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Crown jewel of farthest, most left corner of the country, Seattle has a long and fabled history of doing things its own way. Hotel Sorrento has been part of that history since the beginning (almost): When we opened our doors in 1909, our first guests were the anxious prospectors, cagey entrepreneurs and curious tourists who attended the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, which was pretty much the first time anyone outside the Northwest had ever heard of Seattle. Intrepid men and women from near and far came to rest their heads in our guest rooms, celebrate their adventures in our sumptuous Fireside Room, and dance and dine at the Top o’ the Town, the city’s highest restaurant way up on the seventh floor. The Sorrento became Seattle’s original hub of hospitality, creativity, and urban life.

Back then, the historic Sorrento’s promontory perch on the summit of First Hill offered unimpeded views west to the Puget Sound, south to Mt. Rainier and east to Lake Washington. In the hundred-some years hence, Seattle has grown into a hyper-modern metropolis and now our grand old hotel is adjacent to a bustling downtown and surrounded by world-class art museums, concert halls and hospitals, not to mention dozens of restaurants, cafes, boutiques, cocktail bars and nightclubs. Our latest remodel brings a new restaurant, bar and updates to guest rooms and event facilities with vintage-modern furnishings. Honoring a landmark legacy while aligning our spirit with the progressive character of one of the fastest growing cities in America, Hotel Sorrento continues to evolve.

As you’ve probably heard, we still do things our own way in Seattle. And we’ve only gotten better at it.

Welcome to Hotel Sorrento.


The Beginning

Hotel Sorrento first opened its doors in 1909, just before the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, a world’s fair held in Seattle to highlight the development of the Northwest. The exposition attracted nearly four million visitors, which marked an auspicious beginning for the city’s first boutique hotel.


The hotel was commissioned by clothing merchant Samuel Rosenberg and built by architect Harlan Thomas who later became the first dean at the School of Architecture at the University of Washington. The seven-story building features Italian Renaissance style architecture, inspired by the architect’s muse, The Vittoria in Sorrento, Italy.  Hotel Sorrento welcomed guests with a beautiful square Italianate garden. The tiled pottery surrounding the large open fireplace in the Fireside Room is a beautiful example from the famed Rookwood Pottery Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, and was their first commercial installation. The hearth is irreplaceable and designed with sea green, matte-textured, glazed tiles—a mosaic of an Italian landscape and traditional della Robia pattern that border the fireplace.

A Place to Meet

At the time of its opening, the Fireside Room was the Seattle gathering place for locals to engage in conversation, listen to music and poetry readings, or discuss new artists and their work. The original registry has an impressive line-up: President Taft was rumored to have signed the book, plus the Vanderbilts and Guggenheims stayed here.

From the 1930s to the 1950s diners flocked to the very popular “Top O’ the Town” restaurant on the 7th floor for prime rib and entertainment from Betty Hall Jones (who performed again at the hotel’s 75th anniversary in 1984).

Modern Times

The Sorrento Hotel was later traded by Rosenberg for Bear Creek Orchards near Medford, Oregon. The exchange was characterized as “trading a lemon for a pear,” as Rosenberg’s sons, Harry and David, turned the orchards into a multi-million-dollar business.

Since 1967, the Burke Family, led by preservation-minded patriarch Marvin E. Burke, has owned and nurtured the property. The Malone family became stewards of the Sorrento in the early ’80s and has since guided the hotel’s ongoing evolution. The original 154 rooms are now 76 deluxe rooms and luxury suites. In recent years the owners have renewed the hotel’s arts and cultural programs, and the hotel maintains its position as a cultural and intellectual hub of Seattle.

In October 2014, Hotel Sorrento  embarked on a restoration of the historic property. The enhancements included a refresh of the property’s guest rooms, a lobby renovation, and rebranding of the hotel’s food and beverage service.


Seattle Refined - 5 Outdoor Patios to Enjoy This Summer — May 2019

"When it comes to happy hours, drinks, and dining outdoors when the weather is nice, we have to take full advantage! This historic Seattle hotel recently opened up its garden patio area for convenient outdoor dining."

Eating with Kirby — Hotel Sorrento (Seattle) Review – One Night Stay and Sunday Jazz Brunch — September 2018

We chose to stay at Hotel Sorrento which is a historic downtown Seattle hotel with a longgggg history. They opened their doors in 1909 (I know!) and have since then remodeled with a new restaurant, bar and updated the guest rooms.

New York Times — January 26, 2018 - With or Without U.S. Funding, Unesco Celebrates American Cities

Seattle offers an array of creative programs that show off its literary leanings. The first Wednesday of every month, a silent reading party — where people read silently in the company of others — takes place at the Hotel Sorrento.

Hide My Coat — January 2018 - Hotel Sorrento and Weekend in Seattle

Hotel Sorrento was on top of my list thanks to its ideal location, gorgeous interiors and famous large patio on the ground floor of the hotel.

Seattle Times — The Hotel Sorrento’s tomato soup is a tasty, perfect tradition — October 2017

Hotel Sorrento’s tomato soup is perfect for a soggy day, but the hotel serves plenty of the popular dish all year long.

