Sorrento Hotel – Seattle, Washington

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 20 September 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Introduction of Sorrento Hotel

The Sorrento Hotel is a mysterious jewel tucked away in the middle of Seattle, Washington. You are not just checking into a hotel as you enter its revered doors; you are also starting your own unique adventure into the unknown. There is a tapestry of mysteries hidden behind the opulent interiors and majestic exterior that brave explorers like you must unravel. Here, the past and present blend together to create an opulent and enigmatic ambiance that promises a singular experience.

Sorrento Hotel Marker
Sorrento Hotel Marker – Credit StephenTravels

History of Sorrento Hotel

The Sorrento Hotel, located in the center of Seattle, has a history that is both terrifying and interesting, earning it a reputation as one of Seattle and Washington’s most haunted locations. When this mysterious establishment initially opened its doors in 1909, everyone who saw it were instantly terrified by the way it was built. The Sorrento Hotel featured an unpleasant front that defied the standards of its period with its odd and frightening architectural choices.

One of the most notorious spectral guests at the Sorrento Hotel is the ghost of Alice B. Toklas. Her presence is known to have haunted the corridors and rooms, offering guests an otherworldly encounter that goes beyond what they paid for. Alice’s spectral visits add an extra layer of mystique to the Sorrento’s already intriguing history.

The Sorrento Hotel is still a compelling reminder of Seattle’s colorful past. It has a strange and unpleasant past that has attracted curious tourists and thrill seekers throughout the years. The Sorrento Hotel, where history and the paranormal collide in the center of the city, continues to be a memorable destination with its blend of eerie charm and contemporary conveniences.

Historic Sorrento Hotel
Historic Sorrento Hotel – Credit Historylink

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

Ghost of Alice – Haunted Room 408

In the heart of Hotel Sorrento resides a legend that beckons those with a taste for the mysterious. This tale centers on the spectral presence of Alice B. Toklas, whose ghostly figure roams the hotel’s historic halls. Room 408, it’s said, is where her apparition lingers most often, dressed either in white or black.

Alice Toklas, known for her activism and as the creator of the iconic weed brownie, seemingly transcended her mortal bounds. Witness reports suggest she has the power to make lights flicker mysteriously, leaving guests in wonder. Her spectral influence extends to the Dunbar Room, where drinks are known to move seemingly of their own accord in her ethereal company.

Although it’s highly improbable that Toklas walked these halls in life, her presence is indisputable. Hotel Sorrento’s reputation as one of the country’s thirteen most haunted hotels owes much to her lingering spirit.

What’s more, the hotel not only acknowledges Alice but honors her. In 2018, they hosted a special dinner in her name, featuring recipes from her cookbook. Guests began with a sumptuous feast before embarking on a guided tour of the hotel, visiting the very spots Toklas is said to have frequented, immersing themselves in her enigmatic aura.

At Hotel Sorrento, you’ll find more than just a place to rest your head; you’ll encounter a legend that blurs the lines between the living and the spectral. The story of Alice B. Toklas, her ghostly presence in room 408, and her watchful eye over the entire hotel is an intriguing addition to its rich history. Whether you’re a believer in the supernatural or not, the legend of Alice Toklas at Hotel Sorrento adds an undeniable mystique to this timeless venue, where history and the enigmatic coexist seamlessly.

Phantom Pianist – Haunted 7th Floor

Another chapter of the fable, one that hints of Alice B. Toklas, her ghostly presence, and the puzzling events connected to her spirit, is unfolding within the legendary walls of Hotel Sorrento. She has been seen in the hotel’s outdoor garden and beyond, and visitors have reported finding their drinking glasses inexplicably moved. There is more to this story because Alice’s musical abilities are also mentioned, with a piano on the seventh floor playing eerie melodies when no one is around.

Alice, whose passion for piano led her to study at the University of Washington, seems to have carried her love for music into the afterlife. Guests have attested to the eerie experience of hearing the piano’s delicate melody on the 7th floor, despite the absence of any living pianist.

Her spectral presence is not confined to the indoors; the outdoor garden of Hotel Sorrento has also been touched by her ghostly aura. Many have claimed to catch glimpses of her apparition there, a testament to her lingering connection with this historic establishment.

The most baffling feature of Alice’s legend, though, is how lighthearted she is. Customers have related how, when they momentarily shift their attention elsewhere, their drinking cups appear to travel about the hotel. This spectral prank defies explanation. But ultimately, despite the stories and several interactions, the truth is still difficult to find. The mystery will continue up until Alice’s soul appears before us, perhaps presenting one of her fabled brownies.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage of Sorrento Hotel

Renowned for its storied history and mysterious charm, the Sorrento Hotel has captured the spotlight in numerous books, films, and television shows exploring the realm of the enigmatic.

In literature, the Sorrento Hotel has carved its niche in works such as “Seattle’s Historic Hotels” by Robin Shannon and “Haunted Washington, DC” by Tom Ogden. These literary creations delve deep into the supernatural lore surrounding the hotel, weaving captivating narratives of its ghostly past.

Today, the Sorrento Hotel remains an essential destination for history enthusiasts and those with a fascination for the mysterious. This historic establishment exudes an air of intrigue and the supernatural, beckoning all who seek an immersive encounter with its captivating and enigmatic ambiance.


You’ve experienced luxury during your time at the Sorrento Hotel in Seattle, Washington, but you’ve also stepped into the unknown. You will be accompanied by the echoes of its mysterious past as you move on, serving as a hushed reminder of the mysteries you have touched. The Sorrento Hotel has ingrained itself into the fabric of your recollections, whether you were looking for the thrill of the paranormal or simply relished in the hotel’s magnificence. Know that as you reenter the busy streets of Seattle, you have contributed to a timeless narrative that forges a close bond between you and this exceptional location.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)]

Q. Where is Hotel Sorrento located?

A. Hotel Sorrento is located in the heart of Seattle, Washington.

Q. Is it true that Alice B. Toklas’s ghost roams the hotel?

A. Yes, many guests and staff have reported sightings of Alice B. Toklas’s ghost at Hotel Sorrento, particularly in room 408, the outdoor garden, and even on the 7th floor where a piano sometimes plays mysteriously.

Q. Are there any documented incidents related to Alice Toklas’s ghostly presence?

A. While there have been numerous anecdotes from guests, there are no official documented incidents related to her presence. The experiences remain within the realm of personal accounts and legend.

Q. Can I request to stay in room 408 to experience the paranormal activity?

A. Yes, you can request room 408, but please keep in mind that the availability of this room may vary. Experiencing paranormal activity, however, is not guaranteed and depends on your personal belief in such phenomena.

Q. Is there a specific time when Alice’s ghost is more active in the hotel?

A. Reports of Alice’s ghostly appearances have occurred at various times, day and night. There isn’t a specific pattern to her activity, adding to the mystery of her presence.

Q. Are there any special tours or events related to the Alice B. Toklas legend at the hotel?

A. Yes, Hotel Sorrento has hosted events and tours related to the Alice B. Toklas legend, including a dinner in her honor. These events often showcase her connection to the hotel’s history.

Q. Can I expect any supernatural experiences during my stay at Hotel Sorrento?

A. While some guests have reported eerie encounters, experiencing the supernatural is subjective and not guaranteed. Whether you believe in the legends or not, Hotel Sorrento offers a charming and historic ambiance for all guests to enjoy.

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