Review: W Bellevue, Washington, USA
On of my favourite local Marriott Bonvoy stays is achieved by driving two hours from my home in Vancouver, Canada down to the W Bellevue in nearby Washington State in the United States of America. As a hotel located in an upscale urban neighbourhood home to technology giants, the hotel features luxury retail shopping and an exceptional variety of restaurants in the area. Read on to see how our most recent W Hotel’s stay met the tone for an urban and contemporary stay.
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Review: W Bellevue, Washington, Nevada, United States
“An Upscale W Hotel located in the tech centre of Bellevue – Washington, USA. The W Bellevue offers an excellent breakfast at the James Beard awarded “The Lakehouse” Restaurant, and the hotel offers easy and convenient access to over fifty Bellevue Collection Restaurants”
About the W Bellevue:
The W Bellevue is located in upscale Bellevue, Washington State, United States of America. The city of Bellevue is located about twenty minutes and ten miles from downtown Seattle, Washington. Most prominently, there is a large technology centre in Bellevue, Washington with over one hundred and forty companies being located within the city limited. Currently, Microsoft, Expedia and Amazon have offices headquartered within the city. This brings a lot of business travel to the area, along with a resident base that has a fairly high income base.
Booking The W Bellevue:
I needed two qualifying nights in the remaining calendar year to achieve Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status at seventy five nights. Unlike the United States, we are unable to stack credit card nights onto our accounts in order to pad our annual elite stays. As a result, I needed a couple of stays at the end of the year in order to re-qualify for Marriott Bonvoy status.
With a number of great hotels in Bellevue, Washington, we decided on the upscale W Bellevue over it’s neighbour the perfectly fine but slightly corporate Westin Bellevue. The two hotels are attached through an elevated pedestrian walkway.
I usually see softer rates in Bellevue on the weekends, given that it is a business centre. At the time of our review, it was the end of the pandemic and many holiday parties were returning after a several year absence. We ended up on a AAA rate for $269 USD into a base level Cozy Guest Room One King.
Like many W Hotels, the W Bellevue offers several room categories. At this property, the categories consist of Cozy, Wonderful, Spectacular rooms, up to Suites in the Fantastic, Marvellous and Wow Suites. Given that there are lot of big spenders in this postal code, the suites tend to go fairly quickly, in my experience.
Getting to W Bellevue:
We drove down to the W Bellevue from Vancouver in a brand new Tesla from Hertz. We easily found the property courtesy of the integrated navigation system in the Tesla.
The W Bellevue is very conveniently located in an upscale apartment hotel complex attached to the Bellevue Collection Mall. This allows hotel guests to have easy access to upscale shopping. The hotel is within walking distance of over fifty restaurants and thirty quick service food and café spots.
Checking into The W Bellevue:
As returning guests, we parked in the underground of the Bellevue Collection Mall accessed off the alley behind the hotel. We navigated ourselves t othe marked level P4, which was identified through sandwich boards as designated hotel guest parking for the W hotel. Parking on the weekends is presently free; a great added value for a city centre hotel.
If you’re arriving for the first time, you’ll arrive at this covered alley reception that has limited loading and unloading space.
The lobby for the W Bellevue is actually on the second floor. Regardless of whether you arrive to the main loading area pictured above, or the underground parking garage, you’ll need to take an elevator up to the second floor to speak with hotel reception. As you arrive to the lobby level, you’ll pass by the open staircase between the three lower levels of the hotel.
As a high rise hotel, the hotel reception at the W Bellevue is located in a thin hallway adjacent to the pictured Whatever Whenever Concierge desk.
There was no wait in line to check in. Our reservation was promptly processed and we were thanked for our Marriott Bonvoy Titanium level loyalty. We were given a soft Marriott Bonvoy Titanium level upgrade from our Cozy Guest Room – One King to a Fabulous Guest Room – One King, High Floor that had been pre-assigned a few days earlier.
As a Marriott Bonvoy Elite welcome benefit, we opted for the breakfast benefit. We were provided a series of coupons for breakfast for two valued at $20 USD per person for the attached The Lakehouse Restaurant.
