5 Portland’s Hottest Hotels
PHOTOGRAPHY Choiyee Wong | ART DIRECTOR Tim Sugden
COLLABORATED Ann Akre @Portland Fashion and Style Awards + Venus Allure Salon and Spa
THE HEATHMEN HOTEL
For more than eight decades, The Heathman Hotel has been integral to life in Portland. Nestled in the heart of downtown’s cultural and financial district, The Heathman’s innate charm, connection to history and focus on luxury make it a favorite choice of business, celebrity and leisure travelers alike. Guestrooms that balance comfort and style allow visitors and locals to carve out a home-away-from-home just steps away from the city’s performing arts centers and museums.
With its Eucalyptus-paneled walls, marble fireplace and shimmering Austrian hand-cut chandelier, the historic Tea Court Lounge is at the heart of the Heathman experience. Here, acclaimed Portland Chef Vitaly Paley channels his heritage into the hotel’s signature Russian Tea service with fragrant tea poured from heirloom samovars.
Stroll up the grand staircase and you’ll find yourself in the Heathman Library, one of the largest autographed libraries in the world. The Heathman Library features signed editions from Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, U.S. Poet Laureates, and a former United States President. The only independent hotel in the country to offer a lending library of this size and scope, it represents the collected works of more than 30 years of literary guests who have signed their books to contribute to the Heathman Hotel’s collection.
General Manager Daryn White goes a little more in depth with PORTLAND Interview:
PI: The Heathman Hotel has a great reputation for working with local arts organizations. What are some of those partnerships?
DW: Over the years we have supported a variety of local nonprofits dedicated to the arts such as Literary Arts, Portland Art Museum, Children’s Healing Art Project and Start Making A Reader Today (SMART), to name a few. My personal favorite is SMART. I personally have struggled in life with a learning disability, therefore it’s important to me that every child is given a chance to learn to read, and SMART has the resources to help kids become confident, enthusiastic readers.
PI: Chef Vitaly Paley recently opened Headwaters at the Heathman. Lots of locals are planning to visit the restaurant. What is your recommendation for a must-try food menu item at Headwaters and why?
DW: I’d recommend bellying-up to the raw bar for Headwater’s Seafood Tower. You can opt for the petite or the grand version, but either way you’ll dig into a mouthwatering tower of fresh prawns, clams, oysters on the half shell, smoked mussel shots and shelled Dungeness crab with a variety of sauces. It’s named Headwaters for a reason – you’ve got to go for the seafood and the seats at the raw bar let you see the chefs in action.
PI: The Heathman is one of Portland’s most iconic, historic hotels. What about the hotel sets it apart from others in Portland?
DW: Not many people know this, but there’s a private entrance that connects the hotel to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall next door. Since the hotel’s inception, performers have been known to exit the concert hall through this entrance, allowing them to slip in and out of the venue undetected. The hotel also has a long tradition of serving tea. Chef Paley and the culinary team behind Headwaters have transformed our tea service into a Russian Tea experience inspired by Chef Paley’s heritage and old family recipes. It’s a unique dining experience, and we’re the only hotel to offer Russian Tea in Portland.
INN AT NORTHRUP STATION
Originally built in the 1970s, the Inn was rediscovered and transformed by Portland architect Steve Routon. The exterior reflects the true character and spirit of Northwest Portland. Acknowledging the energy of the neighborhood, suites at the Inn allow guests the opportunity to interact with the street scene below from a series of private decks and patios accented with soaring trellises.
The fabulous interior décor includes original artwork by local artists. The retro hip furnishings and energetic color palate both contribute to the eclectic ambiance of the Inn. Fully featured granite kitchens and wet bars and luxurious marble bathrooms are all hallmarks of this one of the kind hotel.
The Inn’s vibrant lobby presents an arresting combination of color and artistry, not to mention the outrageously huge jars of mouthwatering candy that never seem to go empty. Satisfy your sweet tooth as you gaze up at the striking display of fused glass. Then belly up to the sleek street-side breakfast bar and watch the Portland Streetcar buzz on by.
An artistically landscaped rooftop terrace presents a wonderful setting for outdoor gatherings. Artfully designed, the Inn At Northrup Station has become known as a unique boutique hotel with a very distinctive Northwest Portland flair!
Last week, PORTLAND Interview stopped in to speak with Inn at Northrup Station General Manager, Lisa Brice:
PI: The Inn at Northrup Station is full of retro hip furnishings and an energetic color palate. What was the vision behind these design choices?
IN: Our neighborhood has a big and bright personality. And, the design team wanted to make sure the Inn at Northrup Station brought that unique and artistic personality inside the hotel. From the energetic color palate to the original artwork, the Inn at Northrup Station is every bit as original as Northwest Portland and the Pearl District!
