Newcomer's Handbook Portland

Temporary Lodgings

Chances are you’ll need temporary lodgings for at least a few nights at some point during your move to Portland, either during a house-hunting trip or while you’re waiting for your lease to start or your home purchase to close. As a regional hub for business and tourism, Portland has a large selection of hotels and motels offering various levels of service, convenience, amenities, and cleanliness. If you need temporary lodgings for more than a week or so, an extended-stay hotel, sublet, or short-term lease might suit you better than a standard hotel or motel. (See Extended-Stay Options, below, for some suggestions.)

Note that the listings in this chapter are by no means comprehensive. For painfully complete listings, check the Yellow Pages under “Hotels and Other Accommodations.” The Portland Oregon Visitors Association (POVA) (877-678-5263, travelportland.com) can provide a lengthy list of non-skanky hotels in the area.

Reservations and Discounts

Lodging rates in Portland tend to be at their highest during the summer months and when big conventions hit town; at these peak times, you can usually find lower rates in outlying areas or at smaller downtown hotels.

If you plan to stay in a traditional hotel, there are several ways to save money off the “rack” or official rate. First, while last-minute bargains are not unknown, especially during winter, you’ll generally get the best rates if you book well in advance of your visit. Second, always ask about discount offers—many aren’t advertised and may change from day to day—and discounts for seniors, veterans, military personnel, and AAA members are common. Third, it’s a good idea to check the hotel’s website (if it has one), because some establishments offer Internet-only rates or special offers that might beat other available discounts.

Finally, check with an online reservation service; some have relationships with hotels and can offer lower rates than the hotels themselves. In addition to national companies like Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, Hotels.com (800-246-8357), Priceline.com, Booking.com, Travelocity.com, and Quikbook (800-789-9887, quikbook.com), the local tourism office, POVA (877-678-5263, travelportland.com), can book rooms by telephone or online, and sometimes offers discounts or packages at participating local hotels. If you know when you’re coming but don’t have any particular hotel in mind, sites such as kayak.com and skyscanner.com crawl various travel websites (including hotel chain websites) and show the lowest available rates for more than 200 Portland-area hotels.

Note that some reservation services charge cancellation fees or require payment in advance, and their discounts usually cannot be combined with promotions offered by hotels or membership organizations.

Lodgings

Luxury and Boutique Hotels

For a splurge, consider staying in one of Portland’s downtown luxury or boutique hotels. Prices are high by Portland standards—rack rates typically start at $175 or so and climb skyward from there—but you get a lot more for your money than you would at a hotel in, say, Manhattan.

