Seattle is one of America’s most popular cities for business travel, and also one of its most expensive with average costs of nearly $400 per day. If you’re doing business in the area, it makes sense to get out of the city and into the suburbs. Out-of-towners might not have heard of Bellevue, but they’ll soon realize it’s Washington’s business capital.
Hotels Designed with Business Travelers in Mind
For a swanky neighborhood, it’s surprisingly easy to find a range of cheap Bellevue hotels. From the budget-friendly Courtyard by Marriott Seattle Bellevue/Downtown to the more opulent Hyatt Regency Bellevue, there’s bound to be a hotel to suit your tastes and your company’s budget. Unlike Seattle, even the high-end hotels are still relatively reasonable, so if you have a taste for luxury you’ll appreciate how far your dollar will go.
Even if you choose a cheap and cheerful establishment like the Days Inn Bellevue Seattle, you’re likely to have access to a business center and free WiFi so you can stay connected to clients and colleagues. Many also have free parking, which can amount to substantial savings for anyone using their own vehicle or a rental.
The Center of Big Business
Many big businesses with headquarters and branches in Seattle are actually based in the Eastside suburb of Bellevue. It’s home to Microsoft, Symetra, Nintendo, T-Mobile USA, HTC Corporation, Paccar Inc., Adobe, and heaps more. Unusually, many more people leave Seattle to work in this Eastside suburb every day rather than the other way around.
You might think that driving the seven miles from Seattle to Bellevue for a business meeting would be no big deal, but it’s easy to underestimate the peak hour rush. In times of heavy traffic it could take you as much as an hour to reach your destination. You’ll have far less chance of missing your meetings if you stay in Bellevue or the North Bellevue neighborhood.
Interesting Restaurants for Business Lunches
Leisurely lunches are an essential part of any business trip. Seattle might have more well-known restaurants, but Bellevue’s are much more diverse. Nearly a third of Bellevue’s locals are foreign born, including many residents hailing from China, India, Mexico, and Russia. They’ve brought their native cuisines to Bellevue and set up some of the most affordable and exotic restaurants you’ll find in Washington.
Watching the workers at Din Tai Fung, on the second floor of Lincoln Square mall, crafting hand-pleated dumplings is enough to get your tastebuds tingling. As Fodor’s remarks, “It’s a good thing the sight is so entertaining, because there’s often a long wait.” Of course it wouldn’t be so popular if its authentic Chinese cuisine wasn’t so good. Specialty cocktails add swank to local Vietnamese restaurant Monsoon East. For something really different, try the fusion of Malaysian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Indonesian influences at Wild Ginger. A meal at any of these restaurants can be enough to seal any business deal.
Have you had a business trip in Bellevue? Make sure to share your experiences with others by leaving a comment below.