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You won’t find lodgings closer to downtown Olympia’s attractive bayside pathways, restaurants and shops than this lovely boutique water-view hotel. Set along the sunrise side of downtown near the Farmers Market, Anthony’s Seafood Restaurant, Budd Bay Cafe, and numerous bakeries, brew houses, wineries, art galleries, craft stores and clothiers, this is the international DoubleTree by Hilton group’s third-smallest site — and, thus, one of the region’s most comfortable, cozy and convenient places to stay, both for business and leisure travelers.

Housed in an elegant building just a block back from shimmering Budd Bay, the DoubleTree’s legacy dips back into that of the upscale Phoenix Inn network. VIP’s quick-stop dining chain owner Bob Smith opened his first family-owned Phoenix Inn in Salem, Oregon in 1990, which eventually became the cornerstone to a conglomerate of 14 hotels throughout the Pacific Northwest. When constructed at the turn of the 21st century, Olympia’s Phoenix Inn was not only one of the original businesses at the northeast side of downtown; it was also the first lodging there. With its modern architectural style, large windows with water views, and amenities like indoor swimming, an exercise room and a whirlpool, the Phoenix Inn brought a sense of chic, modern elegance to the options for city-center hotels.

Today, by building on its boutique history and customer-first service, “Warm and Welcoming” define the ambience throughout the downtown Olympia DoubleTree. As soon as guests step into the foyer that service begins, both with welcoming smiles from the DoubleTree staff and warm, fresh-baked cookies. The broad, well-lit lobby, tiled and painted in soft autumn colors, is arranged living-room style with comfortable furnishings that frame low bookshelves and a fireplace. Adjacent is Press NW Bistro & Bar, a relaxing noshing space with a selection of simple, tasty food, area microbrews and regional wines; a breakfast buffet is served here every morning, and in fair weather the patio and free BYO grill are open as well. Spacious rooms and suites are done in muted wintry tones and feature plush bedding, an executive desk, mini-fridge, microwave, 40-inch LCD TV and free WiFi. Guests also have access to the upgraded saltwater pool and spa, 24-hour fitness room, business center, and two conference rooms and a board room with the latest A/V technology and expanded catering capabilities.

Built when Olympia’s lively downtown neighborhood was just a burgeoning business area, the DoubleTree also now occupies a key space right in the midst of the city’s most active and artsy core. Outside, you can stroll to the Hands On Children’s Museum, the parks around the Port of Olympia, and the fresh produce stalls and locally sourced restaurants that line the year-‘round Olympia Farmers Market. Or, you can head west through the the city’s colorful, kitschy streets to tour the Capitol Campus,

government buildings and museums, and to walk the serene circuit around Capitol Lake. The DoubleTree is also an excellent lodging base for events venues, as the hotel works with area sites to create the perfect group packages for everything from weekday corporate meetings and conventions to weddings, family reunions and “Girls’ Weekend” gatherings.

But at the core of the DoubleTree business philosophy is always the service component, both for guests and the greater Olympia community. Besides partnering with the Thurston County School District to give students work experience at the site, the hotel embraces its corporate CARE policy: Creating a Rewarding Experience. That means providing the little things that make the big differences in life, whether during a guest’s stay at the DoubleTree or working with other agencies to improve Olympia. In other words, it’s a “Bay-View Boutique” lodging that’s a gemstone in more ways than one.