Seattle’s The Edgewater hotel hosted The Beatles during their 1964 world tour, which gave the hotel its personality as a rock ’n’ roll hotel.
SEATTLE—The Edgewater hotel in Seattle made its claim to fame after The Beatles stayed there during the band’s 1964 world tour.
Since then, the hotel has held on to its rock ’n’ roll reputation by hosting well-known bands and musicians such as Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa and Pearl Jam, and by creating and revamping suites to celebrate local and legendary bands.
Bob Peckenpaugh, GM at The Edgewater, said the hotel was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair—which is the same year Seattle’s Space Needle was built—but became an iconic hotel after The Beatles’ visit two years later.
“What really made The Edgewater special was in 1964, when all other hotels in Seattle refused to have The Beatles stay with them … the GM at the time made the decision to have them here. For me … that was the defining (moment) that separated The Edgewater from … just being another hotel,” he said, adding he has worked at 15 hotels in his career.
Peckenpaugh joined The Edgewater in 1984 as a front-desk clerk and had the experience of checking in many rock stars. He worked at other hotels after that and eventually returned to The Edgewater in 2016 as the hotel’s GM.
The Edgewater sits on Elliott Bay, and at one point in time, when the hotel was still called The Edgewater Inn, the property rented out fishing equipment and sold bait to guests wanting to fish out their guestroom windows, Peckenpaugh said.
The iconic photo of The Beatles fishing out of a window was taken at The Edgewater, he said, and others latched onto the craze later on. Frank Zappa caught a mud shark from his window and let it swim around in his room’s bathtub, Peckenpaugh said.
There are many stories of musicians doing crazy things at The Edgewater, and all of those antics are influenced by The Beatles’ famous stay.
“This hotel was given a personality by The Beatles staying here,” Peckenpaugh said. “This hotel, to me, was a boutique hotel before the term boutique hotel came out.”
The Edgewater’s got the stories, but it also has suites dedicated to influential bands, Peckenpaugh said, and will “continue the rock ’n’ roll theme in the future” by redesigning a new suite each year for the next couple of years.
The addition of a Beatles suite at the hotel was a no-brainer, Peckenpaugh said. The suite was renovated this year to be “more contemporary and a lot more fun,” he added.
A suite dedicated to Seattle’s own Pearl Jam will be added to the hotel this year, he said, which will feature a Mother Love Bone mural—painted by Pearl Jam’s drummer—above the bed because most of the members of Pearl Jam also were in that band.
“We thought that (there’s) no better partnership than to partner with an iconic Seattle rock ’n’ roll band,” Peckenpaugh said.
The Edgewater also recently updated its sign on top of the building to LED so it can change color for certain events and celebrations, such as the Fourth of July, according to Peckenpaugh.
Bringing in the locals
The hotel’s owner, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, believes everyone has an Edgewater story, which is why it’s important to make the local crowd feel welcome, Peckenpaugh said.
Locals have relatives who have gotten married there or have gotten engaged at the hotel, he said, and people are always reaching out via email to host events and celebrate important milestones at the hotel.