  • The Benson Hotel, 309 SW Broadway, 503-228-2000, 888-716-6199, bensonhotel.com; the Benson is the kind of grand, traditional hotel that has dark paneled wood, marble floors, and giant crystal chandeliers in the lobby, with all the opulent comfort that implies.
  • Heathman Hotel, 1001 SW Broadway, 503-241-4100, 800-551-0011, heathmanportland.com; this elegant and venerable luxury hotel is favored by authors on book tours and the occasional aging rock star, as well as less illustrious classes of well-heeled travelers. The hotel is adjacent to Portland’s main performing arts complex, and offers, among other unusual amenities, a lending library of 2,000 books signed by authors who stayed at the hotel. Some of the rooms are surprisingly small.
  • Heathman Lodge, 7801 NE Greenwood Dr, Vancouver, 360-254-3100, heathmanlodge.com; the Heathman’s suburban sister hotel, just outside Vancouver, Washington, offers log-cabin luxury in a Northwest lodge-style building.
  • Hotel deLuxe, 729 SW 15th Ave, 503-219-2094, hoteldeluxeportland.com; the decor has a “Golden Age of Hollywood” theme—to heighten the experience, you can stay in the top-of-the-line Marlene Dietrich Suite—but the amenities, including flat-screen televisions and iPod docks, are thoroughly modern. The hotel is on the periphery of downtown, convenient to the Pearl District. Some rooms are quite small.
  • Hotel Lucia, 400 SW Broadway, 503-225-1717, 866-986-8086, hotellucia.com; this luxury boutique hotel manages to seamlessly combine a modern design aesthetic and hip vibe with traditional standards of comfort. Among the many nice touches is a pillow menu that allows you to order the kind and number of pillows you’d like for the night. Some rooms are a bit on the small side.
  • Hotel Modera, 515 SW Clay St, 503-484-1084, 877-484-1084, hotelmodera.com, is a former Days Inn near Portland State University that has been stylishly remodeled in modernist style. The hotel courtyard features a “living wall,” which is essentially a vertical green roof.
  • Hotel Monaco Portland, 506 SW Washington St, 503-222-0001, 888-207-2201, monaco-portland.com; formerly the elegant Fifth Avenue Suites, in early 2007 the hotel became the luxe (and pet-friendly) Hotel Monaco Portland. Every room contains a stellar set of amenities, including a 32” plasma television and, on request, a complimentary loaner goldfish.
  • Hotel Rose, 50 SW Morrison St, 503-221-0711, 866-866-7977, hotelroseportland.com; centrally located just across Naito Parkway from Waterfront Park, this formerly typical business hotel (in its incarnation as a Four Points by Sheraton) spent several years as the Hotel Fifty before morphing into its current incarnation as the Rose.
  • Hotel Vintage Plaza, 422 SW Broadway, 503-228-1212, 800-263-2305, vintageplaza.com; you might surmise from its name that the Vintage Plaza has some kind of wine thing going on, and if you did you’d be right. The hotel hosts a wine hour each evening, and every room is dedicated to a local winery or vineyard.
  • Inn @ Northrup Station, 2025 NW Northrup St, 503-224-0543, 800-224-1180, northrupstation.com; this small all-suite boutique hotel sits alongside the Portland Streetcar line in Northwest Portland. Filled with retro furnishings and bright colors, the Inn @ Northrup Station caters to a hip and evidently email-literate crowd. (This hotel also has among the lowest boutique hotel rates in the city.)
  • The Nines, 525 SW Morrison St, 877-229-9995, thenines.com; occupying the top floors of what was once the historic Meier & Frank department store (now a remodeled and much smaller Macy’s), this centrally located hotel is one of Portland’s newest luxury offerings.
  • Paramount Hotel, 808 SW Taylor St, 503-223-9900, portlandparamount.com; this 15-story boutique hotel is the Benson’s younger and marginally hipper cousin. Guestrooms are generally spacious, with luxury baths; some have small balconies overlooking Director Park (more a public piazza than a greenspace).
  • RiverPlace Hotel, 1510 SW Harbor Way, 503-228-3233, 888-869-3108, riverplacehotel.com; downtown’s only truly riverfront hotel—a marina lies at its doorstep—the RiverPlace offers understated comfort and relative quiet.
  • River’s Edge Hotel, 0455 SW Hamilton Ct, 503-802-5800, 888-556-4402, riversedgehotel.com; located just south of downtown, on the west bank of the Willamette River—on the river’s edge, in fact — the River’s Edge offers stylish, modern accommodation.
  • The Sentinel Hotel, 614 SW 11th Ave, 503-224-3400, 800-554-3456, sentinelhotel.com; over a century old, this grande dame was for many years the Governor Hotel. It was recently renovated and re-branded, but still offers plush, traditional luxury. It stands on the streetcar line on the western fringe of downtown, not far from the Pearl District, so it makes a good base for car-free exploration.
  • Westin Portland, 750 SW Alder St, 503-294-9000, 888-627-8401, westinportland.com; this centrally located hotel, while tailored to business travelers, offers more comforts and amenities than most chain hotels.

Large Hotels

Most large hotels in Portland belong to big chains, and if they lack character they are at least predictable and generally clean. The available amenities are fairly standard—restaurants, room service, business centers, and often fitness centers. These hotels tend to focus on business travelers and conventioneers, and so the heaviest concentrations are in downtown Portland, in the Lloyd Center/Convention Center neighborhood, and near the airport. Rack rates are generally at least $140 a night, and sometimes much more. Many of these hotel chains also have facilities in the suburbs; check the Yellow Pages or the hotel’s website for listings.

