Fairmont Olympic, Seattle’s Iconic Hotel, Steps into a New Era with the Completion of Its Historic Restoration
Soulful landmark. New passion. Located in the heart of the city since 1924, Fairmont Olympic is considered Seattle’s home away from home for many generations. This timeless landmark recently unveiled the evolution of its grand restoration with a transformed main lobby, new Olympic Bar, updated event spaces and an intimate spirit drinker’s enclave located behind a hidden bookcase in the main lobby. As the setting re-emerges, it reveals a new, one-of-a-kind kinetic art installation displayed atop Olympic Bar and shines a light on a few historic elements of the hotel’s storied past. The last piece is the opening of a new flagship restaurant, The George, this spring.
Evolving for a New Era
This $25 million restoration of Fairmont Olympic which commenced in January 2020, signals the largest renovation project for the historic hotel in 40 years. The Olympic tapped Spanish design studio Lázaro Rosa-Violán (LRV) to create the interior vision and design for the hotel which celebrates its storied grandeur with a lush new vision of Seattle luxury.
Inspired by the near 100-year presence of The Olympic in Seattle, the lobby effect is a seamless reinterpretation of the soul of the hotel that satisfies the modern traveler’s need for polish, elegance and vital design. Standing on the design pillars of heritage, layering, lighting and color, the lobby concept mixes greenery, rich textures, inventive modern forms and the glow of warm lighting. The transformed lobby blends existing historic finishes with new notable elements.
Destined to be Seattle’s Hotspot
Predominately featured in the center of the lobby, Olympic Bar fully transforms the space, offering visitors and Seattle locals alike an exquisitely designed stage to gather and connect. With a design that is bold, classic, clean and sumptuous, Olympic Bar debuts as a beacon for drawing new life and rhythm into the heart of the hotel. Glittering details bring a new sophistication to the historic lobby and new design elements enchant guests with an ageless glory. From all-day dining and Afternoon Tea to evening, this bold bar transforms into the city’s finest downtown bar and social scene.
A Hidden Space full of Spirits
Accessed through a bookcase off the lobby is Founders Club, an intimate spirit drinker’s enclave, defined by deep, rich wood tones and the soft glow of polished brass. The space is moody and warm with plenty of gravitas and filled with unmistakable energy. A secluded and serene social club feel inspired by the 1920s speakeasy culture, Founders Club delivers an all-new, exclusive Seattle experience.
An exquisite spirit collection selected by the award-winning Beverage Curator, Jesse Cyr, is used to create innovative cocktails unique to Founders Club. The cocktail program features fine spirits – aged, vintage and limited edition – all showcased in a classically-inspired fashion with a focus on meticulous craftsmanship and the purity of refined flavor.
A New Culinary Flagship
The story culminates in April 2022 with a new culinary flagship that will reflect the evolution of the hotel’s beloved restaurant, now named The George. As a showcase of the Pacific Northwest, The George will offer a modern, brasserie-inspired dining experience in the heart of downtown Seattle featuring the freshest seafood straight from local waters and dry aged meats sourced from farms across the state and region. Artisan cheeses will be provided by local dairies, and seasonal Pacific Northwest fruits and vegetables from local farmers and sustainable foragers.
The dining room has served as the social hub of Seattle for decades. From hosting fashion icons and legendary musicians to philanthropists and tastemakers, the space has been a favorite for locals and visitors alike, and a memorable part the Seattle dining scene. The new name pays homage to the history of the cherished dining room, while evolving into a new era and introducing fresh traditions.
Historic Elements Shine Anew
During the initial phase of the restoration, some of the hotel’s original terrazzo and marble flooring were uncovered on multiple staircase and staircase landings. This original flooring was hand-laid by artisans from Italy in 1924 when the hotel opened and was hidden by carpeting for over half a century. This original historic flooring was repaired, restored and refinished to its original splendor.
The Olympic Hotel’s most celebrated and ornate crystal chandeliers are those from The Georgian Restaurant. Crowning statements of elegance, grace and glamour, these historic chandeliers presided over decades of celebrations and momentous occasions. It was of utmost importance for the hotel to retain these treasures as a part of the hotel’s historic story for centuries to come. Weighing close to 300 pounds each, the chandeliers were carefully dismantled; removing, labeling and carefully wrapping each individual crystal. Following a full restoration, the chandeliers were meticulously reassembled to their original brilliance and placed in their new location, the foyer adjacent to the Spanish Ballroom. The Spanish Foyer is a fitting place for their relocation, as this space in 1924 was the Assembly Lounge, a gathering place for Seattleites.
Paying tribute to The Olympic Hotel’s rich heritage and history, the new history walk wraps around the Mezzanine level. Through old photographs, newspaper articles, historical documents and artifacts such as the first guest registry and guest correspondence letters, these visual elements give a glimpse into the early days of our iconic Seattle hotel.
With spring and summer approaching in the Pacific Northwest, the stage is set for the perfect time to visit Seattle and experience the new luxury at Fairmont Olympic.
For more information, please visit: https://www.fairmont.com/seattle/
Add Seattle to your future travel plans and take advantage of the Fairmont Orchid Zoomer Offer to receive 20% Off the daily rate and a $50 Dining Credit per stay on a 2 night minimum stay.
To take advantage of the Fairmont CARP Offer, visit www.fairmont.com/offers/north-america/carp and receive a complimentary night at participating Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.
Traveler Tip: Become a member of Fairmont’s loyalty program, ALL – Accor Live Limitless to earn Reward points and receive exclusive benefits during your stay. Not a member? Enroll now at all.accor.com