Hotels in Old Town in Portland, Maine

by Pamela Wright

The historic district in Portland, Maine, is called Old Port, a lively, restored warehouse district with 19th-century brick architecture, cobblestone streets and alleys, and a variety of shops and restaurants. Technically, there are only two hotels in Old Port, but there are a couple more nearby on the historic waterfront district, within easy walking distance of Old Port.

Portland Regency

This longstanding hotel in Old Port, now on the register of Historic Hotels of America, is housed in a former state armory and was once home to the Maine National Guard. The 1895 Federal-style brick building has been updated to include 95 rooms with classic wood furnishings and neutral taupe, tan and creamy white palettes. Original wood-paneled walls and moldings and turret windows are found throughout the hotel. The lobby features a wall-size world map, wood paneling and leather furniture. On-site modern amenities feature a full-service spa, fitness center with steam and sauna rooms, and restaurant.

Portland Harbor Hotel

This boutique hotel, adjacent from the Portland Regency Hotel, is also in the heart of Old Port. A grand wood banister staircase leads to an elegant and hushed lobby with wood paneling and floors and oriental rugs. Rooms are decorated with yellow and blue palettes, overlooking an interior courtyard garden or city streets. Six suites have marble bathrooms with whirlpool tubs, separate walk-in showers, and two-sided fireplaces. The AAA four-diamond property offers underground parking and has a modern fitness center, full-service spa and restaurant on site.

Hilton Garden

This six-story hotel is located in Portland's historic waterfront area, within easy walking distance to Old Port galleries, shops and restaurants. The hotel sits across the street from the Casco Bay waterfront. Walk a couple blocks into the city and you're in Old Port. Rooms at the hotel feature a neutral palette with soft off-white and tan walls and fabrics. Each has a mini-refrigerator and microwave oven. The hotel also has an on-site lounge, swimming pool and fitness center.

Holiday Inn by the Bay

Located near the Portland Convention Center, in the historic waterfront district, this 11-story hotel has 239 rooms. It's within a few blocks of Old Port, so guests can easily park their car here for free and tour the city on foot. Rooms are simply furnished with floral bed coverings, wall-to-wall carpet, and white or pastel painted walls; some have water or city views. A big draw for this hotel is the large indoor swimming pool and fitness center with a sauna room. A restaurant is also located on site. The hotel offers free van shuttles to and from the airport.

About the Author

Pamela Wright is a freelance writer, author of more than two dozen guidebooks, and hundreds of articles. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including "National Geographic Traveler," "Family Circle," "Family Fun," "Backpacker," "Hemispheres," "Cooking Light," "Yankee" and more. An active member of the Society of American Travel Writers, she holds a Bachelor's from Michigan State University