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
Beautifully restored hotel in the Pearl District surrounded by many nice restaurants and bars. Only a couple of short blocks from Powell’s Books. Lobby is spectacular and lobby bar pours a great drink. While there is an amenities charge for WiFi it also provides vouchers for free lobby bar appetizers, and a voucher for free dessert at El Gaucho, a first class steakhouse. Valet parking is pricy but that’s downtown Portland. Rooms are nicely appointed and very quiet. Highly recommended.
The Benson is a beautiful hotel. The rooms are modern and well furnished. The lobby and mezzanine
level are decorated impeccably and the ceilings are gorgeous. The valet and hotel staff were very helpful at check in and check out. We would definitely stay there again. They will tell you at check in, but there is an amenities fee that seems to be the norm for most hotels in the area.
The hotel is also within walking distance of several bars and restaurants which is also very convenient.
Hubby and I were planning a quick trip to Portland on our way to the Oregon Coast. We were pleased to stumble on this hotel through Hotwire. The location was excellent. Walking distance to everything we wanted to do.... Powells City of Books, restaurants, and the parks down at the river.
From the moment we drove up to the building, we were greeted by the valet staff. They took care of our luggage and car. The front desk staff were so helpful in letting us know about the highlights of their great city. The rooms were spotlessly clean and so quiet! I couldn't believe we were staying in a city. We didn't hear a sound all night. The restaurant staff at breakfast were attentive and gave us all sorts of tips about what we should do when we got to the coast. I would absolutely stay here again if the opportunity arose.
This was an incredible stay. It had been years since staying and we were so impressed with how nice the hotel is today. The staff was amazing and from the first minute we walked in until,we checked out. Richard our server was delightful and so kind to us. I think he said he had been there 40 years. The food was delicious with a great presentation. Our room ranked as one of the best we have had in years. We loved the lobby bar. Valet was the nicest gentlemen. It was a 11 out of 10 stars to us. We are from Texas and will be back again.
Rooms are clean and updated. It was close to many restaurants and shops Food was great at every meal. Staff was great. The only thing I would change would be to have a bigger bathroom with counter space. Overall great stay.