Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
This comfortable chain hotel gives you a true Seattle harbor experience -- Puget Sound and mountains included
Seattle is all about the water, which is why it makes perfect sense to want to stay at a waterfront hotel; and this eight-floor Marriott certainly affords that opportunity. Despite the harbor-centric location -- particularly attractive to cruise-ship travelers -- the hotel has a strong business base as well: It boasts large function rooms, which are frequently booked for Seattle philanthropic gatherings, and sits across the street from the 10,000-square-foot Bell Harbor Conference Center, which draws an even bigger corporate crowd. Unless you have a specific reason for wanting to stay closer to the heart of downtown (for shopping, say, or you desire a more luxurious hotel, like the Fairmont, Four Seasons, or Alexis), the Seattle Waterfront Marriott is fine choice that capitalizes on what is, undoubtedly, one of the city’s proudest features.
The quintessential Seattle scene -- with a bit of a climb to some local attractions
Water, water everywhere could be the tagline for the Marriott, which is perched across the street from the boardwalk. The property is literally steps away from the Aquarium, cruise-ship terminals, Sculpture Park, antique warehouses, Argosy harbor tours, and a plethora of seafood restaurants (like the iconic Crab Pot, where -- in true Seattle style -- fresh seafood is literally strewn all over your table). But be forewarned: Unlike the Edgewater Hotel down the street, which literally hangs over the water, the Marriott is located next to the railroad tracks, across a busy, four-lane road, and below the Alaskan Way Viaduct, a local freeway overpass, which can be noisy. To get up to the Pike Place Market, be prepared to climb the eight-story hillside stairs from Alaskan Way up to First Avenue, or hire a taxi for about $5. (Note: You can also take a security-patrolled elevator up to First Avenue -- it’s located right next to the hotel -- but it attracts a bit of an unsavory crowd at night, so probably not a good idea to go it solo.)
If you’re booking the Marriott Waterfront, presumably you’re doing so because you want a great view of Puget Sound. And one would think that you couldn’t go wrong, given the fact that this property sits on Alaskan Way, literally across the street from the water. But beware that the hotel is shaped like the letter M; unless you end up at one of the front "points," your view of the water will be partial at best, and (as a front-desk staffer himself admitted) “barely” at worst. Another caveat: The hotel advertises balcony rooms (again, on the assumption that you’ll want to take advantage of the spectacular views), but they are uniformly tiny, so you’ll probably spend limited time out there. That said, the perfectly pleasant, perfectly neutral rooms (beige, beige, beige) are comfortable, if a little small, and rather pricey, considering their non-luxury status. Without question, you’re paying for location.
There are very few Seattle hotels this close to the water, so if you want to enjoy everything this scenic city has to offer -- with an emphasis on harbor attractions and cruise access – the Marriott is a great pick. But note that not all of the rooms capitalize on the water views, balconies are small, and the five-minute trek to Pike Place Market is all uphill.