by Stephen Jermanok
Far more manageable to navigate than San Francisco to the south and Seattle to the north, Portland is an easy city to get around. Traffic is at a minimum and you can always find a place to park. Many families are realizing that you don’t have to stay in the heart of the city to see all the sights. In fact, you can stay at the RiverPlace Hotel on the banks of the Willamette River and only be a five-minute drive from the restaurants and stores downtown, and a 10-minute jaunt to Washington Park, home to the Oregon Zoo, Portland Children’s Museum and the Portland Japanese Garden.
What you get in return is a quiet residential neighborhood, bordered by the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the bike and jogging path called the Westside Riverwalk, and views of the sailboats bobbing in the water with the Marquam Bridge in the backdrop. An added bonus is free use of the pool and all the fitness facilities at the city’s finest health club, the Oregon Athletic Club, just down the block. Feel like a workout outdoors? Grab one of the complimentary bikes and take a spin on the Riverwalk.
The only lodging overlooking the Willamette River in Portland, the RiverPlace Hotel was acquired by Kimpton Hotels. All rooms have been renovated, including the corner suites with a master bedroom, living room with a pullout sofa and a small pied-a-terre with views of the marina. Expect other Kimpton amenties, such as a daily happy hour, pet-friendly rooms and goldfish to “rent.” The RiverPlace Hotel offers a serene setting with all the major perks of an urban lodging.
For more information, read about Kimpton Hotels.
Our Editor Loves
- Riverfront view
- Complimentary bikes and pool nearby
- Two-bedroom suites with full kitchens
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The Riverfront Junior Suite features a small pied-a-terre that opened to the river and boats docked in the nearby harbor. Enter a spacious living room with a sofa that converts to a double bed sleeper. Across from the sofa is the first of two flat screen televisions. The closet for both rooms is located across from the bathroom upon entering the suite, and houses a safe, iron and ironing board. The bathroom features rainforest showerheads. Also in the living room is a table with two chairs, binoculars for taking a closer look of the river and available goodies like Patton Valley pinot noir from Oregon's Willamette Valley, almonds, nuts, M&Ms and potato chips. The master bedroom features a king-sized bed, flat-screen television and access to the balcony. The Junior Suite is 410 square feet.
Other room options include the slightly smaller RiverFront Double Double Deluxe Rooms with two double beds, a sitting area, and those same water views. For more space, consider the RiverFront One- or Two-Bedroom Suite located in an adjacent building. The suites also include a full service kitchen with an oven, microwave, refrigerator, silverware and kitchenware. You'll also appreciate the washer and dryer, wood-burning fireplace in the living room, and private balcony with chairs and a table overlooking the Willamette River.
I stayed here while working over the weekend in Portland. I arrived after dark and it was a bit difficult to find - I should have looked at the map first. There is easy valet parking or you can find street parking in the area (and I think there is a parking garage in the area also). The hotel is quite nice but the rooms and mechanicals are a bit dated. I didn't have a great view - surprising since the rate was high. Just looked out onto a street - it was supposed to be a Courtyard View - but there was no Courtyard in sight. I didn't ask for a room change so can't tell you if it would have been accommodated or not. The housekeeping was less than stellar. My room was just quickly tidied up for the second night - they didn't restock the mini-bar for example. Front desk staff was very friendly and helpful. I didn't have a chance to eat on the premises so I can't comment on the food.
The room had a nice robe but no slippers (thankfully I brought my own).
by Laurie O
This is our third trip to Portland and the River Place exceeded our expectations. Our room (river view condo) was stunning and very well appointed with large windows looking out to the Willamette River and its bridges. It was wonderful to be able to host pre-dinner guests in such a lovely setting! The King Tide restaurant was superb! We had several meals there and absolutely loved the creativity of the menu, including de-constructed clam chowder, pickled deviled eggs with crab meat and salmon roe, a fantastic roasted beet salad and a beautiful whole fish with truffle potato puree. We are "foodies" and were impressed with both the flavors and presentations. What made our stay most memorable was the friendly, knowledgeable and gracious staff including Melissa, John and Parker. The location is stunning with river views, cozy fireplaces and easy access to all parts of town. We look forward to returning!
Take advantage of RiverPlace Hotel's generous offer to give you complimentary bikes, and ride along the Riverwalk to Portland Saturday Market, the large open-air arts and food market, that takes place every Saturday (and often Sunday) during the summer and early fall months. Lock up the bikes and stroll around to find artists selling jewelry, stained glass, soap, photographs and much more.
Oregon Athletic Club
Return to the RiverPlace for a quick walk over to the Oregon Athletic Club and a dip in its Olympic-size pool -- the perfect way to unwind after a long day of seeing the city.
Three Degrees Restaurant
Dine indoors or alfresco at RiverPlace Hotel's Three Degrees Restaurant. For breakfast, there's breakfast burritos, house-cured salmon with a bagel and cream cheese, Meyer lemon pancakes, buttermilk or buckwheat waffles topped with blueberries, and healthy options, such as mango smoothies or granola and yogurt. For lunch, expect a mix of salads, burgers and sandwiches, like the mole verde chicken. Dinner features chicken wings, popular Northwestern fish (think halibut or black cod), ribeye and grilled chicken.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Start with the happy hour every afternoon from 5 to 6 p.m. Servers offer Oregon wine for parents, while kids can opt for the sodas or hot chocolate.
Upon request, you can ask for a goldfish in a bowl to accompany you in your room. Complimentary bicycles are available to ride along the Riverwalk. Free passes to the nearby Oregon Athletic Club are easily attained.
Wi-Fi is complimentary is available for Kimpton rewards members and it is free to become a member.
The hotel is pet friendly and there is no additional charges or limitations on your pets.
The Art of Smart Timing
The winter months might be more affordable, but you'll pay for it in often-dreary weather. Come to the city from June though September, when you can taste the harvest of the state at restaurants and smell the roses in bloom at Washington Park. Days are long and sunny in summer, so you can take advantage of every moment.
The Portland International Airport is located less than 30 minutes away from this hotel.
Portland is a walkable city but a vehicle may be necessary during your visit as well.
For Mom and Dad
Blessed with an abundance of seafood from the nearby Pacific coast and a healthy harvest from the Oregon interior, it's no surprise that Portland is known for its restaurants. Try one of the dining establishments in town, like Imperial at Hotel Lucia. Under the keen eye of James Beard Award-winning chef, Vitaly Paley, everything is delicious, from the grilled black cod to the lamb that comes from Oregon's Imperial Ranch.