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February 13, 2020

$25M Olympic Hotel renovation will add central bar in the lobby

  • A hidden door off the lobby bar will connect to a separate library bar — speakeasy style.
  • Image from Lazaro Rosa-Violan [enlarge]
    The new central bar will serve coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon and cocktails in the evening.

    Photo from Accor [enlarge]
    Fairmont Olympic Hotel’s last major renovation of its public spaces was 40 years ago.

    Abbott Construction last month started a $25 million renovation at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle.

    The improvements will cover 60,000 square feet of the hotel's common areas, including the lobby, the Georgian Room restaurant and several meeting spaces.

    A news release from Accor, the hotel's operator, says this is the largest renovation of the hotel's public spaces in 40 years. The Fairmont about four years ago renovated its 450 guest rooms, also at a cost of about $25 million.

    “This magnificent landmark building from 1924 is evolving for a new era,” said Markus Treppenhauer, the hotel's general manager, in the release. “Seattle is a fast-changing city and our story within the city's history remains unchanged, yet, as we approach our centennial anniversary, we are bringing new life to the design, culinary offering, and the experience across the hotel.”

    Abbott is rebuilding the lobby into a social hub for guests and locals, with a new central bar that transforms from serving coffee in the morning to tea in the afternoon to cocktails in the evening. A hidden door off the lobby bar will connect to a separate library bar — speakeasy style. The library bar will be open select days of the week.

    The Georgian is getting updates in the form of bold shapes and new lighting, and will reopen with a new culinary concept. Event spaces are getting design upgrades, new lighting and technology improvements.

    The hotel says the renovation will maintain the heritage of the building while adding modern touches. The main lobby will be closed during much of the project, which is expected to be finished in the summer.

    Construction costs are estimated at $11 million.

    Spanish design studio Lazaro Rosa-Violan is the interior designer of the lobby, the Georgian restaurant and new bar. Boston-area interior architecture firm Parker-Torres Design designed the function spaces and MG2 is the local project architect.

    Abbott helped to refine the design with value engineering and constructability input during pre-construction.

    (Editor’s note: Information initially provided to the DJC didn’t include MG2 on the project team.)

    Engineering is being handled by Lund Opsahl (structural) and Johnson Electric (design-build electrical).

    Major subcontractors are Demolition Man, Magnum Construction Services, Interior Woodworking Specialists, Western Tile & Marble, GFS Hardwoods, Grund & Co., Northwest Partitions, Primarius Elevator, Viking Group, North Coast Plumbing and Johnson Electric.

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