Review: Four Seasons Hotel Seattle

Review: Four Seasons Hotel Seattle

NAME: Four Seasons Seattle
LOCATION: Seattle, Washington
DATE: April 2024
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The Four Seasons is Seattle's best hotel, with an ideal location, an outdoor pool, a large gym, friendly service, great coffee, and a delicious breakfast. As you'd expect, this comes at a price, though.
19
EXTRA PERKS AVAILABLE Enjoy breakfast, upgrades, & more

Want to take advantage of Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits, including a space available room upgrade, complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, and more? Contact Ford ([email protected]) for more details. He may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked.

During a recent trip to Seattle, Ford and I had a quick stay at the 147-room Four Seasons Seattle, which opened in 2008.

The Four Seasons is just about unarguably Seattle’s most luxurious property. It has a central location with beautiful views, impeccable service, a great gym, an outdoor pool and hot tub, a full service spa, and an all-day restaurant (and 24/7 room service).

Ultimately this is a solid, luxury city hotel. Is this Four Seasons’ most exciting property? No, unsurprisingly it doesn’t have the charm or history of a property like the Four Seasons Florence or Four Seasons Paris George V.

But I actually think this highlights how Four Seasons just operates on a different level than many other hotel groups, even for the more generic city properties. In a previous installment, I reviewed the Thompson Seattle, where I also stayed, and it was quite disappointing across the board. The contrast between the two properties is stark.

No matter which property you stay at, it seems like Four Seasons is still in the hospitality industry, while many other hotel groups aren’t. Hospitality happens at the margins, and it’s the little things I remember the most. As one small example, the Thompson Seattle has undrinkable instant coffee in rooms. Meanwhile at the Four Seasons, you not only have a Nespresso machine in the room, but a “coffee concierge,” who will bring you a cup of coffee in the morning.

Booking the Four Seasons Seattle

We were in Seattle for an event — specifically, a tour of the Four Seasons Private Jet Airbus A321LR, which operates “air cruises.” So in the interest of full disclosure, let me share that our room was comped as part of the event, though all opinions expressed are my own (really Ford was invited, as he’s the travel advisor, but I tagged along, because I love planes).

With that out of the way, for the dates of our stay in April, the rate for an entry level room at the Four Seasons would have been around $700 per night before taxes and fees. As you’d expect, there’s quite a bit of seasonal variation with rates, and summer is the most expensive, while winter is the cheapest. The Four Seasons is by far Seattle’s most expensive hotel, so everyone has to decide for themselves if it’s worth paying such a premium for that.

The best way to book any Four Seasons hotel is through a travel advisor affiliated with the Four Seasons Preferred Partner program. Ford is happy to help book Four Seasons properties through Preferred Partner, and can be reached at [email protected].

When booking through Preferred Partner you pay the same rate you’ll find directly on Four Seasons’ website, but you’ll receive extra perks, including the following:

  • A room upgrade, subject to availability
  • Complimentary daily breakfast
  • A hotel credit to use during your stay

Four Seasons Preferred Partner is generally combinable with promotions being offered directly through Four Seasons, including advance purchase rates, free night offers, and more. Note that booking Four Seasons properties through Preferred Partner is usually better than booking through programs like Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. Why?

  • With Preferred Partner, you have the option of room service breakfast in place of restaurant breakfast
  • Upgrades are prioritized for Preferred Partner bookings, given that it’s Four Seasons’ own proprietary program (and the value of an upgrade can be significant)
  • You can combine Preferred Partner perks with virtually any rate on Four Seasons’ website (other programs don’t allow you to stack promotions in the same way)

You can’t beat getting all of these extra perks just for booking through an eligible travel advisor.

Four Seasons Seattle location

The Four Seasons Seattle is located at 99 Union Street, and it has an unbeatable location for sightseeing. It’s steps from Pike Place Market, and is right on the waterfront. So you not only have a central location, but great views.

Four Seasons Seattle exterior

Four Seasons Seattle lobby & check-in

The Four Seasons Seattle has a cozy lobby, with a fair bit of seating, plus a fireplace. The hotel’s signature restaurant, Goldfinch Tavern, is right off this space, so that’s definitely the most lively part of the lobby.

Four Seasons Seattle lobby
Four Seasons Seattle lobby

We arrived mid-afternoon, and our check-in process was efficient and friendly, and within a couple of minutes we were given keys to our room.

