As you may have noticed (I do hope someone noticed, anyway), my blog was post-less last week. This wasn’t due to my usual laziness, but to the fact that I was on a little mini-break with my mom up in Seattle. We saw plenty of interesting things – a few of which may appear in a Travel Pic Thursday post – but what topped the trip was where we stayed and that’s why the 11th Avenue Bed and Breakfast made it into this week’s Saturday Selection.
Seattle is Crazy Expensive
Despite a lifetime of living only a three-hour drive away from Seattle, I had never been to the Emerald City. My husband and I have passed it by on our way to Vancouver, BC a couple times, but that’s about my only previous experience with Seattle. So, when I was searching for a quick getaway, I figured why not give Seattle a chance. Part One of trip planning: Find a place to stay.
Since walking would be my primary mode of transportation I didn’t want to stay too far away from the heart of downtown, but when I was trying to find a hotel I thought my computer was automatically converting the prices into Australian dollars or something. How in the world could a city so near my home be so bloody expensive?
So the search was on for a place that was affordable, in a decent part of town, and one that had an Ew Factor of zero (there were a few cheap hotels downtown, but I think I would have to wrap myself in sanitizing wipes to enter the rooms). After scanning a few guidebooks, I found glowing recommendations for the 11th Avenue B & B. The rates were still far higher than those I have paid anywhere else I’ve stayed (I think even my flat in London was cheaper – I’m not joking), but for Seattle and for my standards, the prices were the best to be found.
Perfect Place to Stay
I’ve stayed in a fair number of B&B’s while traveling in Europe and I do really enjoy them. There’s something cozy about being invited into something that feels like a real home and it’s great to get to chat with the owners and other guests over breakfast. The 11th Avenue B&B fit this expectation to a tee, but went far beyond it as well.
First off, the people are SUPER friendly. I didn’t know anyone outside of Canada could be so friendly and welcoming. For example, my mom and I have strict caffeine requirements – as in “get the caffeine flowing as soon as we wake up.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t sleep in and ended up awake by 6:30am each morning of our three-night stay. The first morning, coffee and tea weren’t quite ready, but were quickly prepared when the woman on duty saw me lurking around the dining room like some early morning zombie. From that morning on, coffee and tea were always ready when I made my early trip to caffeinate.
Second, the place is gorgeous. The house the B&B is in was built in the early 1900s which could mean rickety and worn. But the rooms and the common areas were white-glove clean and, except for the sounds of an occasional shower, you would hardly know anyone else was staying there because it is so quiet and non-creaky.
Third, you are made to feel at home with lots of little touches. Unlike some places, nothing felt like it was off limits. Obviously I wasn’t going to go rummaging through the kitchen, but guests are welcome to use the kitchen’s microwave, there are plates and glasses available to use as you need, the common areas are open for chatting, there’s a cabinet full of DVDs to borrow, and there’s bowls of treats like nuts, chocolate and fruit for those peckish moments. Oh, and of course, coffee and tea available all day (YAY!!!!)
Fourth, the location is pretty good. While the B&B is only about a mile to a mile and a half from most attractions, it is a fair hike getting places by foot in Seattle (lots and lots of BIG hills). Still, my mom and I were able to walk everywhere we wanted to go on the first day and only took one bus the second day on our sightseeing excursion. If you’re not one for walking, the 11th Avenue is located near loads of bus stops that can get you to most anywhere a tourist would want to go.
The breakfast portion of the B&B was good. It’s not a huge breakfast, but it is rich and will keep you satisfied until afternoon. I’m not much for “fancy” breakfasts and would have just preferred a couple eggs and some toast each morning, but I thought I’d try what was on offer. By the way, I’m pretty sure if I would have requested just eggs and toast, they would have been more than welcome to oblige – seriously, these people are so nice and welcoming and you can tell they want you to be happy during your stay.
Would I go back?
The telling point of any lodging is whether or not you would go back. While I’m not sure if I’ll ever go back to Seattle, if I ever do, I will definitely book a room at the 11th Avenue. Thanks for a great stay!
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TAMMIE PAINTER IS THE AUTHOR OF THE TRIALS OF HERCULES: BOOK ONE OF THE OSTERIA CHRONICLES AND AN ARTIST WHO DEDICATES HERSELF TO THE TEDIUM OF CREATING IMAGES WITH COLORED PENCILS.