  • Century Hotel, 8585 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Rd, Tualatin, 503-692-3600, 800-240-9494, thecenturyhotel.com
  • Courtyard by Marriott Beaverton, 8500 SW Nimbus Dr, Beaverton, 503-641-3200, 800-321-2211, marriott.com/pdxcy
  • Courtyard by Marriott Downtown/Convention Center, 435 NE Wasco St, 503-234-3200, 800-321-2211, marriott.com/pdxcl
  • Courtyard by Marriott Portland Airport, 11550 NE Airport Way, 503-252-3200, 800-321-2211, marriott.com/pdxca
  • Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center, 550 SW Oak St, 503-505-5000, marriott.com/pdxpc
  • Courtyard by Marriott Portland North Harbour, 1231 N Anchor Way, 503-735-1818, marriott.com/pdxnh
  • Courtyard by Marriott Portland Southeast, 9300 SE Sunnybrook Blvd, Clackamas, 503-652-2900, 800-321-2211, courtyard.com/pdxck
  • Crowne Plaza Portland Downtown (Convention Center), 1441 NE 2nd Ave, 503-233-2401, cpportland.com
  • Crowne Plaza Portland Lake Oswego, 14811 Kruse Oaks Blvd, Lake Oswego, 503-624-8400, cplakeoswego.com
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Portland, 1000 NE Multnomah St, 503-281-6111, portlandlloydcenter.doubletree.com
  • Embassy Suites Portland Downtown, 319 SW Pine St, 503-279-9000, embassyportland.com
  • Embassy Suites Hotel Portland Airport, 7900 NE 82nd Ave, 503-460-3000, portlandairport.embassysuites.com
  • Embassy Suites Portland–Washington Square, 9000 SW Washington Square Rd, Tigard, 503-644-4000, portlandembassysuites.com
  • Hilton Portland & Executive Tower, 921 SW 6th Ave, 503-226-1611, portland.hilton.com
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites–Jantzen Beach, 2300 N Hayden Island Dr, 503-283-8000, 888-465-4329, ihg.com
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites–Northwest Portland, 2333 NW Vaughn St, 503-484-1100, 888-465-4329, hiexpress.com/portlandnwdtwn
  • Holiday Inn Portland Airport, 8439 NE Columbia Blvd, 503-256-5000, 800-315-2621, holidayinn.com
  • Monarch Hotel & Conference Center, 12566 SE 93rd Ave, 503-652-1515, 800-492-8700, monarchhotel.cc
  • Oxford Suites Portland—Jantzen Beach, 12226 N Jantzen Dr, 503-283-3030, 800-548-7848, oxfordsuitesportland.com
  • Portland Marriott City Center, 520 SW Broadway, 503-226-6300, 800-548-7848, marriottportland.com
  • Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront, 1401 SW Naito Pkwy, 503-226-7600, marriott.com/pdxor
  • Radisson Hotel Portland Airport, 6233 NE 78th Ct, 503-251-2000, 800-967-9033, radisson.com/portlandor_airport
  • Red Lion Hotel on the River, 909 N Hayden Island Dr, 503-283-4466, 800-733-5466, jantzenbeach.redlion.com
  • Red Lion Hotel on the Quay, 100 Columbia St, Vancouver, 360-694-8341, 800-733-5466, redlion.com/our-hotels/Washington/Vancouver/
  • Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel, 8235 NE Airport Way, 503-281-2500, 800-325-3535, sheratonportland.com
  • University Place Hotel and Conference Center–Portland State University, 310 SW Lincoln St, 503-221-0140, 866-845-4647, uplacehotel.com

Small Hotels

Portland has several small hotels that tend to attract tourists and couples rather than the business travelers, who stay in the big chain hotels. If you book ahead and ask about promotions, you might get into one of these establishments for as little as $70 a night, and even the premium rooms are less expensive than those at luxury hotels, although the service and atmosphere can be just as appealing.

