Run Oregon loves running – that’s no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our new “Make a Day of It” feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience! My family and I spent Labor Day Weekend 2019 in Central Oregon and checked out Hotel Interurban in South Seattle.
First the Running:
Over the past few years, I have found myself in both Seattle and Bellevue for work and family stuff. While both of these areas have fun downtown areas and solid spots to run, it can often be a little pricey to stay right in the heart of those cities. A nice middle ground location is the city of Tukwila, which sits at the crux of I-5 and I-405, and just east of SeaTac Airport.
As a runner, I feel that Hotel Interurban is an absolutely perfect basecamp hub to check out some new routes. If you are anything like me, whether I’m in a new city for a few days, or even just an overnight stopover, I am always looking for a new spot to get some miles in that aren’t too far away. Come to find out that Hotel Interuban offers a variety of great options literally just a minute from your room by foot. Just outside of the hotel’s doors is the Green River Trail – 19 miles of pavement that snake between Boeing Field and Kent, WA. The lodging is near the mid-point of this trail (pick it up at Bicentennial Park), allowing runners plenty of distance to explore heading either north or south.
The Green River Trail follows it’s namesake river through the industrial area near the Duwamish east into the broad Green River Valley, offering changing views along the way. From industrial south Seattle to the lusher Green River, the paved trail offers an interesting perspective of the city, as the view from the paved trail changes from urban to more rural.
While that trail follows the west side of the river, the Interurban Trail – which can be picked up at Fort Dent Park – is nearby but runs on the east side of the river. It’s a rails-to-trails path of almost 15 miles that used to be the Puget Sound Electric Railway trolley that ran between Tacoma and Seattle in the early 1900’s. It is super straight and “passes sprawling commercial and light industrial areas in Tukwila and Kent with access to employers and shopping malls, though the trail avoids the hustle and bustle of the congested roads.”
If you are looking to race nearby, the Tukwila to Alki Half Marathon (January) and Green River Half Marathon (February) are both coming up shortly and are just a few miles from the race start. I believe they both run on the Green River Trail. But much like Portland, Seattle and it’s surrounding suburbs and cities have a ton of great races. I recommend checking out our race calendar for races within 10 miles of Seattle.
Hotel Interurban is pretty new – just about 18 months old – and features 185 rooms in a towering building on Seattle’s south side with amazing views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascades. I noticed the custom-built canopy at the entrance of the hotel and found out that it is constructed of 60 solar panels that actually make enough electricity to power almost all operations happening on the first-floor operations. So cool.
Upon entering, it’s apparent that the vibe is upscale contemporary, yet without the stuffiness. The concrete walls are adorned with colorful art and the furniture in the lobby matched well to it. Even with this design, I had two kids with me and I never felt like we were messing with the Feng Shui or making anyone mad during their excitement of staying in a hotel.
There is a ton to like about the inside of the room. The mattress (which I later found to be a “Simmons Beautyrest Black Napa Pillow Top”) was super comfy.
There was also a coffee maker (with Seattle’s Best coffee), mini-refrigerator, and a simple chair and footrest. To be honest, the room was pretty simplistic. There wasn’t any over-the-topcrazy tech or fancy room construction. It was just a very nice, clean, and comfortable space to relax in after a race or a day out and about in the Seattle area.
One absolutely amazing feature is Hazel. No, Hazel was not our front desk staff person, but Hotel Interurban’s robot.
Yes – robot.
Hazel is the first hotel robot in the entire state and is named for the Native American translation of Tukwila, meaning “land of hazelnuts”. She is more than just a stationary ATM, as she delivers items and room service to guestrooms.
Unfortunately for us, Hazel was a little under the weather and I didn’t get to see her in action during our stay.
Hotel Interurban has one on-site dining option – the Waterleaf Restaurant & Bar. It’s one of the nicer hotel restaurants I have been to, with a classy (yet not too intimidating – I took three kids and felt no issues) vibe that covers all the bases. It’s open every day and is open early for breakfast (if you’re a Stash Rewards Member, the buffet will be free for you) and continues all the way through happy hour, lunch/dinner, and late night bar bites. There is everything from smaller plates to fancier fare.
With two kids under 10 in tow, meals are always an…adventure. They both have different palates and (of course) can’t agree on eating the same thing. For dinner we ate during happy hour, which was proved perfect for everyone. The picky eater had a grilled cheese, the great eater had sliders, and I went wild with some warm goat cheese and local canned beer. It was a win-win all around. Also, they do have kids menus available, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find something simpler if you need to.
We got up the next morning and gave breakfast a try. The buffet, at $10 was surprisingly solid. It wasn’t a huge spread – mostly continental in nature with breads, cereals, fruit, etc. – but the real good part was being able to splurge on local-favorite Top Pot Doughnuts. Splurging on one (or two) is worth it in itself.
If you don’t have time for sit-down breakfast, Hotel Interurban also features Urban Roast, a coffee shop perfect for us PNW coffee-enthusiasts. They have an espresso bar that opens at 6a and also offer Starbucks coffee and Top Pot Doughnuts as well. They also have “grab & go” items for if you are heading out of the hotel quickly, perhaps to get to the starting line for a local race, or even for a work function or back the airport. These feature a variety of baked goods, sandwiches, and snacks. There’s more than a few options available on-site if you want to stick around.
If you don’t have as much time to explore the running trails around the hotel, or maybe it’s too dark and/or wet, Hotel Interurban has both a heated indoor pool and a fitness center. Neither is is super robust, but the fitness center has a few treadmills, free weights, and some other cardio machines. Both of these should do the trick when you are in a fitness-pinch. And when you are travelling with kids (like I was), the pool is an absolute necessity.
If you are looking to get out of the hotel a bit, there are a ton of restaurants, activities, and theater in the surrounding mall blocks. Being a craft beer drinker (now over 450 breweries), I checked out Odin Brewing, which is within walking distance from the hotel, and Airways Brewing in downtown Kent, a short distance down the road. I recommend checking out both of these.
Hotel Interurban was a surprising gem away from the hustle and bustle of the crowded nearby urban cities, yet still a great option for top-notch accommodations. It is great for single runners and families (even dog-families) as well. Along with running, there is a ton to do nearby as the Westfield Southcenter Mall offers all the dining and shopping options you could need.
Address: 223 Andover Park E, Tukwila WA 98188
Phone: (206) 278-7800
More about Hotel Interurban:
Hotel Interurban stands out from the rest – literally. Our physical presence towers above Seattle’s Southside, offering unparalleled views of Mount Rainier. While we are the only Seattle airport hotel that can boast this, what makes us unique is our understanding of our guests. Whether for business or leisure, any whim, need, or experience is truly steps away. We’re surrounded by more than 200 entertainment, shopping and dining options, with easy access to major transportation. And, the amenities at our guests’ disposal makes every stay, and every event, at Hotel Interurban seamless, simple, and comfortable. It’s about what you want, exactly when you want it.
Many thanks to the Hotel Interurban for allowing us to check out their property! Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.