Visiting The Seattle Olympic Fairmont Hotel with AMEX Points
Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. If you decide to open the American Express Platinum card through my link, I’ll get points for referring you and you’ll get an amazing sign on bonus!
Austin and I spent a weekend in Seattle this month and stayed at one of the bougiest hotels we’ve ever been to: Olympic Fairmont Hotel. Our trip was really to see the play, Hamilton. While we loved it, the star of the show really was this hotel. We were excited the moment we pulled up and we spent quite a bit of time in the lobby, the bar, the restaurants, and in our room.
The best part? We didn’t pay anything to stay there! Keep reading to see how we stayed for free with American Express points.
–> Want help understanding if travel credit cards will work for you? Check out this post! <–
The King Suite Room
The American Express Platinum card comes with the ability to book hotels through Amex’ Fine Hotels and Resorts Collection. These are typically very nice (and pricey) hotels. However, when you book through Amex, you get a LOT of perks including early check in, late check out, and automatic room upgrades if they’re available.
When we checked into the Olympic Fairmont, we were immediately upgraded to the Executive King Suite room. This room is usually $765 per night!
When you walk into the room, the bathroom is on your right and you walk into a sitting room with a couch, TV, and desk. Across from the couch is a sliding door into the bedroom. Personally, I love a hotel room that has a separate bedroom because I always wake up so much earlier than Austin, so I like a place to sit and read or write until he wakes up.
The staff even came to the room after we got settled with a gift! It was a canister of tea that we ended up taking home with us.
The room, itself, was very modern with local art on the walls. The bed was very comfortable. All around, it was very nice, but the real design was in the lobby and restaurants. Keep reading for more information on those!
The Hotel Bar
The Olympic Bar is perhaps the most striking feature of the hotel lobby. You’ll see it as soon as you walk into the hotel, sitting in the center of the large lobby room with incredibly tall ceilings.
The entire lobby (including the bar) has one of my favorite interior styles: Vinage Industrial. From the brass finishings, to the dark wood and low light, the entire area felt sophisticated and elegant.
Austin and I each had a drink at the bar. The service was great and the drinks matched. This would make a great start to the night before heading to the hotel’s restaurant: Shuckers.
The Hotel Restaurant: Shuckers
We spent some time trying to find a seafood restaurant we thought we’d like in Seattle. I found Shuckers and immediately liked the interior and the menu. I didn’t even realize it was part of the hotel until I looked further into it.
One of the perks you get by booking one of the hotels in Amex’ Fine Hotels and Resorts Collection is a $100 credit for food, spa, or whatever else the hotel offers. We decided we’d use the credit for Shuckers!
This meal was FANTASTIC. I love seafood, but I don’t eat it nearly as much as I would like to.
We started with 12 oysters. We both could have eaten about 12 more. For our main dishes, I got the stealhead trout and Austin ordered the white trout. Both were amazing, but I liked mine more. For dessert, we decided on a blackberry and blueberry cobbler that looked so good, it made the table next to us ask what it was.
Whether or not you’re staying at the Olympic Fairmont Hotel, I highly recommend their restaurant: Shuckers.
The Hotel Breakfast: The George Restaurant
We only stayed at the hotel for one night, but we wanted to make sure we could visit The George Restaurant for breakfast the next morning. This is another restaurant within the hotel and the interior is just as mesmerizing as the lobby.
Yet another perk of the Fine Hotels and Resorts Collection is a $72 breakfast credit for each night you stay. Frankly, there are very few breakfasts that are worth $72 to me. So, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend eating breakfast here unless you have the credit.
Of course, you don’t have to spend that much. The restaurant has a regular menu, but after two dishes, a cappuchino, and a coffee, we were right at around $70. Austin got the ricotta pancakes and I had a French omelet. They were both delicious and we were very glad we had the credit.
If you’re looking for a quick snack in the morning, the hotel also has an espresso bar you can stop into instead of The George. They also do afternoon tea service in the lobby on Saturdays and Sundays. I was sad to have missed out on that!
How We “Paid” for the Hotel Stay
I’ve been referencing American Express points this entire blog post, so now it’s time to talk about how we actually paid for this hotel stay! One benefit you get with the American Express platinum card is a $200 hotel credit for their hotel collections – one of which being the Fine Hotels and Resorts Collection.
Typically, the hotels in this colleciton are very pricey and $200 will rarely cover the entire cost of a one-night stay. However, the other hotels in this area were only about $200 cheaper than the Olympic Fairmont, so that’s how I justified staying at a nicer hotel. It was almost like a free upgrade.
So, I ended up using the $200 along with 48,000 Amex points to pay for this hotel stay. Let’s break down the full value of that.
–> Read more: 5 Simple Steps to Afford More Travel <–
The Full Value of What We Got for Free
Here are the costs and credits we got while staying at the Olympic Fairmont through Amex:
- Room and free upgrade to Executive King Suite: $765
- Food and drink credit: $100
- Breakfast credit: $72
- Early check-in and late check-out: no monetary value, but a nice perk!
At a value of $937, this ONE TRIP made the entire (hefty) $700 annual fee of the Amex Platinum worth it.
If you like these types of breakdowns and learning how much value we get from using our travel credit cards, leave a comment below. I think they’re fun to make and they just reiterate how useful travel credit cards can be!
Is $765 something you would have paid if it wasn’t for a free upgrade?
No, absolutely not. I always try to caveat these prices by being transparent about that. In my eyes, the AMEX Platinum pays for itself in other ways and upgrades like that are perks on top.
Thank you for this! When you say you used the Platinum credit + 48,000 points, how did you do this combo? Did you pay for the hotel in cash, get the $200 credit and then paid the rest of the bill in points? For example, I am seeing the cost for one night as $465 or 46,500 points. Can I first pay $465, get the $200 credit and then pay the $265 balance using 26,500 points? Hope I am making sense. Thanks!
Hi, good question! When I made the the reservation and paid for it, it let me split the cost between my points and credit card by allowing me to choose how many points I wanted to go toward the room. So, I figured out that $265 was worth around 48,000 points just by entering different numbers until the remaining balance was $200. Then, I paid the $200 on my card and I was credited that back.