From robots and flex bands to a one-of-a-kind unplugged corporate getaway, the offerings of the Northwest’s newest accommodations range from the quirky to the serene.
Hotel Interurban – Tukwila, Washington
When Hazel at Hotel Interurban makes a room service call, guests may find her personality a tad mechanical. There’s a perfectly good reason for that: She’s a robot.
The 3-foot-tall, 20-inch-wide Relay robot from Savioke delivers food, towels, sheets—or whatever the request may be. Hazel is short for Hazelnut, a nod to the hotel’s location in Tukwila. The city’s name is derived from a Duwamish Indian word for “land of hazelnuts.”
“We’re the first hotel in Washington state to have Hazel. … The robot, which we got from a company called Savioke, kind of looks like R2D2 from Star Wars,” says General Manager Mike West.
Equipped with cameras, sensors and a map of the property, the robot is integrated with the elevators and phone system. “When she makes her way to the guest room, she’ll actually call the room, and there’s a notice saying that Hazel is there for a delivery. The guest opens the door, her lid pops open, and the guest takes whatever the delivery is. If Hazel has no requests in the queue, sometimes she’ll go into “mingle mode” and entertain guests by telling jokes, posing for selfies or offering treats. Everyone loves her,” says West.
Hotel Interurban, which opened in May 2018, has 185 guest rooms. It is also connected to 350 apartments, making it the first mixed-use property in Tukwila. “The overall atmosphere is Northwest sophistication,” says West.
Amenities include an indoor saline pool, a 24-hour fitness center, the Waterleaf Restaurant & Bar and the Urban Roast coffee shop. “Because of our location,” says West, “there are a ton of team-building and postmeeting activities within walking distance, including an indoor skydiving venue and an upbeat bowling alley.”
A 19th-floor ballroom can accommodate up to 260 guests for a seated dinner and up to 360 for a reception. Two other second-floor ballrooms can each host up to 200 guests seated and up to 260 for a reception. One ballroom can be broken down into two smaller spaces. In addition, the hotel has four breakout rooms and two meeting rooms.
Sheldon Chalet – Denali, Alaska
When you genuinely want to get away from it all, the Sheldon Chalet in Alaska is the place you want to be. Opened in February, the lodge sits on America’s largest peak, Denali. “You can’t get there by car,” says co-owner Marne Sheldon. “The whole experience begins in a little town called Talkeetna, which is 50 miles away from the flanks of Denali. You take a private helicopter directly to our property. “There’s no TV, no Wi-Fi, no cell service.”
According to Sheldon, the whole idea is for guests to disconnect from the stresses of everyday life. “The dreaming and planning and vision casting really start to soar, because there are none of the distractions,” she says. “That’s the beauty of our setting.”
Perfect for a C-suite executive retreat, the chalet can accommodate 10 guests in five rooms. It has a private chef, concierge and two certified mountain guides to help guests explore the 35-square-mile Don Sheldon Amphitheater. “Everybody eats together at one table downstairs,” Sheldon says, adding that there is a sofa, lounge chair and library. “It’s all open, and it’s nothing but floor-to-ceiling windows on five of the six sides of the building. The view is stunning.”
Activities include glacier trekking, glacier cracks exploration, rock climbing, aurora borealis viewing and star gazing. “The glacier trekking and glacier cracks exploration are great for team-building and trust building,” says Sheldon. “It’s going to be the most unique corporate retreat anybody has ever been to.”
EVEN Hotel – Eugene, Oregon
Opened in January 2018, the EVEN Hotel is a lifestyle hotel brand. “We’re here to support our travelers in their journey in terms of keeping an even keel while on the road, thus the name ‘EVEN,’” says Director of Sales Denise Rossetti. “We want them to keep balanced. A lot of times when you travel, you kind of give up the workouts and the healthy eating. Our brand has four pillars: keep active, rest easy, eat well and accomplish more. And the hotel serves all four of those pillars in various ways.”
In each of the 100 guest rooms is a proprietary workout zone, including a permanent beam with several pegs and flex bands attached to it. Eighteen custom videos on each television demonstrates how to work the different areas of the body with the equipment. Each room also has a training guide, an EVEN water bottle, a yoga mat and stability balls. The hotel has a 1,100-square-foot athletic studio, too, with stateof-the-art equipment, as well as a restaurant and bar with a deck and outdoor fireplace.
One meeting room can accommodate up to 60 guests seated and up to 70 standing. A soundproof air wall can split the room into two smaller spaces, if needed.
Hotel Ketchum – Ketchum, Idaho
The newly remodeled Hotel Ketchum opened December 2017. “We purchased the old Clarion Inn of Sun Valley, completely gutted it, re-envisioned it, redesigned it and rebranded it into the hotel that it is today,” says General Manager Shannon Allen. “We’re a very boutique hotel with the focus on authentic guest experiences. The atmosphere is very fun, funky and eclectic, a lot of very true Idaho and Ketchum inspiration. Guests can see the Sawtooth Mountain Range, with a clear view of Bald Mountain.”
The hotel includes 58 guest rooms, a year-round outdoor pool and hot tub, plus a fitness center. “We offer continental breakfast,” Allen says. “There is a bar and lounge area, too, that serves appetizers, craft cocktails, and regional beers and wines.”
The bar and lounge area and an outdoor space with firepits can each accommodate up to 75 guests standing. A full-service restaurant and separate meeting space are scheduled to be completed in 2019.