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Planning a Seattle Vacation

As I mentioned in my Absence post, we went to the Seattle for The Offspring’s 18th birthday. Planning our vacation was more difficult than I really wanted. The Offspring’s birthday trip was important to me… I wanted everything to be “just right”. I hope she had a great time. I did. It was wonderful spending time as a family. :D

I must admit planning was more stressful and time consuming than I really wanted and I could have made it easier, but I can say the I am soooo happy at I didn’t jump and go with my first or second choice. Our trip turned out so wonderful and I think it is largely due to the time it took me to choose a hotel.

I hope that at least one person will benefit from my process and even my decision because it turned out better than I imagined. I think Mama will be proud, she does similar planning… and stressing! ;)

As I said, trying to find a hotel that met our needs in the area we wanted was time consuming. Our main criteria was non-smoking, at least queen beds, free WiFi, free breakfast, parking at reasonable rate (almost very hotel charges for parking and then there is a parking tax). Hubby wanted to be within walking distance The Space Needle as opposed to staying near Pike Place Market. I had one more very important criteria… The Offspring’s birthday trip would NOT require her to sleep on a pull-out bed (hide-a-bed)! She often gets the short-end of the straw and has the unfortunate sleeping arrangements of the pull-out. This trip was special and I was adamant that this wasn’t going to happen and I didn’t care if it was going to cost us more money. Hubby agreed.

Sounds easy, right? Of course it’s easy… the Internet is your friend! LOL! Not hardly!!! Have you ever Google “hotels near Space Needle”? Guess how many hits….

… Give up?

1.42 MILLION hits! By no means is this even manageable.

I started looking at and comparing reviews from multiple websites (Hotels.com, TripAdvisor.com, Travelocity.com, Expedia.com and 2daysinseattle.com). We wanted to keep the nightly rate as low as possible, but it seemed like finding a place with our criteria was going to be impossible. To top it off, it was still going to cost between $165-200 a night. NOT really how much we wanted to pay, but we really didn’t seem to have much of a choice.

Our choices were:
Travelodge
Holiday Inn-Seattle
Holiday Inn Express
Best Western Executive Inn
Hyatt Place-Seattle Downtown

Five seemed easier to manage. I went back and looked at reviews for each of this hotels on all of the websites listed above. I made notes and here is what I came up with:

  Best Western Hyatt Place Travelodge Holiday Inn-Seattle Holiday Inn Express
Breakfast No Yes Yes No Yes
Parking per night $15 $20
secure parking
$15
open lot
$10 limited avail open lot $10 limited avail open lot
WiFi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bed 2Q 2Q +
Hide-a-bed
2Q 1K +
Bunk bed
2 Q
Price $170 $171 $175 $180 $165.25
Reviews 4.0 out of 5 4.6 out of 5 3.5 out of 5 4.1 out of 5 4.0 out of 5
Other (learned later)   Free shuttle within mile      

After all this it was time to prioritize our requirements. So from highest to lowest, here are our prioritized requirements:
1. Location
2. Non-Smoking and bed sizes
3. Free Wi-Fi
4. Free breakfast
5. Parking less than $20.00/night
6. Price

I decided on the Hyatt Place; primarily because of secure parking and location. I am SOOOOO happy I did. As I noted in the table above, we found out that they have a free shuttle within a mile from the hotel. We were able to take it to almost every place we wanted to go. Saved us a lot of additional parking charges! :D Although the parking was more than anyplace else, they had a gated lot with cameras. The rooms were clean and beds were comfortable. Even the hide-a-bed was comfortable, not the same as a regular bed, but it’s a hid-a-bed. No, The Offspring didn’t sleep on it, I did. It was my choice… it made it easier for Hubby to sleep – just in case I tossed-and-turned (we have a Tempurpedic bed at home and hotel beds are just not as comfortable).

Breakfast was really good. They had quite the selection. We wished the room would have had a microwave, but there was one available in the breakfast area after breakfast. I was surprised that the rooms didn’t have a safe, but since I forgot my computer at home I didn’t really need it. ;)

All in all, our rating 4.8 out of 5.0. Would have been higher if the the rooms had the microwave and safe. If we ever need a place to stay in Seattle, The Hyatt Place Seattle Downtown will be our hotel!

Oh yeah… one last thing… here was the view from our room…
wpid-IMG_03532-2012-09-10-07-23.jpg

How do you plan for a trip?
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