Four Seasons Seattle reception

The elevators are located right next to reception, and require keys to access various floors.

Four Seasons Seattle elevators

Four Seasons Seattle suite

We were assigned room 801, a corner suite on the eighth floor (the hotel has 10 floors, and then there are residences above that). Our room was located at the far end of the hallway, on the right.

Four Seasons Seattle hallway
Four Seasons Seattle room exterior

Corner suites at the Four Seasons are marketed as being 795 square feet (74 square meters), so they’re quite generously sized, and have a fully separate living room and bedroom.

The living room featured a couch, a dining table with two chairs, a TV, and a minibar area.

Four Seasons Seattle suite living room
Four Seasons Seattle suite living room
Four Seasons Seattle suite living room
Four Seasons Seattle suite living room

After the horrid coffee situation at the Thompson Seattle, I was delighted to see a Nespresso machine in the room. On top of that, there was a kettle with a selection of complimentary RISHI teas, plus a variety of drinks and snacks available for purchase.

Four Seasons Seattle suite minibar
Four Seasons Seattle suite minibar
Four Seasons Seattle suite minibar
Four Seasons Seattle suite minibar

A couple of hours after arriving in our room, a welcome amenity was delivered, consisting of two bottles of Acqua Panna water, two delicious local apples, apple shaped cookies and chocolates, and apple spiced nuts. I loved the commitment to the apple theme.

Four Seasons Seattle welcome amenity
Four Seasons Seattle welcome amenity

The bedroom was separated from the living room by a door, and had the typical signature Four Seasons bed, which is the most comfortable in the industry. The bedroom also had two chairs directly facing the floor-to-ceiling window.

Four Seasons Seattle suite bedroom
Four Seasons Seattle suite bedroom
Four Seasons Seattle suite bedroom

While Boeing may not be the most beloved company at the moment, I liked how there was a model Boeing 787 Dreamliner next to the bed, as that’s a nice Seattle touch.

Four Seasons Seattle Boeing 787 model

The bathroom was off the living room, and the best part of it was the views. The bathroom had a sink, a bathtub, a walk-in shower, and a toilet.

Four Seasons Seattle suite bathroom
Four Seasons Seattle suite bathtub
Four Seasons Seattle suite shower
Four Seasons Seattle suite toilet

Toiletries were in reusable bottles from Grown Alchemist, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen at a Four Seasons property before. However, I quite liked them.

Four Seasons Seattle suite toiletries

I thought the room felt luxurious, though not cutting edge or ultra modern. It’s clear that the hotel has undergone a soft refresh in recent years, but I don’t think it has undergone a full renovation since opening. So while the furniture and carpet all feel modern and luxurious, there are some areas where you can tell the property is a bit older. For example, the bathroom doesn’t have double sinks, which is rare for a suite nowadays.

Anyway, I digress. On to my favorite part of the room — the views! My goodness, talk about a breathtaking view of Elliott Bay!

Four Seasons Seattle suite view

A couple of more notes about coffee, since it’s something I’m obsessed with. In the room there was a pamphlet about the hotel’s “coffee concierge,” whereby you can have complimentary coffee delivered to your room between 6AM and 10AM daily. This is coffee in partnership with the adjacent Fonte coffee shop, and I found the drip coffee to be exceptional.

Four Seasons Seattle coffee concierge
Four Seasons Seattle in-room coffee

On top of that, there was also complimentary coffee and muffins available in the lobby each morning, which you could help yourself to.

Four Seasons Seattle lobby coffee

As someone who loves coffee, I appreciate Four Seasons’ consistent commitment to making coffee available in the mornings, without going to the restaurant.

Four Seasons Seattle pool

The Four Seasons Seattle has an outdoor infinity-edge pool on the fourth floor terrace, which is the only such pool you’ll find in the city. Admittedly this is a highly seasonal amenity, but I’m sure in summer this is lovely.

Four Seasons Seattle pool
Four Seasons Seattle pool
Four Seasons Seattle pool deck

There’s also a hot tub, should you just want to hang out in there for a bit, as that’s enjoyable year-round.

Four Seasons Seattle hot tub

Seasonally there’s also a bar area, where you can order food and drinks, but that wasn’t open during our visit. However, even in other seasons, you can have items from the in-room dining menu delivered to the pool.

Four Seasons Seattle pool deck

Even if you don’t want to swim, there’s a fire pit, so what a great place this is to enjoy a sunny day (like we had) and take in the views!

