When I think of accessible, but upscale hotel brands, Sonesta and in particular the Royal Sonesta collection, are top of my mind. I was born in New Orleans, home to the iconic Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street. I can picture its iconic wrought iron facade with curving balconies.
I was thrilled to stay in downtown Seattle’s Alexis Royal Sonesta Hotel . I planned a one-night staycation with the hotel as my anchor. The hotel was only a few minutes away from my home, but it provided the ideal launch point for a weekend in Seattle. It was a short walk to T-Mobile Park where I enjoyed a Seattle Mariners game. There were also many restaurants and bars nearby. The city of Seattle also has many attractions, including the Seattle Art Museum, Pike Place Market and the Great Wheel, which I could see from my hotel bed.
The lobby exudes sophistication and elegance. Though the building dates to 1901, the updated interior thrives in the modern age. Exposed brick, warm wood tones and local art are all high-end touches. Some hotel rooms overlook the waterfront with views that stretch from Elliott Bay to West Seattle.
The rooms are large with high ceilings, tall windows and high ceilings. I opted for a “spa studio,” a 660-square-foot stunner of a room with a cavernous bathroom complete with an expansive shower and stand-alone tub set under a skylight in a massive, tiled space.
The Alexis Royal Sonesta offers many other amenities, including in-room spa treatments and a Chrome Spa downstairs. A highly-rated gym is also available, with a climbing wall as well as a Peloton bike. Although currently closed, the charming Bookstore Bar & Cafe will soon reopen as a spot for food and drink.
Sonesta has a impressive portfolio of properties that are located in Seattle. Each property has its own unique stand-out characteristics.
- Friday and Saturday nights bring movie nights at the rooftop heated pool at Sonesta Denver Downtown. There’s also poolside yoga each Saturday morning, so guests can kick off their weekend feeling refreshed, all while taking in 360-degree views of Denver and the Rocky Mountains. The Lockwood Kitchen and Bar is an on-site restaurant that uses local sourcing whenever possible. The entire property is green with many eco-friendly features.
- Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue is set in lush landscaping and has the largest single-level pool across all of Hawaii. In addition to the excellent meals at five restaurants, guests can also enjoy beachside spa treatments and a weekly luau.
- Bourbon Street’s Royal Sonesta New Orleans oozes Southern charm. You can find the best of New Orleans right outside your door, including world-class cuisine, bar hopping, and live music. The hotel also offers entertainment within its walls with live music at The Jazz Playhouse, award-winning Gumbo at Desire Oyster Bar, and more.
- The recently redone Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel in San Francisco melds historic craftsmanship with modern design. It is also home to the Redwood Room, an art deco bar featuring a huge redwood bar as its centerpiece. Original paintings by Gustav Klimt are also featured.
- At the Royal Sonesta Chicago River North, downtown architecture and nightlife are easily accessible. This property is highly regarded and is a top-rated hotel. Its unique design features include a checkerboard entranceway, gilded accents and Renaissance chandeliers. The on-site restaurant, C.B.R., is known for its cocktails, and there’s a stunning 17th floor pool and sundeck.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.