Hotel Review – Can A Circa 1970 “Holiday Inn-Turned-Crowne Plaza” In Seattle Make The Grade?

For the first time in a while, I was traveling solo. Sharon and I just spent five days in New York City and now there was a Frequent Traveler University happening the following weekend in Seattle. Sharon and I just attended the FTU in Chicago a few months ago so we decided it would be best for her to head home from New York and for me to head to Seattle by myself.

We were offered a great price for rooms at the hotel where the event was happening, so I booked three nights for myself at the conference rate. The first day I had some time to do some sightseeing so I was hoping public transport would be sufficient to get me to downtown Seattle and back.

Crowne Plaza Seattle Airport
17338 International Blvd
Seattle, Washington

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The hotel is conveniently located right outside of Seattle-Tacoma airport. They offer an airport shuttle but after sitting in airports and on a plane all day, I decided to walk it. From the terminal, I followed a path to the parking garage and then to the Sound Transit station. Taking an elevator down to street level, the hotel is less than a five minute walk from the station. The whole walk was less than 10-15 minutes (it felt longer because it was cold, dark and windy outside and some of the sidewalk areas were still icy from the recent snowfall).

The Crowne Plaza is an 11 story hotel that was built in 1970 and has 260 guest rooms.  It was renovated in 2014 when it was upgraded from a Holiday Inn hotel to the Crowne Plaza brand. This means the hotel has all of the bells and whistles you’d expect from a Crowne Plaza such as a fresh check in desk with a grab and go snack area.

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Comfy seating areas and a fireplace near the entrance.

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There also was a bar area towards the back of the first floor next to the restaurant. Sometimes, I pick up more tips at the hotel lounge during Frequent Traveler University at the end of the day than I do during the classes.

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There was also a restaurant but I’m not a big fan of hotel breakfasts, even moreso when I have to pay for them. I stuck to the Starbucks coffee machine in the lobby and grabbed a snack bar for the mornings.

When I checked in, the front desk thanked me for being a Platinum IHG member (which I have through my IHG Rewards Club Select credit card). I was assigned room 1026, on the 10th floor at the end of the hallway.

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The room was a nice size, with two queen size beds.

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There were an appropriate amount of pillows (not too many and not too few). You can also see on the nightstand that I was provided complimentary bottles of water which were replaced each day.

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I was not expecting a turn down service where they left chocolates in the evenings at this kind of airport hotel.

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There was a decent sized desk near the window with an office chair and lamp.

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There was also a power bank in the desk (which was useless to me because my power brick for my iMac wouldn’t fit into these plugs and I forgot to get the extension cord from Sharon when we parted ways in New York) (Note from Sharon: #sigh).

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There were also several outlets on the alarm clock. I don’t know what your luck is with these but I find the USB connectors only work about half the time. Neither of them worked on this clock but the outlets did.

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There was a decent sized TV and a dresser with a Keurig coffee maker (but no milk so what’s the point, really?)

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Most importantly there was a refrigerator, not a mini-bar. No chance of mysterious charges at this hotel showing up after checkout.

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There was also a safe in the large dresser. We all know how “safe” those are but I didn’t have the PacSafe with me (cause obviously I don’t know how to pack when I’m not going to be with Sharon) (Note from Sharon: Again, #sigh), so I brought my computer with me to the classes each day.

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The one place in the room that felt cramped was the bathroom. It looked great, just wasn’t that big.

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The walk in shower with the glass enclosure was very nice. The water pressure was pretty good as well.

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Since I forgot to bring my night light (that solo packing thing again) (Note from Sharon: Really? REALLY? You sad, sad solo traveler), I was glad to see that the Crowne Plaza had me covered. A built in night light outlet in the bathroom.

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As I mentioned, I was given a room on the tenth floor. Unfortunately, I was at an airport hotel, in Seattle. I had great views of overcast skies and the nearby Denny’s for most of my stay.

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I did manage to get out of the hotel and do some sightseeing. The train into downtown was only a five minute walk from the hotel and a round trip ticket cost me $6.00.

It was a hilly ten minute walk from the University Street station to Pike Place Market.

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Points Earned For The Stay

I was able to take advantage of several ways to earn points for this stay.

My base earning was in the IHG Rewards Club.

I earned 10 points per dollar spent on the room rate and as a Platinum member, I get a 50% bonus on top of those points. Because of the email I received earlier that week, IHG also gave me 5x the base points because of my 30th Anniversary in the program.

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Now I’d usually use a card that earns transferable miles like the Sapphire Reserve or the Citi Prestige for hotel stays.  However for this stay I used my IHG Rewards card and I earned an additional 5x IHG points per dollar on the entire bill, including taxes.

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I did this because I needed to pay with my IHG card to meet one of tasks of the current Accelerate promotion IHG is running. Between this stay and using my IHG card, I’m two thirds of the way to my 25,500 point bonus for meeting my assigned tasks.

Final Thoughts

While talking with other Frequent Traveler University attendees, we all commented on how impressed we were with the rooms in this hotel. Frequently, airport hotels don’t have to try very hard. You’re staying there because you have to. Either because you have an early/late flight or are attending a seminar or conference. This hotel felt fresh, had pleasant staff working there, was close to local public transportation and had the option of an airport shuttle or walking to the airport. The Seattle airport is close enough to the downtown area that you can stay at the airport and take in the sites of the city just by paying for a $6 train ticket.

When we return to Seattle, and we will, I’m sure that we’ll be staying downtown. If you need to stay near the airport though, this hotel is a solid choice. When I say we’ll be back, one of the reasons is that I got to go to the Chihuly Gardens without Sharon. She wasn’t happy about that, AT ALL! (Note from Sharon: now I’M the sad one…)

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