This Fairmont Olympic Seattle Review is from our Seattle trip and site inspection earlier this year. Visiting Seattle? See all our posts tagged Seattle.
Fairmont Olympic Seattle Virtuoso Benefits for TravelSort Clients
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Daily Complimentary Breakfast in the Georgian or In-Room Dining for two
- $100 USD Food & Beverage credit, to be utilized during stay in the Georgian, Shuckers, Terrace Bar, or In-Room Dining
- Chocolate Honey Tasting Welcome Amenity with our Rooftop Honey, from the Fairmont Olympic rooftop apiary, house made graham crackers and honey infused chocolate truffles from our in house pastry team
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
Here's the Fairmont Olympic Seattle YouTube Video:
Location and Check-In
The Fairmont Olympic is located at 411 University Street in Seattle, between 4th and 5th Avenues. It's close to the University Street Station, where you can take the Light Rail to or from Seattle-Tacoma Airport (SEA), and a 10-12 minute walk to the waterfront.
The hotel, which originally opened in 1924, is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is on the original site of the University of Washington. In the 1980s and 1990s the hotel was the Four Seasons Seattle, but in 2003 it reflagged as a Fairmont, after the hotel changed ownership and the management contract was ended. A $25 million renovation in 2016 freshened guest rooms, suites, and the lobby, while still retaining the hotel's historical elegance.
We arrived in the early evening, and there was no line to check-in. Unfortunately I didn't think to verify my room type when checking in, so upon arriving in the room, I was disappointed to find that it didn't even face the water, although I was supposed to be in a Signature View Room, with a partial view of the bay. I called down, and had to wait about 20 minutes for an associate from reception to come up and provide a new key for the correct category room, down the hall.
Fairmont Olympic Seattle Signature View Room
We were in Signature view Room #1162, which was a corner room with windows on two sides. The city view side wasn't particularly attractive, with a crane out the window, but I did like the partial view of the water from the other window, which is only possible from higher floors of the bay-facing side of the building.
The king bed was quite comfortable, but I didn't sleep as well as I'd have liked due to the warm temperature. The air conditioning was weak, and it was impossible to get it to cool the room adequately for a warm May day.
The bathroom is quite small, no doubt limited by the historical constraints of the building, and has just one sink and a bathtub-shower combo. In my view some of these should be replaced by more modern rain showers, since the shower head was also just a conventional one.
Fairmont Olympic Swimming Pool
One of the best aspects of the hotel is the indoor swimming pool and jacuzzi, since they can be enjoyed all year round. There's great natural light from the surrounding windows and the glass atrium ceiling.
Breakfast at The Georgian Restaurant
The Georgian Restaurant, located at the far end of the lobby, serves breakfast daily from 6:30-11am on weekdays and 7-11am on weekends.
Here's the breakfast menu:
The continental breakfast buffet was small, but high quality, with fresh berries, fantastic pastries, homemade honey granola, greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs, and juices/smoothies. I also liked that there were beautiful bouquets of fresh flowers on the tables.
I was disappointed that I wasn't checked into my correct Signature View room, but rather a room without a view, and it took awhile before someone from the Front Desk appeared to provide the key to the Signature View Room, which had a nice dual exposure thanks to being a corner room, plus a partial water view. There also needs to be better air conditioning in the room I had, #1162, since the room was too warm on a warm day in May, even with air conditioning on full blast.
Buildings such as the Fairmont Olympic, which are historic and listed properties, can pose challenges to renovate. Still, it's disappointing to have such small bathrooms with single sinks, bathtub-shower combos and no rain shower head.
All the above notwithstanding, I was impressed with dining in the hotel, both our dinner at Shuckers, which featured great clam chowder, crab cakes and crab mac & cheese, and also the beautiful Georgian Restaurant where we had our breakfast. The continental breakfast spread isn't large, but I loved that it included fresh berries, delicious homemade granola, and scrumptious baked goods, especially the morning rolls and the bread pudding.
I also liked the pool area, which is indoors, so not as chilly to use as the outdoor pool at the Four Seasons Seattle, yet enjoys great natural light from the windows and atrium above it.
Overall, a good use case for the Fairmont is an Executive Suite for a small family, with 1-2 kids, since these are smaller and typically less expensive than even the least expensive suites at the Four Seasons Seattle. But for those wanting great water views, the Four Seasons Seattle, in a Deluxe Bay View or Prime Bay View Room, or any of the suites, is a better bet.
If you've stayed recently at the Fairmont Olympic Seattle, what was your experience?
Disclosure: I paid a travel professional rate; the opinions shared are mine alone.
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