Seattle Refined - October 2017 - A Comprehensive-ish Guide to Halloween Events in Seattle — October 2017

Hotel Sorrento has been hosting events throughout the month to get people in the mood for the spooky holiday! Events like, Tarot Card Tuesdays, The Stranger Silent Reading Party, Tales of Crime Fiction, etc

Seattle Bride Magazine — June 2017 — Perfectly Posh : Hotel Sorrento Wedding

Casey and Josh are a couple with impeccable taste, and every detail of their wedding day was evidence of such. But even more so, the day was filled with love, laughter, and a whole lot of celebration.

Seattle Met Magazine — June 2017 — Where to Dine out this Father's Day Weekend

A massive 12-ounce ribeye steak with caramelized shallot mashed potatoes, roasted red onions, horseradish, and olive aioli might just be what Dad is dreaming of...

The Stranger - Academy Awards Conversation at Hotel Sorrento — February 2017

If your heart starts to race at the thought of women in elaborate ball gowns clutching golden statuettes, your attendance is required at this deep-dive into the Academy Awards.

— The Daily UW - January 2017 - Sparks fly and books are devoured at the Hotel Sorrento’s monthly “Silent Reading Party"

On the first Wednesday of every month, a curious experiment is performed in the lobby of Seattle’s Hotel Sorrento. At the Silent Reading Party, dozens of people crowd into the hotel’s Fireside Room.

Seattle Magazine — January 2017

In a sumptuous room with a fireplace, Seattle Arts and Lectures (SAL) hosts Local Voices, during which SAL Writers in the Schools read works in progress.

Table Manners Aside — June 2017

The Garden, (the outdoor patio of Hotel Sorrento) is also offering half-off wines on Tuesday evenings all through summer.

The Stranger — June 2017

This summer, head to the Garden (Hotel Sorrento's outdoor dining area) for rosé all day on Saturdays.

The Stranger — June 2017

This summer, head to The Garden (Hotel Sorrento's outdoor dining area) for half-priced wine every Tuesday evening.

Eater Seattle — June 2017

The Brunch Heatmap: Where to Eat Now, June 2017

Seattle Times — March 2017

Want jazz with your eggs Benedict? We went all over Seattle and to Redmond to try out the area’s newest brunches.

The Stranger - Food News — February 2017

Jazz is cool and all, but let's focus on what's really important: alcohol. Dunbar's brunch will feature a Bloody Mary bar, which is a thing I enjoy perhaps too much and encounter in Seattle far too little.

Seattle Magazine — February 2017

Cozy up to the fireplace in this elegant, homey gathering place and lounge at Hotel Sorrento.

Zagat — 10 New Burgers You Need to Try in Seattle — September 2016

Step inside the newly remodeled Dunbar Room at the historic Hotel Sorrento in First Hill for this massive Wagyu beef burger.

GOOP — The Seattle Guide — September 2016

The Sorrento is an OG Seattle hotel: They opened in 1909 in time for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition world’s fair.

Seattle Met —14 Seattle Spots with the Best Instagram Bait in Town — August 2017

You don’t have to be staying at the more-than-a-century old Sorrento Hotel to feel like you’ve stepped back in time. While it has seen a few iterations, the Sorrento’s current dining spot, the Dunbar Room, begs for top hats and that little black dress. #classyseattle

Seattle Refined — Shhhhh! A party where reading is allowed & silence is golden — July 14, 2016

The crowded room is completely silent except for the flipping of pages and the clink of glasses. People sit hunched over books, tucked into corners while completely focused on their reading. Readers are packed into every available seat in The Sorrento's Fireside Room where Seattleites come on the first Wednesday of the month to partake in the monthly Silent Book Reading Party starting at 6 p.m.

Seattle Magazine— Book Clubs for Every Seattleite — July 14, 2016

Seattle is in the top five for most literate cities in America (and has been for years). With that reputation comes a vibrant book club community, but mind you, you don’t have to limit yourself to what Oprah is reading. Boozy book discussions, meetups for the current event-minded, groups for ladies who like comics—the city has it all.

Maris Events Blog— Matthew & Miguel’s Wedding — June 27, 2017

After 10 years together, they tied the knot this last winter (on their 10th anniversary!) with their closest friends at the City Hall in San Francisco, followed few days later by a brunch reception at the Hotel Sorrento in Seattle.

The Style Scribe — Seattle City Guide — July 7, 2016

When looking for a hotel in Seattle, I wanted somewhere that was central to some major areas and sites, pretty and comfortable. Hotel Sorrento is walking distance from Capitol Hill, and a short distance from Pike Place Market and several of the restaurants we were hoping to try while in the city, so it was the ideal location! As far as the looks go, it doesn’t disappoint.

Ville Magazine — Something old, something new: The Dunbar Room's New Summer Menu — June 2016

Something Old, Something New: The Dunbar Room's New Summer Menu. The Dunbar Room has revamped its menu to reflect fresh seasonal summer ingredients. The classy ambiance, dim lighting, and sophisticated vibe will stay the same. The new summer menu is ideal for a warm summer night on the front terrace of the hotel where the coal fire pit will burn well into the night – especially Thursday – Saturday with featured live music.

