Tidbits of Arabic News translated into English

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Olympic Hotel in Seattle

Lines on the Lobby of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle

It is a large area, just exactly as spacious as you'd expect the reception/ceremony room in the White House to look like, though when I went to the White House years ago I thought the East Room looked kind of small. This hotel lobby is much bigger.

It's like a wide, rectangular hall. The ceiling is open. There's columns all around, and between each column on the second floor are strung balconies. And in fact, even though the couches are comfortable, the best view for people-watching is from the second floor balconies. There's lots of people in suits, older men who have probably always gotten their own way in everything, older women who like they've been socialites and on boards of organizations all their lives.

Circling beneath the balconies are rich wood panels inlaid with ornate Corinthian scrolls. All the wood and walls and carpet are a warm, honey color, and it matches so well with the pots of ferns and troughs of flowers that mark off the center of the hall, and that also form the little enclaves where couches and tables are grouped in clusters. That's how I can sit at a table with my laptop, unseen through the screen of green from the loud group two feet away.

Across the high, second-floor ceiling, matched up with the center aisle, are three chandeliers, also golden hued. Each one is maybe just a little shorter than me, and the chains fastening them to the white curve of the ceiling are of course much taller. It's three golden orbs hanging level with the balcony, each with its own fount of copper-colored scrolls to match the scrolls in the woodwork.

On one end of the hall, there's a sweeping golden staircase that extends in both directions, and between the two branches are two double doors, above which it is grandly titled "The Georgian." If you go through the double doors, you get to the lounge with servings of breakfast and dinner. Inside the Georgian are great crystal chandeliers that are simply showers of ice; cream walls; and gossamer white curtains against the windows that fall the entire length of the high walls.

The other side of the hall, opposite The Georgian, is a bit more muted, for the second-floor balcony cuts off the sweeping openness. There's a staircase, but it's more solemn, with an austere red carpet that leads you to a ballroom with the same wall-length windows draped with gray-blue curtains.

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