Pets welcomed with treats, beds, and doggy room service (for a fee)
Rooms and bathrooms are small
Breakfast not included in room rates
From the turntables and Tivoli radios in the rooms to the free craft beer during happy hour in the lobby, the upscale Hotel Max is distinct and stylish. Its 163 rooms are colorful and decorated with works by local artists -- and some have Space Needle views -- but space is tight, and guests report shower stalls are small. However, there is a lot of verve in the contemporary furnishings and bohemian vibe. And there's a gym, a business center, meeting rooms, and event spaces as well. The restaurant next door -- Miller's Guild -- is an industrial-chic spot with a James-Beard-award-winning chef, and it provides 24 hour room service. And the downtown location means several other dining options are in walking distance, including Pike Place Market. An alternative high-style option in the area that travelers could consider is the Alexis Hotel.
The lobby of Hotel Max is an arresting and glossy mix of styles, with black walls, original stained-glass windows over the transom, Edison bulbs, and rustic-chic furnishings such as a caramel leather sofa and a slatted wood table. It's a spare and cool space with light filtering in from the wall of windows overlooking the street. Guests are encouraged to gather and linger here: Free coffee in the morning or craft beer in the evening give a reason to stay and sip, and unique artwork strewn throughout the public spaces are the perfect conversation starters. Hallways have striped carpeting in warm hues, low lighting, and art on the walls, including, on some of the doors, full-length black-and-white photos.
In downtown Seattle, near public transportation and local attractions
The Hotel Max's downtown location makes it easy for guests to walk to many of Seattle's attractions. It's a three-minute walk to the Virginia Street Light Rail Station and a two-minute walk to the Virginia Street and 6th Avenue bus stop. The Washington State Convention Center is a six-minute walk from the hotel, while the Westlake Center is a five-minute walk. Pike Place Market is a nine-minute walk, and Seattle's infamous Gum Wall is a 12-minute walk. (Hotel Max offers its guests a gum ball machine to encourage participation.) Century Link Field, where the Seahawks play, is a 12-minute drive away, and the Seattle Art Museum is a six-minute drive. The Olympic Sculpture Park is a seven-minute drive. The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is just over half an hour away by car.
Chic, simple rooms with unique art and Tivoli radios
The hotel offers Mini (single) Rooms plus larger Classic and Max Rooms. Each unit has unique art, and many pieces by local painters and sculptors. A classic Tivoli radio is on when guests arrive. Walls are painted in earth-tones with bursts of colors such as orange and red reserved for throws and accent pillows. The double-hung windows have black-out Roman shades. The bedding includes Egyptian cotton and Italian linen, and the beds are the pillow-topped Simmons Black Label and include a pillow menu. Flat-screen TVs range in size from 32" to 42". Rooms are air-conditioned and include minibars, coffee and tea, safes, irons, and -- in an ode to nostalgia -- turntables, each with a vinyl record or two. There's a "get it now" button in each room should guests urgently need, say, a toothbrush or a split of Champagne. Tiny, red-painted bathrooms can be a bit of a squeeze, but they do sport big mirrors, metal sinks, neon lighting, hairdryers, bathrobes, and toiletries.
Chic neighboring restaurant, free coffee and beer, business facilities, and extensive pet amenities
The amenities of Hotel Max are plentiful and quirky. Each morning, coffee from a local roaster -- Cafe Vita-- is free in the lobby; in the evenings, the free beverage is craft beer. There is a small bar with a counter where specialty cocktails are offered, but the real craft bar and foodie mecca is next door at the industrial-chic Miller's Guild restaurant where a nine-foot long grill serves as the altar for grass-fed beef and bottles of various bitters are clustered in preparation for creative cocktails. It's a cool menu for a cool crowd. Back at the hotel there's a colorful fitness room with striped carpeting, windows, and enough machines and free weights to help guests burn off their carnivorous consumption. The business center offers both PC and Mac computers in tidy workstations. There are meeting rooms that subvert the corporate with moody pendant lights and attention-grabbing contemporary art. There's also an event space for parties and photo shoots. Music is curated courtesy of Sub Pop, an independent record label from Seattle, setting the appropriate backdrop for the hotel and providing a small retail counter on-site as well. While guests are well-tended, the most comprehensive pampering, however, is reserved for pets who receive bowls, treats, and a bed upon arrival. Their owners are offered various manifesto-style books on pet care and directories of local pet services. But all that pampering comes with a fee.