of the entryway, bathroom, and the bedroom.
I really liked the style of the bathroom as it was modern without feeling like it was trying to be too modern and fancy. The water pressure and temperature were great. Of course, a shower-only option is never my first choice when I travel with my daughter, but it was fine for this solo trip.
I slept great in the room and didn’t hear a peep from either the street or any other rooms/hallway. The only noise I ever heard was the knock on the door when room service was delivered. Room service at this hotel runs from 6AM – 12AM and it was delivered during the time range that I had requested. The yogurt parfait was huge but yummy. I actually had some bread that is hidden in the basket in the photo below that was also good (I liked the white better than the wheat). The coffee, however, was surprisingly not very strong. This is Seattle after all, so I expected some strong coffee. It tasted just fine, but I was just a bit surprised. Perhaps I just had some bad luck – not a huge deal either way. I was just thrilled that my Diamond benefit covered room service! Eating in bed is such a huge treat.
The hotel has a full service elaia spa on the second floor that is an organic LEED certified spa. I wish I had the time/budget to sample their services, but that wasn’t in the cards on this trip. If I am lucky enough to return in the future I will be sure to check it out.
Also on the second floor is the indoor saltwater pool. As you can see, even though it can be used both by Hyatt guests and the residents in the upper floors of this building, it was totally empty when I visited. Made me wish I had packed a swimsuit. Somehow swimsuit didn’t make my packing list for Seattle in January! However this pool would a great treat if you came to this hotel with your kiddos!
There was also a pretty large sized workout facility on the second floor, but it was very dark in there (presumably due to energy conservation) and my photos didn’t really turn out. This is also a shared space with Hyatt guests and residents of the building. There were a couple of people working out when I visited, but there were rows of machines that were available.
On the ground floor of the hotel there is also a sitting area off of the main lobby, a farm to table restaurant called Urbane, and Urbane Market that is a casual lounge where you can grab a glass of wine, a cup of coffee, or a quick snack. The market is open from 6AM – 9PM.
This hotel is a Category 4 Hyatt which means that you can use the annual free night from the Hyatt Credit Card (which is good at category 1-4 hotels) to score a “free” room here. In a perfect world I would not use the two free nights from the Hyatt card sign-up here, as I would rather maximize their value at a category 5 or 6 Hyatt. You could choose to use 15,000 Hyatt points per night for the stay (or transfer 1:1 from Chase Ultimate Rewards from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Ink Plus Business Card, etc.).
Rates can also be very reasonable – often in the $150 to $250 range. My midweek January stay was just $126 booked via one of the Hyatt 48 hour sales, so at that rate I would certainly not use points. However, if you were points rich and cash strapped, you would a better deal at that rate using your Ultimate Reward points as cash rather than transferring them to Hyatt Gold Passport. Used as cash for that rate you would need around 10,000 points for the night rather than 15,000.
I do think this is a good spot for families as it is in a safe and walkable location, the indoor pool would be a blast for kids, it has a very generous Diamond breakfast benefit, and the market in the lobby is perfect for when your crew doesn’t have the time or patience for a full blown sit-down meal. The hotel felt very welcoming and wasn’t an overly fancy stuffy place where I would have felt out of place with a family. I don’t like the lack of bathtub in the standard rooms, but otherwise it would have been just fine for my kiddo.
I have yet to stay at the nearby Grand Hyatt, but that hotel has a Regency Club whereas the Olive 8 does not. I prefer getting the full free breakfast rather than club access – especially on a solo trip. However, the Grand does have tubs in their standard rooms, and has a history of upgrading Hyatt Diamonds into suites from time to time. I hope to try it out in the future since it requires the same number of points, and often is only slightly more expensive than the Olive 8.
Overall the Olive 8 is very nice, and I would not hesitate at all to recommend it for your downtown Seattle travels with or without your kiddos. Stay tuned for a post on some of the various nearby Seattle restaurants and attractions that would also be fun for adults or families.
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