The Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood that plays host to the Oaks Amusement Park is all about going green, either with a nature walk or by braving one of the many rides at the vintage attraction. If the latter is more your speed, Oaks – a park that’s been making Americans dizzy since 1905 – has everything from the terrifying Adrenaline Peak roller coaster to the 1912 Herschell-Spillman hand-carved menagerie carousel. Similarly, the hotels in Sellwood-Moreland and other spots along the Willamette River range from thrilling to tranquil, depending on how close you are to the water.
With its Scandi-inspired decor and oversized windows framing views of the Willamette River and surrounding countryside, the River’s Edge in South Portland wants you to leave any stress at the front desk. If that doesn’t quite cut it, the hotel is also home to the largest spa in Portland. Phew. For those who would rather party than pamper themselves, the hotel acts as a gateway to neighborhood gems like dive bar Suki’s, with its ear-splitting karaoke nights.
Balconies overlooking Lake Oswego make staying at the Lakeshore Inn feel a bit like being on a cruise ship – only, you don’t have to wait for it to dock to start exploring. And there’s a lot to do in the area. Close by are shopping emporiums Washington Square Mall and Lloyd Center, Oregon Zoo, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and the Roseland Theater, if you fancy a night out on the tiles.
Listed on the Register of Historic Places, Hotel Lucia was constructed in 1909 and, at one time, acted as a gathering spot for cattle ranchers visiting from Eastern Oregon. As a hotel with a slick, modern look, it has a strong focus on contemporary art, particularly photography. Hotel Lucia has the largest collection of black-and-white photography by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Hume Kennerly in the world. His striking work adorns the rooms and hallways.
The facts that the Jupiter Hotel shares space with music venue Doug Fir Lounge and that it has an art gallery in the lobby mean it crackles with creativity around the clock here. As a hipster hangout in the happening Burnside neighborhood, the hotel used to be a 1960s motor lodge, with rooms featuring mid-century modern-style furnishings. The brand expanded up East Burnside, with the taller, more luxurious Jupiter NEXT, which opened in 2008.
If you’re in Portland to tap into the city’s wacky side (which is plentiful), Hotel Rose will get you off to a good start. Bright pineapple-yellow decor, a beer-bottle chandelier and mini-cupcakes in the foyer put you in the right frame of mind to have fun in the City of Roses. And, while there are some sensible design choices – such as ergonomic desk chairs, rainfall showers and Keurig coffee-makers – in the rooms, the presence of Dash, a small stuffed dog that guests can purchase to help animal shelters, is a reminder that the Rose does things a bit differently.
The best boutique hotel in Downtown Portland’s thriving Eastside, Hotel Eastland has floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, so its spacious interior is always naturally illuminated – and it deserves to be. Grey industrial spaces are punctuated with dashes of aquamarine and bright orange – and some striking artwork, including a painting of Bridget Bardot smoking a cigar. Swing by the rooftop restaurant for magical views of the glowing Oregon Convention Center towers.
If none of these call your name, Portland has plenty of boutique hotels and luxury places to stay that will. Spend your day exploring the bookshops and breweries in the city, or take a walk in the many parks in Portland. If you like to party, you’ll be able to continue your evening drinking and dancing away in these clubs and bars.
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