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Seattle, Washington Business Travel Guide

Read our Seattle, Washington Business Travel Guide and find out where to sleep, eat and play

Seattle is more than just a pretty face with its snowcapped mountains and stunning location on Puget Sound. The gem of the Pacific Northwest is also the corporate headquarters for global super-stars, including Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks and Nordstrom. Boeing headquarters may now be in Chicago but Seattle still claims this aerospace giant as its own.

Reflecting its status as both a popular tourist destination and global business center, Seattle offers an impressive selection of four-star and business-class hotels, a vibrant dining scene with nationally recognized chefs, and a world-class visual and performing arts community. Two state of the art sports stadiums and sophisticated shopping complement Seattle's historic Pioneer Square and charming Pike Place Market, the nation's oldest continually operating farmers market. The city's laid back attitude and obsession with outdoor activities, including kayaking, biking and hiking add yet another dimension to its urban culture. With all these attractions, it's not surprising so many business travelers return to the Emerald City when it's time for vacation.

Facts to Know Before You Go —
Seattle Business Trave


Taxis, Shuttles and Light Rail

Once arrived at SeaTac, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the quest is on for transportation to downtown Seattle. Cabs and shared vans are easy to find at the Ground Transportation Plaza located across from the main terminal. Reach this building by taking the sky bridge to the parking garage and then go down one level either by escalator or elevator. The approximate cab fare to downtown Seattle is $35-$38, plus tip; to Bellevue, $40-$45, plus tip. Note that gas surcharges may be in effect.

Shuttle Express, a shared van service, provides door-to-door service from the airport to downtown to many Seattle neighborhoods, and to nearby Eastside suburbs such as Bellevue and Redmond based on distance and destination. Vans also pick up passengers at the Ground Transportation Plaza 24/7 and accept walk-up reservations. Shared vans to downton Seattle range between $26-$36.

The station for Seattle's new LINK Light Rail train is reached by a walk through the fourth-floor of the Airport Garage. Upon departure, the train takes you directly from SeaTac to downtown Seattle for only $2.50. Trains arrive every 7.5 to 15 minutes with service from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 6 a.m. until midnight on Sundays.

Grayline of Seattle also operates comfy passenger Downtown Airporter buses that stop at major hotels. The trip takes about an hour and buses leave every 30 minutes. One-way fares start at $11. Departures are daily from 5:30 a.m to 11 p.m. For a complete schedule, call 1-855-566-3300.


Take a limo for a little less than a taxi ride. Prices run about $45 for a trip from the airport to downtown Seattle, and between $50 and $60 to Bellevue. Reservations are not required. Upon arrival, look for a courtesy phone and dial 55. Drivers stationed at the airport will collect you at your baggage claim location or at the Ground Transportation Plaza.

Rental Cars

All major car rental companies — Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz and National — have information counters in the baggage claim area of the terminal, pick-up and drop-off centers in the parking garage. Off-site companies — Advantage, Dollar, Enterprise and Thrifty — run courtesy vans on demand from the Ground Transportation Plaza.


The Seattle Times is an independently-owned, Pulitzer Prize-winning daily, a vibrant city newspaper covering ing local and national news. All major networks, PBS, and local cable channels also have Seattle affiliates.

For business travelers, The Puget Sound Business Journal, with both print and online versions, offers daily and weekly regional business news.

The weekly Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce also offers daily business news on a range of topics such as real estate, e-commerce, retail, hospitality, law, and construction.

With wireless high-speed Internet access in every airport terminal and at every gate, Sea-Tac is over-the-top Internet-friendly, but be aware. It's not always easy to find outlets for charging phones and computers.