The front desk easily agreed to a 2 PM late check out as a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium level without any negotiation. We were offered assistance with bags at the front desk, but we declined as we had only minimal luggage.
The Room: A Fabulous Guest Room
1 King – High Floor
We self guided ourselves up to our assigned room of #1245. The W Bellevue had contemporary decorated hallways with enough personality to it, not to make the space feel conventional and boring.
Our Fabulous Guest Room was set out in a basic open concept rectangle. The standard rooms (Cozy, Wonderful and Fabulous) rooms are all configured the same way, and appear to be mostly categories based on the location within the hotel and the view. Each of these rooms have a glass shower in the middle of the room.
There is no taking away from that first impression when you walk into the room. The glass shower is the first thing that you see, since it takes up such a prominent space near the front of the room.
While the glass shower might not be for everyone, it is the separator between the bathroom and the bedroom. Without a separate wall, the glass shower is the only partition between the two spaces.
Moving into the bedroom, the Fabulous Guest Room offers standard W Hotels décor. The walls. are wallpaper concrete looking with pink purple accent tones. Urban lighting rounded out the space.
There was a small desk attached to the counter top where a flat screen television accented the room. Instead of an occasional chair, the room offered bench seating against the window.
The room offered Bottled Water bedside, in addition to convenient telephone chargers near the bed.
In true W hotels style, the room also featured proper glassware. In our case, the room offered a small bar next to a Nespresso Coffee Maker. A Martini Shaker was also present in the room, along with a stainless steel ice bucket.
The room offered an empty mini fridge. While this would be convenient for storing beverages, it would be even more convenient if it actually contained spirits, beer or soft drinks.
The W Bellevue Fabulous Room Bathroom offered a single vanity. As I mentioned earlier, privacy isn’t the bathroom’s strongest feature. Given the sink configuration, it was a little challenging to place toiletries bags for two as a result of limited surface space.
The W Bellevue offered Momo Toiletries after quietly switching away from the beloved Bliss Toiletries in late 2020. The Momo Toiletries are an upscale brand licenced by Davines to LaBottega.
It’s worth noting that the Momo Toiletries offered in W Hotels are different than the Momo Toiletries offered in retail locations due to a different chemical composition for the W hotel version that reportedly allows for greater shelf life.
The bathroom did offer a private WC room, featuring a single toilet. The space was marked with bright wallpaper in a flowery pattern.
The room also featured an open closet in the foyer. Along with space to hang jackets and coats, the room featured two W white bathrobes.
The floor plan of the W Bellevue offered a few suites per floor. There wasn’t a lot of availability in terms of suite upgrades, if you’re reverse engineering your possibilities based on the floor plan.
Room with a View:
The room offered probably among the best views available at the W Bellevue. Unfortunately, the view isn’t all to exciting. Our view was west facing across the Bellevue Collection mall with distant views of Lake Washington in the background.
In terms of sleep quality, the room offered a quiet night’s sleep. Being a W Hotel there were a few late night guests returning to the room after midnight, but I didn’t find that the noise detracted from the sleep all that much.
For the most part, unlike other W Hotels I have stayed at, there seems to be very little difference between the Cozy, Spectacular and Fabulous Room categories at the W Bellevue. If room location isn’t important to you, or you happen to have Marriott Bonvoy Elite status, I would probably recommend grabbing the first available room regardless of category. With some luck, you’ll get an elite upgrade.
The Room: A Marvellous Suite
1 King – City Floor
On a previous stay, I was very fortunate to be upgraded into a Marvellous Suite. At the time, it happened to be on the occasion of my 250th stay as a Starwood Preferred Guest Lifetime Gold member. While under the Starwood Preferred Guest Program, the hotel recognized this and provided me a massive weekend upgrade into this Marvellous Suite.
While I hadn’t done a full review at the time, I thought that I would include the photographs in this review for context.
The Living Room:
The Marvellous Suite is a very comfortable 793sq feet or 71 sqm. Upon entering the room, you immediately notice the pedestal bar which is situated just off the entrance. Much like the regular rooms, there is also a martini set on the bar. The bar is accented by a neat looking chandelier, which makes a great accent piece.
The room is a proper suite with a separate living space. The living space has a sectional couch, which was comfrotable for relaxing.
