the Hotel Max is nice

14 09 2007

Hotel Max Exterior

Usually when I go on vacation, the accommodations are an afterthought.

I think I’ve stayed at only two hotels that could be considered close to four-star (the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim and the Bellevue Hyatt in Bellevue, WA). In both cases, I wasn’t the one paying for the room.

For my Seattle trip this week, I had to get a little creative.

I found out that they closed the Youth Hostel of Seattle (only $29 a night, dormitory-style near Pike Place Market) and the other downtown hostel (the Green Tortoise) was completely booked, so I’d have to pay a bit more to make my trip happen. I ended up splurging and picking the Hotel Max, which was about seven times more expensive but completely worth the price.

Someone definitely took their time coming up with the concept for the Max.

The lobby assaults you with a devilishly red-and-plexiglass front desk at the end of the small mood-lit atrium, next to a giant portrait of a topless woman. Each room keycard has a black-and-white photograph of a naked couple on it, photographed from the rear. This should be a good sign to leave the kiddies at home.

The individual floors all showcase a different local photographer; the photographic works are applied to the individual room doors – my floor apparently had a photographer that was interested in shooting street performers and buskers using black-and-white film.

Room interiors are small in size, but large in amenities.

There’s a pillow menu (hard? soft? u-shaped? body pillow? just a phone call away…), a huge “honor bar” stocked with goodies (I ended grabbing the bar and stashing it under the nightstand so I wouldn’t tempt myself with the King Size Snickers), and no Gideon Bible – but you can the have the “spiritual book of choice” delivered (Bhagavad Gita? Koran? Kama Sutra? you choose…).

I appreciated the free copies of Seattle Monthly, Seattle Magazine, the daily delivery of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the wall paintings (also by local Seattle artists).

Things start to take a turn for the sexy when you open the little hidden drawer next to the mini-fridge, you are greeted by a nicely arranged set of wine glasses, a corkscrew, a small bottle of merlot, and … a mini-vibrator (with extra batteries) and a tin of condoms, all with the “M” hotel logo on ’em. No, I didn’t use any of this stuff, but it’s just another one of those things that fills out the attitude that the designers were clearly going for. If anything, the Max tries a little too hard.

The important things are all there – the beds are soft and comfortable, the showers are hot, the coffee service is good, and the iron/ironing board is clean and in working order.

Four-star hotel? Not quite. But close.

more Seattle updates to come…