Four Seasons Seattle pool deck fire pit

Four Seasons Seattle gym

The Four Seasons Seattle’s gym is open 24/7, and is also located on the fourth floor. Four Seasons properties consistently have great gyms — while this isn’t the best gym you’ll find at a Four Seasons, it’s still very good, and way better than the gym at the Thompson. It had an extensive selection of both cardio and weight equipment.

Four Seasons Seattle gym
Four Seasons Seattle gym
Four Seasons Seattle gym
Four Seasons Seattle gym
Four Seasons Seattle gym
Four Seasons Seattle gym

Four Seasons Seattle spa

The Four Seasons Seattle has a full service spa, open daily from 8:30AM until 8PM. I didn’t have a chance to visit it during my stay, but you can find the spa treatments here.

Four Seasons Seattle Goldfinch Tavern

Goldfinch Tavern is the Four Seasons’ all-day dining restaurant, and it’s located off the lobby. The restaurant is a collaboration between Four Seasons and Ethan Stowell, and serves craft beer and cocktails, seafood, and other flavors of the Pacific Northwest. Goldfinch Tavern has both a formal restaurant area, plus a bar and lounge area, with plenty of seating.

Four Seasons Seattle Goldfinch Tavern
Four Seasons Seattle Goldfinch Tavern
Four Seasons Seattle Goldfinch Tavern
Four Seasons Seattle Goldfinch Tavern
Four Seasons Seattle Goldfinch Tavern

Goldfinch Tarvern serves breakfast from 7AM until 11AM, and you can find the breakfast menu here. I had a cappuccino, which was perfectly smooth.

Four Seasons Seattle Goldfinch Tavern breakfast

To eat, we shared a few things, including the smoked wild king salmon bagel, an egg white omelet, and a plate of berries. All three dishes were phenomenal.

Four Seasons Seattle Goldfinch Tavern breakfast
Four Seasons Seattle Goldfinch Tavern breakfast
Four Seasons Seattle Goldfinch Tavern breakfast

We also came here one evening for drinks. While they had some imaginative cocktails, we just had a dirty martini and negroni, served with some bar snacks.

Four Seasons Seattle Goldfinch Tavern drinks
Four Seasons Seattle Goldfinch Tavern snacks

The hotel serves lunch on weekdays from 11AM until 3PM (find the lunch menu here) and dinner from 5PM until 10PM (find the dinner menu here).

Four Seasons Seattle in-room dining

Since this is a rare amenity at many hotels nowadays, it’s worth noting that the Four Seasons offers 24/7 room service, and you can find the menu here. As we were working during the day, we decided to order lunch, and had the Pike Place Chop and Wynn Salad. Both salads were fresh and flavorful.

Four Seasons Seattle in-room dining lunch
Four Seasons Seattle in-room dining lunch

Bottom line

The Four Seasons Seattle is almost unarguably Seattle’s best hotel, and it has a lot going for it. The property has a central location with great views, modern rooms, lots of amenities (a pool, gym, and spa), and an all-day restaurant with great food.

While this property isn’t quite to the caliber of Four Seasons’ top global properties, it’s an example of how Four Seasons consistently nails the soft product. If you’re headed to Seattle and aren’t on a budget (or want to splurge), the Four Seasons is the place to stay.

What’s your take on the Four Seasons Seattle?

Conversations (19)
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  1. JT Guest

    The Fairmont Olympic used to be the Four Seasons in Seattle. That is/was a beautiful historic property that looks way more characterful than the new one. I lived there for most of a year in the 90s and have great memories. It's a pity they didn't keep the property. This reminds me of another newish 4S - Montreal - which is also very forgettable as a building.

  2. JasonB Gold

    Looks very nice, but not terribly impressive. And that negroni isn't the right color.

  3. Greg Guest

    $700 a night is $300 more than most other nice hotels in Seattle. That $300 would buy a lot of coffee. Four seasons has always struck me from reading these reviews as marketing to people with tons of extra money.

    They don’t market to people making $200k-400k / year without inherited wealth trying to get good value for their money that can be done with points or smart shopping. Perhaps that’s a feature, though,...

    $700 a night is $300 more than most other nice hotels in Seattle. That $300 would buy a lot of coffee. Four seasons has always struck me from reading these reviews as marketing to people with tons of extra money.