  • Ace Hotel Portland, 1022 SW Stark St, 503-228-2277, acehotel.com/Portland/; this Portland outpost of the small Ace hotel chain is another entrant into the hipness-trumps-elegance field.
  • Jupiter Hotel, 800 E Burnside St, 503-230-9200, 877-800-0004, jupiterhotel.com; a hip, retro, and often bustling ex-motel, the Jupiter Hotel is not the place to come for a quiet weekend. Look for their edgy ads in local weeklies.
  • Mark Spencer Hotel, 409 SW 11th Ave, 503-224-3293, markspencer.com; favored by small tour groups and foreign visitors.
  • The McMenamins brewpub empire (mcmenamins.com) includes several complexes that offer unique hotel accommodations. The Kennedy School (5736 NE 33rd Ave, 503-249-3983, 888-249-3983) in Northeast Portland was once an actual elementary school (some of the rooms still have chalkboards, and the hallway drinking fountains are at kid height); the Edgefield (2126 SW Halsey St, Troutdale, 503-669-8610, 800-669-8610) was the county poor farm; the Grand Lodge (3505 Pacific Ave, Forest Grove, 503-992-9533, 877-992-9533) used to be a Masonic lodge; and the tiny White Eagle (836 N Russell, 503-335-8900) started life as a Polish immigrants’ social club. The Crystal Hotel on Burnside in downtown Portland (303 SW 12th Ave, 503-225-0047), adjacent to the Crystal Ballroom music venue, features a basement saltwater soaking pool.
  • Park Lane Suites & Inn, 809 SW King Ave, 503-226-6288, 800-532-9543, parklanesuites.com; this hotel is close to Washington Park and Northwest Portland. All of its functional but comfortable studios and one- or two-bedroom suites have kitchens, making it a good choice for longer stays.

Budget Hotels and Motels

The Portland area has plenty of small hotels and motels. At these no-frills establishments, you can almost always get a room for less than $100, and occasionally for as little as $50. Many of the area’s budget hotels represent such national chains as Best Western (800-780-7234, bestwestern.com), Days Inn (800-225-3297, daysinn.com), La Quinta (800-753-3757, lq.com), Motel 6 (800-4-MOTEL6, motel6.com), Travelodge (800-525-4055, travelodge.com), Shilo Inns (800-222-2244, shiloinns.com), and several others. Several chains, including Comfort Inn, Econo Lodge, and Quality Inn, are under the umbrella of Choice Hotels International (877-424-6423, choicehotels.com).

Although the chains predominate, Portland still has dozens of independent motels, both in the city itself and in many of the suburbs. A quick online search won’t turn up some of these motels; look in the Yellow Pages under “Motels & Other Accommodation” and “Hotels & Other Accommodation” for complete listings. The greatest concentration of budget motels is found along Northeast and Southeast 82nd Avenue, especially at the northern end near the Airport. Other clusters of budget lodging exist along Southeast Powell Boulevard, Southwest Barbur Boulevard, and Highway 99 north of Vancouver, and at the southern end of downtown Portland, near Portland State University. Note that some of the cheapest motels, particularly those along parts of 82nd Avenue, are in high-crime areas and/or are frequently used for various illicit purposes. If one hotel or motel makes you uneasy, try another. You’ll almost always be able to find an acceptable option in a decent neighborhood.

Bed & Breakfasts and Guesthouses

If you’re in the mood for quaint, consider a bed and breakfast (“B&B”) or guesthouse. In Portland, most of these establishments are in residential areas outside the downtown core, so staying in one can be a good way to check out neighborhoods you’re interested in. Keep in mind, however, that there’s good quaint and bad quaint, and then there’s just awful. Properties affiliated with an organization like the Portland Metropolitan Innkeepers Association (portlandinnkeepers.com) or the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild are usually good bets; call 800-944-6196 or visit obbg.org for information and reservations. Portland-area B&Bs and guesthouses include:

  • Bellaterra B&B, 3935 SW Corbett Ave, 503-332-8125, bellaterrabnb.com
  • Bluebird Guesthouse, 3517 SE Division St, 503-238-4333, 866-717-4333, bluebirdguesthouse.com
  • Briar Rose Inn, 314 W 11th St, Vancouver, 360-694-5710, briarroseinn.com
  • Cornerstone Bed and Breakfast, 17290 SW Alvord Lane, Beaverton, 503-747-2345, cornerstonebedandbreakfast.com
  • The Fulton House Bed & Breakfast, 7006 SW Virginia Ave, 503-892-5781, thefultonhouse.com
  • Forest Springs Bed & Breakfast @ Historic Heiney House, 3680 SW Towle Ave, Gresham, 503-674-8992, 877-674-9282, forestspring.com
  • Georgian House Bed & Breakfast, 1828 NE Siskiyou St, 503-281-2250, 888-282-2250, thegeorgianhouse.com
  • Heron Haus Bed & Breakfast, 2545 NW Westover Rd, 503-274-1846, heronhaus.com
  • Hostess House Bed and Breakfast, 5758 NE Emerson St, 503-282-7892, 800-760-7799, hostesshouse.com
  • Lion and the Rose Victorian Bed & Breakfast Inn, 1810 NE 15th Ave, 503-287-9245, 800-955-1647, lionrose.com
  • A Painted Lady Inn, 1927 NE 16th Ave, 503-335-0070, apaintedladyinn.com
  • Portland International Guesthouse, 2185 NW Flanders St, 503-224-0500, 877-228-0500, pdxguesthouse.com
  • Portland’s White House, 1914 NE 22nd Ave, 503-287-7131, 800-272-7131, portlandswhitehouse.com
  • Sandes of Time Bed and Breakfast, 16022 SE River Rd, Milwaukie, 503-654-8813, sandesoftime.com

Hostels

Portland has two official Hostelling International youth hostels, both of which are well-located for the car-less.

  • Northwest Portland International Hostel and Guesthouse, 425 NW 18th Ave, 503-241-2783, nwportlandhostel.com; close to the bustle of Northwest Portland and the Pearl District, this hostel is close-in without actually being downtown.
  • Portland Hostel Hawthorne District (Hostelling International), 3031 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 503-236-3380, 866-447-3031, portlandhostel.org; a converted house with an eco-roof and a huge front porch, this popular hostel is close to the shops, restaurants, and bars of the Hawthorne district.

Several cheap downtown hotels offer ostensible “hostel” rooms, but those establishments are best avoided by all but the truly desperate. If you don’t mind being out of town and not having access to a kitchen, McMenamins Edgefield, in Troutdale, has some hostel-style dorm rooms. (See “Bed & Breakfasts and Guesthouses” above.)

Extended-Stay Options

It could take you a few weeks or months to find a perfect (or at any rate a permanent) home. If you anticipate spending more than a week or two on your home search, one of the most convenient arrangements is an extended-stay hotel. These facilities, sometimes called corporate apartments, offer furnished suites with kitchens by the day, week, or month. Some extended-stay options in Portland include:

  • BridgeStreet Worldwide, 800-278-7338, bridgestreet.com, operates three locations in the Pearl District, one location downtown, two locations in Gresham, and two locations in Washington County.
  • Extended Stay Hotels, 800-804-3724, extendedstayamerica.com, has six locations in the metro area.
  • Larkspur Landing Hillsboro, 3133 NE Shute Rd, Hillsboro, 503-681-2121, larkspurlanding.com/hotels/hillsboro/
  • Oakwood Worldwide, 877-902-0832, oakwood.com, has nearly some three dozen furnished apartments lin and around Portland.
  • Park Lane Suites, 809 SW King Ave, 503-226-6288, 800-532-9543, parklanesuites.com, offers an extended-stay discount.
  • Residence Inn by Marriott, 888-236-2427, residenceinn.com, has eight locations in the greater Portland area.
  • Suite America, 503-443-2033, 800-917-1092, suiteamerica.com, has furnished apartments in nearly 30 locations in and around Portland.

A potentially less expensive option is a sublet or short-term lease. In this type of arrangement, you rent or sublease all or part of a house, condo, or apartment for several weeks to several months while the owner or renter is away. Sublets aren’t always furnished, and you would be very lucky to find one where the sublease term perfectly matches the dates for which you need lodgings, but when they work out subleases can be a great choice. To find sublets, look on Craigslist (portland.craigslist.org/sub/) or check out the classifieds in Willamette Week. Some rental property management companies and apartment complexes may offer short-term rentals, although such rentals are typically unfurnished. In 2014, the city of Portland legalized short-term and vacation rentals through Airbnb (airbnb.com), through which hundreds of Portland residents had already been offering rooms or houses on an unofficial (read: technically illegal) basis.

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