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Where to Stay — Seattle Business Hotels

The Arctic Club Seattle - a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
700 Third Ave.
A spacious room at The Arctic Club Hotel in Seattle, WA

History and heritage join in this downtown boutique hotel, which is managed by DoubleTree by Hilton. Situated in one of Seattle's most famous buildings — dating from 1916 and listed since 1978 on the National Register of Historic Places — The Arctic Club Hotel honors the spirit and adventures of the Arctic Club's original members, all pioneers and investors with ties to Alaska who struck it rich in the Klondike gold rush. The hotel was carefully restored to showcase its legendary beauty and original ornamentation; public and private rooms are decorated with a comfortable mix of Art Nouveau, modern and period furniture creating a playful and elegant atmosphere. Accommodations include 120 spacious guest rooms (averaging 400 square feet) with high ceilings. Eight of the rooms offer rooftop terraces and 32 have jetted tubs or whirlpool baths. Business amenities abound. There's a fully equipped business center and more than 5,800 square feet of meeting space to accommodate up to 400 guests. The hotel also offers five breakout rooms, on-site private dining, catering and event services, its own restaurant and bar, Juno, plus the Polar Lounge, a casual hotel lobby bar outfitted in keeping with the hotel's distinctive heritage.

Cedarbrook Lodge
18525 36th Ave S.
A comfortable room at the Cedarbrook Lodge in Seattle, WA

Sea-Tac's only business-class hotel, Cedarbrook Lodge is nestled on eighteen lush acres of extraordinary wetlands and gardens just five minutes from the airport. Considered one of Seattle's best kept hotel secrets, Cedarbrook Lodge is a sophisticated but rustic 104-room retreat that is just twenty minutes from downtown Seattle. Guests enjoy stylish accommodations and luxurious amenities in a quiet and enchanting setting that is ideal for business and leisure travel needs. The beautiful Northwest-inspired architecture is carried through the 18,000+ square feet of flexible interior event space that can accommodate meeting or conference needs from eight to 300. Copperleaf Restaurant, Cedarbrook's exquisite restaurant, is getting national attention for its farm-to-table regional cuisine. A scrumptious Northwest continental breakfast is available for all guests.

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle
411 University St. (Rainier Square, between
Fifth and Fourth Avenues)
A spacious room at The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle

A few blocks from the bustling Pike Place Market, this luxurious Italian Renaissance building was constructed in the 1920s on the site of what had been the University of Washington's first building. Its ornate lobby features 30-foot-tall ceilings and two curving staircases that open onto elegant meeting rooms. The 450 bright, elegant and spacious rooms boast antique furniture, original art, large closets, two or more phones and free high-speed Internet access. Afternoon tea is served in The Georgian, and The Terrace mixes some of the best martinis in town.

Four Seasons Hotel, Seattle
99 Union St. (First Ave.)
Enjoy views of Elliot Bay from your room at The Four Seasons Hotel, Seattle

Seattle's sophisticated and glamorous Four Seasons Hotel is a block from Pike Place Market and across from the Seattle Art Museum. Touting its superior personal service and 147 deluxe rooms, this is the place for high-end business and leisure travelers. Occupying floors three through ten of a downtown luxury condominium tower, many rooms offer stunning views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains. Designed for exclusive gatherings and business meetings, there are six meeting rooms, a 200-seat ballroom with two-story floor-to-ceiling windows, an eight-room spa including a couples suite with water views, a state-of-the art fitness center and a fourth-floor terrace with a pool and open fireplace.

Sorrento Hotel
900 Madison St. (Terry St.)
Accommodations at Sorrento Hotel in Seattle, WA

As Seattle's oldest, continuously operating luxury hotel, the Sorrento appropriately evokes the quiet atmosphere of a traditional men's club. While décor may be formal, no modern luxury is overlooked. Each room comes with convenient business must-haves like a cordless phone, high-speed Internet access, a CD player, office supplies and an all-in-one fax/scanner/printer/copy machine. Unexpected extras like compilation CDs, a French press coffee maker, 400-thread-count linens and seven down pillows of varying firmness make relaxing as easy as working. If you must leave your room, try The Fireside Room for daily high tea or live jazz on the weekends. For fine dining, you can't go wrong with the Dunbar Room.

