Max Hipness

We’re in Seattle overnight to visit the kid–except that he’s almost 22, a college senior and not a kid anymore but a grown man.  It’s been a pleasure watching him grow and mature, and now he can share Gail’s wine with dinner.  I don’t feel any older, how did he get so big?

Anyway, we’re staying at the Hotel Max, a place so hip it hurts.  Built over 100 years ago as the Hotel Vance, it was a downtown Seattle landmark for the large neon sign on the roof.  In 2005, it was rebuilt as the Max, with original art by local artists simply everywhere.  They boast almost 400 pieces of very modern art and photography in the hall, rooms and elevators.

What they don’t boast is size.  Remember this is  100 year old building, and they used to build them small.  The rooms are petite, delicate, picayune, diminutive, tiny, microscopic.  I’ve never seen such small rooms.  Henny Youngman told jokes about rooms like this.  Fortunately, I brought along my widest wide angle lens:

The room. Notice the utter lack of space.

Now the toilet.  Not the bathroom, there is no bath in this cubbyhole:

That's it. All of it.

Now the bathroom.  You’re seeing the whole thing–the door is flat against the wall.

The entire 'bath" room. it is approximately 5 feet square.

The most amazing feature is the “closet”.  I use that word advisedly because the space in question is only about 8″ deep.  The hangars hand at an angle, almost parallel to the rod.  It’s astonishingly creative.

That shelf holding the iron is as deep as the closet gets.

There are other features that intrigue me.  There is a mini-bar, of course, and then there is a basket of goodies for sale.  Most modern hotels offer to provide a razor or toothbrush if you forget to pack yours.  This place offers a little razor kit, with a fancy, hi-tech razor made of recycled materials, for $20.  A similarly packaged toothbrush is $15.  Most interesting is the “intimacy kit”, a small tin filled with a condom and a couple of  love oils for the bargain price of $30.  Valet parking was $30.  Good thing I got the room on Expedia for  a very reasonable $112.

Don’t take this wrong–we’ve stayed here before and knew what to expect.  We enjoy this quirky, hip bastion of modernism, and will likely stay here again.  We just don’t expect spaciousness.


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