Whenever I fly over a city I like to look down and spot all the beautiful blue swimming pools of different shapes and sizes. When making my approach over Seattle, I don’t see any. They’re primarily hidden indoors, but they do exist. Take Downtown Seattle for example. Within just steps from the Washington State Convention Center, there lays three absolute gems.
The Sheraton Seattle pool is located across the street from the WSCC at 1400 Sixth Ave. It’s on the 35th floor (the highest in the city), and it’s like swimming on top of the world at the same level as the landmark skyscrapers. It has a light and airy atmosphere, and with reggae music playing, I feel like I’m in the Caribbean. The pool is more square-like than rectangular, and has blue surround tiles. There are mirror-like windows on one end of the pool area that looks into the fitness center. Surround floor to ceiling windows encompass the rest of the area, and the front of the room resembles a bow of a ship with commanding views of Puget Sound.
Just two short blocks away lays the saline pool housed inside the Hyatt at Olive 8 at 1635 Eighth Ave. It’s on the 2nd floor, down a short hallway from the elaina Spa. The ambiance is tropical rainforest complimented by teak wood lounge chairs with orange cushions. Eyes are drawn upward from the stone flooring to the multi-colored tiny tiles shimmering on the walls like alabaster shells. There are slightly tinted windows, but one can see green leaves on trees blowing outdoors. The pool is an elongated rectangle. The ceiling has inset lighting within teak. Soothing music plays, and the area exudes a spa-like atmosphere.
Photo by John Granen.
The pool at the Washington Athletic Club is located just up the street from the Sheraton, on the 6th floor at 1325 Sixth Ave. It’s a private club, although it is open to Visit Seattle booked groups. And just like at hotels, guests staying at the Inn at the WAC have complimentary access to the swimming pool. It is the “Grande dame” of pools dedicated in 1930 and renovated in 2002. Its official name is the Helene Madison Swimming Pool, named after a member of the WAC who trained there and won three gold medals in the 1932 Olympic Games. The first thing one notices is the large arched windows that look out onto neighboring buildings. The pool is long and has pale blue water which is accented by red brick adobe tiles. Small plastic flags with the WAC insignia flutter over the water as markers. Artifacts including wooden oars decorate the walls, and beautiful dark brown light fixtures with fine lined etchings hang from the high ceilings. It is the perfect lap pool. Each of these three gems has a distinct personality, just as I had imagined from the sky.
In my line of work I do a lot of site visits to hotels and venues. Most want to know how many people the ballroom can hold seated in rounds, theater or classroom style. Not me…I want to make a beeline to the pool area, check out the color and shape, and wave my hand in the water to create a ripple effect and break the calm. Jump on in, the water’s great!