PI: Entering the hotel, the Inn is beautifully adorned with wall art and glass pieces throughout; what was your inspiration behind these pieces?
IN: All artwork in the hotel was commissioned by the interior design team from regional artists. Many of these artists were just emerging when they received their Northrup commission which had almost no limits — except to express their own artistic style. We are very proud that many of these artists have now achieved great success since Northrup provided them an early opportunity for a permanent display of their work.
PI: As a locally owned boutique hotel, what makes you unique and different from other hotels in Portland?
IN: When the Inn at Northrup Station was re-discovered in 2000, Boutique hotels existed in other cities but really didn’t exist in Portland. The owners of our unique boutique hotel wanted to provide visitors with a truly unique, Portland experience. The design team traveled extensively through cities like San Francisco and they brought home some great design concepts which all work to make Northrup a one-of-a-kind experience. From our over-sized suites, to original artwork by Portland-artists, award winning architecture and interior design, and a commitment to the best guest experience in Portland, we think the best answer to ‘…what makes us different…’ is EVERYTHING!
PI: There seems to be an influx of boutique-style properties opening in Portland; in your opinion, what makes a hotel “boutique”?
IN: We believe a boutique hotel is more that just fun colors and funky furniture. We believe a true “boutique hotel” is one that supports and enhances to the neighborhood and community that it is located in and offering guests a unique experience. We believe the Inn is successful in that. We are uniquely Portland. Portland owned, operated, and staffed. We source art, decor, and furnishings from local artisans as we believe in supporting other local businesses such as our own.
PI: What do you want your guests to remember most after staying at the Inn At Northrup Station?
IN: We want guests to remember our welcoming staff and spacious studio suites. We want them to think of the Inn as their retro-chic home away from home …and of course our endless jars of saltwater taffy!
Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District is burgeoning with growth and creativity. It’s one of the last places in the city to still experience that “old Portland charm.”
The Jupiter Hotel is the Central Eastside Industrial District’s original boutique hotel, having swung open its doors in 2004 before the recession. A reimagined 1960s motor lodge, the property now offers a uniquely modern concept that welcomes a diverse community of cultural creatives, modern nomads, and adventure travelers into the city. With an “all are welcome” ethos, the Jupiter team really encourages travelers to dig a little deeper and indulge in the urban life and unique experiences Portland has to offer. “We wanted to design a place where locals could mingle with guests, and travelers could mingle with locals, thereby creating a strong community effect,” says co-owner Kelsey Bunker. “Portland is a mecca of sustainability and preservation and we weren’t going to tear it (the hotel) down.”
Adjacent to the hotel is the Doug Fir Lounge, a renowned indie rock club and restaurant with local sustainable and delicious food from 7 a.m. to late night, and live music almost every day of the year. Assistant General Manager Nick Pearson spoke with PORTLAND Interview magazine about what makes the Jupiter so jumping:
PI: How was the Jupiter Hotel born?
JH: Co-owners and visionaries behind the property, Tod Breslau and Kelsey Bunker have a deep appreciation for design. The mid-century bones of the property captured their interest when they realized there was an underserved market to be addressed in Portland: hospitality – those who wanted to travel to the city and experience Portland’s personality at an affordable rate.
PI: Tell us more about the Gallery.
JH: The Gallery was really born of the idea that local artists deserve exposure. Kelsey was just back from a sabbatical in France where she had created a rather large body of work. After having received encouragement from several friends who saw the work to do a show, she reluctantly hosted it at the hotel. Every piece sold.
Kelsey and Tod wanted to recreate that experience for other local artists as well. Offer them the exposure and opportunity to show work in a space that is well-trafficked by both locals and visiting travelers. It has been a labor of love, but one they are distinctly proud of because supporting the artistic community here will always be a passion and focus for the Jupiter. Even the new property, Jupiter NEXT, will feature local art it many capacities.
PI: How would you describe the Jupiter’s vibe?
JH: Diverse. Adventurous. Curious. Mysterious. Welcoming. The on-site music venue, bands and entertainment, artists and more help to bring the Jupiter Hotel to life. “We make it easy for creative people to stay here. It’s not just a hotel, it’s an entertainment and lifestyle venue,” said Tod Breslau, co-owner. “Everything they need to find for a travel experience is here on property. We see a really active nightlife crowd at the hotel.”
PI: Is there an inspiration for the Jupiter’s personality?
JH: The inspiration for the Jupiter atmosphere is very much like that of a European hostel – community driven, but with 100% more privacy. It’s a place where travelers meet, make friends and adventure through the city together. The aesthetic is clean and modern, a great place for budding photographers to get some great shots. And with the historic nod toward mid-century it’s an at-home feel for those who are nostalgic for days gone by.
PI: What’s on the horizon for the Jupiter?
