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To keep travel days manageable, on our first and final nights of our Whistler winter holiday ski trip, we booked hotels in Seattle. We flew in and out of Seattle for our trip to Whistler for a number of reasons outlined here. Since the drive from Seattle to Whistler is about five hours, we didn’t need to push our luck and also fly the 4-5 hours from Houston to Seattle on the same days we made that drive. To make travel days manageable (and to check out Seattle!) we bookended the trip with Hyatt properties in Seattle.
Deciding Between Hyatt Olive 8 or Hyatt Place Seattle Downtown
As this was the end of the year, Josh actually needed a final paid Hyatt stay before December 31st to hit Globalist status. Because he needed that final Hyatt night (before award stays counted towards status), we selected the cheapest Hyatt in the area, the Hyatt Place Seattle Downtown for a little over $100 per night. Had he not needed the stay credit, we would have stayed at a non-Hyatt property much closer to the airport given our late night arrival.
After our trip was over and the New Year had arrived, we could have stayed anywhere in the Seattle area, but decided to use a Hyatt Category 1-4 certificate to stay at one of my favorite Hyatt Category 4 properties, the Hyatt Olive 8. These two Seattle Hyatt properties are less than a mile apart, but yet they are very different properties. If you are trying to decide which one is best for your family, I’ll a share a few thoughts.
Things to know about the Hyatt Place Seattle Downtown
The Hyatt Place Seattle Downtown is a Category 3 Hyatt property that costs 12,000 points per night and has rates that are usually in the $100 – $200 nightly range. Standard rooms here are 500 – 550 square feet with either one king bed or two queen beds, along with a “cozy corner sleeper sofa”.
The rooms at the Hyatt Place Seattle Downtown were very standard Hyatt Place rooms that I couldn’t take a good photo of before we all passed out just after our late night arrival from the airport…but they look like every other Hyatt Place you have seen. There are about 160 rooms at this property that is located virtually in the shadow of the Seattle Space Needle.
There is a free shuttle to take you within a mile radius at the Hyatt Place Seattle Downtown, and while we didn’t use that benefit, that should be enough to get you to the Pike Place Market, Space Needle, and more since all of that is located in the same part of town as the hotel.
Like at all Hyatt Place properties, this hotel offers a free hot breakfast each morning. This is great for traveling families, but in this case, the execution was a little stressful. Our stay was during the busy Christmas – New Year’s holiday week and the hotel was full of travelers looking for a free way to fill their bellies…all at exactly the same time.
The hotel was not at all prepared to handle these many folks for breakfast at the same time and the line was very slow moving, there weren’t nearly enough seats for everyone, there weren’t enough cups, and the entrees put out were demolished very quickly.
We made it through and eventually got our free hot breakfast, but it was not a scene I would have wanted to repeat again a second day, at least not with two crazy little girls running around everywhere.
We didn’t swim on our stay, but there is an indoor pool. Parking at their official garage is 30 per night, though I think there are other cheaper nearby lots in the area. This hotel served our purposes just fine for an overnight where all we really cared about was sleep and a place to do a little work in the morning before hitting the road to Canada.
Things to know about the Hyatt Olive 8 in Seattle
The Hyatt Olive 8 is one of my favorite Category 4 Hyatts that we have visited. It is a modern LEED-certified hotel within walking distance to the Flagship Nordstrom store, the light rail that can take you to the airport, the Public Market, and so much more.
Olive 8 is a full-service property that is more than twice as large as the Hyatt Place with 346 guestrooms. As a Category 4 property, it will cost 15,000 points per night using World of Hyatt points or cash rates are often $200+ per night. That said, I’ve seen rates go as high as $400 – $500 per night, so points are often the best play here.
Parking charges here are $55 per night, but as a Globalist this charge was waived on an award stay, which was amazing. At check-in, we got to chatting with the very friendly check-in staff and they ultimately called to see if they could send some milk and cookies to our daughters at bedtime.
Standard rooms at this property are pretty large and come with either one king or two queen beds.
The rooms at the Hyatt Olive 8 are large and very comfortable. Another highlight of the property is the indoor pool and hot tub. My girls were thrilled to take a swim, but I personally thought the pool was a little too cold and the hot tub was a little too hot, so we kept our visit short. I’m really sensitive to water temperature, so those who are tougher than me may not have been bothered.
There is no free breakfast for all at the Hyatt Olive 8 the way there is at the Hyatt Place if you don’t have elite status. Unlike on my first stay, the Globalist breakfast benefit hotel is now delivered only in the hotel restaurant, Urbane.
We ordered breakfast for the four of us in Urbane, including kid orders of pancakes, eggs and bacon for the adults, a side of fruit, and a round of smoothies and coffee. We enjoyed the food and the servers were great with our (sort of tired and cranky) kids, but perhaps should have ordered a little less as we went over the Globalist breakfast benefit limit without knowing it and owed about $30 at check-out. I’m not sure what the limit was, but perhaps the smoothies put us over.
Picking the best Seattle Hyatt for your family
The Hyatt Place Seattle Downtown is generally less expensive on points or cash than the Hyatt Olive 8 and may be the better choice if you don’t have Hyatt status and are looking for included breakfast for your family. The Olive 8 is certainly the nicer of the two properties and is the better choice most of the time if your Globalist status can help you out with the higher breakfast and parking charges, especially if you have a Category 1-4 award to burn.
I would happily return to either property if the price was right, but Hyatt Olive 8 is my favorite Hyatt property in the area, and I actually have another stay already booked there using a Category 1-4 award. I will add that a street away from the Hyatt Olive 8 is the Grand Hyatt Seattle, which is also a good option to consider. This is especially true if you may not have Globalist status but have Hyatt Explorist status and an annual club lounge passes to use since this property has a lounge with breakfast and evening snacks. The Grand Hyatt Seattle is also a Category 4 Hyatt property, but it wasn’t in serious contention for us as their rooms for four have two double beds instead of two queens, and the four of us simply don’t fit very well in smaller beds.
What is your favorite points-friendly hotel in downtown Seattle?
Learn more about heading from Seattle to Whistler
If you are interested in planning a trip to Whistler Blackcomb as part of your trip to the Pacific Northwest, here are some articles and a video to help get you on your way.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.