WE are trying to choose a property for a late summer trip to Seattle. We are unsure if we should select the Marriott Waterfront vs the Ren Downtown or perhaps save a few dollars and go for the Courtyard Pioneer Square. We will not have a car...lots of walking. Thoughts? Recommendations?
I can only speak for the Marriott Waterfront, and it was great!
Look at all the costs and it will help you make a choice. The CL at Waterfront was great and the room was beautiful.
Am sure you will hear from some wonderful MRI that live in the Seattle area to help you!
THe Rennaisance is a nice hotel but it's at the top of a steep hill near several hospitals so you do hear the ambulance sirens, etc. I think you'd prefer the Marriott waterfront .....it's in a great location and a wonderful property. The Courtyard would be another good choice...great location and the Link Light Rail is right across the street. You can take the Light Rail from the airport right to the Ctyd.
I think Jerry is right in that the Seattle Waterfront Marriott is top-notch. I have heard superb things about there. The only one I have stayed in is in the Courtyard Pioneer Square. They put the Courtyard in the old historic Alaska Building. It is very nice for a Courtyard, and the rooms aren't huge but they are nice with old high ceilings, large high windows. The rooms are nice and the lobby and bar are beautifully done. It would be about 8 or 10 blocks to walk to much of the areas you might want to walk to, like Pike Street Market. There are some neat places within just 3 or 4 blocks, and that is Pioneer Square and the International District.
I won't be able to answer the hotel question until next month (my wife and I are staying at the Marriott Waterfront next month) I can make a suggestion on transportation. We are planning on taking the light rail from the airport and doing a lot of walking, which we like to do. However, I have also joined Car2Go ($35) which lets you drive a Smartcar for $0.38/minute (includes fuel and insurance). Car2Go is in Seattle.
I'd stay at the Seattle Waterfront. We stay there often and find it to be a wonderful location in the city with a great staff and wonderful rooms. You may find this link helpful in making your decision:
Hope you enjoy your trip.
You honestly can't go wrong with the Waterfront, for all of the reasons you see here in addition to amazing location, especially if you can leverage room overlooking the Sound. Also, for the sake of completeness, if you're looking to save money I thought I'd mention about 7 blocks north of downtown is a Spring Hill Suites. I stayed there for a week as well for work a year ago in the summer and I was pleasantly surprised. There are some great restaurants that are definitely withing walking distance and it's right across the street from the original REI store (only if that floats your boat, otherwise, no big deal). Again, not really a choice compared to Waterfront, but if you're truly wanting to save cash, then it at least deserves an honorable mention.
As others have mentioned you cant really go wrong with the waterfront property. My advice would be to figure out what areas you are planning to visit while you are there. There are plenty of great properties, each with their own pros/cons. Seattle is very much a walker/public transport type city. You won't want to have a car unless you are planning to venture beyond places well served by the public transport system. Parking alone can be cost prohibitive but there are plenty of "local" places in the city to grab a rental if you are venturing out for a day or two.
I've been 100s of times to the city, each area is great for what it is and makes the city as a whole very entertaining to visit. Picking a base location though can make your exploring easier. The waterfront location is fairly quiet at night, alive during the day, a short walk to many of the visitors guide highlights and easy access to public transport to most anywhere. It also allows for some very nice morning or evening walks along the waterfront and there are plenty of varied places to eat within a 10min walk. The Ren is also nice, definitely louder, much more of a "downtown" hotel experience. Lots of places near there as well, though a good bit of that part of the city does shut down after business hours so you'll have bars/foodie spots but also some more empty areas.
In the end, if you have the points and are looking to be more in the center of the touristy things, the waterfront is the best place. The nice part is that its at the bottom of the hill so you'll be walking up hill leaving but down hill coming back
Since this has come back to like, I will now post based on my trip in May. We stayed at the Waterfront and got a room with a balcony overlooking the Bay. You will not get this at the CY or the Ren. From the Waterfront you can walk everywhere. Over 6 days we walked to Pioneer Square (where the CY is located), the Ren (up the hill, next to the freeway), Queen Ann Hill and South Lake Union (a lot of miles). As mentioned previously, the Waterfront is at the bottom of the hill. There is an elevator/stairway at the south end of the Waterfront and we elected to only use the elevator when we were dragging our luggage behind us. Other than that, we climbed the stairs (equal to about 8 floors) at least 4 times a day. We went into the CY and looked around, it seems like a nice building. We had an interesting chat with one of the desk people about the building. If you can afford it, I would recommend the Waterfront. CY would be my second choice, the Ren is not well located for tourists. If you want a good aerial view of Seattle, skip the Space Needle and go to the Bank of America Building at 5th and Columbia. The base of this building is above the top of the Space Needle and the building is taller than the Space Needle. And, they only charge $6 bucks to go to the top. We took the light rail from the airport to the Westlake Station, about a 20 minute walk to the Waterfront. I was glad is was not raining. I would recommend that you arrange a Segway tour while you are there, another great way to see a town.