The Maxwell Hotel in Seattle

One of the 139 guest rooms.

Complimentary bicycles for guests rest below the impressive mural in the lobby

Last night I was fortunate to stay in the four-month-old Maxwell Hotel situated at the base of Queen Anne Hill. It still has that new-building smell, which lets all my senses know this will be a venue I’ll love because it’s so clean and shiny.

Everything sparkled, from the opera-themed guest rooms to the chic lobby, to the road bicycles the hotel loans guests, to the four-foot deep indoor swimming pool. Guests get free parking at this hotel, which is named after the owners’ 11-year-old son, Max. Free parking in Seattle is a godsend, and also a great place to keep your car while you visit nearby attractions.  Because not every visitor is a hardcore hiker, the Maxwell offers complimentary bikes for getting around. Each bike features three speeds, fenders and baskets (in case you make purchases) and comes in both men’s and women’s styles. Whenever you check out a bike, you also receive a helmet and a bike lock.

Each room comes equipped with a 42-inch flat screen TV and a DVD player. Complimentary DVDs for your viewing pleasure are available from the front desk.

You’ll find the pineapple symbol throughout the hotel, which universally signifies hospitality, warmth, kindness and generosity – what the Maxwell embraces. All the staff greets you whenever you run into the them and the front desk employees know just about everything. In the lobby, you’ll find Pineapple Espresso for your drink and snack needs.

Just before you enter the pool area, you’ll see a group of tiles clustered as if they make a quilt. Each tile contains an artful message from one of Max’s school chums.

The art deco theme runs throughout the hotel and into the guest rooms. The pops of color are delightful to the eye, not harsh as it might seem if you describe the orange throws on black and white bedspreads.

Each room has a personal safe, a one-cup coffee pot, a microwave and a small fridge. Everyday you’re given a bag of popcorn to microwave. They had me at popcorn, which I like way better than warm cookies.

I am definitely a bathroom connoisseur and this one ranks right up there with my favorites. The rain shower caressed me with warm water instead of beating me with a harsh stream like most showers. The showerhead was recessed enough that no shower curtain or door is necessary and no water leaked out onto the floor. The makeup mirror, the black granite countertop and the fan you didn’t have to fiddle all served to make me feel luxurious and pampered.

Conveniently located on Roy Street between Third Avenue North and Nob Hill in downtown Seattle, visitors interested in the cultural scene are mere steps away from Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Teatro ZinZanni.

And they welcome dogs.

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