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“Doesn't live up to its hype” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Inn at El Gaucho

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Inn at El Gaucho
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   2505 First Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121 (Belltown)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #35 of 95 Hotels in Seattle
California
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Doesn't live up to its hype”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2008

We visited Seattle on a working vacation trip. We initially had difficulty finding a room as it is the height of the cruise season. We were happy to find something available at The Inn at El Gaucho and based on what we saw on their website, we were looking forward to our stay there. We were, however, very disappointed as other than the fact that the rooms were nicely furnished, everything else about our stay did not live up to the "hype" given on the website. We stayed at El Gaucho for three nights and so probably were able to get a good feel for the service there. The website advertises that there will be a staff person to help carry luggage up to their second floor lobby. The problem with that is that there is no way to let them know that you have arrived so that they can send someone down to help. Most people don't want to leave their luggage unattended downstairs to inform the desk of their arrival as the first floor entry is not secure. The continental breakfast was sparse. One morning they were especially low. Even though we were one of the first to come to breakfast, upon finding that they were out of some items, we asked at the front desk if they could replenish. We were told that they were all out of a particular item. No offer was made to get some more or offer to get something else. No one kept watch on the breakfast area to keep things refilled on a regular basis even though it is right next to the front desk. The only thing done to our room by housekeeping was to make our bed (even though we pretty much made it first). The shower rug, which we hung over the door to dry, was taken down, rolled up and placed on the floor while still wet. Bathroom supplies were not replenished regularly to the point that we had to get some ourselves off of the maid's cart. No one ever checked with us to see how we were enjoying our stay nor have we heard back from them since as we have from other hotels that we stayed at on this particular trip.

  • Liked — Room furnishings/location to Pike's Market
  • Disliked — The lack of service
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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225 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brooklyn, NY
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2008

We only got to stay at El Gaucho for a night, but had a pleasant stay for sure. The entrance to the hotel can be a bit difficult for people with bigger bags, but otherwise, it's only a flight of stairs into a nice big moody lobby. We checked in on the late side (9pm-ish) and everything was fine.

The hotel has a great vibe to it; we had a room on the same floor of the lobby (I think it was #14) and it faced out towards the harbor. I think if we were higher up, the view would've been great. The room itself was very large and very well kept. The color and decor (orange, it felt like a set from a noir film) were cool. The bathroom was huge and clean. The bed was great; great linen and very clean. Flatscreen TV and Bose stereo.

The only issue I had at all was not even hotel related; after I parked my rental car right outside of the hotel a couple of sketchy guys kind of lurked around. So I ended up moving it a few times away from the hotel. They have valet parking, but I'm not sure where they go keep the cars.

For a quick stay in Seattle, the hotel was great. But maybe it would've been more convenient to stay closer to the Pike St Market. Would definitely recommend this hotel though.

  • Liked — The atmosphere, the rooms are big and clean
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Mill Creek, WA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2008

If you are looking for a completely different overnight experience this is your place. My wife and I enjoy coming to Seattle for the occasional overnight night stay. We have been to the resturant El Gaucho several times and have always enjoyed it. This time we decided to book a reservation with the hotel as well. The staff was very accomodating and nice, however the facility was a different story.To be completely honest the room reminded me of cheaply remodeled college dorm. It's obvious that this "inn" used to be a low rent apartment building. There are large gaps under each door where light comes in. The AC units are small and inadequate. The street noise is intolerable. (We were awakened by two homeless men fighting.) The beds are motel hand me downs on wheels with nice sheets. Be prepared to pay too much and be awakened through out the night, by external and internal noise.
Also the neighborhood is completely filled with transients asking for money.
Pay the extra $100 and stay at the "W".

  • Liked — Close to El Gaucho.
  • Disliked — The bed.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2008

We had the pleasure of staying at the Inn at El Gaucho last August. The comfortable, chic surroundings contributed to the best vacation of our lives in this beautiful city. Our wonderful experience at El Gaucho is one of the reasons why we are returning to Seattle this August.

