Hotel Review: W Bellevue in Washington
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To The Point
The W is a brand new SPG hotel located 20 minutes from Downtown Seattle in the heart of Bellevue, Washington. The Pros: Modern, well-appointed rooms and a massive gym. The Cons: Subpar in-room dining and no spa.
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I was super excited to check out the new W Bellevue on my recent visit to Seattle — it opened in June — and not just because this stay marked the 25th W property on my personal quest to experience every single hotel in the chain. One of the things I love about the W brand, aside from its ultra-comfy beds and vibrant atmosphere, is that each location is individually designed to reflect its locale. This W takes its design inspiration from a lake house, and that concept became apparent as we wandered throughout the hotel during our stay.
W Bellevue is a Category 6 SPG property requiring 25,000 Starpoints per night. Since nightly rates were going for $286 including taxes, I opted to pay cash for the one-night stay since the 1.1-cent per point value was well below The Points Guy‘s recent valuation of Starwood Preferred Guest points. I used my Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express to earn 2x points, which, combined with my SPG Platinum status, got me an additional 3x points, yielding a total of 5x points, or 1,430 Starpoints. Other great travel card options would have been the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which let you earn 3x points and 2x points on travel, respectively.
Situated directly across from Bellevue Square Mall and Downtown Park, W Bellevue is just a 10-minute walk from The Shops at the Bravern. A taxi to Downtown Seattle took about 20 minutes without traffic. The location was perfect for us, as we were attending a wedding at Snoqualmie Falls — the 268-foot-tall waterfall is well worth the 30-minute drive east if you have the time and are looking for a fun day trip.
Check-In and Lobby
As we pulled up to the entrance, the signature giant W greeted us next to a modern wood-and-glass façade.
We made our way to the second floor to check in. A colorful three-story mural adorned the stairway next to the elevators.
To the left of the welcome desk was an untraditional library, which seemed to be a playful twist on a bird’s nest.
The check-in agents were friendly, but it did take some time since they were having problems with the new machines.
We were then presented with a semi-cheeky party policy that we were required to sign before receiving our room keys. Apparently, W Bellevue guests like to get a little turnt.
The Spectacular King Room
During this stay, we had the privilege — is that the right word? — of checking out not one, but two guest rooms. As SPG Platinum members, we were given a so-called Spectacular King room and told there were no suite upgrades available. That seemed a bit odd, though, as the hotel did not appear to be full. We were eager to check in, so we took the small upgrade and proceeded up to the ninth floor.
The Spectacular King room was modern and the shower was on full display. Personally, I find the open bathroom to be an amazing design concept if you’re traveling alone or with a significant other, but when you’re traveling with a friend, you will either find your comfort level taken to new extremes or you’ll take turns staring out the window.
The W’s interpretation of a lake house shone throughout the space, with a plaid bedspread, leather accents and quirky framed photos. There was a seating area along the window and a mini-bar filled with snacks and drinks. Sitting on top of the snack box was a Nespresso machine with complimentary coffee.
There was an ample amount of storage space in the room.
I loved the asymmetrical design of the dresser.
Thankfully, the toilet area wasn’t a glass box as well — yes, W Barcelona, I’m talking about you.
Once we settled in, I called down to the front desk to inquire about reservations for the hotel restaurant, appropriately named The Lakehouse. To my surprise, none of the phones in the room were working. I checked my SPG app to find the main number and while I was logged in, to see if there really were no further upgrades available. Not only was availability showing for higher-category rooms, but suites were also available via the app for that very evening!
I called the hotel, asked for the guest experience manager and explained the situation with the upgrade and broken in-room phones. He was extremely friendly, promptly brought us keys to a new room, assisted with our luggage and walked with us, all while chatting with us about our travels. To our surprise, he had also upgraded us to a Fantastic Suite!
The Fantastic Suite
While the Spectacular King was nice, the Fantastic Suite was, well, pretty damn fantastic!
The one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom suite contained a Bose SoundLink, a digital record player and an LG flat screen TV.
Once again, the mini-bar was fully stocked and a Nespresso machine was available for our daily caffeine fix.
The separate bedroom featured a three-angle, full-length mirror and surprisingly less closet space than the previous room.
The real highlight of the suite was the
small pool deep soaking tub at the end of the bed.
There was a shower and second bathroom in the room as well. Both bathrooms in the suite also featured larger Bliss products than the ones we’d gotten in the previous room.
Food and Beverage
The Living Room — which is what all Ws call their lobby lounges — is where you could really see the lake house design’s full effect. A sleek bar welcomed you into the space.
There were various board games on the cocktail tables throughout the lounge, inviting guests to engage and hang out. There was also a modern pool table.
The outdoor patio welcomed you to relax near the fireplace.
After grabbing a drink in the lobby, we made our way out for pre-wedding festivities. Unfortunately, by the time we came back, the hotel restaurant had already closed — 10:00pm on a Friday seems a bit early. A line of partygoers stretched outside the hotel waiting to enter the living-room-turned-nightclub. We walked past the bouncer, up to the room and found a card and a bottle of Champagne waiting for us. Naturally, we opened it right away.
Surprisingly, the late-night menu for room service started rather early — at 11pm — which limited the options for in-room dining, so we ordered a burger, a pizza and a charcuterie-and-cheese board to share. The meal overall was underwhelming to say the least. We were told the burger could only be ordered medium-well to well-done because it was pre-cooked and reheated for us (gross). The pizza was fairly dry and the meat-and-cheese plate was rather sad-looking.
For breakfast, we used our SPG Platinum amenity at James Beard Award-winning chef Jason Wilson’s new restaurant, The Lakehouse. The space was bright and decorated with wood accents and greenery.
SPG Platinum members have access to any entrée on the menu. We opted for the oil-cured salmon and avocado toast, as well as the sausage-and-eggs breakfast. Both were quite tasty.
We found the gym to be surprisingly spacious, with a wide variety of cardio equipment and exercise machines.
There was also a dedicated stretch zone.
In the middle of the gym was a lounge area featuring chilled towels, bottled water, green apples and other amenities.
Surprisingly, there was no spa at this hotel and guests were instead encouraged to use the one next door at the Westin.
Of the two W hotels in the area, the design and amenities of W Bellevue far outshine those of the W Seattle. The rooms were modern and colorful, and the lobby was a hotspot in the Bellevue nightlife scene. Service slip-ups are to be expected as the new hotel goes through its teething period, but management and staff were eager to correct any issues that arose. If you enjoy a party atmosphere on the weekends and you can overlook the subpar room service food and lack of a spa, this hotel is a solid option for any trips in or around Bellevue.
Have you stayed at W Bellevue? Tell us about your experience, below.
All photos by the author.
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