Marriott Residence Inn on Lake Union, Seattle

Marriott Residence Inn on Lake UnionEven the budget traveller enjoys the occasional splurge, and Marriott Residence Inns always provide a high standard of service and amenities when we go upmarket for a hotel.

The Marriott Residence Inn on Lake Union became our home for the last few days in Seattle, and provided us a nice refuge after completing the daily chores associated with moving. The two bedroom apartment had a view over Lake Union where we could watch the float planes landing on her calm waters or catch a glimpse of the yachts moored along the piers. The beds are wonderful, pillow-top mattresses that envelope you like a bosomy aunt, and it took effort to climb out each morning to greet the day. A separate lounge area and kitchenette provide a place to entertain guests privately without having them in your bedroom.

A basic gym, sauna and pool keeps the health conscious happy but I’d recommend running around Lake Union to explore the local area. There is also a guest laundry and a free shuttle that lets you leave the car in the hotel garage. My only gripe, when I pay a premium room rate, parking should be complimentary not an extra $19 per day.

A range of dining options are only minutes walk away offering food at family friendly prices or fine dining for your special occasion at local favourite Chandler’s Crab House or Bonefish Grill. On Wednesday, Marriott hosts guests at a free dinner catered by a local restaurant including beer and wine for your table. A basic set menu is provided but you cannot beat the value, and it helps to offset the cost of your little splurge.

The breakfast buffet is amongst the best offered by a hotel, a range of cereals, pastries and fruit accompanied by your choice of beverages to please most tastes. Cook yourself a waffle, a popular choice, to enjoy with your coffee after a bowl of oatmeal then grab some fruit to get your through the morning. This hearty breakfast can keep you going all day with only a light snack for lunch.


Only in Vancouver!

What do you look for in a potential travel destination?

Comfortable hotels, friendly people, a variety of sights activities and value for money usually rate well on a traveller’s list, and they all describe Vancouver, British Columbia. Voted the most livable city in the World by The Economist in 2005, Vancouver hosts the Winter Olympics in 2010 but I’d visit now for a great value, fun vacation.

The cultural diaspora of Vancouver can satisfy punks, art lovers, classical music lovers or use it as the gateway to your Canadian wilderness trip. Take the gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain for a snow fight with the kids or to polish your shredding style before heading out to Whistler/Blackcomb.

The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia houses a fantastic collection of First Nation’s artifacts including totem poles, modern sculptures and cultural items. Inspired to buy a similar First Nation art object head to one of the many galleries like Eagle Spirit Gallery on Granville Island.

First Nation Carving Raven

Whatever your passion, take advantage of the holiday packages from Tourism Vancouver and experience British Columbia.