It’s always the big question, isn’t it? Where to stay in a city that you’re new to. Being part of a chain will give you some idea, but all hotels are not created equally. First read the blog about bidding for travel. If price is your primary concern, that’s the method to use. It’s the lowest price you’re going to get, but you can never be sure which hotel you’ll end up with.
The Jupiter – I don’t know that I’ve ever been described as “hip” and that might be why I didn’t really enjoy myself here. Everything is retro, with great attention to detail. Most of the people staying here were in their 20s. They have live music on the weekends which you’ll get to hear free from your room – whether you want to or not. Clean rooms and nice people, but I’m just too old to have fully appreciated it.
Holiday Inn PDX – Older hotel very close to the airport. Every time we go, there are tons of 18 year old boys waiting to leave for boot camp. They must have an arrangement with the military. The rooms are clean and well-appointed. The service is top notch, and they have an excellent restaurant. They’re part of the Kids Eat Free program which can be a real money-saver! Small indoor pool and fitness center. Free parking.
Hotel Benson – This is an older hotel that reminds me a lot of San Francisco. The rooms are small, but everything smells of money. It has an old-time romantic feel, and I doubt I’d bring small children along. Save it for a weekend with your spouse.
Embassy Suites Downtown – Excellent place for families. The rooms are huge, with every room a suite. It’s positively opulent. There’s a free full breakfast buffet (not continental), and a manager’s reception at night with snacks and soft drinks.
Holiday Inn Express PDX – A typical HIE with breakfast bar, fitness room, and sauna. They also participate in the Kids Eat Free program. Free parking.
Hilton Garden Inn (Portland/Beaverton) – We were pretty impressed with this for the price. This is more like an extended stay hotel, with refrigerator and microwave in the room. Nice pool, and the staff is definitely kid-friendly. Free parking.
Marriott – Right on the waterfront, the views here can’t be beat. The whole hotel is non-smoking so your kids can breathe easy. The location is fantastic if you’re doing a walking tour. The only downside is that parking is more than $20 per day.
If price is not a concern, stay at the Westin. It’s probably the most beautiful of all the hotels in Portland. There’s an understated elegance in the hotel, with rooms that are reminiscent of a high-end home. The hotel is non-smoking. One unique thing about the Westin is that your dog is allowed to join you at no extra charge.
If you’re on a tight budget and need a last-minute room at a good price, the Sleep Inn in Gresham (just outside the city) offers clean and comfortable rooms for a bargain price. There’s an indoor pool, and a fast food place next door.
We really haven’t had a bad experience in a Portland hotel yet. They are definitely a city that caters to guests. Do you have any favorite places to stay that aren’t on this list?