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  • Miniview: Kimpton’s Monaco Seattle

    Daniel Fountain
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    Why Seattle has a reputation as a rainy city is beyond me. Every time I have visited this exciting hi-tech city the sun has shone into its tree lined streets. Home to Boeing, Starbucks and Microsoft this is a thriving city. Sometimes I am brought up short by references to it as part of the ‘Pacific Rim’ area that so excite investors as it seems so ‘East Coast’ in so many ways. Tourism here flourishes, in part because of its rôle as a jump off point for so many cruise liners taking tourists up the West Coast into Alaskan and Canadian waters. This is a competitive market, and Vancouver fights hard to take the business away, but the new cruise dock maintains Seattle’s position as does the constant refurbishment of its many superb hotels.Among the latest to refurbish is Kimpton’s Monaco, with the refurbishment completed in May 2012. My tour in August 2012 was opportune timewise, catching the hotel still fresh but at ease with the refurbishment. The scheme was developed by local designers Dawson Design Associates, based in Pioneer Square a short walk from the hotel. Of course no walk in Seattle can be done without going uphill – my companion pointed out that wearing high heels meant her feet were actually horizontal going uphill. Yeah, and downhill they do what?

    Walking anywhere in Seattle is a delight, with cross streets steeply raked down to the harbour giving views across Puget Sound and its busy water traffic. Building and redevelopment carries on throughout Seattle and across the road from the Monaco is the remarkable bulk of the new (2004) Central Library, designed by Rem Koolhaas of OMA, making this junction of Spring and 4th Avenue totally unmissable. The Monaco is itself housed in a tall building – well this is the USA, right – housing 189 guestrooms and suites.

    Daniel Fountain / 22.09.2012

    Editor, Hotel Designs

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