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
Bre welcomed us and invited us to check in hours early, which was far more helpful than storing our luggage as we asked. What a treat to enjoy the room before our sightseeing. She suggested sites to visit and we followed a restaurant suggestion. Our room was huge with plenty of USB ports, great lighting, extra storage in the bath, and nightlights in the bath outlets. The breakfast was excellent. And Bre, ha k you for our treat when we returned to our room at night. We are returning after our coast visit and look forward to the longer stay.
The Benson is an upscale, older hotel in a convenient location in Portland, OR. We were able to check in early, were given free valet parking, and Bre at the front desk sent us two chocolate pastries, two bottles of water, and a nice handwritten note. Bre also recommended several restaurants and everything we ate over our two night stay was fantastic! Bre knocked it out of the park.
The room was very nice. It was average sized for an American hotel, but with nice tall ceilings. The shower was excellent too.
I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone wanting a centralized hotel in Portland within walking distance of many great restaurants and shopping. The service was highly personalized and quite friendly/helpful.
Family took a mid-week, overnight trip to Portland. We always stay at the Benson, and each time is better than the last. This trip was no exception -- we ended up in a great room with views of the city ... almost didn't want to leave in the morning. Breakfast in the lobby was great, as always, and the hotel staff treated all of us (including my 5 year old son) with patience and kindness. All of this just reiterated our prejudice in favor of the Benson as our hotel of choice in Portland, and we'll definitely be back!