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July 20, 2018

Hazel the robot serves guests in Tukwila hotel

Images provided by Hotel Interurban [enlarge]
Hazel, built by San Jose-based Savioke, delivers linens and food in the 185-room Hotel Interurban.

Hotel Interurban, a new 185-room hotel at 223 Andover Park E. in Tukwila, will hold a grand opening on July 26.

It's part of a new 19-story tower that is now the city's tallest building. But its most novel feature is only 3 feet tall: Hazel the robot.

The R2-D2-like machine, built by a San Jose-based company called Savioke, performs tasks such as delivering linens and toothpaste to guest rooms and assisting with room service. But it probably won't help you steal plans for the Death Star.

Savioke didn't return a message asking for more details about its robots, which are branded under the name Relay. A press release about an earlier model said they weighed less than 100 pounds, had a carrying capacity of 2 cubic feet, and were designed to travel at a human walking pace. They could also use elevators on their own.

A January article in the Verge, a tech news site, said about 70 Relay robots operate in hotels around the world, and the number is rising.

Hazel is the first hotel robot in Washington state, says Hotel Interurban. The name Hazel is short for hazelnut, which is a translation of the Duwamish tribal name for the Tukwila area.

Hotel Interurban makes other nods to its location, such as the Waterleaf Restaurant & Bar, whose menu highlights locally sourced ingredients.

The hotel also has an espresso bar, fitness center, free airport shuttle, indoor pool, and 15,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

Hotel Interurban is operated by Columbia Hospitality, which runs upscale properties such as Cedarbrook Lodge in SeaTac, the Inn at Langley on Whidbey Island and Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie.

Developers Omar and Christine Lee are the majority owners.

Rooms start at $149.

Hotel Interurban is operated by Columbia Hospitality, and developers Omar and Christine Lee are the majority owners.

A custom-built canopy at the entrance has 60 solar panels — enough to power most of the hotel's first-floor operations. The panels are expected to last 30 years and eliminate 130 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Group West Cos. is the architect and Absher Construction Co. is the general contractor.

Other team members include Lund Opsahl, structural engineer; Tres West Engineers, mechanical and electrical engineer; Barghausen Consulting Engineers, civil engineer; and BEE Consulting, building envelope consultants.

The tower is within walking distance of Westfield Southcenter Mall, the Tukwila commuter rail ration and the Interurban Trail that connects downtown Seattle to Tukwila.

“Tukwila has all the elements to be a thriving area for tourism: convenient transportation options; a diverse population that provides a range of shopping, dining, and nightlife options; and proximity to Seattle,” said developer Omar Lee in a statement.

“We are enthusiastic about Tukwila's Southcenter District becoming a more complete urban center, and we believe Hotel Interurban is an essential piece of the growth puzzle for the region.”

The hotel is connected to Airmark Apartments, which recently began leasing. The 371 units range from studios to two bedrooms.