Top 10 cool and unusual hotels in Portland

Cool and Unusual Hotels Portland

Ah, Portland! One of my favourite places in the USA! When I visited early last year I had the sensation I may just have found my spiritual home. Small and compact, not too far from the beautiful Oregon coastline, Portland epitomises everything which is good about the hipster scene! Bursting with cool style and character and a sense of hope and community it reminded me very much of London’s famous Camden Town circa the 1990’s. I was delighted to find myself surrounded by cool little cafe’s, chic and cheap vintage shops and good natured, eco-minded hipsters with a heart. After a little scout around I found the charmingly unique Portland hotels also reflect the city’s progressive and idiosyncratic ideals. Here are 10 cool, quirky and unusual hotels in Portland, Oregon to help you plan your fun and perfectly hip USA holiday…

The Heathman Hotel – classic chic

Heathman Hotel Portland

This option wouldn’t suit the budget traveller but if you want to splash out on a completely deluxe boutique experience, the Heathman Hotel is where it’s at! Situated in the heart of Portland, close to all the galleries, parks and museums the unique Portland hotel is second to none for old time elegance. Although arguably its most famous accolade is being the site of Ana and Christians first rendezvous in 50 Shades of Grey! The boutique rooms are spacious and artfully designed and the intimate Tea Court Lounge offers delicious fine dining and live Jazz twice a week. The lovely award winning historic hotel also offers an ‘Art of Sleep’ bed menu which allows guests to choose from a selection of luxury mattresses, a unique lending library for guests and a ‘pampered pets package’ if you wanted to take a furry friend – delightful!

McMenamins Kennedy School – boutique kitsch

McMenamins Kennedy School Portland

This repurposed Art Nouveux era elementary school is a class of it’s own, literally! With half of it’s 57 boutique rooms maintaining their original classroom character and the other half sporting literary themes – the McMenamins Kennedy School radiates an unusual vintage cool! Thankfully craft beer and fresh roasted coffee replace school dinners in this hotel. Guests can enjoy the house brew in the Concordia Brewery (formally the little girls room!) listen to excellent live music in the on- site venue and munch on delicious sustainably sourced grub in the Courtyard Restaurant. After a day exploring all the Portland landmarks you can unwind in the saltwater pool or combine home grown pub fare with movie magic on the auditorium cinema screen! A truly unique and fun Portland hotel experience.

Ace Hotel – arty and oh so cool!

The Ace hotel Portland

This refreshing little chic and funky Portland hotel is a more affordable option without compromising on style, with double rooms starting at $100 a night. Based in a historic building in downtown Portland, The Ace is close to all the sites and on plenty of public transport links. The spacious rooms are lovingly decorated by local artists and you can enjoy home-cooked locally sourced food and drink in the Clyde Common restaurant and bar. If you fancy exploring the city on two wheels there are bikes to borrow or you can even rent a bespoke handmade bike created for the hotel by artist Jordon Hufnagel. There are plenty of cosy communal spaces where you can chill out with fellow travellers and also make sure you take advantage of the gorgeous vintage photo booth to capture some old style holiday memories!

  • Prices from $180
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Ace Hotel

Hotel Vintage – gorgeous hipster boutique hotel

The Pearl district is a historically industrial neighbourhood close to downtown Portland whose old warehouses and breweries have been reclaimed and resurrected by artists and in the heart of Pearl is where you’ll find this very cool Portland hotel. Hotel Vintage is a pioneering upscale hip boutique hotel which features delightful design details such as a floating staircase and a bunch of grapes chandelier as well as an adult games room and two wonderfully contemporary eateries. The Pazzo restaurant offers local wines and cream of the crop italian cuisine, while the casually cool Bacchus Bar holds delicious craft beers and wines amongst old school arcade games and pool. Priding itself on its gastronomy, the hotel also offers urban tasting sessions in its exquisitely designed lounge room. This is kitsch cool comfort at its finest!

  • Prices from $240 per night
  • To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Vintage

Jupiter Hotel – retro chic

Unusual hotels Portland

For modern travellers, cultural creatives and anyone who lives outside the box’ the Hotel Jupiter, located in the hip Burnside area of Portland, may be the place for you. If you want to party the night away you can stay on the bar side of the hotel, right next to the Doug Fir Lounge and Restaurant, this award winning small venue offers excellent food, beer and live music so you can rock ’til the small hours! For a more peaceful stay choose a room on the chill side. All rooms feature chic 1950’s american dream inspired décor and everything you need for a very comfy stay. The hotel is dedicated to supporting local artists and small businesses and the first friday of every month it hosts a ‘reception for the artist’ event where you can mix with local artisans and explore multi-sensory art forms with like minded people. An ideal hip mid range Portland hotel for the streetwise urban traveller, this is contemporary culture at it’s best!