Yes, we encountered the flight of stairs at the entrance, but if your party has no mobility issues the stairs really shouldn’t dissuade you from selecting El Gaucho. A bellman was ready and waiting at the entrance and assisted us with our few pieces of luggage. Check-in was smooth with a front-desk escort down the short hall to our room. She went over the features of the room and brought us a bucket of ice from which we enjoyed a glass from our bottles of complimentary Evian. We had a harbor view room, which we booked not for the view (which is admittedly minimal due to neighboring buildings), but to avoid what we heard was the noisy street side of the inn.

The bed was the most comfortable of our 10-day trip to Seattle/Portland – I only wish they offered king size beds. The linens and pillows were plush and cozy. The sofa and chair seating area was a great feature and provided a “suite” feel to the room. It’s amazing what a modern flat panel TV does to freshen and open a hotel room – all properties need to make the investment.

The bathroom was just the right size. However, I agree with another reviewer that the white tile/grout floors & walls were probably not a great choice for long-term cleaning and maintenance. The toiletries were luxury brand Philip B and the shower had plentiful hot water and good pressure. I was grateful for the in-room iron and ironing board, which came in handy.

We had stayed at the Mayflower Park earlier in our trip. While we felt that the Mayflower’s location was best for us as Seattle rookies to get the lay-of-the-land, we were able to navigate and easily walk to as many locations from El Gaucho as we were at the Mayflower. And our experience at the Mayflower can’t compare to El Gaucho in terms of comfort, modern amenities, and travel for couples.

We had made dinner reservations at Waterfront before our trip and learned upon check-out that they are owned by the same group. The front desk attendant mentioned that the inn works to get their guests perks at El Gaucho and Waterfront. Be sure to mention your dinner reservations or have them arranged through the inn for potential bonuses.

The incredible Macrina Bakery is just doors away. Be sure to stop for amazing granola and pastry.

  • Liked — Modern, chic decor; boutique feel without pretense, flat panel TV
  • Disliked — Dirty looking white tile/grout in bathroom, no king size beds
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nr. Chester, UK
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2008

We stayed at the Inn at El Gaucho for 2 nights (11th – 13th May) and had a really pleasant stay. I won’t say we were completely wowed by it, hence the 4 stars but it’s certainly a great place to stay.

Its location, I would say, is half way between Pike Place Market and the Space Needle – so about equal walking distance to both depending on whether you turn right or left out the door.

You wouldn't know it was a hotel from the outside, it doesn't really look like one at all. Just a word of warning (thankfully, we were prepared for it), you have to climb a flight of stairs to get to the hotel itself so don't take really heavy suitcases with you.

We did book a Bell Town Suite and when we checked-in we were very happy with it but we soon noticed that there was a lot of road noise. The hotel is above a restaurant all on one floor so it’s close to the road. We asked if we could be moved and the hotel moved us straight away to a lovely quiet Atrium Suite on the inside which was equally nice.

The rooms are spacious (the ones we saw) and have wonderfully comfortable beds. They are well equipped with robes, slippers, nice toiletries, stereo systems and large flat-screen televisions. I can’t fault them.

It was really quiet when we stayed there; I think there was only one other room occupied. I think that meant that the service was a bit quiet too. The first day we went through to the lobby area for breakfast and it wasn’t there, we ended up just going out for something. The next day we double-checked what time breakfast was again and the receptionist told us that because there were only a couple of rooms booked that they would bring it to our room. It was slightly delayed whilst they ran to the bakery but it wasn’t a problem.

We did eat on our first night at the El Gaucho Steak House downstairs. It was Mother’s Day in America that day but it was still fairly quiet. The food was excellent and the service was fantastic. It’s very dark in the steak house and it’s a big place but it was lovely, we recommend it.

On out second night we booked a table at Sky City (the revolving restaurant up the top of the Space Needle). We had an amazing evening, it was lovely. Again, great food and great service and this is highly recommended. The views are fantastic.

I would recommend this hotel, however, I think if we stayed in Seattle again I would maybe try a different hotel. I loved the hotel but it didn’t wow me as much as I thought it might from the reviews I had read.

