Hotel Grand Stark Hotel

Portland, OR, USA

A quirky pad makes perfect sense in ahead-of-the-pack Portland, USA, where conviviality is as important as solid design ethos and culinary heritage, all within range of the town’s art galleries and shops

Portland’s evergreen reputation precedes it. Drawing visitors for its innovative creative scene, Oregon’s largest city is similarly replete with a culinary heritage that celebrates coffee culture, craft beer, standout seafood and fresh local vegetables. Sitting on the cusp of numerous national forests, little over an hour from the Pacific coast, it’s small wonder this urban hub has a nature-first mindset, something best displayed across its city-wide eco credentials – it’s America’s most bike-friendly city – and abundant green spaces.

Set within a revitalised historic hotel – a department store since 1910 – in Portland’s Central Eastside, Hotel Grand Stark is an ideal jumping-off point to explore it all. Embodying the Pacific Northwest’s independent spirit, and paying due homage to the area’s traditions, it’s as much a stopgap for locals as it is for travellers. Inspired by the idea of imperfect beauty and embracing a welcoming DIY finish, it falls perfectly in line with the ‘Keep Portland Weird’ motto. Comfortable, perfectly formed rooms (57 in total) feature built-in, plaid-clad seating, big walk-in
showers and plenty of natural light, while practicality is taken into account with clever storage solutions and modern work space. And there’s a welcome splash of luxury along the way by way of full-size Diptyque toiletries, fine Italian Bellino linens, plump velvet armchairs and Smeg fridges filled with high-end snacks.

From the cool lobby and artbedecked lounging areas to the on-site deli, communal spaces are abuzz with conviviality. Meanwhile, understated Bar Chamberlain makes for an ideal people-watching spot over craft cocktails and bar bites that include hearty burgers nestled in toasted homemade kaiser rolls, salads and tempting steak au poivre. The space unites original brick with mid-century touches and Scandi hues.

The neighbourhood’s known for its crop of new restaurants, distilleries, breweries and independent shops, with riverside walks, the Japanese Garden, art galleries and Portland Farmers Market all within easy reach.

Doubles from £118. 00 1 503 231 0101,

Words by Blossom Green.

This review was taken from the 250th issue of Food and Travel. To subscribe today, click here.

Get Premium access to all the latest content online

Subscribe and view full print editions online... Subscribe