Where to Dine — Seattle Business Dining

Aqua by El Gaucho
2801 Alaskan Way

Glittering views and fine dining at Aqua by El Gaucho in Seattle, WA
Impeccable service and glittering views of Elliot Bay make Aqua by El Gaucho (formerly the Waterfront Seafood Grill) popular for special occasions and high powered business dinners (Bill Gates sightings are not uncommon). A contemporary interpretation of classic formal dining, this spot is swanky but understated ambience creates the perfect backdrop for a serious culinary experience. Favorites include salt and pepper prawns, spicy crab bisque, wild prawns, and Thai seafood curry stew. For upscale comfort food, try the crab macaroni and cheese with black truffle or lobster ravioli. The steak is as terrific, the seafood excellent, and the wine is impressive.

ART Restaurant and Lounge
The Four Seasons Hotel
99 Union St. (First Ave.)
Pacific Northwest/Sushi

The contemporary decor at ART Restaurant and Lounge

The official restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel, Seattle, ART is inspired by the hotel's collection of works by contemporary Northwest artists, its proximity to the Seattle Art Museum (across the street), and the creative flair of acclaimed chef Kerry Sear. The restaurant's sculptured interior features woods native to the Pacific Northwest with magnificent floor-to-ceiling windows offering sweeping views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains. Along with separate dining tables and a private dining room that seats twenty, there's a 25-seat counter for diners who enjoy kitchen drama. Given the setting and the scenery, it's therefore befitting that the menu celebrates authentic Pacific Northwest cuisine enhanced with global influences. The wine list follows suit, offering top vintages from Oregon, Washington and California. Business travelers on the go will appreciate the convenience of breakfast, lunch and dinner served at chef's stations, plus having a barista on-hand to provide custom coffee beverages.

2576 Aurora Ave. N.

Enjoy the sophisticated ambiance at Canlis in Seattle, WA

Canlis has been Seattle's special occasion restaurant for almost 60 years. Glamorous yet understated, posh without being intimidating, and family owned for three generations, Canlis is perched on a hillside above Lake Union. Its Asian-inspired architecture takes advantage of the views and the ambiance is sophisticated yet inviting. The menu offers seasonally inspired classic Northwest cuisine, the classic as well as perfectly prepared New York steaks and troll-caught grilled Alaska King salmon. Signature dishes include the Canlis salad, Washington-raised Kobe-style beef, and vermouth-bathed Peter Canlis prawns with garlic, red chilies and lime. The chocolate-covered chocolate is a sinfully rich molten chocolate soufflé served with a chocolate ice cream pop. Order the Grand Marnier soufflé or splurge with the delectable lemon-thyme crème brûlée. If you want to prolong the evening (and you will), enjoy a brandy in the bar while listening to jazz or show tunes played on a grand Steinway.

Dahlia Lounge
2001 Fourth Ave. (Virginia St.)
Pacific Northwest/Pacific Rim/Seafood

The dining room at Dahlia Lounge in Seattle, WA
The swankiest of chef Tom Douglas' restaurant empire, Dahlia has a small bar, a private dining room and a retail bakery right next door selling scrumptious, home-style baked goods. One of the loveliest dining rooms with deep Chinese red walls, cheery lanterns, and plenty of banquettes hospitable to fine romance or simple catching up. The menu changes daily but expect dishes such as scallop sashimi, yuzu and shiso; veal sweetbreads; roasted monkfish with sweet corn sauce and chanterelle mushroom hash. Don't miss the Belgian fries, served with a piquant curry ketchup. Desserts include made-to-order doughnuts with honey-tangerine jam and vanilla mascarpone. As with other restaurants in the Douglas family, count on relaxed and friendly but always professional service.

Matt's in the Market
94 Pike St. #32 (First Ave.)
Pacific Northwest/Seafood

Enjoy Pacific Northwest seafood at Matt's in the Market in Seattle, WA
Tucked into a corner of the third floor of Pike Place Market's historic Corner Market Building, the small yet vibrant Matt's is the quintessential Seattle restaurant offering carefully-prepared Pacific Northwest cuisine. The small seasonally-inspired menu spotlights local ingredients from the Market just across the brick pavement. Fresh fish or braised lamb shanks are always a good choice. The recently expanded room is elegantly rustic and magical at sunset with its western glow. Matt's is too noisy for a serious meeting, but it's the perfect place to relax with colleagues.

