The Pacific Northwest is known for many things: a rainy climate, a thriving music scene, and excellent locally sourced menus. The region is widely acclaimed for its inventive use of locally sourced ingredients, and an overall ingenuity and creativity towards its culinary representation of the area. Seattle has, without any uncertain terms, become a destination for the food- and drink-focused traveler, with an exceptional variety of restaurants, bars, and hotels proudly boasting the fine local flavors available.
Motif Seattle is Seattle’s largest independent hotel. Located literally in the center of downtown on Pike and 5th, it prides itself on being a truly local entity. Almost every aspect of the hotel revolves around its representation of all that is great about Washington State’s largest city - and there is no doubt that there’s a lot that it should be proud of.
Music from local musicians is playing in the lobby while you check in, and cross sections of tree trunks hang on the walls as an homage to the city’s logging industry. These reflections are more subtle than abrupt and, above all, feel totally natural.
The rooms are stylish but practical. From a large work station with pragmatically positioned power outlets to a generous bathroom with a plenitude of lighting, the focus has been on creating a welcoming home away from home with all the latest conveniences. Clothing used to combat Seattle’s harsh winter can be hung up on coat hooks, and suites are tastefully decorated in bright and vivacious trimmings and artwork, again subtly referencing Seattle’s culture. Throw pillows recite lyrics of chart-topping Seattle songs, and framed pop-art slashes the color of contemporary artists across the walls.
But if you’re like me, a visit to Seattle means the opportunity to experience the Pacific Northwest’s diverse and acclaimed fresh food. And Motif Seattle agrees - providing numerous excuses to dive into some delicious local delights. Firstly, the hotel is perfectly positioned for the food-focused traveler - literally steps from so many iconic eateries and restaurants. The world-famous (and must-see) Pike Place Market is a short walk from the hotel. For 110 years, this nine-acre mecca of more than 240 businesses is a true celebration of all things Seattle, and you will not find another destination in the city that allows you to taste so many local flavors at once. My tip - check out the award-winning chowder at Pike Place Chowder (the line is worth waiting in for the most soul-warming chowder in the country), and satisfy your sweet tooth with The Confectional’s indulgent mini cheesecakes. Nearby is the Original Starbucks, where the brand started back in 1971 - and is an essential social media check-in for coffee fiends. For those looking for regional, organic produce in a relaxed setting, Tom Douglas’ Dahlia Lounge is another local favorite, presenting quality meals in a sophisticated yet understated manner.
But if you don’t want to leave the hotel, Motif Seattle gives guests ample opportunities to feast on some of the bountiful array of local tastes at its in-house restaurant, Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails. Executive chef Adam Stevenson created a vibrant and effervescent menu, proudly showcasing the restaurant’s access to a superb fresh produce. Stevenson’s relationship with local farmers and distributors allows Frolik to serve up the freshest seasonal ingredients, and to his credit, they’re all masterfully used in a totally respectful manner. Breakfast is a true standout within the Motif Seattle stay. The Pacific Northwest King Salmon eggs Benedict that’s wonderfully creamy, rich, and salty, to a delightful banana pancake with rhubarb and berry compote - the start of the day is kicked off with the natural flavors of the region. If you’re looking to bring in the weekend with a sweeter brunch, the brioche French toast takes things to another level with a sugary hit that will really get you fueled for the day.
The rooftop at Motif Seattle is a secret escape. Edgy and stylish, it hosts regular evening concerts by (you guessed it) local musicians and has become a local favorite for after-work drinks and evening dates by the fire and neon lit ping pong tables. But it’s also the perfect setting for Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails’ freshest varieties of oysters, and masterfully crafted cocktails. “Sweater Weather”, a blend of Brugal Anejo rum and Especial, beer stout reduction, lime, and angostura bitters, makes for a perfect happy hour celebration against the city skyline, and follows Motif’s youthful and mischievous attitude for the beginning of the evening. For a heartier feed, Chef Stevenson’s Alaskan weathervane scallops with a mirin and soy glaze served in a lemongrass and mushroom dashi is a wonderfully simple, yet robust dish. The scallops are perfectly cooked with a resulting satisfyingly plump bite, full of depth and soothing flavors. Vegetarians and even the most carnivorous of diners alike will appreciate the selection of farm to table produce, including a trio of delicately created dips of green hummus, feta garlic, and eggplant caviar; and Frolik’s constantly changing presentation of locally sourced roasted root vegetables.
There’s such a myriad of spectacular ingredients available to Seattle chefs, and it’s this subsequent thriving local prosperity and pride seen through all aspects of Motif Seattle. It’s an energetic delight and playful intensity, which, combined with a truly outstanding level of customer service and genuine hospitality, warms guests to the hotel with an affectionate experience of all that’s wonderful about the Emerald City.