Luxury boutique hotels really have the power to charm and enchant, as they’re intended to provide a more intimate and personalized experience than luxury chains. But the problem is that it’s usually a hit or miss. Some have literally gone above and beyond what you could possibly expect out of a luxury chain hotel, while others have, well, left a lot to be desired. My stay at the Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle was my first introduction to the Pan Pacific line of luxury hotels, and I’m already a big fan. Walking into the grand Denny Suite as daylight segued into dusk was a true feast for the eyes, with floor-to-ceiling windows revealing Seattle’s charm in all its glittering glory and providing the perfect backdrop against the contemporary neutral finishings that ran throughout.

Nestled in the vibrant 2200 Plaza in the South Lake Union district of Seattle, the Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle is ideally located and considered one of the best luxury hotels in the city. And with resplendent views of the city’s sparkling skyline and all its iconic emblems, it’s easy to see why. For my first introduction to Seattle, I’m pleased that I chose to stay at the Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle; it served as not only the perfect home away from home, but also the perfect home before my new home.

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PROS

-Welcomed into the room with a platter of truffles, a bottle of locally-grown sparkling wine on ice, and a personal note resting on the dining table — the perfect touch. Thank you!

photo-23-600x800 -Very much appreciated a welcome email asking if I needed anything the night before my stay. Attention to these intimate details is one of my favorite parts of luxury boutique hotels.

-Both check-in and check-out were super easy. The very hospitable front attendant, Dmitri escorted me to my room.

-The hotel is nestled in the South Lake Union district, only steps away from eateries, attractions, and Downtown. There’s also a Whole Foods Market and Starbucks next door.

-The one-of-a-kind Denny Suite affords arguably the best views of Seattle as you’re treated to a panorama of both the Space Needle and Lake Union in one shot. I’m not impressed very easily, but the views from this penthouse suite certainly managed to do it. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer the most stunning sunset and sunrise views that I imagine very few (if any) places in Seattle can rival. The suite is named after Arthur Denny, one of the founding fathers of Seattle.

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-24-hour dining is available and there’s a wide range of dishes to choose from — local seafood, sushi, burgers, a little bit of everything. Oh, and the spiced caramel vanilla orange ice cream — AMAZING.

-Plenty of outlets near the bed area — always important for me as I love working on my phone in bed.

-Speaking of breathtaking views, imagine those views while soaking in a deep bathtub and enjoying a glass of local sparkling wine and watching Sleepless in Seattle. Yes, that happened. If there ever was a perfect bath experience, this was it.

-Free WiFi — oh, they simply get it.

-High-quality linens and plush, cloud-like bedding — not a good combination when you have to wake up early, but I loved it nonetheless.

-Offered a wide range of magazines to get acquainted with the city.

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-Asked for a late check-out and it was no problem at all.

-A Keurig machine was in the room to cater to all your coffee needs.

-There was a separate walk-in closet with many panels of full-length mirrors — the ultimate play den for selfie-aholics.

-The lobby and public areas were beautiful with a delicate earth-toned color palette running throughout.

-The curtains successfully managed to block out the morning sun rays.

-Plush, comfy bathrobes were my costume of choice while in the room.

-Designer furniture and high-quality finishings such as Herman Miller chairs and a golden telescope added the perfect touch of glamour to the room.

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-Water is complimentary, and they use eco-friendly glass bottles. Bravo!

-A 24-hour fitness center was available. There’s also a spa adjacent to the property that guests can use, but unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to check it out.

-Learned of a new brand of toiletries: em•brace. Not my favorite, but I always love discovering new brands.

-Normal hair dryer? Check. Conair to be precise.

-House car is available for short distances (within 2 miles). It’s on a first-come, first-serve basis. I didn’t get a chance to use it as it was always booked every time I needed it.

CONS:

-Not necessarily a con as it’s purely a personal preference, but I can’t stand harsh white lighting. Soft, yellow lighting makes all the difference in a room, subtly shining light on the room’s features. While the living room had beautiful yellow recess lighting, the room and bathroom donned white lights, which if changed to yellow, could have elevated the space to a whole new level. But as I went house hunting throughout the weekend, I noticed this to be commonplace in Seattle.

-Breakfast was not included.

-Very limited social media activity before, during, and after my stay.

-Turn-down service was disappointingly ordinary – slippers, water, and curtain closing. To keep up with the caliber of the suite, a little something extra would have been appreciated.

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Duration: 2 nights, July 11-13, 2014

Bottom line: Though officially ranked as a four-star hotel, the Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle is not far from the caliber of a five-star hotel. It’s the ideal urban sanctuary for those seeking intimate accommodations with luxury amenities. While the stunning views of the Space Needle and/or Lake Union from all the rooms is one of the hotel’s selling points and reason enough to book your room today, slightly more attention to details and more personalized customer service such as addressing guests by their name (Ms./Mr. XX) could certainly elevate the guest experience, transforming a floating one-time guest into a loyal long-term customer.

I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE PAN PACIFIC HOTEL SEATTLE AS YOUR LUXURY HOTEL OF CHOICE WHILE IN SEATTLE AND IF POSSIBLE, BOOK THE DENNY SUITE — THOSE VIEWS WILL LEAVE YOU SPEECHLESS.

*Disclosure: my suite was hosted by the Pan Pacific Hotel, Seattle but views are my own and accurately reflect my stay. My room was the Denny Suite, located on the top (11th) floor.

**My policy: there will always be full disclosure about whether my stay was hosted by the hotel or paid for with my own money. And even if the hotel decides to offer complimentary services, my review will never be swayed one way or the other. After all, if my experience was sub-par, and I continue to falsely rave about their services, no one will benefit–not me, not you, not the hotel (they’ll never improve!). So, trust that you’ll receive 100% truth in every review.