JH: Jupiter NEXT is a newly conceived property being built on East Burnside set to open in early 2018. With more than 43,000 square foot of hotel, restaurant, bar, garden, and event spaces and 67 guest rooms, the Jupiter will double capacity. Guests can get lost in a secret garden and fuel their day (and late night) with food from the on-site restaurant and bar. An elevated addition, the new concept continues the vibrant originality of the Jupiter Hotel, but with nuanced updates to offer leisure and business travelers the option to disconnect at the end of the day and enjoy a cocktail at the boisterous lobby, or retreat to the quiet of their room.
As Portland grows into an internationally recognized destination, affordable lodging is being pushed to its perimeters. The Society Hotel is here to fill the gap with low hotel rates and a preserved piece of Portland history in the heart of downtown.
A boutique hotel with a hostel component, The Society Hotel is located in Portland’s Old Town/Chinatown. Lovingly curated as an experiential space for visitors, it brings easy access to the city’s exciting downtown, and surrounding neighborhoods to a whole new group of travelers.
Society Hotel emphasizes comfort, accessibility, and authenticity. They aspire to offer experiences for travelers that exceed expectations at rates that pay homage to the Mariner’s Building’s 1881 roots. They offer hostel lodging in the Bunkroom, as well as reserve private rooms with both shared and on-suite bathrooms.
PI: The word around town is that you’re the best deal in city.
SH: Our entire staff is so proud of our value and how they’re directly changing correlations between room rate and level of service. It’s just ridiculous to think more money spent is the only thing that equals more service received. I make it a point to pass on all of the praise we receive to the entire staff. My team is incredible and it is because of them that our guests tell us on their way out that this has been their best hotel experience ever. I know guests initially book for our rates and reviews, but they come back for our compassion, comfort, and refuge.
PI: What are some of the advantages of your location?
SH: Our guests are adventurous and usually very comfortable in an urban setting. That bodes well for us, as we are in the center of Portland’s great public transportation. We are located within two blocks of all of the MAX lines and there are eight bus stops also located within two blocks of The Society Hotel. We’re also fortunate to have amazing neighbors in Darcelle’s and CC Slaughters, Old Town Pizza, and Red Robe Tea House and Café right here on the corner of NW 3rd & Davis.
PI: With the success of this new hostel/hotel, should we expect to see more from your hotel group?
SH: We are very committed to expanding affordability of accommodations. We hope to map homes away from home for all of our guests, no matter where their adventures take them!
NW PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL HOSTEL
On the edge of the Pearl District in Portland’s historic and trendy Northwest neighborhood sits the NW Portland International Hostel, a preferred choice for travelers from around the world. It’s cheap, clean, and has a great vibe. The hostel has dorm beds for back packers and a variety of private rooms. Their doubles and queen rooms give you the feel of staying in a historic BnB, but at a fraction of the price. The family rooms have a queen bed and a set of bunks.
Other features of this upscale hostel include a café/pub with local beers on tap and a full menu, a well equipped kitchen where guests can cook for themselves, an outdoor space called the Secret Garden where summer music events and BBQs are held, and a brick paved courtyard with a European feel. PORTLAND Interview spoke with hostel Owner Jim Kennett to find out more:
PI: You have a lot of solid ideas put into place to help the traveler not only with a great communal stay, but a way to really explore.
JK: Having been the traveler many times in my life, that sense of what our guests want to experience is ingrained! I started my hostel not as a business, but to provide a home on the road for travelers. We hire staff that is well traveled, so they can relate to the person on the other side of the desk. We have a great team of people. Our operations managers, Tracy and Torello, have been with us for over 10 years, and my wife Britta and I round out a great team. She’s from Germany where hosteling began and has hosteled since she was five. All of us together constantly collaborate on the fine details to enhance the experience of our guests, from the information we provide, to the vibe at our hostel, with a focus on ways to immerse our travelers in our community.
PI: You have built a brand new building on the corner that looks like it fits well with the neighborhood. What is the new building providing for your customers?
JK: The new building not only gives us the capacity to host 80 more travelers, it gives us that added social space we needed. As for the building, we wanted to make sure it fit into the historic surroundings. We chose SERA Architects, and consulted with local historians and listened to the Historic Landmarks Commission’s advice. We’re here for the long haul!
PI: What got you into the lodging industry and specifically hosteling?
JK: 38 years ago a friend and I wanted to save an old building in a small Oregon Coast town from demolition. We had more time than money. We convinced three friends to kick in a few thousand dollars and we bought the condemned building on a contract. After our yearlong renovations, we needed a use. I had hosteled in my travels and came up with the idea to open a hostel. I was a young carpenter with a college degree in counseling at the time. Turns out this would be a great combination for running a hostel, and here I am 38 years later! At my earlier coastal hostels I had to have a second job to survive. My move to Portland and joining forces with my wife Britta, gave us the power to create a place that travelers would come to love, and a place that could support us as well.