Travel Portland: Where to Stay
This city’s vibrant lodgings have a surprisingly luxe twist.
For a city that takes taking it easy to a whole new level, Portland’s lodgings are surprisingly luxe, which is a welcome surprise for the weary visitor.
A New Lease on Life
The best hotels embody the soul of their place—history, attitude, terroir. By that measure, Portland’s Sentinel Hotel (pictured above) may just be its most iconic, despite only being a year old and a relative unknown to even frequent visitors. But the 100-room, six-storey century-old gem that started life as two hotels more than a century ago, served as a 1940s carpet factory, then was abandoned to squatters and filmmakers like Gus Van Sant (who filmed My Own Private Idaho in its dilapidation), is an attraction all its own.
The $6-million reno by local boutique operator Provenance Hotels has unearthed the bygone extravagance of a far-flung timber-and-resource empire—apartment-sized rooms (called parlours); thick interior stone archways; ornate, soaring ceilings and intricate marble. That the hotel’s first three floors are a Jenga puzzle of palatial banquet rooms, billiard parlours and libraries, some with strategic acoustics and inexplicable nooks and zoomorphic mouldings, only adds to the fun mystery. The current owners rebranded with the tagline “So Many Stories,” and encourage fascinated guests to make their own on a lobby typewriter, or over an artisan cocktail at Jackknife, a locally obsessed hotel bar. Lucky for you, the Sentinel embodies another Portland tenet: walkability. sentinelhotel.com
Little Big Guy
You’d never know that The Nines is part of the Starwood Group. It’s quirky and playful and loaded up with individual design in a way most Sheratons are not. Its rooftop bar is much more hopping than the usual lounge at a Westin. Wow—Portland even does chains better than everyone. thenines.com