Have you found your village? You know, the people you can turn to for strength during a tough time. The people you text late at night because you remember something funny you forgot to tell them. The friends who know to pack extra snacks in case your kids want some, too. The ladies you want to hang with at a Moms’ Weekend.
I’m lucky enough to have several villages. One of my most important villages has been my PEPS group. We met when our first-born babies were just a few months old and we had no idea what we were doing. Now, we’re parents of preschoolers and I honestly don’t know how I would have managed without this group of incredible women.
During the past two years, we’ve managed to coordinate three Moms’ Weekends. The first one was in Wenatchee, WA and the second was in Portland, OR. While those were awesome trips, we realized that we spent a lot of time driving to those destinations. Precious hours that could have been spent drinking, eating or napping. So, we decided that Bellevue, WA would be the ultimate spot for our third Moms’ Weekend.
The W Bellevue opened in July 2017 at the New Lincoln Square. It has an ultra-modern vibe and features Bellevue’s hippest speakasy, Civility and Unrest. They also have a DJ who plays in the Living Room Bar, next to the lobby. And James Beard Award Winner Chef Jason Wilson has his farmhouse restaurant The Lakehouse at W Bellevue.
The design of this hotel is really beautiful. There are lots of pockets of places for people just to hang out and relax. Our favorite area was The Library. They have couches and tons of books/games. It was a great place to chat before figuring out where to eat. Plus they had awesome chairs!
What we loved
We were able to get adjoining Cozy rooms that each had 2 queen beds. We propped the adjoining doors open and it felt like we were in a luxury suite! Definitely the perfect set-up for a Moms’ Weekend.
The wallpaper in the bathroom was bold and super fun! There were super comfy window seats/couches, that were perfect for hanging out and chatting. There was plenty of room for our luggage and winter coats. The shower is HUGE! And there’s a Nespresso machine.
And the fact that we could walk to great restaurants and shopping is a major perk of the W Bellevue. It made it easy for us to run up leftover food and shopping bags to our room before continuing on to other activities. It also allowed us to rest and relax while contemplating our next move.
What we didn’t love
The W Bellevue is a bit tricky to find. The lobby is on the second floor, almost hidden around the corner from the elevator. Thankfully, there were tons of staff members eager to direct us. Unfortunately, the hotel does not pop up on GPS (as of Nov 5, 2017.) That means we had to meet our Uber driver at Wild Ginger (next to the W Hotel) in order for him to find us. We also tried to get pizza delivered, but had to cancel when they couldn’t figure out where we were located (even with the correct address.) I’m guessing this is a temporary problem, but it’s a problem none-the-less.
There were also a few “quirky” things about our hotel room. While we loved the large size of the rooms, it felt a bit like the shower was in the middle of the room. That was a bit awkward for a Mom’s weekend set-up. There were large wood doors to give privacy while someone was showering, however someone could open the room door and anyone walking in the hallway would be able to see someone showering. And there was a giant 3-panel mirror facing the shower.
We kicked off our Moms Weekend by dining out at Cantinetta in Old Bellevue. Holy moly this ambiance here is lovely! There are little white lights on the street and inside has candles. We felt like we were in a movie!
Cantinetta specializes in hand-made pasta, so that’s what we ordered. The noodles were light and springy and we all ate more than we expected. The menu changes seasonally. They also have two locations in Seattle.
Most of us had dined at Wild Ginger in Seattle many times. They cater the food at The Triple Door and they are known for their Asian-fusion food. I usually order seafood and it’s pretty tasty.
We tried out Wild Ginger‘s new weekend dim sum brunch. We ordered one of everything. Most items came with two or three pieces, which we cut up to share. Definitely not my favorite dim sum place. My family does dim sum every once-in-awhile from Chinese restaurants. This was definitely a different version of dim sum than I’m used to. The flavors and textures didn’t hit the mark for me. But, the stand-out dish was the chow fun with house-made noodles. The flavors were on-point!
Cyprus Lounge & Wine Bar
We did a late evening appetizer dinner at Cyprus Lounge & Wine Bar at the Westin Bellevue. The quality of the food was much better than we expected for a hotel lounge. The garlic fries and aioli were super tasty and easy to share. We tried several items and they were all great!
Sugar Factory is part of The Shops at the Bravern located near The Bellevue Collection. It just opened a few months ago and we were eager to try it out for brunch as our last meal of Moms’ Weekend. After experiencing it, we realized it’s mostly for people to go and Instagram or Snapchat their insanely decadent drink. Instead, I recommend people check out Din Tai Fung, the almost-open Taylor Shellfish Farms, or Mariposa at Neiman Marcus.
Girls’ Weekend Activities
The Bellevue Collection
It’s kind of a tradition on our Moms’ Weekend to go shopping when do weekend getaways. One of the main reasons we chose to stay at the W Hotel was because it’s part of The Bellevue Collection. The Bellevue Collection consists of several blocks of shopping, dining, lodging and entertainment.
One of the highlights for half our group was getting fitted for bras at Nordstrom. And after finding our correct size and brands that fit, we were able to find additional bras at the new Nordstrom Rack on clearance! Full disclosure: we may have visited Nordstrom Rack 3 times during our 2-night stay since it was right next to our hotel!
Starbucks at The Lodge
As Moms, we can’t get enough coffee. The Starbucks at The Lodge was recently renovated and they feature several drink options only available at a handful of stores. We opted to try their cold brew flights. Since there were 6 of us, we shared 2 flights. Each flight came with 4 drink samples. Our barista was so friendly and she took the time to explain each cold brew option to us. After trying all of them, the clear winner for us was the Bellevue Chai. It was frothy and creamy, like a dirty chai milkshake. It’s the kind of drink you won’t stop thinking about.
I’ve been a fan of Truce Spa at the Westin Bellevue for years. It’s next door to the W Bellevue and it’s one of the most relaxing spas I’ve experienced. It was a nice way to start our morning. I recommend calling them a week or two prior so they can confirm your appointment. They sometimes have limited staffing.
We were really excited to check out the new Cinemark Reserve at Bellevue Square. This is not to be confused with the Cinemark at Lincoln Square, also in Downtown Bellevue. The Cinemark Reserve is a 21+ theater with reserved seating and dining options.
Since we were on a Moms’ Weekend, it was only fitting that we watch A Bad Mom’s Christmas! We were able to order our tickets and choose our seats easily online. Then, I just typed in my confirmation number and printed the tickets at the theater.
Inside, we loved the reclined chairs and foot rests. They also are heated! We were able to order drinks and snacks quickly during the previews. Since it’s a new theater, everything felt pretty clean and we’re excited to go back again.