Previously Red Lion Fifth Avenue, Motif Seattle is a phoenix from the ashes of its former self. Re-imagined by designers such as Jordan Christianson and architect Ankrom Moisan, the local flare and sense of community are incorporated into everything from the textiles to the letterhead.
“Motif was inspired by Seattle’s burgeoning fashion, music and arts scenes,” says Shannon Sheron, General Manager of Motif Seattle. “Motif Seattle draws upon the area’s rich history, innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and avant-garde taste in the arts to create a guest experience woven from the fabric of our unique city.” Named after a decorative design or pattern, the hotel boasts contemporary artwork and installations. The colors bursting from the lobby reflect the seasons of Seattle, and are a far from a foggy Northwestern day.
Overlooking the Puget Sound and down Pike Street to the Pike Place Market, the view from my room at Motif Seattle was pretty spectacular. Below, the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of Seattle was accentuated by the rooftop lounge of Frolik getting busier as the sun started to set; I was ready for a cocktail. Turning out the light in my contemporary room, I headed downstairs to Frolik.
The atmosphere is as contemporary as its menu, with long and low firepits providing a natural gathering spots for the young crowds who chatted away feverishly. I ordered a Spring Cosmopolitan with fresh muddled cranberries, vodka, Cointreau and lime and sip in the sea air (delicious). Shuffleboard is also popular on the fifth-story deck, and you’ll find many guests conversing and awaiting their turn on the oversized boards while lounging on minimalist furniture under over-sized lampshade-shaped heaters.
For food choices, we opted for watermelon bites dusted with cayenne sugar as an appetizer, before chowing down on chevre cheese and pistachio rolled grapes. Seared salmon with chive butter and gnocchi rounded out the entrée; and for dessert, milk and honey profiteroles chased by a lime leaf gimlet. The servers and bartenders are young, friendly and jovial with all the guests.
Ideally located a few blocks from some of the city's most popular attractions like Pike Place Market, The Space Needle and other cultural districts, it's just a quick stroll or short cab ride to do some sight-seeing. One drawback, however, is the property’s lack of self-parking. If you rent a car during your stay, be prepared to not have a spot available at the hotel unless you’re staying on a weekend or if the private office building parking opens up. The front desk did invite me to park at a sister hotel and walk back to Motif—one of the less luxurious options at the boutique hotel.
Home to 319 guest rooms, 10 suites and Seattle’s largest outdoor deck at Frolik, the Destination Hotels and Resorts property is certainly an impressive destination. Whether enjoying the appropriately minimalistic rooms or the culturally-inspired public spaces or fish ‘n chips at Elephant and Castle Pub, the unique property is primed for a Northwestern stay in the center of Seattle.