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
- 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
It was a very pleasant stay I found the Hotel very nice and the valet service was great and so was the staff room was clean and fresh and lots of towels and extras like shampoo and cream rinse etc The food was great and the service was very good for our business
I recently stayed at the Benson while in Portland for a work conference (the conference was also held at the hotel in one of their large ballrooms). What a gorgeous building. It has a very refined, historical feel—the rooms have obviously been remodeled but most of the architecture in the lobby and public areas looked original. The room itself was nice and clean and I slept great for the three nights I stayed. The hotel is also very centrally located so it's super easy to walk to a number of shopping and eating establishments (and there's nearby MAX access if you want to go further). The staff was helpful and efficient as well—on the final day of our stay, my colleagues and I were able to check our bags with the concierge since we had to check out of our rooms but weren't due to leave town for another couple of hours. We also had a fantastic restaurant recommended to us by one of the doormen who overheard us trying to decide where to go. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and would like to come back sometime.
A wonderful place to stay to get in the holiday spirit. Beautiful decorations, great location to everything . Wonderful Shopping and restaurants all within walking distance. Be sure to go to El Gaucho !
The Benson hotel staff are warm, friendly and helpful. The only thing I didn't like about the stay was the bed. Felt like a posturepedic foam mattress that you kind of sink into. I had a hard time sleeping through the night. Everything else was perfect.
I was disappointed that they missed setting up my date night package - which was asupposed to be surprise for his birthday. Instead I had to call down and ask for it, spoiling the surprise. Pretty disappointing.