The Benson, a Coast Hotel
What We Love
- Every sitting president since William Howard Taft, and at least one king (Elvis), has stayed here
- The glorious, historic, 100-year-old lobby remains the same, but the rooms were “refreshed” in 2011
- The MAX light rail system, among America’s best, travels from the airport to within 1.5 blocks of the hotel
What To Know
- Major suites are not pet friendly; otherwise, pets are permitted for an additional cost of $25, per stay
- “Refresh” remained traditional — no boutique chic here
- Valet parking is available for an additional $33 per night
- Read more about what to see and do in Portland, Oregon in our magazine section
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Modeled after Chicago’s Blackstone Hotel in the French Second Empire style, the Benson remains Portland’s most iconic hotel. The lobby celebrates the city’s past timber riches, with impressive pillars cut from Circassian walnut from imperisal Russia rising from the Italian marble floors surrounded by pods of overstuffed chairs and floor-to-ceiling wood paneling.
Bed and Bath
Bedrooms are appointed in standard luxury, with plush chairs in neutral tones to match the wallpaper, accented by Chippendale-style furniture and the occasional striped drape or upholstery. The bathrooms, featuring Gilchrist & Soames amenities, are more functional than stylized.
The Palm Court, located in the lobby, remains a popular watering hole for Portland’s business class and pre-theater crowd. Individual lounge areas and tables are spread out beneath the two-story ceiling, with two daily happy hours (including from 9 p.m. to closing) and live jazz Wednesday through Saturday. The formal restaurant, El Gaucho, features a cigar room and all the amenities — tableside preparation of Chateaubriand and the like — associated with a traditional steakhouse.
In the Area
Portland’s downtown is easy to negotiate on foot, including the dynamic Pearl District and the emerging West End. The Benson sits just three blocks from the “City of Books,” Powell’s. The craft-brewing scene was launched here. Bailey’s Taproom and the Tugboat Brewing Company, one of more than 50 urban breweries, sit one block away on SW Ankeny Street. Some of the tastiest of the city’s 600+ food carts can be found around the corner, at SW 9th and Washington, or two blocks farther at SW 10th and Alder, where the nation’s food cart craze began. Don’t miss Nong’s Khao Man Gai’s chicken and rice, but be sure to go early because she sells out daily.
How to Get There
The Benson is a well appointed hotel with exceptionally clean rooms, a responsive staff and a very nice restaurant. We enjoyed the breakfast menu the best. There was free evening entertainment on Wednesday in the lobby which we also enjoyed.
The lobby is stunning! Beautiful fixtures everywhere. Nice restaurant for a quick bite when you dont feel like venturing outside. Hotel bar seemingly with a seat always available. Fire place always going to warm you up after the walm back to the hotel. Staff was friendly and professional. Concierge members were very helpful provided us alot of knowledge about the town and gave us maps and lots of ideas. They also took care of our luggage before check in and after check out. Rooms are nicely updated and clean. I heard you could get Starbucks delivered to the room but we did not try it. Alot of shops and restaurants in walking distance. We walked to most places that we visited. Vip perks were free valet. On check in we received coupons for the steakhouse they own and a free drink/ app at the lobby restaurant. We very much enjoyed our stay here!
Be prepared to be spoiled. Service is excellent from hotel & restaurant staff. The hotel goes out of there way to welcome our dogs. Each time we go there we are impressed by the quality of the staff. Many of the staff have been there over 10 years.