SEATTLE -- A landmark building in Seattle's Belltown district since 1926, the Claremont Hotel has been transformed into the Hotel Andra, which is scheduled to open April 16.

The 119-room property was closed in January for renovation. The hotel would not release the cost of the refit other than to say it was "several million dollars."

"It's a pretty extreme cosmetic renovation, and it involves all the rooms and public areas," a spokeswoman said. "We'll go from a traditional European decor to a more modern, contemporary look."

The hotel was acquired in late 2002 by investor Craig Schafer, who also owns the Best Western University Towers in Seattle.

Schafer wanted to create an upscale, four-star hotel geared to business and leisure travelers -- and a gathering place for locals who are moving downtown, said the spokeswoman.

"This is an area north of the retail core of downtown where a lot of high-end housing is being built," she said.

At one corner of the hotel, at Fourth and Virginia streets, will be a restaurant and bar operated by chef Tom Douglas. The restaurant, as yet unnamed, is expected to open by summer and will provide room service and catering for meetings and events at the hotel.

The Hotel Andra's design reflects the Pacific Northwest, with the use of water images, wood and earth tones, she said. The design also features Scandinavian touches -- hence the hotel's new name.

The hotel's rooms average more than 400 square feet. The largest is the Monarch Suite at 1,500 square feet. There is also 4,000 square feet of meetings and banquets space, including a new 1,200-square-foot boardroom.

Rooms have flat-screen TVs and desks with two-line cordless phones, voice mail and wireless Internet access.

Rates start at $189 for standard rooms and rise to $525 for the Monarch Suite. For more information, contact the hotel at (800) 448-8601 or

In other news from Seattle:

• The Edgewater Hotel is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' stay with Fab Four-Oh! at the Edgewater.

In 1964, the Beatles caused a stir when they fished from a window at the Edgewater. Throughout the year, the hotel is hosting gala events relating to the Beatles' visit. Hotel staff are outfitted in Sgt. Pepper uniforms, and the Six Seven restaurant has a Beatles-inspired menu.

In addition, the Edgewater is offering two room plans -- Day Tripper and Strawberry Fields Forever -- for Beatlemaniacs.

Day Tripper is priced from $189 per room, double, and includes a Beatles CD and Beatles-inspired cocktails. Strawberry Fields Forever is priced from $229 and covers breakfast for two and chocolate-dipped strawberries at turndown.

For more information, call the Fab Four-Oh! "hotline" at (888) PENNY-LN or visit

• The three Kimpton Hotels in Seattle created packages for women traveling together.

The Alexis Hotel's Serenity and Sisterhood plan includes yoga instruction and a one-hour massage and breakfast. The price is $575 for two; additional guests pay $185 when staying in the same room. Call (866) 356-8894.

The Hotel Monaco's plan is called Refresh Your Mind, Body and Soul and also features massages, private palm and tarot card readings and wine and cheese on arrival. The package price is $455 for two; additional guests pay $150. Call (800) 715-6513.

The Hotel Vintage Park package is called Wine Women and Wellness and includes a book on wine, facials or massages and a bottle of wine. The price is $470 for two; additional guests pay $150.

The hotel also has a Gals Just Want to Have Wine plan that features a bottle of wine, a tour of local wineries with private guide, a picnic lunch, manicures and pedicures. The price is $565 for two; additional guests pay $150. Call (800) 853-3914.

• The Seattle Art Museum will feature two major exhibitions this year. A selection of paintings from one of Holland's top museums will be on display May 29 through Sept. 12. It will feature works by Seurat, Picasso, Mondrian and Van Gogh. Some of the works have never before been shown in the U.S.

• The Museum of Flight is slated to open a new wing on June 6, the 60th anniversary of D-Day. The expansion will showcase 28 World War I and World War II fighter aircraft. Web:

To contact reporter Laura Del Rosso, send e-mail to [email protected].

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