Review: The Arctic Club Seattle – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is a Historic Seattle Classic | Real World Machine

Review: The Arctic Club Seattle – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is a Historic Seattle Classic

The Arctic Club Seattle – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is what every U.S. DoubleTree should aspire to be: unique and well-maintained. The Arctic Club Seattle burnishes its environs with frequent references and homages to exploration and the original members of the Arctic Club. If you are looking to stay at boutique hotel in Seattle and find dark wood undertones attractive, this is the place to stay.



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  • Highlights
  • Just the Facts
  • Detailed Review

  • Highlights

    Stay at this hotel if you…

    • Like older well-maintained hotels with a boutique feel and historical theme;
    • Appreciate great views of Seattle;
    • Want convenient access to CenturyLink Field;
    • Value a nice hotel restaurant and bar;
    • Appreciate excellent service and in-room amenities.

    Avoid this hotel if you…

    • Find loud traffic noise disruptive;
    • Want convenient access to Seattle nightlife and nearby restaurants;
    • Want to be within close walking distance to major Seattle tourist attractions;
    • Think that old buildings with dark wood and narrow hallways are creepy;
    • Prefer standardized hotel rooms;
    • Look forward to utilizing executive lounges at Hilton family hotels.

    Just the Facts

    The Arctic Club Seattle – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Stay Information
    Date January 2017
    Address 700 3rd Avenue, Seattle, Washington, 98104
    GPS: 310 Cherry Street, Seattle, Washington, 98104 (non-accessible entrance)
    Room Type Corner King Bed with Whirlpool
    upgraded from regular King Bed with Hilton Honors Diamond status
    Cost $158.29 = $135.20 room rate + $23.09 taxes and fees
    + housekeeping tips
    Honors Points Earned 5,732 total points worth approximately $35
    = 1,352 base points + 676 points and points bonus + 1,000 points Diamond bonus + 2,704 bonus points from triple points mobile app promotion
    Breakfast No complimentary breakfast except for Diamond (always) and Gold (MyWay selection) Hilton Honors members

    Diamond members receive voucher for $12 credit towards breakfast menu items at Juno;
    $12 credit can be used, in full, towards a light continental set breakfast on the menu

    Microwave No
    Mini-Fridge Locked by default (no in-room key)
    Lounge No Executive Lounge
    Room Service Available through Juno, the hotel’s on-site restaurant on the ground floor
    Fitness Center Yes
    Swimming Pool None
    Pets Allowed No
    Parking $46 / night + tip, valet-only
    $28 for 24 hours at nearby unaffiliated parking garage
    Wi-Fi 6.97 mbps download | 3.41 mbps upload | complimentary for directly-booked reservations
    Photo Gallery Flickr

    Arctic Club Seattle – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel




    Detailed Review

    Located just south of the downtown core of Seattle, the Arctic Club was established in 1917 as a gentlemen’s club for the gents who “made it” during the Klondike Gold Rush and subsequently took up residence in Seattle. The building was restored in 2008 to reflect its gold-rush heritage, including frequent use of a walrus motif throughout the hotel, which also doubles as the hotel’s logo.

    As the hotel mentions on their website, you should use 310 Cherry Street as the address for your GPS directions, since it takes you up a few steps directly into the lobby, unless you need the handicap-accessible entrance at 700 3rd Avenue (or if you have luggage that is too heavy to lift up a few stone steps).

    Valet parking is available for $46 per night, although there are a number of garages within a few blocks that will charge a bit over half that rate if you self-park, including an Impark garage two blocks uphill, with entrances on 6th Avenue and on Cherry Street (Seattle Municipal Tower), that charges $28 for 24 hours of parking.

    Check-In

    The lobby is decked out in marble at the front and graced with a fireplace and tasteful wood paneling towards the back. As an homage to its roots, photograph portraits of the Arctic Club’s founders can also be found on the walls throughout the lobby.

    I was upgraded pre-arrival to a King Corner Room with Whirlpool on the eighth floor facing south and west and did an e-check-in using the Hilton app. The eighth floor is also a Hilton Honors floor, which is just a fancy way of saying that only Honors members are usually placed in rooms on the floor.

    The check-in process at the hotel was friendly and efficient; a key-holder had already been made up for me since I had checked in through the app. The front desk clerk also offered me a complimentary warm chocolate-chip cookie that is one of the few consistent standards of the DoubleTree brand.

