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Embassy Suites, Zephyr, and the Perch

If you think you know Embassy Suites, you'll need to reintroduce yourself. Pioneer Square is now home to Hilton Embassy Suites' flagship property, but maybe not for long as this is the company's new footprint for future locations.

The standard Embassy Suites has an atrium at the center with rooms around it. It takes space to do this, so they have been located outside of city centers. They are now moving inside cities, so this atrium is between the hotel and office towers, with a water feature separating them. For Pioneer Square, the design firm Degen & Degen was hired, and nearly everything was custom made for this location. As Anita Degen says, "We wanted to fit into Pioneer Square in a modern way versus a historical way, and play off being next door to the King Street Station. We focused on design concepts of the 1920s to the 1940s." There are murals, metal grills, metal floor indicators above elevator doors, and patterns that are reminiscent of trains.

Hotel rooms, main lobby (which, by the way, is on the 50-yard-line), and all hotel amenities are in one tower, with the King St. Ballroom and Perch, indoor pool, and leased office spaces in the other. The King St. Ballroom can seat 545 theatre-style, with the outdoor Perch the perfect wedding spot (especially if you're a Hawks fan as it overlooks the stadium). The Ballroom is now one of the largest event spaces in the city. The Perch may also be used for al fresco dining in the summer. Glass panel doors can be opened to a full bar indoors. The fitness center is outfitted with TechnoGym equipment. If you travel frequently, you can record your stats on the machines and then pull them up at other hotels with the same equipment. No excuses now, right?

The indoor pool has an amazing view into CenturyLink field, and a small outdoor patio with an equally incredible view. Most rooms are all suites with 17 different room styles, have Amazon Alexa at the ready, truly enormous shower heads, and mirrors by Electric Mirror (some with Bluetooth connectivity, TVs, clocks, etc.). The top floor hosts six suites based on three concepts: Seattle Suite (cool, lots of glass, NW touches); Stadium Suite (yes, the view); and Hospitality Suite with beer taps on the counter, a wine refrigerator, and plug-ins for barbecues so the chef can come up and grill you something special.

Food-wise, they've hired Executive Chef Matt Heikkila (formerly of Salish Lodge and Spa, and Pan Pacific Hotel). He oversees the complimentary breakfast (300-700 people daily), menu at Zephyr, and all catering/banquets. For both cocktails and food, they've gone hyper-local, partnering with Grand Central and Essential bakeries, Salumi, Beecher's Cheese, and E. Smith Mercantile ("Seattle's Retail Mullet" - business in front, party in back) to create intriguing cocktails.

Zephyr has red leather banquettes and small round tables, tall wood tables with black leather stools, and some laid-back couches along windows. "Originally, Zephyr was going to be just a bar. So I started out with snacks, then added appetizers, then shareable plates. It will never be a place to come for a full dinner, but we want people to come and get something solid," explains Chef Matt. Items range from nuts and olives to cheese and charcuterie, oysters to crisp octopus to Dungeness crab mac n cheese. "Our banquet offerings start with a base menu, then we'll work with our guests to make something unique for them. And while we have Hilton guidelines on the complimentary breakfast, we're looking at what we can do to make breakfast fun. Our employees are a mix of long-time staff to new people. Several of us have high-end luxury hotel and resort backgrounds and we're trying to bring that level of service to this hotel."

Bar-wise, they've created a list of locally-designed pre-prohibition cocktails from E. Smith Mercantile made from organic, clean-distilled alcohol. There is also a list of signature and favorite cocktails, global wines, and beers from Seattle (Georgetown, Ghostfish, Rubens, Fremont, Two Beers).

Don't wait for the Hawks to start playing again: the hotel opened in late March.


Embassy Suites Pioneer Square
255 South King Street
Seattle, WA 98104


Connie Adams/April 2018

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