When I first moved to the area, my company used Northwest Suites to book us an apartment for temporary housing. The service was fairly well run - you pick up your keys at a central location and then go to your apartment from there.
The apartment was clean when we moved in, and Northwest Suites provided a cleaning service every 2 weeks, which worked out nicely. They also provided the furniture which was nothing spectacular, but suitable for a temporary housing situation.
It was an ok experience during a stressful time of moving to a new state.
We used the Redmond Marriott Town Center for the guests who attended our wedding in May 2005, and were very pleased.
Their group reservations contact was in constant touch with me via email several months before the wedding to let me know who had made reservations. They distributed the gift bags I created to our guests as they checked in, and this went very smoothly.
No one reported any issues with the hotel, and many of our guests commented on how nice and new the rooms were.
The hotel restaurant (Meritage) has excellent breakfast and it was easy to get a seat, though we had a party of about 10 people.
The hotel is conveniently located in Redmond Town Center, so there's plenty of parking, shopping and places to eat within walking distance.
They handled our small group (about 10 rooms) really well.
PROS: great location, great service
We used Dave, who works with his equally-awesome wife Sandra, to buy our house in Redmond in 2004. They were referred to us by friends, and we are so glad we listened to their referral.
Both are great at responding to both phone calls and email, which is very convenient. They were available to us whenever we needed them. In fact, we still keep in touch with them when we need a referral for a handyman, or other house-related service.
Dave was previously a contractor so he has a wealth of info on what needs to be fixed in a house, and how much it might cost (roughly). Sandra is a killer negotiator, and presents her offers in person to the seller and agent. (We've never heard of that before!) She got us our house for *less* than the asking price!
After collecting info on our requirements via email, the first time we met with Sandra she brought 7 listings she thought would fit our needs. The very first house was the one we bought - it was absolutely perfect! She didn't make us see a single house that didn't meet our requirements. They also didn't pressure us into the decision - we saw the house 2 more times that same weekend before making an offer.
We will use them for every real estate transaction we have in Seattle - they were so easy to work with!
PROS: responsive, easy to work with, low pressure
Footzone is a great place to buy running shoes if you need some assistance choosing the right pair. The staff is made up of runners, and they have expertise in analyzing your gait and figuring out which shoe is best for you.
As a beginning runner, I was afraid to go into an actual running store, but they made me feel very at ease as soon as I walked in. I tried on several pairs of shoes while the analyzed my foot. We settled on one shoe that fit perfectly and has seen me through several 5K races.
Prices are quite expensive (no huge sales here!) but you will end up with the right shoe for your foot. The expertise of the staff is worth paying for, if you are looking for a good pair of running shoes to avoid injury and discomfort.
Parking is easy to find since the store is in Redmond Town Center.
PROS: great location, excellent staff
The Humane Society has several dog training classes, usually 6-week sessions, taught by professional dog trainers in the area. In addition to the high quality training class, you can feel good about supporting a great cause.
We have taken our dogs to 3 different classes here, taught by 2 different instructors and they were very useful. The large training auditorium is a nice facility that allows for dogs to keep far enough apart so as not to distract each other, but everyone can see and hear the instructor. The classes are small so each dog will receive some individual coaching throughout the class.
The fee is less expensive than most dog trainers in the area, and has the added bonus of supporting the Humane Society. Classes are offered at all levels, from puppy kindergarten all the way through advanced courses for therapy certification and AKC obedience certification. The instructors are great with both small and large dogs.
The only small complaint I have is that there is no time for dog socialization (except in the puppy class) due to liability issues. It would be nice to have a few minutes for dogs to play before they get down to business in the class.
We will definitely sign up for more classes here!
We used Family Services for a few sessions of premarital counseling. They were recommended by my company's EAP program and we ended up with Dr. Richard Meeks. He was a great therapist, and even won over my husband who was quite resistant to the idea of counseling. He was very practical and not "touchy-feely", which we both appreciated. He was also extremely up-front about the cost, if we wanted more sessions than my insurance would pay for. We really appreciated that kind of honesty. He also didn't "push" us into buying more sessions.
The office was comfortable, very discreet and quiet, and offered late evening hours, which was convenient. Parking was plentiful.
Hopefully we'll never need counseling again, but if we did, we'd return to Dr. Meeks!
PROS: Dr Meeks is fantastic, parking, evening hours
This drycleaning store offers a discount for Microsoft employees and is conveniently located next to Trader Joe's. Prices are very reasonable compared to some of the other "high end" drycleaners in the area.
They do their cleaning on-site, and in 2 years, have never lost or ruined a garment I've given them. The owner is very friendly. They also do alterations, and do a nice job with them if you don't mind trying on the garment in the tiny fitting room at the front of the store.
Parking is plentiful as it's in a strip mall. They are open every day except Sunday. I see no reason to take my clothes anywhere else for drycleaning.
This small company has a huge selection of items you can rent for your wedding or special event, including tableware, canopies, furniture and more.
We rented a wrought iron canopy (aka a chuppah frame) for our May wedding. We had them deliver it and set it up/take it down at the wedding location. The price was very reasonable. Our florist decorated it, though Rented Elegance will decorate it for an extra fee if you prefer. They have several different chuppah designs to choose from. They delivered it on time.
My only complaint is that they are slow to respond to email and are often not in the office to answer phone calls. It takes a few days for them to return your call, and much longer to return email. However, their service was very reliable and I'd use them again.
PROS: large selection, reasonable prices
CONS: hard to reach via phone or email
This is not your usual frou-frou jewelry store. They have quite a collection of modern and unique pieces. They also offer a lot of traditional jewelry.
Prices are very reasonable, ranging from inexpensive to very expensive, depending on the piece.
We bought my husband's wedding ring there, and he always gets compliments on it, as it is a unique style from a German designer.
The staff is not pushy at all, and very patient about showing different items and letting you have time to make up your mind. They are also willing to show pieces even if you have no intention of buying them, which is a nice change from the usual "snooty" store personnel at other upscale jewelry stores.
Since they are located in the mall, parking is very easy to find.
PROS: unique inventory, ease of parking
If you are interested in learning a new language or some other kind of academic subject, I recommend you avoid BCC's non-credit classes and take a class for credit, either at a community college or one of the major universities in the area.
The instructor I had at BCC for German was great, and a native speaker, but the class only met once a week and the other students in the class were of varying levels, which made it hard to learn anything. We covered material quite slowly, and only once a week, which isn't a great way to learn a language.
The facility was ok, but the audiovisual equipment didn't always work which was frustrating.
It was an average experience, and a nice intro to German, but for serious learners, another university or language school would be better.