Attending a conference in downtown Portland, there were a few preferred rates offered by the local hotels. With such a great stay at the Kimpton in NYC (prior post), I decided to stay at another Kimpton hotel, the Hotel Vintage Plaza in Portland.
Arriving after 9 pm from the East Coast, i was pretty tired but was instantly perked up by the friendly front desk staff and enthusiastic concierge, Jessica, with whom I had been communicating with prior to arrival. She was happy to meet me before going off shift and gave me a personalize packet of information to review.
I had two reservations – one at $229 + tax prior to the conference and then $189 +tax for the conference dates. When I found a lower price online of $184 +tax prior to arrival for the pre-conference stay, I called to price match, which they happily accommodated and gave me a $25 food credit to use as is their policy. All of this was confirmed during check-in and I could stay in my room the entire time – I would not need to check out and check back in as some hotels make you do. The July secret word “bicycle” would reward me with a bottle of wine which was such a treat after a long journey (make sure to follow Kimpton on Twitter and/or Facebook for the new word of the month and specials)
The downtown central location was perfectly situated for me to walk almost everywhere -shopping (tax free), art museum, conference venues and the waterfront. Public transit is a block away. There are a plethora of restaurants and food truck pods in the area to satisfy any craving.
There are three separate seating areas in the lobby which is great for the wine social hour as well as meeting friends and not feeling crowded. From the elevator lobbies, you can look up to the atrium space which makes the floors feel open. The bellman/door staff were friendly and always opened the door greeting me and asking if they can help in any way.
Standard King Room
I was given a corner room in the older building which overlooked the intersection below and the Marriott across the street. The room was L shaped with a long entryway which led to the bathroom and then turned to the bedroom. With a king bed, working table, television/minibar area as well as a sitting area, it was nicely appointed and did not feel small despite the many pieces of furniture.
Waiting to welcome me was my plush puppy on the bed (cute!). The bed was quite comfortable and despite the streets below, surprisingly quiet. The various lights are individually controlled. The closet had the animal print robe that Kimpton’s are known for as well as a yoga mat to use.
You can choose to pass on housekeeping and earn a $5 credit for each day not used (they do service the rooms on every 3rd day and checkout so you don’t earn on those days). I elected to decline housekeeping once during my stay – I was torn between being environmental and feeling bad for not tipping the housekeeper. Environment 1, Housekeeping 3
As a Kimpton loyalty member, you are entitled to a $10 minibar credit in Portland. The minibar is accessed with a key for cold beverages and a tray of treats is located atop the television. There are many tasty ways to use your credit – i tend to use it for bottled water that has a name, Fred. I laugh at the fact that the water is named Fred. This minibar items were all current, nothing had yet expired (i always check this detail as it provides insight into the rest of the hotel details).
The bathroom felt new and old at the same time. As I was in the older building, the ceilings were quite high which gave an open feeling to the bathroom space. The high ceilings lent themselves to the large window which was frosted. For the most part, the room was new, the bathtub/tile looked a bit out of place – not sure how really, but when i first looked at it with the rest of the space, just didn’t seem to fit design. The shampoo/conditioner/shower gel are fixed in the shower which is quite environmentally friendly (sadly you can’t Hotel Chipmunk them) The sink was appropriate for the space with small area for personal toiletries.
I am not preferred level with the Kimpton’s yet (I am trying) so technically not eligible for my profile favorite amenity. However, just like the Muse Hotel in New York City, the concierge hit it out of the park with two Voodoo Doughnuts in a bag with a handmade decorated welcome note. I had mentioned in our emails that I was looking forward to trying a Voodoo doughnut and working out like a fiend to cover the calories. After my long trek from the East Coast, I opened the bottle of red and inhaled the doughnut (it wasn’t a pretty sight but it was a damn good doughnut at the time). There was also a welcome note presumably from the staff the setup/delivered the doughnuts. Two welcome notes, dessert and wine – how could I not feel welcomed?
The onsite restaurant is Pazzo which is Italian. It was not opened on July 4th so a continental breakfast was set up in the lobby with pastries, yogurt and juice. On the weekends, it opens for brunch at 8:30 am which was too late for me to get to the conference. I was able to enjoy breakfast one day and lunch another day. They bake the bread onsite and have a separate bakery/sandwich shop attached. My breakfast (the special is cheaper than ala carte even though i don’t drink coffee) included a side of fruit which was made to order when i requested melon be excluded.
For lunch (Saturday brunch time), i ate my body weight in bread (yeah, bread basket!) and felt not a tinge of guilt (i really should have but was under the “no calories on vacation” illusion). My chicken sandwich on foccaccia was tasty with rosemary potatoes in lieu of a side salad. Service was attentive, food allergies and preferences easily accommodated and the food was so tasty and fresh. Sadly, I did not get to try their pasta which is their specialty.
Prior to arrival (about a week or so), I contacted the concierge, Jessica, with a few queries. She was quite responsive by email and called me direct to chat so that she had a better understanding of my needs. Her email listing contained links to vendors for me to research all of my options. When i arrived as noted above, she was happy to give me a detailed packet of information. The packet when i opened it was perfect – it was exactly what i expect of a concierge only Jessica went a bit further to impress. Her packet contained a three pages sheet of suggestions with a map she marked up to correspond to each vendor. The time it took to make this map was quite appreciated, I took a photo and showed everyone i met (they were already impressed by the doughnuts and wine). Throughout the stay, the concierge team was helpful and friendly. They made me feel special from the moment I arrived until I left. This type of attention for me had made me loyal to many hotels in various cities (Peninsula Chicago, Soho Hotel London to name a few and now Hotel Vintage Plaza, Portland).
Of the five nights, imagine my disappointment that I could only attend one night due to the conference schedule (thankfully my bottle of red was in my room). The one i did get to was a bit different from others I’ve attended as the local wine vendor treated this as a wine tasting and offering small pours. I chatted with him about his wine and he gave me brochures but seemed a bit dismayed when i asked for more wine. This was the first time a local vineyard was in charge of the wine in my experience, usually the staff moderate and facilitate the guests. There were plates of appetizers on a table for all to enjoy.
The rest of the hotel
There is a gym in the basement but as this was vacation, I never ventured close to it but overheard on the elevator that it was quite nice and not crowded. The hotel is dog friendly with a board in the lobby listing the names of the four legged guests. Internet is free to all Kimpton loyalty members (sign up people!) – the signal was strong in all areas of the hotel – room, lobby and restaurant.
The Kimpton hotels are known for small boutique and high service. The Hotel Vintage Plaza in Portland definitely hit the high service marks for me as well as comfortable design that made for a wonderful stay for five nights. With soaring ceilings in my corner room, I didn’t want to leave as it was a comfortable home away from home and proved a relaxing stay. Jessica, the Concierge, was outstanding from first email contact to check out and the food onsite was fantastic. Definitely check the rate prior to check-in to see if there is a price match available. There are many options in Portland (two other Kimpton properties), I was happy with the Hotel Vintage Plaza for my first visit to Portland and hope you have a great experience too!