Nordstrom is my department store of choice in Seattle. There's not a store where you will find better quality, selection, and customer service than this one. And of all the locations, the downtown (the first Nordstroms EVER!) location is the best. While there is not free parking, they will reimburse you for an hour or two if you purchase something at the store. Make sure and ask for details. If you want parking all day, try Northgate or Bell Square.
I live in Queen Anne and go to Bartells all the time! I use their pharmacy, I get film developed there, I buy bathroom products and even some food items there... and the best part is that I can go whenever I want. There's no hurry to make it in before they close because they never do - not even the pharmacy!
I used to live in the apartments connected to the Springhill Suites. It's a nice location - very close to the downtown shopping area and the Convention Center. The staff is relatively helpful, from what I can remember (I had friends who stayed there when I lived next door). Overall, the hotel is fine, but not impressive. If you are visiting Seattle, you ought to have a great experience. Try Inn at the Market, the Sorrento, or Hotel Monaco.
My uncle came to town last summer and stayed at the Hotel Monaco. I'd always wondered what the hotel would look like inside, but being from here and not too apt to stay in a hotel downtown, I never got the chance to see. Well, I was truly impressed with the place. It was gorgeous inside, with great decor and remarkable class for a hotel in Seattle. The hotel offers specials, too, or so my uncle said, so check it out.
To me, the Sorrento is pure elegance. It's an old hotel located in Seattle's First Hill area with so much class. Really, Seattle is not all that old of a city and cultural landmarks like this aren't so easy to come across. The restaurant at the hotel is also very good, and maintains a normal local clientele in addition to the tourists who stay at the hotel. Try the smoked salmon eggs benedict!
Many of you are probably familiar with the Essential Bakery's breads and rolls. They sell them at locations throughout the Pacific Northwest. That said, the bakeries themselves offer so much more than any grocery store carrying their products does. Soups, salads, and sandwiches are prepared on the spot, served fresh and taste delicious. All soups and salads come with ciabatta style bread that's lightly salted and to die for.
I really like the Capitol Club. There aren't too many nice restaurants to eat at on Capitol Hill, but this place has pretty good food and a nice bar upstairs. It's one of the nicest places to eat on the hill, that's for sure. They serve food till pretty late, too, so if you are up for catching a late bit before you head out for the night, try the Capitol Club.
No matter which location you go to, you will be impressed with the selection of frozen (but really good!!) food that Trader Joe's offers. I don't typically buy frozen food, but the quality of what this store has to offer is hands down the best around. The store also has a nice beer and wine selection from around the world, as well as a stash of good cheeses. There are stores in the U District, Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, Burien, on the Eastside, and in Shoreline!
I have known of UCB for years, but it was only when the store came to Pacific Place that I was able to check out the clothing selection and prices. Unfortunately, I wasn't impressed at all! The clothes are not bad, but for the prices UCB charges, I am really surprised that they sell in Seattle. I would recommend trying another shop like Club Monaco or Banana Republic before this one.
My best friend worked at Scarecrow for years, so I was introduced to the store by a true expert. This video store will literally floor you with all they have to offer. They have all the new movies and an incredible selection of new and old foreign films. The store has arranged their film selections according to director, genre, and country. It's not difficult to find what you're looking for but they have a lot of staff to help if you have any problems.