Ändra translates to “change” in Swedish, and this destination certainly has experienced many iterations over the years.
But today, guests can expect to find stylish rooms that offer no-nonsense comfort and functionality, with sleek lines and alluring city views.
Hotel Andra brings upscale beauty to downtown Seattle — Photo courtesy of Hotel Andra
The building first opened in 1926 as efficiency apartments and later became a transfer station for members of the Women’s Army Corps (from 1945 until 1947).
In the '70s, the building was restored to become a small boutique hotel; in April 2004, the thoroughly re-created destination morphed into the beloved, present-day venue that is Hotel Andra.
Scandinavian design elements honor the city’s Nordic heritage, while also appropriately featuring Pacific Northwest elements– water, wood and stone – that showcase such contrasts as "sleek and textured, light and dark, warm and cool, modern and traditional."
The hotel's 119 guest rooms and luxury suites consist of calming hues and textures, plus decor touches like soft alpaca headboards, white linens with striped chenille coverlets and modern minimalist furniture.
The elegant interior makes for an enticing home away from home — Photo courtesy of Hotel Andra
On the ground floor, an airy lobby with comfortable seating opens into adjoining restaurant Lola, a popular eatery owned by Seattle culinary guru Tom Douglas (who, among other gems, also owns Dahlia Lounge and Bakery across the street and Serious Pie, a nearby outpost for seriously tasty pizza).
At Lola, you'll enjoy "modern Mediterranean and North-African riffs on local ingredients." Think creative twists on Penn Cover shellfish, Anderson Valley lamb and wild king salmon.
Lola sends up food for room service orders, too, and true foodies will appreciate the Andra's on-site Hot Stove Society, a year-round cooking school operated by Tom Douglas Restaurants.
The curriculum ranges from light-hearted and sociable to skill-building and challenging, and classes take place in a bright, industrial space inside the hotel.
Once you've settled into your new digs, explore neighboring sites from the Seattle Center (where the Space Needle and EMP can be found) to the iconic Pike Place Market. Also consider wandering a bit farther south toward the Seattle Art Museum and Pioneer District or a few blocks north, where Belltown offers a bounty of restaurants and bars (and after the sun sets, live music at venues like the famed Crocodile).
If the waterfront’s calling your name, then take a 15-minute stroll down the hill toward the sparkling blue, where highlights include the Olympic Sculpture Park, the Great Wheel and the Seattle Aquarium. Zany aquarium highlights include playful sea otters and a fascinating octopus resident.
For a post-sightseeing, waterside feast, relish unforgettable sunset views and fresh seafood-centric flavors at stunning spots like AQUA by El Gaucho.