Unlocking Portland's Stylish Hotel Boom

With over ten new and updated properties around town, the city's lodging revolution is here.

By Camille Grigsby-Rocca June 22, 2015

Portland’s hotel business is in the grip of a revolution waged with sleek brands and towering cranes. Why, exactly, is the city adding a fleet of new lodging concepts and hundreds of rooms over the next few years? According to Portland-based global hospitality consultant Kasia Russell, the city’s eyebrow-raising occupancy rates (roughly 80 percent to a national average of 60 percent), convenience to major corporate headquarters, and growing appeal as a tourist destination fuel the frenzy.

“I get a phone call a day from a developer interested in a hotel project,” she says. “Portland is on the map as a place to come experience.”  Here’s who’s dropping by.

1. Hilton Canopy

425 NW Ninth Ave    Opens 2017

The global giant’s new boutique brand, launched just last October, will staff its hotels with neighborhood-savvy “Enthusiasts.” This 153-room Pearl District property from local ZGF Architects joins the 11 debut locations in the US and London. 

2. The Harlow Hotel

Upper levels of 720–738 NW Glisan St   Opens spring/summer 2016

Earthquake-proofing and a new restaurant are in the works before this historic building opens as a 24-room, full-service hotel by longtime budget hotel owner Ganesh Sonpatki. 

3. Hotel Eastlund 

1021 NE Grand Ave    Opened spring 2015

The “luxury boutique” hotel in the Lloyd District (formerly a Red Lion) targets business travelers and locals alike, with Nel Centro’s David Machado at the culinary helm of restaurant Altabira City Tavern.   

4. Oregon Convention Center Hotel

777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd   Maybe someday?

In May, Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill giving Metro the ability to subsidize a proposed 600-room Hyatt, with an eye toward luring more conventions and the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. But given that supporters and opponents of this idea have already sparred for a decade, we’ll believe it when the ribbon’s cut. 

5. Society Hotel 

203 NW Third Ave   Opens fall 2015

Local developers updated this long-empty building, historically a sailors’ hostel, and added a sweet rooftop deck. Another blast from the past: rates start well under $100, at least in the communal bunk room, aiming at budget-conscious urban adventurers.

6. Hotel Vintage Portland

422 SW Broadway   Renovated winter 2015

At the former Hotel Vintage Plaza, sweeping renovations transformed this Kimpton Hotels property into a veritable ode to Oregon wine, from wine-cork wall art to vine-ripened room amenities. 

7. Oregon Pioneer Building 

409 SW Third Ave    TBD

The 1910 building is ready for its next incarnation: a boutique hotel by Palo Alto–based developers BPR. (Breathe easy, Spanish coffee lovers: Huber’s isn’t going anywhere).

8. AC Hotel by Marriott

SW Third Ave & Taylor St     Opens fall 2016

The global chain’s Europe-based “urban” brand expands stateside to target younger, chic-seeking business travelers. Portland’s Sera Architects will craft the 204-room, “design-led” hotel. 

9. The Porter Hotel

SW Second Ave & Jefferson St    In development 

The city recently approved a design for a 16-story, 299-room hotel from Hilton’s five-star Curio Collection, with rooftop restaurant, lobby market, and sidewalk takeout window.

10. Hyatt House

SW River Parkway & River Drive   Opens summer 2016

Financed by a federal investment program that essentially allows foreigners to “buy” a permanent resident visa by financing domestic job-creation projects, this extended-stay hotel joins the South Waterfront next year.

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