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“A GRAND OLD LADY” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Fairmont Olympic Seattle

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The Fairmont Olympic Seattle
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   411 University St., Seattle, WA 98101   |  
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Ranked #12 of 95 Hotels in Seattle
GreenLeadersBronze level
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
“A GRAND OLD LADY”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

This was our first visit to Seattle and unfortunately rather rushed being only one night. I took the advice of a colleague and booked the Fairmont Olympic and we were not disappointed! The hotel enjoys an excellent location and is reminiscent of the elegant Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong - very much a grand dame, classic and enduring. We were lucky to be upgraded to a suite that had a lovely, comfortable sitting room with sliding doors leading to a bedroom with a beautiful big bed. Leading off the bedroom was a large and well-appointed bathroom with a shower over the bath. I was initially disappointed to see a shower curtain (despite its lovely pattern), however the ingenious design had a double curtain so one part hung inside the tub and the other outside preventing the whole from blowing in. The entire room was elegantly and classically furnished but remained light and airy at the same time. The bed was pure comfort and we were thoroughly disappointed to only have the one night at the beautiful Fairmont Olympic. This will be our first port of call when next we visit Seattle.

Room Tip: Our room overlooked the hotel entry courtyard and was lovely and quiet.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,569 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (316)
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Victoria, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

This is a historic Fairmont Hotel. Great location to various restaurants, downtown shopping pike place market and both sports stadiums. The staff are friendly and helpful, the breakfast was excellent, the rooms were very comfortable and clean and nicely appointed. Its expensive there is no doubt but if you are looking for consistency and quality in where you stay and are willing to spurge this is the place.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver Island
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

Nice on the outside and the lobby but the carpets in the hallways need cleaning. We found the bed much too soft and ended up with back ache, the room was not replenished with Coffee etc. The room was sparse with no extra touches and there was a lot of traffic noise. Shuckers the restaurant was average and expensive.
I would not stay here again.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta, Georgia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

I struggled with this review because I wanted to be completely fair. I hadn't really done my homework on this hotel. While planning another part of our vacation at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, the reservation agent suggested I stay at the Fairmont Olympic while in Seattle. So I blame myself for not reading the reviews before I booked, since some of the negatives were stated by previous reviewers.

The good...the hotel has a grand, old-world facade and I love the fact that you are handed your room key upon driving up to the entrance, eliminating the need to go to the reception desk. I'm not sure if this a perk of the President's Club but join it anyway, since it's free. The doormen were top-notch. You actually enter the hotel at the lower level and take an escalator to the main lobby which is beautiful and fairly massive. I had high hopes at this point. I knew this was a historic hotel, which actually appeals to me.

We took the elevator to our second floor suite and my hopes sank. (Now let me say we had just come from a stay at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, which is a totally different experience and you can't really compare the two - although it's hard not to.) The first thing I noticed was that the word "suite" is generously applied here. True, there are "2 rooms". However, they were only separated by flimsy, bi-fold glass doors with somewhat dingy, sheer curtains. The lack of privacy between the rooms may be fine if you're traveling alone or only with your significant other. However, it defeats the purpose of paying $425/night for a little privacy when traveling with your children. The living area was decorated with period furnishings, which can be lovely, unless they're stained...which they were (in particular the sofa and the carpets). The bathroom was nice. Note: The bathrooms on floors 1-6 have been renovated so are a lot nicer and more modern than the bathrooms on the higher floors. The drawback with being on a lower floor is the noise from the street below.

I went down to the front desk and expressed my disappointment at how "tired" looking the room was and was gently reminded that the Fairmont is a historic hotel, to which I replied (in my head, since I was still vying for a better room) that historic is not an excuse for lack of upkeep and general cleaning and maintenance. The next day we were given a "more preferred room" on the 4th floor. The room was slightly nicer, same layout, less stains, though the carpeting still was wrinkled and gathered in places.

I have no complaints about the staff. They were all friendly and helpful, including the concierge desk, bellhops, housekeeping, fitness center (and as I mentioned earlier, the doormen). We valeted the car and did have to wait a little bit once or twice when retrieving it, since the parking garage is around the corner, but luckily we were not in a hurry. I know parking must be expensive in Seattle, but $45/night seems excessive. I'm not sure if this is in line with other hotels, but I was aware of the rate when I booked.

Coffe and Tea are located in the "fitness center" on the second floor, instead of the lobby and you needed your card key to enter. The fitness center looked well-kept, though I didn't use any of the exercise equipment. My husband and son did use the pool area one day and thought it was nice.

The hotel is centrally located to restaurants (loved "Purple" just a few doors down), some shops, Pike Place Market and the waterfront...all within walking distance. It's hilly so be prepared for a little workout. Also, there is a great no frills but excellent pizza place called "Piecora's", just a short cab ride (or very healthy walk) away.

The bottom line is that the rooms at the Fairmont Olympic need a facelift, as does the hallway carpeting. And windowless, locking doors should be installed in the suites, to make them more private. Overall, while the hotel definitely has some charm, I didn't feel the price of the room was worth it. If we make it to Seattle again, I might look into the Four Seasons, which overlooks Puget Sound.

Room Tip: Request the highest floor where the bathrooms have been renovated (6, I think) and only book if you...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Swindon
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

Stayed for one night before joining a Rocky Mountaineer train trip to Vancouver. Lovely room, very comfortable bed. Quick and easy check-in by receptionist without any wait. Good location for 5 minute walk to bustling Pike Place Market. After checkout the Concierge was very helpful storing luggage until the afternoon.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

We stayed at the Fairmont Olympic for a few days, prior to a cruise. We were interested in going to the Pike Place Market and the hotel was just about a 5-10 minute walk, so perfect. The hotel is lovely and the bed was especially comfortable! The staff was friendly and helpful. There are tons of great restaurants within walking distance and in the market itself. We walked to the monorail, which will take you to the Space Needle and the Chihuly Museum - definitely worth seeing. Great city, tons to do, great restaurants and we'll definitely return - and will definitely stay at this wonderful hotel!!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Auburn, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

The Fairmont Olympic has always been a favorite place for us to get away to for 20 years. This time we were disappointed in the service at the front desk and in the cleanliness of our room. We found hair in the shower when we first arrived. When we reported this to the front desk as we were leaving, the check-in clerk seemed to not be concerned.
We had a great anniversary dinner in the Georgian room and thoroughly enjoyed its ambience.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Fairmont Olympic Seattle

Address: 411 University St., Seattle, WA 98101
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Washington > Seattle
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Seattle
#7 Family Hotel in Seattle
#7 Business Hotel in Seattle
#8 Luxury Hotel in Seattle
#11 Green Hotel in Seattle
#16 Romantic Hotel in Seattle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Fairmont Olympic Seattle 5*
Number of rooms: 450
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Footsteps from Seattle’s most exciting attractions, The Fairmont Olympic Hotel combines traditional warmth with 21st century convenience and personalized service. Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, the beautifully historic 450-room hotel blends classic ambiance and Italian renaissance architecture with state-of-the-art amenities, including high-speed wireless Internet access in all guest rooms and public spaces, 24-hour room service, 24-hour concierge, a fully equipped fitness center with indoor swimming pool, and complimentary house car service throughout downtown. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Fairmont Olympic received its 25th consecutive AAA Five Diamond Award in 2009 and is listed on Condé Nast Traveler’s 2004-2008 Gold List. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Fairmont Olympic Seattle Hotel Seattle
Fairmont Olympic Seattle
Fairmont Seattle
Four Seasons Seattle
Seattle Fairmont

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