A Cup of Jo — Seattle City Guide — June 2016

If you’d like to have a base close to downtown, stay at Hotel Sorrento. It was the first boutique hotel in Seattle, opening its doors in 1909, so it has a beautiful vintage spirit...

Bearleader Chronicle — March 2016

The historic Hotel Sorrento in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district has long attracted explorers and eccentrics.

Hugo House — January 12, 2016

Hugo House partners with Hotel Sorrento for new event series, Ask the Oracle.

Thrillist — November 2015

The Dunbar Room at Hotel Sorrento is one of the most beautiful bars in Seattle.

KPLU — Ghost of Alice B. Toklas Still 'Alive' And Well At Hotel Sorrento — October 2015

At one of Seattle's most historic hotels, one of the city’s most historic ghosts stories remains very persistent.

Seattle Post Inteligencer — One of the world's 'most haunted hotels' is in Seattle — October 22, 2015

As Halloween draws near, there's no doubt that thrill seekers and scaredy cats alike will be flocking to "haunted" houses and corn mazes in the area. While a paranormal presence in a corn field in Snohomish is dubious, the bona fide freakiness of Seattle's Sorrento Hotel has long been established -- so much so that USA Today just named it one of the 13 most haunted hotels in the world.

USA Today — The 13 most haunted hotels in the world — October 2015

Built at the turn of the 20th century, the upscale Hotel Sorrento is an iconic Seattle boutique property. It's said that the ghost of Alice B. Toklas, a woman credited with the invention of pot brownies, can often be seen roaming the halls, particularly around room 408.

The Stranger — September 2015

I'm not saying Alice B. Toklas does or does not haunt the Sorrento. It's a beautiful place, and they have even invented a terrific drink for her, the Ms. Toklas (lucid absinthe, elderflower, chamomile, honey, lemon juice, rocks). So, if Alice's spirit is a wandering one, why not come back to Seattle?

Capitol Hill Times — August 24, 2015

Hotel Sorrento celebrates its public art.

The Hotel Sorrento underwent a sizable renovation from January to May, and it was decided something should be done to enhance the look of its parking garage.

Hotel Scoop — August 13, 2015

Seattle’s Landmark Hotel Sorrento - If walls could talk, Seattle’s Hotel Sorrento would have great stories to tell. Everything from tales of prospectors who were guests in 1909 during the world’s fair, to anecdotes about modern day celebrities. The oldest boutique hotel in Seattle, Hotel Sorrento embraces its history while delivering the modern day luxury and conveniences travelers expect.

Seattle Times — August 6, 2015

Seattle’s Hotel Sorrento is ever stylish; see it over 100 years ago

Capitol Hill Seattle Blog — July 7, 2015

Three giant new murals grace E Pike, Central District, First Hill walls. The new Sorrento Hotel parking garage mural is the work of Ellen Picken, an artist originally from Spokane.

Gray Magazine — April 16, 2015

Sorrento Sessions Recap: Pacific Northwest Design Now

The Pursuitist — April 2015

The Sorrento, Seattle’s Oldest Boutique Hotel, Unveils its Artful Restoration.

Eater Seattle — April 23, 2015

The Newly Restored Sorrento Hotel Debuts their Dunbar Room Restaurant

Eater Seattle — May 11, 2015

Ogle the Sorrento Hotel's Newly Remade Dunbar Room

Thrillist — May 1, 2015

7 Reasons Why the Dunbar Room is Seattle's Sweetest Hotel Bar

Seattle Magazine — April 27, 2015

On April 24, the 76-room, century old Hotel Sorrento unveiled its revamped eatery. Gone is the stodgy Hunt Club and in its place owners Barbara and Michael Malone have debuted the chic, Moroccan-tiled Dunbar Room, whose name is repurposed from the Sorrento’s 1960s restaurant.

PR Newswire — April 23, 2015

The Sorrento, Seattle's Oldest Boutique Hotel, Announces its Restoration and the Dunbar Restaurant Debut

Seattle TImes — April 22, 2015

On Wednesday the Sorrento debuted anew, with updates throughout and the latest edition of its restaurant, re-christened with its former name, the Dunbar Room.

Hotel Management — April 24, 2015

Seattle's Sorrento Hotel unveils updated restaurant and bar

Seattle Met — June 2012

Every second Wednesday of the month, the Hunt Club hosts a local bartender, distiller, or drink historian who’ll lead an intimate booze-infused class on a chosen spirit. This month they’ll break down the differences between Cognac and Armagnac (one of the great mysteries of the world).

Seattle Magazine — June 2012

The 103-year old hotel, The Sorrento, is so beautiful that reading alone in the lobby seems like a special affair. (In fact, “Silent Reading Parties” have actually been popular here.) But look to the hotel’s programming (it’s not just for guests) when you want a cocktail and an excuse to get a little dressed up.


Hotel Sorrento

900 Madison Street, Seattle, WA 98104




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