813 S.W. Alder St., Downtown
There are many reasons to visit the Woodlark without being a guest. For starters, Good Coffee—the café in the lobby, fully outfitted with abstract art—whips up a creamy rosemary-and-spiced-fig latte worth trekking across town for. Tucked in the back is Abigail Hall, which we’d give an award for its ambience and martinis. Next door, Bullard’s roast chicken is not to be missed. And of course, these are also compelling reasons to stay here, as are the plush beds in the lush, sophisticated rooms. The hotel invites you to relax. Each room is bathed in natural light from the giant windows, one of the many charming aesthetic details in the hotel’s two early-twentieth-century structures, the former Cornelius Hotel and the Woodlark Building. The details are minimal but dramatic: rich emerald-green and midnight-blue custom wallpaper, velvet sofas, and blonde hardwood floors. The rooms vary in size and layout (the loft suite has an apartment feel), but they’re all spacious. There are Peloton bikes in the pristine fitness center if you’re looking to work out. But given the Woodlark’s location in the heart of downtown, you may want to grab that latte,…
The Society Hotel
203 N.W. 3rd Ave., Downtown
Located in Portland's hip Old Town, this hotel-hostel hybrid exemplifies historic preservation at its best. Several years ago entrepreneurs Jonathan Cohen, Jessie Burke, Gabe Genauer, and Matt Siegel gave the neglected 1800s building–which was originally built to serve as a safe haven for sailors, then it became a Japanese-owned hotel–a new lease on life. They preserved the space in its entirety, ultimately creating a place that works for travelers and visitors of all backgrounds–and budgets (many of the rooms are either communal or share a bathroom). We love the downstairs café for its excellent coffee and beer and communal vibe.
1510 S.W. Harbor Way, Downtown
The cool thing about the Riverplace (and what sets it apart from other Portland hotels) is that it’s right along the water, so many of the rooms have great views of the river. The décor is modern, but warm and comfortable, with details like leather headboards, flannel throws, and a stone fireplace in the lobby. It’s also good for families, with a decidedly un-stuffy, kid-friendly vibe and ample suite options for those traveling with a brood.
The Hotel Modera
515 S.W. Clay St., Downtown
Particularly well-equipped with a round-the-clock gym and in-room work spaces for business travelers, the downtown location (close to PSU and the big weekend farmers market), generously sized rooms, and plentiful outdoor spaces make this a great home-base for Portland first-timers and families. Staying true to its mid-century roots, the modern décor is consistent throughout the hotel’s communal areas—the games room, complete with pool table and big-screen, is a hit with guests of all ages. Local chef David Machado’s wood-fired pizza-centric restaurant is set up right inside the hotel and is beloved by locals and visitors alike—high praise considering Portland’s tremendous food scene.
525 S.W. Morrison St., Downtown
Inarguably one of the more grand properties in the city, The Nines has a lot going for it, not least of which its central location steps from Pioneer Square. Inside the former Meier & Frank department store building, where the hotel’s sprawling lobby, rooftop restaurant, and 300+ guest rooms take up the top floors, the décor is kept elegantly comfortable with modern furnishings and soothing earth tones. During your stay, set aside an evening for a grass-fed, locally sourced steak at Urban Farmer, followed by cocktails at The Library—which, as its name suggests, is well-stocked with titles from Powell’s bookstore.
614 S.W. 11th Ave., Downtown
Housed within the terra cotta walls of this storied, century-old corner building is a quintessential Portland hipster hotspot, masquerading as one of the city’s most historic hotels. Much like the grand lobby, the guest rooms and suites are done in subdued jewel tones and come with all the expected creature comforts (plush bedding, blackout shades, and ample room to move around) and some unexpected surprises, too: a specialty pillow menu—yes, literally a menu of specialty pillows to choose from—and pet room service. Also cool: Your tea is likely to come with a side of Bee Local honey, harvested from bees that call the hives on the Sentinel roof their home.
1022 S.W. Stark St., Downtown
This is the Ace Hotel’s flagship location, and the original is actually quite a bit different than the more luxury hotels the brand has come to be known for. For one, it’s set up like a hostel, so guests can sign up for shared rooms with bunk beds, and even solo rooms are likely to have a shared bathroom situation. The hostel-style accommodations make this one of the chain’s most affordable locations, which only contributes to the cool-kid vibe they’ve come to be known for.