Off the Clock — Seattle
Business Entertainment

Jefferson Park Golf Course
4101 Beacon Ave. S.

The 18-hole Jefferson Park Golf Course in Seattle, WA

Jefferson Park Golf Course, in Beacon Hill, offers incredible views of both Mt. Rainier and the city skyline. Built in 1915, the 18-hole championship course is the oldest public course in town. Its tree-lined fairways are wide and flat, and the clubhouse is a little out of date, but with breathtaking scenery and some exciting play, this remains one of Seattle's most popular courses. You'll also find a nine-hole, par 3 executive course and putting green on-site.

Kenmore Air Seaplanes
Lake Union Terminal
950 Westlake Ave.

Take an aerial tour of Seattle with Kenmore Air Seaplanes

Downtown Seattle is easy to explore on foot but to appreciate this city's exceptional natural setting, discover its beauty from a seaplane. Twenty-minute tours depart from Lake Union and offer bird's eye views of the city and the area's waterfronts, bridges and ferries. Have a little more time? Take a day trip to the San Juan Islands and experience the outdoors while kayaking, whale watching, hiking or fishing. Other tours include Victoria Island, Vancouver, or even Alaska's Inside Passage. Both scheduled and charter services are available.

Wine Tasting in Woodinville

Go wine tasting and explore the boutique wineries of Washington

Woodinville — about 45 minutes northeast of downtown Seattle and 20 minutes north of Bellevue — combines small town charm with tasting rooms for more than 70 of Washington State's top-rated wineries. To get started, visit the beautiful grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle and discover tasting rooms for small boutique wineries. Most of the wineries represented grow their grapes in Eastern Washington's vineyard region, which is just a few hours from Seattle and shares similar latitudes with the great wine regions of Northern Europe. Consider spending the night in the exquisite Willows Lodge and having a once-in-a lifetime dining experience at The Herbfarm. Or plan an indulgent day or weekend trip to Washington Wine Country.

Olympic Sculpture Park
2901 Western Ave.

Olympic Sculpture Park is an extension of the Seattle Art Museum
Rolling meadows, dynamic spaces, and meandering paths overlooking Elliott Bay offer a dramatic setting for this extraordinary outdoor extension of the Seattle Art Museum. Striking sculptures by renowned artists ranging from Alexander Calder and Anthony Caro to Mark di Suvero and Louise Bourgeois are positioned throughout the nine-acre site. A z-shaped path leads from a steel-and-glass pavilion through four ecological environments designed as archetypal landscapes found in the Pacific Northwest. Open 365 days a year from dawn until dusk, the park offers free summer concerts, along with either a self-guided or docent-led tours. Taste Café in the PACCAR Pavilion in the southeast corner of the park offers simple fare, including the perfect cup of espresso, lemonade or cocoa.

Pike Place Market
First and Pike

Find over 200 stalls selling all kinds of goods at Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA

This nine-acre farmers market has been a waterfront institution since 1907. Local farmers, fishermen and artisans still flock here each morning to sell their wares at nearly 200 bustling stalls and shops. Whether you're looking for produce, flowers or fish, chances are your goods were picked, plucked or hooked earlier in the day. Take a market heritage tour and get shopping tips along with a dose of the market's intriguing history. If you're hoping to try something more offbeat, this is still your place; you can get a tattoo or even have your palm read — all before lunch.

The Triple Door
216 Union St.

Enjoy live jazz and drinks at The Triple Door in Seattle, WA
Standing near the acclaimed Wild Ginger restaurant in the heart of Pike Place Market, the Triple Door offers a variety of live jazz club acts on two stages. The main stage features noted jazz and blues musicians, plus the occasional comedian, while the smaller "Musicquarium" stage is as fully equipped, but hosts one-person performances. Patrons are able to order dinner from the Wild Ginger menu, enjoy a full bar and an award-winning wine list, all set to the beat of live music. Check the website for a complete performance schedule. For additional Jazz options, check Jazz Alley at for world-renowned jazz artists and Tula's ( to hear high-quality local talent.

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