I can check off my 2013 New Year's Resolution of visiting a new state. Dan whisked me off to Portland, Oregon for few days to celebrate my 36th birthday. Prior to visiting Portland, my thoughts on the city were pretty exclusively based on three seasons of Portlandia. I loved Portland, but was disappointed at the lack of "Put a Bird on It".
In 1995, I was accepted to Reed College and nearly moved to Portland. As we drove around Portland, I thought about how different my life might have been had I decided to move to the area back in the 90's, rather than heading to New York for college. The two couldn't have been more different from each other or my native Southern California.
Dan booked us a room at the Marriott Downtown Waterfront.
The Marriott Downtown Waterfront is in an amazing location. It's right on the Willamette River and walking distance to all of the action in downtown.
We arrived hours prior to check in, but our room was ready and we even got an upgrade to a river view! Normally, I'm not too fussed with having a great view. Who cares about staying in the room and looking out a window, when there is a city to explore? Prior to getting the upgrade, I was just happy to be away in Portland. However, I have to admit that the view upgrade was completely worth it for this hotel.
Here was our view.
We watched the Providence Bridge Pedal Event from our room and during the event, a fire boat came out on the river and did a water display, including shooting out red and bright blue streams of water. So cool.
We had a microscopic patio, so mostly we enjoyed the views from standing inside of our room. I love the picture of Dan demonstrating the size of our patio.
Our room was very nice with one of the most comfortable hotel beds that I have ever experienced. I usually have trouble sleeping, but I slept solid at the Marriott.
The bathroom was a little small for my liking, making it difficult to get ready in the mornings. Our stuff, mostly mine, filled all of the available counter space and there needed to be additional towel racks. However, the toiletries were Bath and Body Works, which made up for the lack of space. The lotion smelled really good.
The best thing about the Marriott Downtown Waterfront was the staff. Everyone was extremely nice and helpful, going out of their way to make sure that we had a fantastic trip. I wish that I had gotten names, so that I could specifically mention outstanding employees. The biggest stand outs were a young blonde woman at check-in and the employees working in the concierge lounge.
We went into the lounge twice and two female employees went out of their way to give us suggestions of things to do in the area, including giving us a map and circling points of interest. They were just very genuine people giving their suggestions to make our trip better. I feel like the Marriott hires employees that are enthusiastic about Portland and it shined through when they were interacting with us.
The Marriott has a great restaurant, which I will review in a soon to come Portland food post. I also found some great reading spots in the lobby, were I took some Kindle breaks as a rest from touring.
Although we had great weather during our trip, we did see a bucket of umbrellas in the lobby, another nice touch in the hotel.
One big tip- Parking at the hotel is pricy at over thirty a day. We found a lot behind the hotel, which was six dollars on weekends. It was relatively empty and very easy access from the hotel. The back entrance for the hotel was just across the street from the lot. The Marriott is in a very clean and safe area and we never felt uncomfortable parking in the lot. It was a great find! We took the savings and spent it at the Bite of Oregon food festival!
Stay tuned for an onslaught of Portland posts, including the coolest doughnut shop on the planet and pictures of a baby elephant!