Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sorrento: Beautiful Way to Experience Seattle

My trip to Seattle last week turned out to be a wonderful experience, though most of my business trips are a blur of No Place. Rather than staying in a Holiday Inn Express or some other franchised hotel that is convenient, efficient, and new, I decided to stay in the Sorrento Hotel, a 100-year-old relic of Seattle's past located in the City's center. And that made all the difference.

Typically after a busy day on the road, I come back to my room and plop down in front of the TV in a room that could be anywhere. But not at the Sorrento. I spent an hour walking on friendly streets and poking around in shops just before dinner. And upon my return, the fireside lounge, full of mahogany wood, art, brocade, and soft conversation, drew me like a moth to flame, and I spent two enjoyable hours sitting by the fireplace soaking up the atmosphere of the place. When the server cleared away my dinner dishes, I asked her what was a special drink from Seattle that I should try. "An apple martini," she told me, "that tastes just like Washington apples." She didn't have to twist my arm, and I felt like I was on vacation for the evening, rather than just passing through a faceless city.

I've generally thought of business travel as something to get through, but I rediscovered that by choosing the right place to stay, somewhere that reflects the character of the city and is centrally located, I can choose to have a unique, memorable experience that stays with me upon my return. Sure beats the typical business trip blur.

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