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
When I checked in, I was feeling frazzled due the usuals -- not the least of which was more upsetting political news. When Bre at the front desk asked me how I was, I told her -- and she was fantastic! We had this great conversation and she and her colleague directed me to this cool feminist shop Wildfang, which was just around the corner. I had a beautiful corner room in The Benson, filled with light and that lovely cool grey decor and it was a beautiful stay. Thanks, Bre and the front desk crew for being so generous and warm!
The Benson is a beautiful hotel with excellent courteous and professional staff. The room was clean, with awesome black-out curtains. The view was great. The whole experience was exceptional. I highly recommend the Benson for staying in Portland.
Nice classical hotel in the heart of the city and very reasonably priced. We had our business lunch in the ballroom and the food and desserts were great. Service staff was friendly and helped point out local attractions.
Benson Hotel is our favorite Hotel in Portland. The service they provide is second to none and the staff was very accommodating. Benson is well located within downtown Portland with close proximity to all restaurants and other entertainment options.
I frequent the Benson Hotel and they always do a great job. The parking attendants know my name, the bar is great, and staying there is easy and convenient. The rooms are fantastic but most of all, the service is always the best with everything they do!