The Hotel: No news about the new Palladian Hotel in Belltown can compete with this: David Bowie is waiting on the bed. Or Brad Pitt. Or Tom Selleck. Their faces, grafted onto the bodies of Napoleon-era Russian generals, grace signature pillows on guest beds. Giant portraits of Dave Matthews, Bill Gates, Kelsey Grammar, and Jimi Hendrix in similar poses, all by local artist Julie Coyle, hang in the lobby. The Palladian, which opened for business this week, is riding this admittedly original gimmick all the way (and they swear some women subjects will appear soon).
For Out-of-Towners: As Seattle's fourth hotel in the Kimpton chain, the Palladian brings an expected slate of Kimpton amenities: a daily wine hour (here focused on local spirits), colorful furnishings, and just a little bit of quirk (but not too much). The 97 rooms fill a 1910 building that once held 152, meaning the recent remodel gave each one plenty of elbow room. The aesthetic, as described by General Manager Ben Thiele, is "if you could take the Titanic and resurface it, getting the old design with modern furnishings." Not that the Palladian feels aquatic; in practice it means dark walls with gold accents, exposed metal beams in the hallway, a claw-footed tub inside a room-sized tiled shower, or a TV resting on a custom-made artists' easel.
Oh, and of course there's the Bowie pillow; it first appeared in an early room mockup and was so popular with staff that it became essential. Should your Bowie decide to come home with you, you'll be charged $65, and the front desk has brand-new versions and alternate faces for sale. (Though your very own Rear Admiral Bowie can also be found online for $20.)
For In-Towners: New hotels don't come around very often, and the corner of Virginia and Second avenues is a convenient spot next to the Moore Theater, between Downtown and Belltown. Two eateries opened with the hotel this week, both spearheaded by Walter Pisano of Tulio. Shaker and Spear will focus on fresh Northwest seafood and small bites, while Pennyroyal, the bar just adjacent to the hotel lobby, goes gaga for local spirits—featured locals include Batch 206, Copperworks, and Seattle Distilling. Coffee is crafted on a piston espresso machine. And frankly, the portraits of Seattle locals in military splendor are worth the detour for any local; Dave Matthews never looked so dignified.