by Sarah J.F. Braley | November 15, 2018
The 154-room Graduate Seattle hotel has opened in the city's University District. The redesign of a 1930s building that pays tribute to the University of Washington and its alumni offers 5,000 square feet of meeting space.
"Our inspiration in developing Graduate Seattle was the city's lush landscape and the historic art deco building," said Senada Hajric, general manager of the new hotel. "The unique history and culture of both Seattle and the University of Washington guided our team throughout this project, and we're thrilled to join those communities."
 
Many original details of the building have been surrounded by such whimsical design elements as two 18-foot purple-plaid sofas (UW's colors are purple and gold) and a two-story wall of vintage amps and speakers in the lobby.
 
"We're bringing the hotel's art deco legacy back to life, and adding elements of Pacific Northwest comfort, a celebration of Washington's amazing landscapes and touches of the Graduate sense of humor," said Andrew Alford, chief creative officer of AJ Capital Partners, the parent company of the Graduate brand. "You won't find another hotel in Seattle with custom Bruce Lee lamps, velvet paintings of Sir Mix-a-Lot or a wall of speakers and amps."
 
Poindexter Coffee, with a studious vibe, serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fun times can be found in the Mountaineering Club, the rooftop bar and restaurant that will open later this year with views of Puget Sound, downtown Seattle, Mount Rainier and the Cascade Range.
 
Graduate Seattle is participating in the company's partnership with the Why Not You Foundation, whose mission is "to empower change in the world, one individual at a time, and one child at a time." For every room night booked through Graduate Hotels' website, a $3 donation is made to the foundation.
 
The young Graduate brand now has 13 properties, with eight more coming by summer 2020. Open are outposts in such campus locations as Ann Arbor, Mich.; Athens, Ga.; Berkeley, Calif.; Bloomington, Ind.; and Madison, Wis.