The four-pearl Westin Portland Harborview was built in 1927, but a $52 million renovation in 2013 erased many of its original details. Today, the modern hotel offers 289 rooms that are clean and nicely decorated with 1920s-style windows -- one of the few remaining period touches. The bathrooms are especially nice with rainfall showers and distinctive tile. A full-service spa, iconic rooftop lounge, free area shuttle, and expansive event space enhance its appeal. But parking is expensive and valet-only, rooms lack upscale amenities like minibars, and in-room Wi-Fi costs extra. As an alternative, travelers might want to check out The Press Hotel, a historic property in the lively Old Port District, where in-room Wi-Fi is free.
Dazzling marble and beige-tone interiors with clean lines
First opened in 1927, this hotel gained fame for hosting aviator Charles Lindbergh after his solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic. After a $52 million renovation completed in 2013, this historic hotel was transformed into an ultra-modern property. Hundreds of individual lights
hanging from the second floor create patterns on the lobby’s beige-tile floors
and off-white walls that are reminiscent of a mirror ball. Mahogany-color wood
columns and wall panels add a rich ambience to the spacious lobby. Two reception
desks sit in front of a white, back-lit wall displaying the Westin logo. An
adjacent sitting area includes designer-quality furniture, including brownish-gray leather sofas with shiny silver leather throws. Several black-and-white
photos depicting the hotel’s history hang on an adjacent wall. The lobby and
mezzanine levels are abuzz with guests -- who are pretty much a fifty-fifty split of business travelers here to attend conferences and leisure travelers on vacation. There's plenty of cozy seating at Top of the East, the iconic rooftop bar whose floor-to-ceiling windows offer sweeping views of the city, bay, and harbor.
In downtown Portland’s Arts District, within walking
distance of many attractions
The Westin Portland Harborview is located in the downtown Arts District.
Many performance venues and other arts institutions are a short walk from the
hotel, including the State Theater (two minutes), Portland Museum of Art (two
minutes), Port City Music Hall (six minutes), and Cross Insurance Arena (eight
minutes). The shops and restaurants of the Old Port are a 13-minute walk from the hotel. Numerous restaurants are
within a one- to five-minute walk, and there's a pharmacy within a six-minute walk. The hotel operates a free shuttle within a three-mile radius of the hotel, as well as to Portland International Jetport, which is a 10- to 12-minute
drive or shuttle ride. The campus of the University of Southern Maine is a
six-minute drive, and the terminal for the Portland-Pecks Island Ferry is a
five-minute drive. The Nova Star Cruises Portland Terminal is eight minutes away by
car or shuttle, and the Portland Fish Pier is about a five-minute drive. The Maine
Mall is a 13-minute drive, while L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Freeport is
about a 25-minute drive up Interstate 295.
Clean and spacious, with distinctive wood
furniture and attractive bathrooms
As expected for the Westin brand, the 289 rooms at the Westin Portland Harborview are clean, modern, and handsomely furnished with upscale decor and Westin Heavenly Beds. Chestnut-hued headboards, side tables, consoles, and sleek desks are paired with soft-gray armchairs and ergonomic office chairs. Hardwood floors yield to two-tone, gray-patterned carpeting, and bedding is bright white. Beige walls and blackout drapes in light
brown give a tranquil setting for sleep. But large stylish mirrors and framed pictures of colored-water reflections add a nice splash of design. All rooms include coffeemakers, robes, electronic safes, mini-fridges, digital music players/alarm clocks, and free bottled water. In-room Wi-Fi requires a daily fee. Bathrooms are the stand out here; their wood vanities with tan granite tops, large illuminated mirrors, and slender brown-and-tan tilework lend a designer look to the spaces. Some have shower/tub combos,
while others have walk-in showers with clear glass doors. Some of the bathrooms have double sinks and separate walk-in showers and soaking tubs. All have rainfall
showerheads, hairdryers, and individual toiletries.
Bayview and Harborview Guest Rooms, which offer views of the city, Back Bay, and harbor, have either one king or two queen beds, and range in size from 325 to 355 square feet. Junior Suites, at 614 square feet, have separate sitting areas, wet bars, and two flat-screen TVs, while the Presidential Suite offers a kitchenette, dining area, and an 180-degree view of the city, bay, and harbor.
24-hour fitness center, full-service spa, and 15,000 square
feet of meeting space
As a four-pearl hotel, this property ticks the boxes for all the usual upscale features, such as a fine-dining restaurant, rooftop lounge, and full-service spa, but smaller extras like parking and Wi-Fi are sometimes lacking.
Most Westin hotels have a focus on fitness, and this outpost is no exception. The 24-hour fitness center has a wide assortment of cardio and weight-training equipment and free weights -- personal trainers can be arranged for an hourly fee. New Balance running shoes and other fitness gear can be rented for a fee. Guests can indulge in the full-service Akari spa, which offers numerous facial, skin, and body treatments, as well as massages and salon services. And for business travelers, the business center includes two computer stations with Internet access and free printing. Free Wi-Fi is available in all public spaces, but in-room Wi-Fi is an additional fee. More than 15,000 square feet of event space is available, including the 5,529-square-foot Eastland Grand Ballroom, which has been a favorite wedding venue for years.
The Congress Squared restaurant, whose focus is contemporary American cuisine and locally sourced seafood, serves breakfast (not included), lunch, and dinner. The restaurant has daily happy hour specials on drinks and bar menu items, which draws a lot of guests. The rooftop lounge, Top of the East, offers sweeping views of the harbor and city. And the on-site convenience store sells sundries, snacks, beverages, and various gifts.
Concierge services are
available, as well as same-day dry cleaning. Free copies of USA Today are
available in the lobby. Pets up to 40 pounds are welcome in certain rooms for a fee. Note that valet is the only on-site parking option, and it’s expensive, but self-parking is available for less cost at a nearby garage. The hotel also operates a free shuttle service that includes the airport.
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