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Discovering the History Of The Fairmont Olympic Hotel Seattle

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle, known as the Grand Dame of the city, is a luxurious hotel with a rich history. Upon entering the hotel, guests will notice three plaques that commemorate different periods in the hotel’s past.

One plaque commemorates the original site of the University of Washington, which was located on University Street from 1861 to 1905. The university later relocated to its current site. This plaque, presented by The Daughters of the Pioneers, pays tribute to this historical event.

Another plaque honors Albert Sperry Kerry, a former president of the Community Hotel Corporation and a respected member of the community. Kerry played a vital role in raising funds to build the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, which opened in December 1924. The bronze sign dedicated to him celebrates his contribution.

The third plaque proudly states that the Fairmont Olympic Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a prestigious recognition by the United States Department of the Interior in the 1970s.

Upon stepping into the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, visitors are greeted by the stunning Olympic Bar in the lobby. The bar features intricate wood detailing and an impressive Italian Renaissance design. The black and white marble floor, 1920s velvet seating, and ornate chandeliers add to the elegance of the space. Above the island bar, captivating wheels and gears hang, creating a visually captivating atmosphere.

Members of ACCOR, a loyalty program, can enjoy a complimentary sparkling flute of Cava before heading to their rooms via the elevators. The lobby lounge also hosts a lavish afternoon tea on weekends and offers signature cocktails made with honey from the hotel’s rooftop beehives in the evenings.

A hidden gem in the lobby area is the Founders Club, a secret speakeasy bar concealed behind rows of bookshelves. This intimate and cozy space offers a remarkable collection of sought-after spirits, catering to connoisseurs and adventurous drinkers. Classic cocktails with a twist, such as the ‘Hanky Panky’ made with Monkey 47 Gin, and ‘The Hemingway Daiquiri’ made with Plantation 3-star Rum, are among the highlights. The bar also offers a variety of champagnes, wines, cognacs, brandies, beers, ciders, and creative non-alcoholic drinks.

Due to its size, the Founders Club operates on a first-come, first-serve basis, but reservations can be made through OpenTable. The bar is open from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.

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Over the years, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel has hosted several dignitaries and celebrities, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bing Crosby, Joan Crawford, and John Wayne. Senator Warren G. Magnuson even used the hotel as his private residence in Seattle when he was not in Washington D.C.

The guest rooms at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel offer a range of king and double beds, as well as spacious suites ranging from 450 sq.ft. to 3,000 sq.ft. Recently, the hotel underwent a $25 million restoration, updating the guest rooms with elegant mid-century modern decor. The rooms now feature spacious en-suite marble bathrooms, dressing areas, and work desks.

As an eco-friendly hotel, the Fairmont Olympic offers guests the option to decline daily housekeeping services. In return, guests receive a $10 per day food and beverage credit as a thank you for participating in the #EarthDayEveryDay movement. The hotel also provides reusable glass water bottles filled with filtered water daily to reduce plastic waste.

Guests are subject to an Urban Experience fee of $29 per room per night, which grants access to the Health Club with Peloton bikes, as well as privileges at the indoor heated swimming pool, hot tub, and sauna. The fee also includes a daily coffee credit of up to $5 at the 4th Ave. Espresso Bar. Additionally, guests can participate in a sparkling wine sabering masterclass and toast at The George at 5 p.m.

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel is conveniently located within walking distance of Seattle’s light rail to the airport. It is also close to popular attractions such as Pike Place Market, Seattle’s waterfront, the Ferry Terminal, Pioneer Square, the Seattle Aquarium, and the monorail station to the Seattle Center. To make the most of their visit, guests can purchase a Seattle CityPASS, which provides discounted access to multiple attractions.

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