Magic at the Maxwell
A giant mosaic pineapple is the first thing you see as you walk through the doors of The Maxwell Hotel. More than art, it is a symbol of hospitality, welcoming you and your four-legged friend to what promises to be a delightful stay.
Written by Brandie Ahlgren | Photography by Jamie Pflughoeft
Magic at the Maxwell
In fact, it says it right on the brochure, the Maxwell Hotel is “designed to delight the senses.” With pops of color throughout (chartreuse, turquoise and orange, to name a few) and a mix of patterns and textiles, one would think “designed for sensory overload.” But, Seattle interior decorator Karen Earl makes it work beautifully. Be sure to appreciate the mural in the hotel lobby, commissioned from painter Victor Ostrovsky to celebrate The Maxwell’s grand opening and to honor Seattle’s art scene. The hotel is filled with other fun, creative and unexpected touches as well, like colorful art tiles, handcrafted by local children, accenting the indoor swimming pool. Or, the bright yellow bumbershoots (er, umbrellas) in the lobby.
Located at the base of Queen Anne, just a few miles north of downtown Seattle, the locally- and family-owned Maxwell Hotel opened in March 2010 and has been dog friendly since day one. In fact, the Foreman family dogs, Kiska, Pierre and MeToo, are a few of the hotel’s first four-legged guests!
Sleep. Of the hotel’s 139 rooms, 18 are dog friendly and available in three categories: Aria Suite, Duet Suite and Prima Donna Suite. The Aria Suite features a king bed, walk-in shower and views of Queen Anne Hill or the Space Needle. The Duet Suite features two queen beds, a walk-in shower and views of Queen Anne Hill or the Space Needle. I’m staying in the Prima Donna Suite, which features two king beds, a seating area with sofa sleaper, spa tub, separate walk-in shower and a view of the Space Needle. All three categories feature a 42” flat screen TV, complimentary WiFi (bonus!), in-room safe, a refrigerator and microwave, a Keurig coffee maker plus an iPod docking station/alarm clock. Karen Earl’s design touch can be seen throughout the suites as well, with black and white floral bed linens, chartreuse ottomans, argyle-patterned chairs, and a turquoise couch (in the Prima Donna Suite). She is one designer who does not shy away from color!
As I mentioned earlier, the Maxwell Hotel is located in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, but what I didn’t mention, is that it also sits adjacent to Seattle Center, home to the world-famous Space Needle. Also within close promixity, is Intiman Theater, the Seattle Opera, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Experience Music Project and Teatro ZinZanni, a three-hour whirlwind of cirque, comedy and cabaret all served up with a five-course gourmet meal.
Eat. Speaking of gourmet, I’d heard rave reviews about Toulouse Petit, a newly opened restaurant within walking distance from the Maxwell. Before getting too settled in to our suites, photographer Jamie Pflughoeft and I decide to check it out…and, wow! It took us over half an hour to pour over the menu. Not including the extensive beer, wine and cocktail lists (pomegranate mojito anyone?), the menu features over 120 dishes—delicious sounding items like Jumbo Barbecued Shrimp New Orleans over Creamy Corn Grits, Halibut Wrapped with Proscuitto di Parma over a Poblano-Leek Chowder, or a classic New York Strip Loin, accompanied by a Stilton Bleu Cheese Quenelle (which I learned, is a dumpling).
My first choice was Cured Pork Cheeks Confit Hash, described on the menu like this: “This dish was featured on the fall season premier of the Food Network’s ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate.’” With a description like that, who could resist? Sadly, I was told they were out of the hash, so I settled on the Buttermilk Fried Petit Half Chicken, with a Black Pepper Tasso Gravy (oh, darn). Jamie went with ‘Sinister’ Pan Seared Shrimp and a Frisee, Arugula and Bacon Lardons Salad.
I’ll definitely be heading back to try the hash, but Toulouse Petit also serves up a great happy hour, with 50 items priced at less than $5. Early happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and late happy hour is from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Or, if you have a hankering for breakfast, all of the items are just six bucks!
With leftovers in-hand, we head back to the Maxwell to rest our weary heads before a big day tomorrow exploring Queen Anne’s dog-friendly haunts.
Play. First stop, Myrtle Edwards Park. Myrtle Edwards features a 1.25-mile bike and pedestrian paths, with fantastic views of the Olympic Mountains, Mount Rainier and Puget Sound. It’s a great place to stroll with the pooch, or the Maxwell offers complimentary use of its bicycles if you wish to explore that way.
Next to Myrtle Edwards Park, also be sure to visit the Olympic Sculpture Park with your four-legged buddy. Once a nine-acre industrial site, the sculpture park is now an open and vibrant green space for displaying art. Located along Seattle’s waterfront, residents and visitors alike can experience a variety of sculptures in an outdoor setting, all year round and for free!
Seattle is very lucky to boast a large number of parks and green spaces and if you really want to get the heart pumping, head up the hill to Bhy Kracke Park, located at 1215 5th Avenue. This unusual park with an unusual name is perched on a steeply sloping hillside with great views of Seattle, Lake Union and Capitol Hill. (I am told by Jamie, who is a former resident of Queen Anne, that this was her favorite park to hang with Fergie.) Further up the hill, on Upper Queen Anne, is David Rodgers Park (known to residents as “Rodgers Park”), a peaceful nine-acre park with plenty of room to play.
Upper Queen Anne also boasts two pet stores: All the Best Pet Care and Mes Amis, so before or after your romp in the park, pick up some yummy treats for your pooch. If you happen to be strolling along upper Queen Anne Avenue, look for the “Dogs Welcome” sign at Oslo’s, a men’s high end clothing store. Maybe Oslo himself, the shop owner’s friendly golden retriever, will be there to greet you and your furry friend.
Eat some more. At the time of this writing, the Maxwell Hotel does not have a restaurant, but there is no shortage of food options nearby (we already raved about Toulouse Petit). However, if you prefer to hang out at the hotel with your hound, then pick up a bite at Metropolitan Market. They have an amazing deli, with chef-prepared entrees, hearty sandwiches, innovative soups and creative salads. Remember, the Maxwell’s suites include a refrigerator and microwave. Another option (and a favorite of mine) is Trader Joe’s. While they don’t have a full-service deli, they do carry a wide selection of ready made sandwiches.
All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Maxwell Hotel. Whether traveling on business, pleasure or both, it’s the perfect place for you and your pooch to rest your pretty heads.
The Maxwell Hotel
300 Roy Street
Hotel Direct: 206.286.0629
Toll Free: 1.877.298.9728
Rates for dog-friendly rooms in three categories range from $159 for an Aria Suite, $179 for a Duet Suite and $239 for a Prima Donna Suite (rates are an estimate and may change depending on season and availability). The Aria Suite features a king bed, walk-in shower and views of Queen Anne Hill or the Space Needle. The Duet Suite features two queen beds, walk-in shower and views of Queen Anne Hill or the Space Needle. The Prima Donna Suite features two king beds, seating area with sofa sleaper, spa tub, separate walk-in shower and a view of the Space Needle.
All suites feature a 42” flat screen TV, complimentary WiFi, in-room safe, refrigerator, Keurig coffee maker and iPod docking station/alarm clock. $20 pet fee per day, per dog. Free parking.
601 Queen Anne Ave N
112 W Galer Street
1908 Queen Anne Ave N
All the Best
2127 Queen Anne Ave N
321 West Galer Street