    Just past the lobby is the hotel’s Polar Bar. This small but classy lobby bar features bar stools up against a bar with blue panel lighting to evoke icebergs, wood paneling, a nice billiards table, and a three-dimensional light-up facsimile of a polar bear in the back corner.

    Moving upstairs to the floors with guest rooms, the hallways are a bit narrow and a bit dark, even with yellow walls and blue-and-yellow carpets (which sounds like it could be quite ugly, but is actually reasonably eye-catching). At this point, I feel it is only fair to mention that this may not be the ideal hotel for someone who scares easily and who thinks that turn-of-the-century buildings with narrow hallways, dim-ish lighting, and dark color palettes are creepy…because this hotel is probably going to hit all of the wrong buttons (and is also rumored to be haunted).

    The elevators have been updated, and also require key card access except for the lobby floor and the ground floor beneath it, but they definitely still have an older feel and emit a somewhat disconcerting drop-off/fade-out in the beep tone every time it moves between floors (it sounds like the tone is dying every floor). The elevator also supposedly stops on the fifth floor at random intervals due to being haunted, although I did not experience this phenomenon.

    Room

    Inside my eighth-floor corner room, my Diamond benefit of two bottles of water were already waiting for me. In a nice touch, there was also note addressed to me and a complimentary bag of yummy caramel popcorn from Seattle-based KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn.

    And that didn’t even round out all of the free treats; on the bedside nightstand, were two Almond Roca candies and a pair of complimentary white spa slippers were bundled up in a bag on the bed. The slippers weren’t particularly fuzzy or luxurious (just microfiber polyester), but they were still a nice touch that you often don’t see in hotels anymore, especially at the DoubleTree level.

    Continuing on with the theme of nice touches, the desk also included one of the most extensive in-room stationary collections of any hotel that I have ever stayed at during my travels. Stationary items for use include: branded pencil, letterhead paper, branded envelope, scissors, stapler, staples, staple remover, pencil sharpener, paper clips, rubber bands, calculator, highlighter, and scotch tape. Beneath the desk is a dual recycling/trash bin with a divider.

    Unfortunately, there is no microwave in the room, and the mini-fridge is locked by default…but I believe you can request a mini-fridge key from the front desk, if you are so inclined.

    The DoubleTree Sweet Dreams king-size mattress in the room was firm but yielded just enough to make for a very comfortable bed. I’m not sure if the mattress was very new or simply has aged well with time, but it was definitely in the upper echelon of hotel mattresses that I’ve slept on over the years. The pillows were also in good shape and reasonably fluffy.

    Sleep can be disturbed by the loud traffic, including heavy trucks, on the street below…and it never truly quiets down even during the wee hours of the morning. In addition, Pioneer Square Station, which is part of Seattle’s Link light rail system, its adjacent to the hotel, and lots of buses make stops at the station. I usually don’t find traffic noise all that disruptive, and I even thought it was pretty loud, which is also incredible considering that I was all the way up on the eighth floor. I’m not sure if the building just has poor sound insulation, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind if you’re sensitive to noise.

    On a similar note, the fan for the in-room HVAC system can’t really be set to stay constantly on (or off, unless you want your heat or air conditioning to be off, too). Consequently, the fan can kick on with quite a bit of noise. If you’re the type of person who thinks a lot of hotel a/c units are too loud, I feel confident in prognosticating that there’s a very good chance that you’ll find the Artic Cub Seattle’s fan to be quite loud, too.

    The glass-top nightstands on either side of the bed were painted to look like steamer trunks with handles to match. Power outlets are available behind both of the nightstands, but not on the nightstand itself. The bedside lamps are wall-mounted.

    Rounding out the living area is a sitting chair, ottoman, side table, floor lamp with a map motif lampshade, and a dresser with a 32-inch LG television set perched on top. In an unexpected surprise, the top fold-out drawer of the dresser also houses a French press for coffee, a Philips DVD player, and an iSymphony stereo sound system.

    The bathroom is split into a sink and vanity area, located just off the main living area, and an interior whirlpool tub and toilet room which is sectioned off by walls and an old-fashioned wood and glass door with the word “Bath” stenciled into the glass. In addition to toiletries and the usual accouterments, the sink/vanity area features a ledge above the counter and a table-top lighted vanity mirror.

