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Luxury travel guide to Seattle: How to live the lavish life in the Emerald City

From private sailboats to gourmet sushi, the Emerald City’s opulence shines for savvy travelers. | By Naomi Tomky | February 3, 2022

A low-key public image and casual dress code belie the stunning selection of exclusive things to do in Seattle and the incredible food coming out of the city’s restaurants. Even as it trends upscale, the city retains that adventurous Pacific Northwest spirit. Combine the natural beauty of the region with unmissable exclusive activities, and you’ve got the ideal luxury travel in Seattle itinerary, including:

  • Water world: Getting out onto one of Seattle’s many waterways is essential, whether you want a chartered sailboat at sunset or a private floating hot tub

  • Great gobs of glass: Stop by Chihuly Garden and Glass to see art from the local master, then try your hand at making a colorful creation

  • A foraged feast: Head into the woods to forage for nature’s goodies before sitting down to a multi-course meal from the region’s wilderness

Water views and voyages

One of two US cities on an isthmus, every good panorama of Seattle includes plenty of water. Start your search for the best luxury travel in Seattle by chartering a sunset voyage aboard a small sailboat. Watch for seals, porpoises and the occasional whale swimming just off the bustling waterfront. You can learn to captain the ship yourself or sit back and let a guide do the work.

You could rent a cozy floating hot tub and putter around Lake Union, taking in views of the iconic Space Needle and Gas Works Park while relaxing in your own private spa. Imagine life among the houseboats lining the shore as you watch the seaplanes take off and land from your tiny floating oasis. For panoramic water views seen from above, book your own private sightseeing flight with Kenmore Air or Seattle Seaplanes.

If you prefer the land, take in extraordinary views of Seattle's Elliott Bay and Puget Sound from the floor-to-ceiling windows at Hotel 1000, LXR Hotels & Resorts.



Gardens of glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass sits at the base of the Space Needle, just out of view from your floating hot tub or sailboat. The eight galleries honor the works of famed glassblower Dale Chihuly in a space designed to show off his signature vibrant hues. A 100-foot-long stretch of red, yellow and orange glints in the sun inside the 4,500-square-foot glasshouse, and the surrounding botanical garden full of outdoor installations shows off the interaction of nature and art, drawing on the combination of dazzling colors from both

A few blocks away, the Seattle Glassblowing Studio offers the chance to create your own whimsical collection — ornaments, paperweights, cups or bowls — with private lessons that teach two people to make three-to-five pieces over the course of a few hours. The studio’s just a mile away from Hotel 1000, where inspiration — in glass form — lines the lobby, ceiling, staircases and all.

Where food meets art

Seattle has many options to impress the most discerning palette for luxury travelers. You’ll taste food as beautiful as that glass art at Wa’z, where chef Hiro Tawara uses seasonal Pacific Northwest ingredients and the traditional Kyoto-style fine dining structure to put out multi-course tasting menus. Kabocha soup with snow crab and mushrooms; A5 Miyazaki Wagyu beef with salmon eggs; and geoduck clam nigiri are featured on the menu. Similar ingredients show off the best of Seattle’s seafood at the famous Pike Place Market, where award-winning sushi chef Shiro Kashiba still hands the pristine fruits of local waters over the bar each evening at Sushi Kashiba.

Find a meatier meal by heading up the hill to chef Renee Erickson’s ode to beef: Bateau. Her French-inspired steakhouse buys whole animals — specialty grass-fed and dry-aged — and breaks them down into limited-run steaks. A supporting cast of flavorful small plates and sides highlights foraged and fermented local ingredients, such as chicory with crispy shank confit, fennel and apple-balsamic dressing.

For a robust sampling of local fare, All Water Seafood & Oyster Bar at Hotel 1000 fills its chowder with smoked salmon, its tacos with local halibut and its bar with oysters on the half shell.

Forest-to-fork

Wild ingredients from nearby forests pop up on menus all over town, from fall’s chanterelle mushrooms to spring’s morels. But the most-coveted forest finds come during winter, when the black truffles inch out of the Washington dirt.

Guided truffle-hunting experiences, led by dogs that sniff out the treasures, take you into the woods where you can watch the pups do their work. Even if you arrive out-of-season for the tantalizing truffles, companies like Terra Fleurs offer all types of private mushroom forays for whatever the woods proffer that day. You get to keep whatever treasures you and the pups find — which makes for one memorable, delectable souvenir.

Make your Seattle travel memory

Within the veneer of casual clothes, Seattle offers opulent panoramas and exciting experiences - the kind that creates a trip (and memories) you can cherish forever.

See SeattleView list of Hilton hotels in Seattle

Award-winning Seattle-based food and travel writer Naomi Tomsky is the author of The Pacific Northwest Seafood Cookbook.

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Hotel 1000, LXR Hotels & Resorts

Located within minutes of the Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, and Pioneer Square, our luxury hotel places guests in the heart of downtown Seattle’s most beloved destinations. Inside, discover plush accommodations with waterfront and city views, local “boat-to-table” cuisine, and a full-service spa.

Hotel 1000, LXR Hotels & ResortsView Hotel 1000, LXR Hotels & Resorts Hotel Website