Lodging in Portland

by Steven Blum
Portland's downtown has a range of stylish and urbane hotels.

Portland's downtown has a range of stylish and urbane hotels.

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From downtown boutique hotels with vintage furniture to cozy B&Bs on quiet residential streets, there's a Portland hotel for every wish and whim. Hotel rates are usually cheaper during the "rainy season" from October through April, but downtown hotels offer weekend price cuts throughout the year. Whether you're looking to explore the city's thriving music and arts scene or planning a relaxing weekend visit around local farmers' markets and museums, there's a hotel and neighborhood for you.


Most of the business and luxury boutique hotels of Portland are located downtown, where you'll also find many of Portland's attractions, including the Japanese Garden, Powell's Books, the Portland Children's Museum, the massive city library and the Portland Art Gallery. Perhaps most importantly, the Max public transit system in this area is free, meaning you can jet from your hotel room to the attraction of your choice without spending a penny. However, if you're looking to live like a local, there are a plethora of bed and breakfasts in the Irvington neighborhood of northeast Portland. Staying here will give you a real feel for what life is like in the neighborhoods of the city. Those on a budget or just looking to spend a few nights will find most cheap hotels close to the airport.

Hip, Funky Hotels

As Portland becomes a real national player in the food and music scene, a crop of hip hotels have sprung up, catering to a young and urban clientele. Perhaps the most well known of the new lodgings is the Ace Hotel, a boutique hotel close to Powell's Books and decorated playfully with rock memorabilia, vintage furniture, original art by local artists and genuine turntables. Attached to the hotel is the popular Stumptown espresso bar and a restaurant serving organic food. Also popular is the Jupiter Hotel, a completely refurbished motel with retro-themed rooms, piped-in music and a Northwest-chic restaurant.

Bed and Breakfasts

In Portland's Rose Quarter and Irvington neighborhoods, you'll find a bevy of B&Bs that are very affordable and provide a homey base for exploring the city. The White House is perhaps the area's most stately option, originally built as a summer home in 1911 by Robert Lytle, a wealthy lumber manufacturer. The B&B features grand columns, classic staircases and elegant guest rooms with four-poster beds. Located near Laurelhurst Park and a large street of restaurants in the Irvington neighborhood, the Everett Street Guesthouse is a B&B whose mantra is "no teddy bears, no frilly curtains, no potpourri." Rooms start at less than $100 a night.

Luxurious Options

Downtown Portland hotels tend to be older and better-established, and the Benson is no exception. The lobby is decorated with walnut paneling, Austrian chandeliers and a marble-topped crackling fireplace. Guest rooms feature large flat-screen TVs and Tempur-Pedic mattresses. Another classic option is the RiverPlace Hotel, located just steps from the Willamette River. Rooms have river views and many feature whirlpool baths and fireplaces. The hotel also has a riverfront restaurant serving fresh, seasonal fare.

About the Author

Based in Seattle, Steven Blum has been writing about arts and culture since 2002. His articles have appeared in "The Stranger" and "The Seattle Post-Intelligencer" newspapers. For two years, he served as Seattle city guide editor for New York's "Blackbook Magazine." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Washington.

Photo Credits

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