There are plenty of reasons to visit Tacoma. Whether you’re a person who fancies world class museums (LeMay, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass), or you’re looking for that next dining experience that you can Facebook out to all of your friends (Marrow, Asado, Southern Kitchen), or perhaps you just want to hang out and take in the local scene while tipping back a Tall Boy (Broken Spoke) or a classic craft cocktail (1022 South), Tacoma has you covered.
But in between all of that activity you’re going to need a place to rest your weary head and you’re not going to find a better place to do that than Hotel Murano.
Tacoma’s dining scene has come into its own over the last several years. A trip down 6th Avenue will make any foodie salivate with anticipation. But at the end of the day if you’re looking to stay a little closer to home you can do no wrong by working your way up to Hotel Murano’s fourth floor and settling into the sleek BITE Restaurant & Bar.
Overlooking neighboring museums and shops that line the Thea Foss Waterway, you’ll find the offerings here are as expansive as the view. During my last visit I sliced into a tasty petite top sirloin (with frites) during BITE’s popular happy hour while contemplating my next food foray. I ended up in an enviable dinner decision predicament indeed: tender beef short ribs with savory browned-butter gnocchi or grilled wild salmon graced with a blood orange-wine reduction.
Either way, I knew it would be a win.
CIA trained, and Tacoma native, Executive Chef Matthew Stickle knows his way around the area and it shows. Often seen strolling the grounds of Tacoma’s farmers market, Stickle makes sure to infuse his dishes with as many locally sourced ingredients as the season allows.
Hotel Murano has carved out a cozy little hangout to sit back and sip on a glass of wine or to savor a craft cocktail before hitting the town. If you like themed drinks you can always opt for the Murano Blue which, as the name would suggest, is a potent mixture of vanilla vodka, coconut rum, pineapple juice and, of course, blue curacao.
I prefer my drinks a little simpler, and usually of the single malt variety. So I ordered a scotch and took my peaty Lagavulin over to the fireplace to be warmed by the spirits alongside the flames.
There’s no escaping that the Lobby Bar shares in Tacoma’s penchant for glass art. A large sheet of burnished glass washes the back of the bar in aqua blue as other artwork spills out into the hotel’s lobby. And not to put too fine of point on it but the Lobby Bar, in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Museum of Glass, offers up a special “Glass Lady” cocktail that comes with your very own hand-painted glass by the hotel’s resident artist. Cheers!
If a visit to the Museum of Glass is on your agenda, you may just find yourself changing up your plans a bit once you’ve checked into Hotel Murano. Granted, you’ll still want to keep your appointment at the house that Chihuly built but you’ll find plenty of other flawless works by glass artists from around the world lining the walls of every guest room corridor.
For me, taking in the art work (along with the artists’ stories) from the elevator to my room was like taking a walk through a mini-museum. So much so, that I found myself padding additional time into my itinerary for an entire art tour of all 25 guest room floors. If you don’t find the time for a stop at every floor during your visit you’re missing out.
But the art doesn’t stop at the end of the hall. Work from more than 45 glass artists from around the world are sprinkled throughout the hotel including the impossible to miss 104-foot-tall sculpture which defines the hotel’s entryway.
Back in your room you’ll find hand blown glass lamps and plenty of other luxury amenities that go a long way in the art of relaxation. I’m a sucker for pillow menus and Hotel Murano did not disappoint. In addition to the the pillows from Swedish designers Adam & Viktoria that graced my king bed the additions from the pillow menu made for a perfect night’s rest. Custom designed side chairs line the expansive windows that overlook the city and the waterfront (a perfect place to enjoy your morning in-room tea or coffee), while the spacious bathroom topped off in white Carrera marble tile allows for plenty of luxuriating.
Hotel Murano is located at 1320 Broadway Plaza in downtown Tacoma, WA. Reservations can be made by phone at (253) 238-8000 or online at www.hotelmuranotacoma.com