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What is Bellevue like?

chicago
Level Contributor
1,537 posts
12 reviews
What is Bellevue like?

Hello,

My gf and I are thinking of going to Seattle. We have a baptism in Mercer Island. Since we live downtown Chicago, we were thinking of staying in Bellevue. Some place quiet.

Is the area nice and safe?

We were thinking maybe the Bellevue Club Hotel. If we can get some tennis time. Anyone have opinions on this hotel?

We were also looking at Westin Bellevue and Hilton Bellevue Hotel? Anyone have opinions on these hotels?

Any of these better than the others?

thanks for any help

Issaquah, Washington
Level Contributor
552 posts
46 reviews
1. Re: What is Bellevue like?

If by "quiet" you mean shopping centers and strip malls filled with SUVs then by all means choose Bellevue. Actually downtown Bellevue is filling up with highrise condos but there's still little or no nightlife. What action there is takes place at a mall or some other retail areas attached to the mall. Bellevue is a wealthy suburb across Lake Washington from Seattle.

I live 250 yards from the Bellevue city limits but can't imagine actually staying in Bellevue on vacation or for a getaway. It's an upscale suburb of Seattle with little soul. That's not bad if you want to raise a family or live close to work but it's not my idea of a vacation spot.

Stay downtown Seattle--it's only 15 minutes or less to Mercer Island. Seattle is a fairly safe city and its downtown is an interesting place to explore.

Bellevue is safe in more ways than one. . . . biggest problem is auto crime.

That said, if the idea of Bellevue is still appealing, the Westin is attached to Bellevue Square by a walkway and is fairly new. I stayed at the Hilton this winter when we had no electricity for four days and it was nice enough. Bellevue Club is near office parks and a park and ride. The club part is nice enough but it's not even by the mall. I did once buy a nice couch at a furniture store nearby.

Love Chicago--vacationed there last year, stayed downtown. Can't wait to get back.

Washington
Level Contributor
6,144 posts
19 reviews
2. Re: What is Bellevue like?

Bellevue is an upscale suburb across Lake Washington from Seattle. From Mercer Island, roughly 10-15 minutes depending on traffic. I think the best way for you to understand Bellevue is think Oak Brook outside Chicago. Bellevue is booming with retail and condo mixed use developments - I think today I counted 14 tower cranes.

The Bellevue Club Hotel is lovely, quiet, low-rise small upper-end hotel and has access to one of the nicest fitness, swimming, tennis centers in the area. It is located on the southern end of Bellevue, kinda along a hotel row (there is a Doubletree next door) and office building. The downside to the Bellevue Club is that is really isn't near anything - you truly need to hop in your car to get anywhere (though Bellevue isn't that big). I can definitely recommend it - though it isn't necessarily remarkable for Seattle - no view, etc.

Both the Westin & Hyatt are within a 1/2 block of each other in the heart of Bellevue Shopping/Mall district. You can easily walk to shopping, restaurants, movie theaters. Very safe. Though, again, nothing truly unique to Seattle. I think you would find much of what you have in Chicago (Crate & Barrel, Cheescake Factory, Nordstrom, Pf Chang's, etc) Both hotels are very nice, have high occupancy and rates. The Westin is about 2-3 years old. Both are high rise towers so you can get some views depending on the floor. I think the rates are very high - esp for the Westin - but they have been able to get that.

Think suburban area for all of the above.

On the other hand, downtown Seattle and all it offers is 15 minutes west from Mercer Island ....

Seattle
Level Contributor
52,086 posts
22 reviews
3. Re: What is Bellevue like?

Bellevue is a typical middle to upper-class family-oriented suburb. I guess it is "nice and safe". Pretty boring though.

On that side of the lake, I'd stay at Carillon Point, in Kirkland. Check out the Woodmark hotel. It's right on the lake.

Washington
Level Contributor
6,144 posts
19 reviews
4. Re: What is Bellevue like?

Just re-read your post, and sorry you mentioned the Hilton Belleuve (not the Hyatt). The Hilton is right next to the Bellevue Club.

Personally, of the hotels in that price range in Bellevue, I would pick the Bellevue Club, Westin, or Hyatt, probably in that order. The Hilton is too big, too unremarkable, too inconvenient for my taste. I just read in the paper that the Hyatt is undergoing a significant renovation, so that may affect your decision too.

As another option, consider the Duck In B & B on Mercer Island. It is a private, waterfront cottage.

chicago
Level Contributor
1,537 posts
12 reviews
5. Re: What is Bellevue like?

Thanks for all the help.

We would mostly be coming in to see this couple who just relocated to Mercer Island. And, unfortunately, would not have time for much sightseeing.

Friday we would fly in. Check into the hotel. Change, etc... Then off to see them and do family/friends gathering.

Saturday, in the morning it would be nice to get some tennis in. Then early afternoon go to the baptism. Then I am sure there is some family/friends stuff at night.

Sunday we might have some free time. Then off to the airport.

So we thought saving the 50 a night on the hotel. And 30 a night on parking would be a good idea.

I will check into the Woodmark.

thanks for the help

Green Valley...
Level Contributor
18,030 posts
65 reviews
6. Re: What is Bellevue like?

If you have the morning, why tennis, something you can do at home... There is much to see, to choose from, here before you head back to MI.

Seattle
Level Contributor
52,086 posts
22 reviews
7. Re: What is Bellevue like?

Woodmark might be more than you want to pay... now that I read your itinerary that just needs a comfortable close place to stay. I love it because of how it is situated right on Lake Washington.

Washington
Level Contributor
6,144 posts
19 reviews
8. Re: What is Bellevue like?

There are terrific public tennis courts on Mercer Island. If the weather is good that might also be an option. At the Mercer Island "Lid" park there are two courts that sit at the high point and have killer views to Lake Washington & beyond. Ask your friends - they will be able to direct you. You will find courts at Homestead Field and Island Crest Park too.

chicago
Level Contributor
1,537 posts
12 reviews
9. Re: What is Bellevue like?

Thanks for all the help.

Right now we have no "real" plans.

But we have also been throwing around the thoughts of trying to attend the Tacoma Glass Blowing Studio (if we can get in) or the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. Which could replace the tennis. Depending on how much time we have.

Thanks for all the help.

10. Re: What is Bellevue like?

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