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Day 7: The Sorrento

August 30, 2010

When you are new to a city, your first inclination is not to embrace the bold new differences, but to instead find those little things that are familiar, things that remind you of other places or cities you’ve liked.  The Sorrento Hotel off of Madison near the 5 (whoops, I mean I-5) is just a little out of place in its neighborhood.  Built in 1909 the hotel has a old historic feel and easily reminds you of how things might have been.  It feels a little too sophisticated for its urban neighbors. Nevertheless, reminiscent of New York City’s Algonquin, it’s something I find familiar and comforting.  A little hideaway where you can enjoy painfully witty conversation over extremely dry martinis.   Both hotels attract artists and literary types.  Seattle takes great pride in its title of most literate city in the nation.  (A statistic that’s been true for at least 3 of the past 5 years). So the display of books in the lobby are a welcoming sight.  There is a lot of dark old wood, a fireside room, and a beautiful “Top of the Town” penthouse that hosts events.  The hotel manages stately without being stuffy by staying hip while maintaining its roots. All this being said, my favorite detail about the Sorrento is a small one:  the floor mats in the elevator.   They bare the name of the hotel and are changed daily to indicate the day of the week.  What fun!

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