The rain was to be expected. The snow wasn't. However, neither were able to dampen my enthusiasm for my first visit to Seattle in twenty years. I enjoyed the people and the small town vibe. I enjoyed walking from attraction to attraction.
I was told that the city had changed significantly, but the best parts of the city had remained. This turned out to be true. Pike's Place Market and the Warf felt identical to when I had last seen them. The part that had changed was where I stayed. Last time, I stayed downtown. This time I stayed in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood, which would have been more akin to "no man's land" twenty years ago. Now it is a hip area and home to the Pan Pacific Seattle Hotel.
The Pan Pacific offered all the amenities that an AAA 4-Diamond award recipient should: good service, nice room, big flat panel television with a bunch of channels, excursion option availability, and convenient location.
As a vacationer, I found a spectacular restaurant, the Seastar, for fine dining, a Whole Foods Market (downstairs on Westgate but still in the courtyard) for snacks and light meals and the Vida Spa across the parking lot for some well-earned pampering. The Pan Pacific is also a minute away from the first Nordstrom's.
As a business traveler, I found a Fed Ex/Kinko's and a dry cleaners within the courtyard area of the Pan Pacific, and in my room the most important business travel need, free wireless Internet. I always love it when a hotel provides Internet as a courtesy to its visitors. It has become a norm to gauge hotel visitors with heavy day tariffs for using the Internet. I am happy that the Pan Pacific has opted to convenience its guests.
Another quality that I liked about the location, something I am very capable of droning on about, is that the Pan Pacific is not in the middle of the city center, which I prefer. I would much rather walk a few blocks to explore the city. From my room to the Warf, Pike's Place Market, the Seattle Center, including the iconic Space Needle, were all within 15 minutes by foot (except when I used the monorail), and a great way to see Seattle. In fact, one day, I made a big walking loop and saw all of it for a leisurely day.
Inside, the room had a modern, sleek design, which had sliding doors connecting the bathroom and the bedroom, for either more privacy or greater intimacy. With the bathroom shutter doors open, I could take a bath and enjoy the Seattle skyline at the same time.
When I was not exploring on foot or sleeping in late, the Pan Pacific set up a day tour with the recommended Evergreen Escapes for a wine tour of the local vineyards just outside Seattle. The tour consisted of five wineries and their local flavors, a homemade organic lunch, snacks and drinks, and the expertise of Dan the tour guide. It was an excellent option when it unexpectedly snowed in Seattle.
Overall, it was a great experience after twenty years away from Seattle. It was nice for me to witness how Seattle has both changed and stayed the same.