For a taste of Portland’s famously quirky flavor, stay at one of the city’s many great boutique hotels.
This historic hotel is larger than some boutiques, but it offers a wide array of amenities and freebies that make it one of the top picks for those looking for a hotel with personality. Rooms are large and have a bright, whimsical style, and perks like Atelier Bloem amenities, Frette linens, and local minibars. Freebies include evening cocktails and live music, organic morning coffee, and PUBLIC bike rentals. The Northwest-inspired Red Star Tavern serves three meals daily (plus weekend brunch and nightly happy hour), as well as 24-hour room service. The hotel has a great collection of local art, and a long list of practices that help preserve the environment.
A chic, highly Instagram-able boutique property, the upscale Hi-Lo Hotel, Autograph Collection opened its doors in 2017. Housed inside Portland's historic Oregon Pioneer Building in the downtown area, the property combines industrial elements like rutted concrete walls with softly hued, mid-century-inspired decor. That contemporary, minimalist aesthetic continues into its 120 rooms and suites done up in on-trend furnishings, plus 49-inch flat-screen LED smart TVs, heated tile floors, coffeemakers with free coffee and tea, and 24-hour pillow menus. Hotel features are as well-considered as the decor: There are meeting/event spaces, an all-day lobby bar, a tiny lobby shop selling local goods, and a modern Mexican restaurant that focuses on Oaxacan flavors.
Kimpton Hotel Vintage Portland is an upscale boutique property that reopened in 2015 after a multimillion dollar revamp resulting in fresh, hip interiors and a theme based on local wines. The downtown location puts most of the city's attractions within easy walking distance, including the waterfront and Pioneer Square. The 117 rooms are also chic and stylish, almost all with differing layouts, and some feature hot tub terraces. However, past guests have complained of street noise in lower-level rooms and many views are drab. The on-site Italian eatery is excellent, and a free nightly wine tasting is a real draw, though rates are generally on the high side.
Decor at this upscale, 130-room boutique is inspired by the Golden Era of Hollywood, where Art Deco lamps, black-and-white photographs, and heavy drapes meet modern luxuries such as flat-screen HDTVs, Tivoli Bluetooth clock radios, free Wi-Fi, and local minibars. There’s not much in the way of amenities, but the rooftop bar hosts weekly open-air cinema nights in the summer, and the hip bar is a popular pick among locals. But lower-level rooms are tiny -- starting at 155 square feet -- which puts this lower on the list than its Kimpton competitors.
The 51 small, song-themed rooms at the upper-middle-range Crystal Hotel in downtown Portland embody the quirkiness that defines this city. The hotel is owned by the McMenamin brothers, who helm a string of converted historic hotels and microbreweries throughout Oregon, and this hotel packs in the hallmarks of their brand: colorful murals, a laid-back vibe, hearty pub fare, and quintessentially Oregonian craft beer on-site. The hotel also features a small indoor saltwater soaking pool, but guests should keep in mind that only King Rooms have en-suite bathrooms, which can contribute to noise in the hallways.
The Inn is an all-suites boutique known for its bright, quirky 70s-style decor. The lobby features a hot pink, studded front desk lit by funky lamps, and the breakfast area is a scramble of bright, striped furniture. The spacious suites have abstract local art, and everything from the walls to the bedding to the couches are bold in color. All suites also have kitchenettes, big flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. An attractive rooftop terrace is full of colorful furniture. Freebies such as weekly Wednesday wine tastings, continental breakfast, and streetcar tickets add value.
A century-old schoolhouse has been converted into a hotel and restaurant complex, where many of the 57 guest rooms are in converted classrooms and retain their original features, such as the chalkboards and cloakrooms. The rest are in the English Wing -- these newer rooms are inspired by famous novels, primarily by British and American writers, with a few masterpieces of global literature thrown in. There's also a courtyard with a saltwater soaking pool, though it can get crowded with Portlanders eager for a dip. Other features include an auditorium that's been converted into a movie theater (complete with its own pub for showtime dining), and a number of restaurants, bars, and event spaces. Wi-Fi and parking are both free, but spaces can be scarce if big events are taking place at the property.
The Ace Hotel Portland has as many quirky, bohemian characteristics as its sister properties in New York and Palm Springs. This boutique emphasizes style over space or luxury, featuring touches such as reclaimed school chairs, nightstands made out of books or suitcases, turntables, and stacks of vinyl records. Hotel highlights include a local, organic breakfast in the breakfast room, a great happy hour scene at the Clyde Common lobby bar, and coffee at the Stumptown Cafe. This pet-friendly hotel has a great central location for exploring Portland on foot. Smaller shared rooms are available for budget travelers.
Even though the Modera is not as small as some boutique hotels, it does have a strong boutique-y vibe, and it lacks the amenities of a large hotel. Everything here feels modern and casual, from the streamlined lobby -- with local art, funky furniture, and a marble-and-wood front desk -- to the 174 rooms, updated with pillow-topped beds and flat-screen TVs. There is also a tasty on-site restaurant with a renowned local chef, and an attractive courtyard with seating and trees.
Set along the Willamette River in Downtown Portland, the three-and-a-half-pearl Hotel Rose (known to locals as "The Rose") offers sass, character, and a dog-friendly vibe. Compared to common spaces, its 139 guest rooms feel a little bland, but they're comfy, with memory foam mattresses, ergonomic desk chairs, and walk-in rainfall showers, not to mention flat-screen TVs, Keurig coffeemakers, and mini-fridges. Traffic noise and parking lot views are the primary complaints. Bottle + Kitchen offers creative dishes and drinks in a rustic-chic atmosphere, and the hotel also has a gym, but it's small. Free cruiser bikes are available to borrow, and there's free afternoon cupcakes, but fees for parking, breakfast, and amenities are tacked on the bill.
The upscale Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel offers an attractive alternative to staying downtown. Located a 15-minute walk from the heart of downtown, the hotel occupies a scenic spot on the Willamette River. Restaurants and shops are nearby, but it’s quieter than downtown’s busy street. The 84-room hotel has a lodge-like ambiance that's rather adult with some fashionable flourishes. Highlights include a restaurant/bar and free wine reception, loaner bicycles, and passes to a nearby gym. But, Wi-Fi is free only to Kimpton loyalty program members, and the hotel charges a daily facility fee. Rooms are spacious and stylish, with room service, minibars, and safes. Many feature lovely river views.