People in the know head to this classy hotel hidden in plain sight, above Pacific Place in a nondescript tower that gives no hint of the Zen-like serenity within. Paperless check-in is achieved painlessly by a well-trained staff, but there's little use for them because each room's iPod Touch gives access to room service, hotel information, music, games, and even sightseeing. Huge rooms on the 38th to 48th floors are all nonsmoking and come with low, L-shaped sofas beside the windows from which to soak in views of the harbor or city, perhaps while executing a pose on the in-room yoga mat or with one of the free beers, soft drinks, juices, or snacks from the minibar (called a "maxi-bar" here) that can also chill wine at the perfect temperature. There is also the option of free yoga classes held outdoor on The Lawn Saturday and Sunday mornings, where there's also a bar for drinks and relaxation. There are two bikes guests can use for free, though the best paths for cycling are probably uphill. In short, for travelers who eschew large hotels yet demand high standards, this is a great home-away-from-home.
- Beth Reiber