The luxury hotel at Lincoln Square expansion opens in mid-June
The big reveal for the Eastside’s newest luxury hotel, W Bellevue at the Lincoln Square Expansion, is scheduled to take place in June. To say that opening such a hotel is daunting would be an understatement.
With 245 guest rooms, 10,000 square feet of meeting space, two bars, and a restaurant, there is virtually no detail that is not being sweated at the W Bellevue.
The man responsible for handling those details is Matt Van Der Peet, complex general manager for the W Bellevue and The Westin Bellevue. Van Der Peet is no stranger to opening hotels. He opened W Seattle and The Westin Bellevue as well, so he knows a thing or two about details.
“There is no detail we will not try to capture,” Van Der Peet said. “We go through a guest room on two or three occasions to make sure everything is perfect. Whether it’s the shower, the sink, the phone, or the internet connection, we are shooting for perfect on day one. And that’s just the guest room. You step into the W Living Room (the on-site bar), and our mixologist is working with our bar manager to develop our first lineup of cocktails. Step out to the front curb for the valet experience; we consider what that looks like taking a guest from curbside to the welcome desk. We are double and triple checking everything.”
Bellevue has no shortage of hotels, but even by the most refined tastes, W Bellevue is going to be something special. And if you’re expecting a carbon copy of W Seattle, think again. “Every W hotel has its own identity,” Van Der Peet said. “As this project was coming to life, the thought was to create a modern interpretation of a lake house. We wanted to dig back to a simpler time here. As this project took its shape, it really started to be a celebration of days gone by.”
A lake house calls to mind knotty pine and fishing creels. But this place is going to be a lake house envisioned by the cosmopolitan jetsetter.
“You’re going to find that it’s dramatically different from any other hotel you might step into,” Van Der Peet said. “You’ll walk into an experience that is full of design. Energy, music, and fashion will be apparent, so will the art.”
As it’s only a couple months until opening the doors, the W’s leadership team is in full swing. The sales staff is burning the midnight oil ramping up buzz, as is the talent, the W Bellevue’s term for its employees: everyone, from housekeepers to Whatever/Whenever agents (receptionists) to parking valets. W Bellevue, along with its food and beverage partner restaurants, will be responsible for creating 300 jobs. Speaking of those destinations tied to the hotel, Jason Wilson, owner of Seattle’s popular Miller’s Guild restaurant, will be unveiling The Lakehouse restaurant as well as Civility & Unrest, a lounge with a speakeasy feel.
Even the parking garage at Lincoln Square — which developer Kemper Freeman has said will be one of the site’s best features — is scrutinized. “When you step into the garage, you’ll know that it’s been done very well,” Van Der Peet said. “It’s spacious, very well-lit; the parking stalls themselves are oversized to accommodate the shopping experience. However, we’ve got your wheels covered if you’d like to pull into the hotel’s valet.”
Van Der Peet described the opening of a hotel as “a snowball rolling down a hill, where the closer you get to the bottom, the faster you go and the larger you get.” And things are beginning to move very fast.
Images Courtesy Kemper Development Company