Hey guys! I’m so excited to be blogging about my travels this year! I’ve already had 2 trips this month, and am going on another exciting trip this weekend! I feel like I get to take you guys along with me on my adventure, and hopefully give you a sense of wanderlust, or at least put a new city or hotel on your radar!
Last week I got to work with the AC Hotel Seattle Bellevue Downtown, and Alex and I had the best experience! The interior was incredible, the food and drinks were on point, and the location was walkable to all sorts of restaurants, shopping, and the unmatched nightlife experience that is Lucky Strike.
NIGHT ONE: DRINKS AT AC LOUNGE
We got to the hotel in the early evening, and wanted to grab dinner and drinks down in Capitol Hill. First, we decided to check out the AC Lounge for pre-dinner drinks. I recalled earlier when we checked in that the front desk staff said we had to try The Signature Gintonic. I’m normally a vodka soda kinda gal, but I decided to be saucy and give it a go. I know, I’m so adventurous right?! Honestly, it was so tasty, I see why they’re known for it! I know it looks like a big glass of water, but trust me, it’s enough to get you ready for a night out in the city!
After chatting with the friendly bartender about our desire to move here, he asked if we wanted to try their special nightly ritual: Flaming Spanish Coffee. He told us how every AC Hotel has their own unique ritual, which I thought was such a fun idea! Seattle is known for its coffee culture, so it makes total sense to have a coffee-based boozy drink. Plus, I’m a coffee addict so I was in from the start!
What is Flaming Spanish Coffee you ask? This was my first time hearing of it, and there are all sorts of variations of the drink. First, he poured the liquor into each cup, then set it on fire (as shown above). He added a dash of spice, then poured over freshly made aromatic coffee which set out the fire. They were then topped off with some cream (I asked for without) and more cinnamon.
Okay I admit it! I totally couldn’t finish my gin & tonic after this unexpected treat, but wow was it delicious! If you’re a coffee drinker, don’t pass this up!
OKAY, BUT WHAT ABOUT BREAKFAST?
The next morning we got up early to grab breakfast down at the AC Kitchen before heading out for a long day of touring apartments. Breakfast is served buffet-style, along with a few menu options they can whip up for you and bring out to your table. Now as many of you guys know, I eat a primarily vegan diet (sometimes I’ll eat fish when I travel if there are no other options) so I was not expecting many options for me when it came to the buffet. Walking up, I was pleasantly surprised to see more than a few options for me! I rushed to grab the last coconut chia pudding cup (so much yum) and some fresh blueberries. Then I spotted the fluffy croissants (another recommendation!) and the variety of jam and mustard. They also offered cereal and granola options with different toppings, and fresh bread you can toast to your liking. For you non-vegans out there, they also offer meat and cheeses, and don’t you worry, there’s plenty of fresh coffee for you to fill your cup as much as your heart desires.
The hotel is located in the heart of downtown Bellevue, which I had never been to before! Alex and I booked this trip to really get a feel for Seattle and its surrounding neighborhoods, to explore new areas and see if we can really see ourselves living here. We’ve always stayed in downtown Seattle, so we wanted to discover somewhere new for us, which is why the AC Hotel in Bellevue really stood out to us! It’s about an 18 minute drive to downtown Seattle, give or take with traffic, but it’s the perfect place if you want to enjoy entertainment from both Bellevue and Seattle!
WHAT’S THERE TO DO NEAR THE HOTEL?
During the day there is plenty of shopping around, the Bellevue Arts Museum, the Bellevue Downtown Park, spas, and a botanical garden. There are also a variety of restaurants and cafes, so there’s always something new to try! Fun fact: My lash tech’s family restaurant Araya’s Place was right down the street! It’s a vegan thai joint that even has a vegan lunch buffet for a great price! It was SO GOOD!
On Saturday night, Alex and I were given the opportunity to go bowling down the street at Lucky Strike. While this is a hotel guide, I wanted to include this, as it’s always good to know what’s around you ahead of time when you plan your trip! If you don’t want to drive back and forth to Seattle every day, there are still plenty of options around you to ensure a great night!
We expected to walk into your usual, standard bowling alley, but WOW were we wrong! We were greeted by Jason, who gave us a tour of the venue, which transported me to a Vegas nightclub vibe. Not only do they have bowling lanes, there’s a lounge, dance floor with a DJ, and a variety of arcade games.
At night it’s 21+ only, so it turns into the hot spot to be with a line out the door. After playing our favorite arcade games (anyone else love Deal Or No Deal?!) Jason lead us to the VIP bowling room, which was complete with 3 lanes, a private bar, and the ability to play our own music over the speakers.
Apparently the Seattle Seahawks have come here to play, as well as Justin Bieber! I have to say, it was the coolest bowling experience I have (and probably ever will) have! Lucky Strike is such a fun way to spend your night, and whether you live in Seattle or are just visiting, I highly recommend checking it out! Going out every night when traveling can get old pretty quickly, so I always like to find something fun and new to try. I hadn’t been bowling in years, I forgot how much fun it is! Check out Lucky Strike here to reserve a lane, book a party, or view the upcoming event calendar!
WHAT ELSE I LOVED ABOUT THIS HOTEL
They have this gorgeous library and work area that’s easily accessible right off of the lobby. If you’re just visiting for a day or two and don’t want to carry your laptop, you can easily do without it!
Between the front desk and the AC Lounge is this convenient snack area! What I loved most is that they didn’t have the conventional airport snacks that are full of ingredients I stay far away from. Instead they offer yummy snacks like these Theo Quinoa Chocolate Clusters, which are certified fair trade and organic. They also have drinks, hot sauces, and Swell water bottles!
I’ll be honest, the first thing that draws me to any hotel is the aesthetic. I take photos/videos for a living, so great lighting and decor is such a plus! I know, I know, it’s not an essential for everyone, but who doesn’t love a good photoshoot in a cute, cozy room?! The hotel also features the works from local artists, which I found myself coming up to often for a closer look and admiration. The entire hotel has windows from all sides, so you not only have a great view at all times, but there’s a photo opp around every corner!
Waking up is haaaaard to doooo when your bed is this cozy and your room has blackout curtains!
TO WRAP IT UP…
Aside from all the great food, I can’t say enough good things about the staff! I know it’s a business of hospitality, but I have never been greeted and surrounded by such friendly people as I was here! We had genuine, thoughtful conversations with multiple staff members throughout our stay and felt right at home. Traveling, especially alone, can be quite lonely at times, so it was always refreshing to come back to a welcoming hotel at the end of a long day. I enjoyed every day of our stay here, and I can’t recommend this stunning new hotel enough. If you’re planning a trip to Seattle/Bellevue, or live in the area and want a staycation, check out the AC Hotel Bellevue here for more information, and to book your stay!
I’m dying to know if you’ve stayed at an AC Hotel before and what your experience was! Let me know in the comments below, as well as any travel plans you have this year! Be on the lookout for my Seattle Travel Guide on the blog next!
Disclosure: I partnered with AC Hotel Bellevue and Lucky Strike, however all opinions are completely my own.