Before all the holiday craziness kicks in, you might want to get away with the gals for a little R&R, and a little pre-holiday shopping. One city that you can always depend upon for great shopping, food and fun, is Seattle.
Less than three hours away in the car (depending on the border crossing), the Emerald city is a straight shoot down the I-5, and is always our choice for a getaway, due to its close proximity.
Gather up your gal pals, pack that weekender bag, grab your passport and a Starbucks for the road, and set off to discover what Seattle has to offer.
Photo credit: Fairmont Olympic Hotel
Gals, we love to stay in pretty nice hotels, right? That’s why we think the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle is a great spot for a girls’ getaway. And their rates are surprisingly reasonable. Really.
Located on University, between 4th and 5th Avenue, this gorgeous grand dame was originally built in 1924 and has, for most of its life, been a hotel. We hear that the Olympic’s Presidential Suite has hosted many presidents over the years, including John F Kennedy in 1961. In the early 2000s, the historic hotel became a Fairmont property and is now known as one of the city’s top luxury hotels.
We love that it’s within walking distance of Pike Place Market, our fave shopping areas, great restaurants, in addition to the accommodations being five-star quality, which we totally appreciate.
Photo credit: Lesley Mirza
Each of the 450 guest rooms and suites combines the buildings historic charm and character with traditional elegant décor and modern amenities and conveniences. We slept like a dream on their extremely comfortable beds that are topped with down duvets and pillows.
Seattle really is a foodie town and offers a plethora of amazing places to dine. Here are a couple that the gals will enjoy.
The place to go for brunch in this city is most definitely Café Campagne, situated along the historic Post Alley of the Pike Place Market.
Photo credit Café Campagne
From 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the weekends, delight in specialities such as Oeufs en Meurette (poached eggs with a sauce of pearl onions, bacon, champignons in red wine – foie gras sauce on garlic croutons, pommes frites); Croque Madame (Parisian ham & Comtè cheese on house made pain de mie, topped with a fried egg and served with green salad); and their French Toast (fried in Bourbon Egg Batter, served with maple syrup and topped with fresh fruit). What a way to start your day.
Loulay Kitchen & Bar (600 Union Street, Seattle) brings a French twist to Pacific Northwest cuisine, using local and seasonal ingredients.
Photo credit: Loulay Kitchen & Bar
Tempt your tastebuds with their Crab Beignets with harissa aioli or the Duck Confit Sliders, then dive mouth first into a hearty bowl of the Northwest Seafood Stew, that includes clams, crab, flageolet beans, seafood sausage. It’s sure to warm you up on a chilly winter day. YUM!
We recommend Il Corvo (217 James Street, Seattle), if you’re looking for the best pasta in Seattle. The Pioneer Square lunchtime hotspot serves the freshest house made pasta, topped with delicious made-to-order sauces. Just check out this mixed winter veggie ragu on whole grain Mafalda. Making your mouth water? One thing to note: Il Corvo is open Monday through Friday for lunch only.
Photo credit Il Corvo
Before venturing out for a meal, stop by Purple Cafe and Wine Bar (1225 4th Ave., Seattle) to enjoy a glass of vino, or two.
Photo credit: Purple Cafe and Wine Bar
With a wine list that features over 80 glass and 600 bottle selections, wine aficionados will be thrilled with the selection. No wonder they’ve been recognized with various accolades, includinge an “Award of Ultimate Distinction” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine and being named “Best Wine Bar” by Evening Magazine’s Best of Western Washington Viewers Poll.
Of course you’re going to shop while in Seattle, duh! But in case you want to mix it up a bit once you’ve visited Nordstrom, Macy’s and Barneys (U.S. department stores are THE BEST!), and strolled through Pike Place Market, we suggest you check out these two places…
Who doesn’t love otters? We absolutely do! So when we visited this great city recently, the Seattle Aquarium (1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle) was top of our list of things to do (apart from shopping and eating!).
Photo credit Seattle Aquarium
Explore the underwater world of the Pacific Northwest and a Pacific Coral Reef and see those lovably marine mammals up close. You might even see an octopus being fed — that’s quite a sight!
The Experience Music Project is a one-of-a-kind museum and a total must-see for music lovers. Housed within the funky walls of a visually stunning Frank Gehry-designed building, tour each floor to learn about some of the most significant moments in rock music, science fiction, and contemporary popular culture. One of our favourite interactive exhibits is The Stage, where you’re momentarily a rock star. Grab your gal pals and become your dream band, playing to the EMP virtual audience. Don’t worry if you’re not a skilled guitar or keyboard player, with programmed instruments even novice players can hit the right notes!
TIP: If you do think you’ll be touring some of Seattle’s popular attractions, it would be definitely worth your while purchasing a CityPASS. This booklet gives you admission to the best attractions in a city for up to 47% off the combined cost and saves you time by skipping most ticket lines.
Photo credit Four Seasons Hotel Seattle
When in Seattle, the place we want to pampered at is the opulent day spa at the Four Seasons Hotel, hands down.
Opened in November 2008 (though you’d think it was this year!), the 6,000-square-foot oasis is a harmony of Pacific Northwest zen and urban chic (aptly described by the Four Seasons), and has a magical way of melting away those everyday stresses, almost immediately, as you walk through its doors.
Treatments draw on distinctive Northwest elements and the evergreen rainforests of western Washington while utilizing the latest in skin technology. Try their Deep Forest Bliss full body massage treatment (80 mins; $195 USD) that includes a scalp treatment and relaxing foot massage, and features their Deep Forest body oil with hints of balsam fir and white pine — so very Pacific Northwest!
We are always on the hunt for a fabulous, rejuvenating facial, and we found it here! For 50 minutes, our wrinkles and sagging facial skin were put through their paces with the Pure Oxygen Infusion Facial ($250 USD).
Using Intraceuticals‘ world-renowned skincare products, this unique treatment simultaneously infuses moisture-binding hyaluronic acid, vitamins and anti-oxidants into the skin via cooling, calming topical hyperbaric oxygen. After our facial, we found that our skin was super-hydrated, our fine lines and wrinkles were far less visable, and we had that A-Lister glow we always covet. It was well worth the raiding of our piggy bank! And our Four Seasons esthetician was absolutely amazing throughout the entire treatment: explaining every step, but not being an overly chatty Cathy, which we hate.
Photo credit Four Seasons Hotel Seattle
The Relaxation Lounge is the perfect spot to unwind, sip on their delicious teas, and just chill post-treatment. We zoned out for quite a while in there. And it was amazing. We cannot wait to visit this spa again.
If you liked this guide, check out Victoria, BC: The Girls’ Getaway Guide.
Feature image: Howard Frisk / www.visitseattle.org