Blame it on the eight seasons of “Portlandia” or simply on the way people rave about the city when they return from visiting. Portland is experiencing a hotel boom. Collectively, the recent wave in hotel development has resulted in an increase in room inventory of nearly 50 percent since 2016.

There are five projects currently underway in the central city, and 13 properties have opened in the city since 2018. Those openings include three hip new hotels, below, that made their debut during the pandemic. Think of these less as conference hotels and more as centers of conviviality for small groups, with Portland’s ample venues and gathering spots just steps away. 

Lolo Pass

Across the river from downtown, Lolo Pass offers an upscale hybrid hostel experience in one the hippest and coolest areas of the city. With 87 rooms capable of hosting 282 guests in private and shared quarters, this new property offers options for every budget in the city’s dynamic Central Eastside District. A seasonal rooftop bar with amazing views and a lobby restaurant and coffee bar rounds out the property. Lolo Pass’ enviable location on Burnside puts it steps away from some of the city’s most popular businesses such as Revolution Hall, culinary icon Cathy Whims’ Nostrana Italian restaurant, and the popular hipster bar hangout The Sandy Hut. Discounts are available for bookings of eight beds or more. Meeting space: shared and private rooms 

Hotel Grand Stark

Perched in Portland’s Central Eastside District, across the river from the city’s downtown core, Hotel Grand Stark is a 57-room historic property that has been carefully reimagined back to its hospitality roots. The 1906 building is a four-story structure that was originally built as a hotel and housed a legendary local furniture manufacturer for the past 80 years. 

The hotel also is home to two food and beverage concepts—the Grand Stark Deli and the forthcoming Bar Chamberlain—developed in partnership with the local culinary creative minds at Submarine Hospitality. The former pays homage to deli culture, incorporating the best of local Pacific Northwest ingredients and serving an approachable all-day menu from morning until late. Bar Chamberlain harkens back to the era of classic hotel bars featuring expertly crafted cocktails alongside a progressive wine list anchored by a menu of craveable snacks and comforting dinners. Meeting space: 800 square feet. 

Moxy Portland Downtown

With 179 guest rooms, Moxy Portland Downtown is bordered by the Pearl and Culture districts, just blocks away from the world’s largest independent bookstore, Powell’s City of Books. When guests check in at the bar in the bright, open lobby, they receive a complimentary cocktail or coffee. They also can take advantage of Plug and Meet gathering areas with modern ergonomic seating, large writing walls and 56-inch televisions for presentation projection. Other amenities include three food carts and a well-stocked bar featuring craft cocktails, wines by the glass, and local brews. Meeting space: 5,000 square feet. 

Construction has been completed on the striking new Gerry Frank/Salem Rotary Amphitheater.

Located in Riverfront Park, Salem’s premier downtown venue for outdoor events, the $4-milion amphitheater is a joint project of the City of Salem and the Rotary Club of Salem. CBTWO Architects based the structure’s sweeping wood “basket-weave” concept on the open-weave baskets of the Kalapuya Native American Tribe, whose history is an integral part of Riverfront Park’s land and culture. 

 

Idaho’s Capital City is actively wooing meeting planners. With a compact, exciting downtown, endless outdoor activities, a first-class convention center and a very accommodating CVB, the courtship is succeeding. 

 

Jamie McKinney wants visitors to experience Portland at its quirkiest.