Hotel Murano, A Review

The quick and dirty: Cool boutique hotel on the inside, crappy post-mid-century modern (read: not attractive) beige building on the outside, with service that was mostly, but not entirely, “ept.”

For those of you who want more exhaustive details, then please keep reading below!

During our recent stint in Tacoma, we stayed at the Hotel Murano, which is owned by a regional upscale hotel chain. It is well located in the center of town and happens to be festooned with an amazing collection of glass art. The hotel itself is in a building that looks to have been erected in the 60s or 70s. So, while they have attractively rehabbed the interior, given what they had to work with, the exterior of the hotel is still less-than-compelling visually.

Pictured below is our standard king room. It was functional, well designed, the bed was comfortable, the view pleasant, and there were two great bathrobes, one of which actually fit Tom. (Often, when we travel, we are supplied with two robes that seem designed for Lilliputians.) We had a few quibbles: the phone didn’t work properly, nor did the television remote or the safe. We asked them to replace/fix the latter two issues, which they did speedily.

For lunch, we tried the hotel restaurant called Bite. I can say this about their food — what it lacks in excitement and quality, they make up for with portion size. The service, well, that’s a bit difficult to put my finger on. I guess it could best be described as accidentally brusque; I don’t think they realized they weren’t providing a good experience, if that makes any sense.

Some interesting features:

  • They incorporate a bit o’ whimsy into the mundane. Their “do not disturb sign” says “tied up” instead. And, they have a notice in your room that informs you: “A copy of the News Tribune is included with your stay. If you do not wish to receive the newspaper, please contact the front desk for a $0.18 refund.”

  • Each floor has an exhibit devoted to a single glass artist. Shown above is a corset from the artist on our floor: Susan Taylor Glasgow. I was enamored of this piece. She takes symbols related to the domestication of women and makes them into glass forms that are attached via non traditional methods, such as the stitching, shown here. Mesmerizing. (A snapshot of Susan working on this piece can be found below.)

  • On the restaurant floor, there was an Argentinian glass artist named Miriam di Fiore, who now lives in Italy. Her work is captured in a photo below, as well.

  • The lobby is very lively and appealing, with a bar, and also some fabulous works of art, such as the two canoes suspended from the ceiling.

  • There is a seating area outside the lobby, along the sidewalk, with music piped in, an outdoor fireplace, and some cushy upholstered furniture. I was delighted to see a hotel trying to contribute to an active street scene in this way. Bravo!

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