    Speaking of toiletries, the Arctic Club Seattle stocks Crabtree & Evelyn products, and they are generous with both the size and variety of complimentary toiletries offered in-room. The bath amenities include: bath soap (bar), shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, and mouthwash. With the exception of the mouthwash, all of the products are scented with verbena and lavender. Guests also receive a small vanity kit, sewing kit, and shower cap.

    Inside the bathing and toilet area, I am pleased to report that the whirlpool tub was very clean and its air jets were in good working order. The showerhead above the tub also had adequate water pressure. Since the tub wall is pretty high (to accommodate the whirlpool feature), guests should exercise extra care when getting into and out of the tub. After you finish your bath, you can slip into one of the two provided microfiber bathrobes ($110 if you decide to keep it).

    I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out that the room had excellent views of Seattle, including a full unobstructed view of the King County Courthouse and a great view of the iconic Smith Tower, which was once the tallest building in Seattle and Washington. To enable your exploration of the area, the hotel also provides you with a blue umbrella in your room closet that you can borrow. If you keep it after your stay, the tag on the umbrella warns that you’ll be charged $75 for the umbrella…which suggests that they really would rather you just return the umbrella.

    As you would expect from a hotel of this caliber, the in-room closet comes equipped with a safe, clothes iron, and ironing board.

    Breakfast and Hotel Amenities

    There is no Executive Lounge at the Arctic Club Seattle, so Hilton Honors Diamond members (and Gold members who select a MyWay preference for complimentary breakfast over points) receive a voucher for a free continental breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant, Juno’s. You can redeem the voucher for set continental breakfast or receive a $12 credit towards any other items on the breakfast menu.

    I applied the $12 voucher credit towards the $15 Northwest Omelette which is filled with crab, shrimp, tomato, and Tillamook white cheddar and is accompanied with hash browns and your choice of toast. While I’m not really sure the omelette is worth $15 (even at inflated hotel restaurant prices), it was a delicious repast for $3.

    To work off breakfast, you can visit the small but well-appointed fitness center just across from Juno’s The fitness center includes a Precor FTS Glide Functional Training System, a weight bench and weight, and a number of treadmills.

    The Wi-Fi was reasonably fast with a 6.97 mbps download speed and 3.41 mbps upload speed.

    Location

    The hotel is located just south of the main downtown tourist area of Seattle. It is within walking distance (barely, for attractions like the Space Needle), but the Hilton Seattle would be a closer choice geographically, if you are interested in the tourist experience. The Pioneer Square station is adjacent to the hotel and gives you greater access to buses and the Seattle Link light rail system. Using the light rail system, or even just by walking, you will have convenient access to CenturyLink Field (home of Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders) and Safeco Field (home of the Seattle Mariners).

    There are relatively few restaurants in close proximity to the Arctic Club Seattle. You need to be willing to walk 15+ minutes or drive around/take public transit to get to the neighborhoods of Seattle with more dining options. On a similar note, there is very little nightlife in the area, too, except for the heavy traffic on the surrounding roads.

    Summary

    Honestly, the Arctic Club Seattle, minus the DoubleTree name and the free DoubleTree cookie you receive at check-in, is probably better-suited to be a member of Hilton’s Curio Collection, a relatively new brand featuring boutique properties who participate in Hilton’s reservations and HHonors program. I suspect it would immediately become one of the best Curio Collection hotels, too; which is a very high compliment for the hotel.

    Regardless, if your travels bring you to Seattle and you can obtain a competitive nightly rate, the Arctic Club Seattle should rank very high on your list of prospective Seattle hotels for your stay.



    Summary
    Review: The Arctic Club Seattle – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is a Historic Seattle Classic
    Article
    Review: The Arctic Club Seattle – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is a Historic Seattle Classic
    Description
    The Arctic Club Seattle – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is what every DoubleTree in the U.S. should aspire to be: unique and well-maintained. The Arctic Club Seattle burnishes its environs with frequent references and homages to exploration and the original members of the Arctic Club. If you are looking to stay at boutique hotel in Seattle and find dark wood undertones attractive, this is the place to stay.
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    Real World Machine LLC
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