    They don’t market to people making $200k-400k / year without inherited wealth trying to get good value for their money that can be done with points or smart shopping. Perhaps that’s a feature, though, as the pricing keeps that group out (that I am probably many readers of this blog fall into)

  4. polarbear Gold

    Nice hotel - but what somehow jumped at me is that "automated minibar" warning that whatever you touch will be immediately charged to your folio and warning that if 787 "flies home with you" you will be charged $25.
    Kinda spoils the mood...

  5. Marcus Guest

    It’s basically a business hotel. I thought the food was mediocre and over priced. It’s also tough to get into for those relying on ride share.

  6. Noa Guest

    So why do these hotels give guaranteed upgrades and benefits worth several hundred dollars just because you randomly use a middleman like Ford?

    Shouldn't the hotel inventevise direct booking?

    Seems like an unnecessary but easy hack to get upgrades, ask any travel advisor to book for you? Or do travel advisors like Ford charge extra fees which effectively make the benefits a wash.

  7. NFSF Diamond

    I would include Nespresso as "undrinkable instant coffee" as well. Nice that they'll bring you real coffee from next door.

    1. Shubroto Bhattacharjee Guest

      Is Nespresso the same as Nescafé?
      The Nespresso capsules we enjoy in Australia are *real* espresso coffee-shots, not the pusillanimous stuff that drips…

  8. D3kingg Guest

    There’s a Pan Pacific in Seattle.

    1. Antwerp Guest

      It's been sold and will become a 1Hotel late this year. Being renovated as well. Just an FYI.

  9. Antwerpen Guest

    It's a perfectly fine property and stayed there on a number of occasions when rates were more approachable. But, for whatever reason, they have skyrocketed the past few years and become a horrible value in Seattle. There are other fine hotels in the city charging half the amount they are going after. Honestly, I think they are more interested in cruise passengers than anything else.

  10. Vito Guest

    The Dreamliner model by the bed is a cute touch, but a bit inaccurate, since they don’t make those in Seattle no more. They should put a 737MAX on its place, though they’re probably not that proud of it, with good reason… LOL

  11. Clem Diamond

    Never been there but those rooms (and the hallways + lobby) definitely look very boring and maybe even a bit drab? Looks more like a Westin or a Grand Hyatt than a FS, but I guess to your point it's the service and the hospitality that make the difference.

  12. Schlueter Guest

    Agree completely, Ben, great description of this hotel and its place in the Seattle market. I wake up early in the morning and search for coffee, too. Really appreciate hotels with good, free coffee in the lobby (I realize we're paying for it but still a nice touch).

    1. Antwerp Guest

      Pan Pacific (soon to become a 1Hotel) is half the price, equally as comfortable, a great location, and has free coffee and tea all day in the lobby. I personally find the FS here to be nice but way overpriced in comparison for Seattle.

  13. sglat320 New Member

    Ben,

    I think it only fair to mention when constantly plugging Preferred Partner rates in your Four Seasons hotel reviews as superior to FHR that the former does not include guaranteed late check-out, which can be a critical perk for many.

    1. NomadDC New Member

      Plus the 5x points that you would get by paying in advance (should be mention as well)

    2. Anthony Diamond

      Plus the $200 hotel credit you may have at your exposure

  14. pstm91 Diamond

    Certainly one of the more generic Four Seasons, but very reliable and comfortable and as you mention, can't beat the location. The pool deck is obviously seasonal, but in the winter they do fun private dining experiences there in yurts, igloos, etc, and it was terrific (and spacious). Worth mentioning that their Concierge team also has amazing access to Chihuly and a few other places that you can't get anywhere else.

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sglat320 New Member

Ben, I think it only fair to mention when constantly plugging Preferred Partner rates in your Four Seasons hotel reviews as superior to FHR that the former does not include guaranteed late check-out, which can be a critical perk for many.

4
Shubroto Bhattacharjee Guest

Is Nespresso the same as Nescafé? The Nespresso capsules we enjoy in Australia are *real* espresso coffee-shots, not the pusillanimous stuff that drips…

1
Antwerpen Guest

It's a perfectly fine property and stayed there on a number of occasions when rates were more approachable. But, for whatever reason, they have skyrocketed the past few years and become a horrible value in Seattle. There are other fine hotels in the city charging half the amount they are going after. Honestly, I think they are more interested in cruise passengers than anything else.

1
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