Sinking into Monarch Magic

On a recent golden evening, I flew in from five fascinating days spent amid the rugged beauty of  British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii. After easefully taking the light rail from Sea-Tac airport to the downtown Westlake stop, I landed at Hotel Ändra in the exquisite Monarch Suite. As I strolled past the lobby’s cozy fireplace, feeling like a visitor in my own beloved town, I realized that — on this first night sliding back into an urban setting — there would be no softer place to land. This Scandinavian-inspired retreat has mastered the art of “hygge,” and I for one couldn’t wait to soak in its tranquil vibes.

As the dipping sun streaked the sky beyond my windows with pastel ribbons, I wandered around in awe for far too long, simply taking in the magic of my understatedly stunning environment. A 9th-floor oasis that spans 1,500 square feet, the luxurious Monarch Suite is part of the hotel’s recent multi-million-dollar remodel. Thanks to the beautifully curated living room and dining area — ready to host a good-sized group, the space immediately felt like a private apartment I wanted to call home.

Monarch Suite

I was mesmerized by the vibrant wall art, sleek marble coffee table stacked with Nordic-design-centric books, the smooth, deep-blue couch that complemented other nearby color pops and the funky light fixture cascading over my oh-so-inviting, four-post bed. Thoughtful details could be found every which way I turned.

After a bit of downtime, I headed out for dinner. Since I’d previously eaten at next door’s Assaggio Ristorante Seattle and adjoining Lola, an inviting Greek eatery by Seattle Chef Tom Douglas (whose cooking school is located on the hotel’s second level), I strolled down to the Market to The Pink Door, an all-time favorite for its tasty Italian fare and mid-meal aerial performances.

Monarch Suite Bath

Once back in my expansive sanctuary, I lived out an evening that travel dreams are truly made of… I first drew a bath in the expansive bathroom’s decadent tub. Afterward, I sunk into my royal sleep quarters, delighted to find “Pretty Woman” playing on the futuristic screen that popped up at the foot of my bed.

Monarch Suite Relax

After a sound night of slumber, I enjoyed a lazy morning inside my soothing haven. (For bragging rights, I must mention that a highlight was completing Wordle in one attempt — for the first and perhaps only time this will ever happen!) I squeezed in a workout in the hotel’s third-floor fitness center before cleaning up in one of the most luxurious showers I’ve yet to experience. Lunch across the street at Dahlia Bakery brought my “pinch-me” overnight to a memorable close. Another outpost of Chef Douglas, Dahlia serves up must-try options from breakfast and lunch sandwiches served on crusty bread, to salads, soups, freshly-baked cookies and mochi donuts that our gluten-free friends can savor as well.

I then felt ready to depart downtown and delve back into my “real life” — feeling restful, rejuvenated and really grateful, too.

The Hotel Ändra Monarch Suite is now accepting bookings for personal stays or private events. To book, please contact the hotel directly at 206-448-8600 or email your request to