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Seattle: on the trail of Fifty Shades

Seattle Fifty Shades of Grey - Fifty Shades of Grey on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few months you will no doubt have heard of the success of the Fifty Shades Trilogy of books. Love them or hate them, the steamy best sellers have been credited with boosting tourism to America’s favourite rainy city. Apparently at least 20 “young and attractive” women arrive each day from all over the globe to stop by the Escala to take their picture taken in front of the swanky high-rise building. Many even ask for a tour of Christian Grey’s $6 million penthouse (they should be so lucky).

You can find reasonable flights to Seattle all year round and for popular fiction loving visitors who want to create their own heat in Seattle there is no shortage of book-mentioned hotels and landmarks to explore:

Escala

Escala Seattle - Fifty Shades of Grey Guide on GlobalGrasshopper.com

This is the high-rise downtown condo where billionaire entrepreneur Christian Grey woos his love interest. The building – located in the Belltown neighbourhood of Seattle – is the most opulent building you can find in the city and is home to the swanky Escala penthouses. While gaining access is likely to be difficult (and could possibly get you arrested) standing outside and having your photo taken is a much more viable option.

Mile High Club Columbia Tower Seattle

Mile High Club Columbia Tower Seattle - Fifty Shades of Grey on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Christian takes Anastasia for a celebratory dinner at the “Mile High Club” (78th floor) in Columbia Tower following her promotion to acting editor. In real life the swanky club offers some of the best views of the city as well as networking events, although be aware it’s an exclusive members club and you may need your very own Christian Grey to get in.

Fairmont Olympic Hotel

Fairmont Olympic Hotel - Fifty Shades of Grey on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Christian takes Ana to keep her safe while Leila evades his security team and they check into the Cascade Suite under the names Mr. and Mrs. Taylor. The historic hotel five star Fairmont Olympic has long been a favourite with international heads of states, royalty and celebrities. Occupying the city block between 4th and 5th Avenue and between University and Seneca Streets, a stay is likely to set you back at least $250 a night.

Wine Bars

Purple Cafe and Wine Bar - Fifty Shades of Grey on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Okay we may have cheated on this one as although these weren’t mentioned in the book, there are many bars in Seattle that Anastasia and best friend Kate could well have visited. A watering hole for late night hipsters is the Black Bottle. Conveniently located in the nightlife area of the Belltown neighbourhood, it’s a wine bar attracting a young and lively professional crowd who keep coming back for more.

Another gorgeous Seattle wine bar is the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. Ranked as one of Seattle’s best wine bars and restaurants you can climb the spiral staircase to watch sous chefs prepare appetisers from the upstairs balcony, or sip cocktails by the beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Edgewater Hotel

The Edgewater Hotel Seattle - Fifty Shades of Grey on GlobalGrasshopper.com

The Edgewater Hotel doesn’t feature in the novel but it does offer a ’50 Shades Of Romance’ package. The hotel enjoys a prime location on the waterfront and the saucy package includes accommodation in a Premium Waterside suite, a sailing jaunt on Puget Sound, the obligatory bottle of Bollinger, a map of Seattle sites that crop up in the story and a test drive in a high-powered Audi sports car (fans of the book will instantly recognise the Audi connection). Available until 30 September, this package costs from $914 per night.

Hotel Max

Hotel Max Seattle - Fifty Shades of Grey on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Seattle’s Hotel Max is another hotel cashing-in on Seattle’s Fifty Shades fame. The four star downtown hotel offers a $1669 two-night package that includes a chauffeured town car service, a helicopter tour and a skippered-sunset cruise (inspired by the Puget Sound sail enjoyed by the book’s main characters) complete with a gourmet picnic and a bottle of Bollinger Grande Annee Rose 1999 champagne – a favourite of Mr Grey’s himself.

With roots in Bavaria, a home in England and a heart in Scandinavia I've always been a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I've lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up over 35 countries on trips and living in both Dublin and Australia. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations away from the crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not travelling, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, wandering the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting around for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my all time favourite places in the world - Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.

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