Tacoma’s  landmark hotel is one of the nicest in all of Puget Sound—including downtown Seattle . The one-of-a-kind Hotel Murano (1320 Broadway Plaza, 253/238-8000, www.hotelmuranotacoma.com , $189–229 d, suites $249–469) pays homage to Tacoma’s glassblowing scene in a big way.
Named for the famous Italian glassmaking town, Murano will impress you right away with the enormous glass Viking boats crafted by Vibeke Skov, which are suspended from the lobby ceiling and reflect light differently throughout the day. From there it just gets better.
There are pieces from all of the biggest glassmaking names around the world, including hometown hero Dale Chihuly, scattered through the lobby and posh lobby bar, the upstairs bistro, and the rest of the public nooks here.
Most exciting are the individual pieces facing each elevator exit on every guest floor at this 21-floor tower. These glass pieces were specially commissioned for the hotel, and along each hallway there is an interpretive display honoring each artist’s vision for the work and pictures showing the making of the piece.
The rooms themselves are hardly a footnote to the story—they are stylishly decorated with modern furnishing, über-comfy beds, and sumptuous linens. The service is top notch, without the pretension that would probably surround such a hotel if it were in Seattle .
Every second Tuesday of the month, the hotel opens for a tour led by docents from the Museum of Glass . Held at 2 p.m., the tour takes you through the public spaces, meeting rooms, and guest floors, which normally are not open to the public. The tour costs $5, proceeds to the Museum of Glass.