The Marvellous Suite Bedroom was a separate distinct bedroom decorated much like the Cozy, Spectacular and Fabulous guest rooms. It featured a king size bed, with comfortable bedding accented by ink and purple colors.
In a unique feature, the bedroom offered an elegant but contemporary compact tub near the window of the bedroom. It marked a great focal point for the room, as it’s not all to often you have a nicely done bathtub in the bedroom.
The bedroom featured a second flat screen television, along with open closet space for storage of coats and jackets.
The Marvellous Suite featured a slightly larger bathroom. The Suite offered more counter space for storage of toiletries.
Around the Hotel Property:
The W Bellevue has a few features for an inner city hotel. Given that it’s in a high rise that is split with residential condominiums, some specific features are limited to owners of the property, whereas others are made available to hotel guests.
The Living Room:
The W Bellevue offers it’s version of The Living Room. It is branded as a Living Room bar and Porch. The W Bellevue’s version of the Living Room wraps its way around corridors surrounding the check in desk. Given the orientation, it offers select seating spaces in a compact environment.
Many of these spaces are in hallways, so they aren’t the most private areas. The Living Room also featured a small decorative library.
The Living Room was quite popular on Saturday night when we passed through.
The Hotel Gym:
The W Bellevue has one of the largest hotel gyms’ I’ve seen anywhere in the world. I was pretty much blown away by this space when I visited, as I can’t say that I’ve seen anything quite like it.
The gym at the W Bellevue features dozens of elliptical machines and dozens of treadmills. The space was so large, it even had it’s own reception lobby of couches and chairs for those waiting for their partners to finish their workouts.
While I didn’t get the opportunity to experience a workout, I would definitely pack my work out gear if I was staying here on a longer stay.
Food and Beverage:
Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Breakfast
The W Bellevue’s in house restaurant is the Lakehouse Restaurant. There are over fifty restaurants and thirty quick service restaurants located in the attached Bellevue Collection mall, so it’s fair to say that there is some competition within the area.
Fortunately the Lakehouse Restaurant in the W Bellevue is excellent and easily holds its own against other restaurants in the area. The Lakehouse Restaurant is helmed by James Beard award winning owner James Wilson, currently under chef Scott Emerick and pastry chef Tanya Emerick.
After arriving on a Sunday morning at around nine thirty AM, we had a twenty minute wait before we could get seated. The reservation system operated on a text message basis. As a result, we killed off the wait back in our hotel room.
The Lakehouse Restaurant is dressed up much like a modern Lakehouse. Although brighter than your local Abercrombie and Fitch retail store, it does have a nice inspiring dining space.
The Marriott Bonvoy Elite Breakfast benefit for Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador members currently offers $20 USD off a breakfast item at the Lakehouse. The Lakehouse menu is pretty awesome, and it’s one of the best Marriott affiliated restaurants that I know of that is worth taking advantage of the breakfast benefit.
I enjoyed the Lakehouse Chilaquiles; two fried eggs with avocado, spicy enchilada sauce, house made tortilla chips and parmesan. It was mighty tasty and paired well with a glass of Italian processo.
MrsWT73 devoured a brunch board consisting of charcuterie, devilled eggs, pickles, and fruit, granola and toast.
With our $20 USD credit for two persons, our breakfast came to $52 USD. The Lakehouse Restaurant adds a 20% service charge to all it’s bills to provide its staff a living wage. As a result, additional tipping is not expected, but appreciated.
Checking Out of the W Bellevue:
We had a friendly check out the next day with our 2 PM check out. There were no issues with the bill and was all in order. Our points posted to our account without any issues and no follow up was required.
The Bottom Line: The W Bellevue
The W Bellevue was a comfortable stay. Bellevue, Washington marks one of my favourite cities to visit for shopping and entertainment purposes.
While most of the standard Cozy, Spectacular and Fabulous rooms are mostly similar, the W Suites are where the magic happens. My favourite feature of this property remains the Marriott Bonvoy Elite Breakfast at the attached The Lakehouse Restaurant. I’ve never been disappointed eating here, and it usually marks the pinnacle of my W Bellevue stays.