  • Liked — The spacious quiet room and the comfy bed
  • Disliked — Lugging the suitcases up the stairs to access it
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2008

We stayed at the Inn at El Gaucho for 4 nights recently. The location is great for restaurants, Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum, the Olympic Sculpture Park, and other attractions. We didn't have a car and were able to walk almost everywhere we wanted to go.

We actually stayed in 2 different rooms because we came for 3 nights then went away for a side trip and came back for 1 night. One was on the interior and thus was a little dark (it overlooked a small courtyard) but very quiet. The other was on a corner overlooking 1st & Wall and there was tons of natural light, which was nice, but there was a lot of street noise. I live in New York and am used to street noise but I couldn't have slept with the windows open.

The best thing about both rooms was the beds. I honestly think those were the 2 most comfortable beds I have ever slept in. We didn't ever want to get out! There was also a nice little office space in each room where you can set up a laptop. Internet access is free with a username and password provided by the desk.

The bathrooms were quite small and left a lot to be desired. We requested a tub and had one in each room. This is not a tub for a luxurious long soak, but it's clean and you can take a bath. There is no counter-space--a pedestal sink. While overall the bathroom was clean the floor was very dingy and dirty in both rooms. White tiles seem to have been a bad choice.

If you need much in terms of service (concierge, valet, bellman), you won't get it at the Inn at El Gaucho. The front desk staff, while pleasant, seemed a little clueless, with the exception of one gentleman who worked evenings during our stay. He was friendly and really helpful and knew his job.

On the other hand, you aren't paying for this. With rates of about $175-185 this was the best value for a good hotel that I could find in Belltown/Downtown, and the room is more than adequate. That bed alone is worth the price. We both agreed we would stay there again.

  • Liked — Location, Bed
  • Disliked — Small bathroom and dingy floor
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2008

Thank you Trip Advisor for leading us to the Inn at El Gaucho! My husband was in Seattle on business and since I was tagging along on this trip, we wanted to stay somewhere more interesting than a typical chain hotel and we were certainly not disappointed. Our room was fabulous! The bed was super comfortable, we loved having a sitting area and my husband appreciated the work space complete with free wireless. I am not a big beef eater, so we skipped the restaurant, although it smelled wonderful and it the atmosphere seemed very inviting. We did however take advantage of the very hip movie theater/bar in the basement of the hotel. The bartenders were very friendly and we loved that they would run cocktail refills to us during the show! The other great thing about this hotel, was the location. If we had been staying further in the downtown area, we would have missed out on all of the great restaurants and shops on 1st Ave. Many of the main tourist attractions are within easy walking distance, like Pike St Market, the downtown shopping district, the Space Needle, Argosy cruises, Pioneer Square etc...and as an added bonus, the Olympic Sculpture Garden is just a few blocks away and is the start of a beautiful waterfront trail for cycling or jogging in the mornings. The only negatives that I can come up with would be the stairs leading into the Inn as mentioned in many other reviews and the somewhat confusing air conditioner. However, the stairs really are not that big a deal if you are prepared for them and the man at the front desk gave me a quick "air conditoner tutorial" that solved that mystery. All in all, it was a fabulous stay and I would highly recommend the Inn at El Gaucho! Cheers!

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Inn at El Gaucho

Address: 2505 First Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121
Location: United States > Washington > Seattle > Belltown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#38 Romantic Hotel in Seattle
#43 Business Hotel in Seattle
#43 Family Hotel in Seattle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Inn at El Gaucho 3.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Seattle's Luxury Urban Inn.Step back in time, to an era of uncompromising service and total indulgence. With its "retro-swank" fifties décor, the Inn at El Gaucho will give you the kind of responsive attention and personal pampering that only a 17-suite, exclusive Inn can provide.Located in Seattle's ultra-hip Belltown district, the Inn is minutes away from landmarks such as the Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. Whether you're a visitor to the city or a local spending a night on the town, the Inn at El Gaucho will serve up a memorable stay you'll cherish forever. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inn At El Gaucho Hotel Seattle
Hotel At El Gaucho
At El Gaucho Seattle

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