  • Prices from $160 per night
  • To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Jupiter

McMenamins Crystal Hotel – music inspired

Cool hotels Portland

Enjoy downtown Portland at it’s Rock n’Roll finest at this quirky Portland hotel inspired by The Crystal Ballroom’s extensive musical history. The décor in each of the 51 rooms at the McMenamins Crystal Hotel is influenced by one of the stand out show’s at the Ballroom – from Blondie to The Flaming Lips, local artists and fans have done their best to capture the atmosphere generated by these music icons. With The Crystal Ballroom just across the road you can even become part of the story! Like all Mcnemanin Hotels this one is situated in a historic building; it has it’s own venue and it serves up food and brews made from only the finest northwest ingredients. For all you music lovers out there this very cool Portland hotel even offers limited room and gig packages that are well worth a look!

Hotel Modera – hip and stylish

Unusual hotels Portland

Situated right in the middle of the arts district Hotel Modera embraces Portland’s unique brand of style and spirit offering a tranquil, pet friendly stay in the heart of town. Blending clean sleek lines and welcoming warmth The Modera offers everything required for a refined and relaxing stay. The hotel has a zen interior courtyard  complete with fire pits and the city’s first ever living wall. What’s more you can begin your exploration of Portland’s renowned food scene right here at the hotel’s own Nel Centro a fine dining experience engineered by celebrated Portland chef and restaurateur, David Machado. If unique culture is your thing this may be your dream hotel!

  • Prices from $170 per night
  • To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Modera

Traveler’s House Portland – cool boutique hostel

Travellers House Boutique Portland

For those travelling on a tighter budget and wanting to meet, mix and commune with other travellers this is a fantastic funky budget hotel option in Portland. The hostel offers beautifully decked out private rooms, comfortable dorms and cosy communal spaces and it’s ideal for exploring the wonderful vintage and arts districts of Misissipi Avenue, Williams and Alberta. It’s situated on excellent public transport links for downtown and the airport so transport is no issue. The hostel is also completely bike friendly offering secure storage and cheap rental if you want to investigate the city on two wheels. Whether you are travelling to lose yourself or to find yourself (!) this charming little hostel would be a fantastic place to start!

Hotel Monaco – unique luxury boutique

Hotel Monaco Portland

Hotel Monaco wears eccentric eco-chic like a comfortable shirt, mixing eclectic furnishings and cosy vintage décor with heaps of personality… sort of like a microcosm of Portland itself. The on site Red Star Bar boasts creative cocktails and one of the largest whisky selections in downtown as well as microbrews and local wines from the Willamette Valley. The Red Star Tavern serves up innovative dishes compiled from local organic ingredients. To top it off the beautifully unusual Portland hotel is situated in the wonderfully cosmopolitan Pearl District.. a shining example of urban renewal at it’s best!

  • Prices from $200 per night
  • To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Monaco

The Inn@Northrup Station – fun and funky

Unique hotels Portland

This offbeat psychedelic Portland hotel will blow your socks off if you love colourful retro kitsch! The Inn@Northrup Station is situated in bustling NW Portland close to boutique shopping, aladdin’s cave of vintage goodies, craft breweries and cafe’s galore! It’s right on the eco friendly street car line, so travelling in and out of downtown couldn’t be easier. Like all cool Portland hotels worth their salt you can enjoy contributions from local artists and delicious house roast coffee in the hip street side bar, or interact with the street scene below from your own balcony or the communal rooftop terrace. You can help yourself to sweet treats from one of the giant candy jars and soak up the unique spirit of NW Portland, you will definitely leave significantly hipper than you arrived!

More cool, quirky and unusual hotels in Portland

Portland cool and unusual

  • Hotel deLuxe – An Art-Deco style 1912 four star hotel inspired by Old Hollywood glamour from $180 per night.
  • HI-Portland Hawthorne District – An eco-minded hostel located in the Hawthorne district housed in a historic 1909 Craftsman house from $40 per night.
  • Hotel Westin – A luxury boutique hotel located close to all the attractions from $190 per night.
  • Hotel Lucia – Set in a 1909 landmark, this chic downtown Portland hotel offers classy decor and excellent service from $170 per night.
  • Hotel Rose – A funky, fun and “oh-so-Portland” boutique hotel, expect plenty of colour and a hip, modern decor from $150 per night.

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Beth was born under a wandering star, with drama in her veins and ink in her pen. After stints studying theatre in Dublin and Utrecht she used her creative streak to see as much of the world as she could on as little money. She toured Italian Schools with a children's theatre troop, lived as an au-pair in both Rome and Washington DC, explored the British countryside, worked her way through much of Europe, Salsa'd in Cuba and road tripped down America's west coast where she discovered her spiritual home; Portland, Oregon. In between adventures she resides peacefully with her cat and ukulele amid the misty valleys and rolling hills of beautiful South Wales.


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