It’s a welcome bonus when a hotel reflects the city it’s in, and during a long weekend in Portland—crunchy, funky Portland, Oregon—I was the guest at two hotels that fit the bill. The Hotel deLuxe and the Hotel Lucia are managed by the same company, and they’re both great old Portland buildings that have found a new life as boutique hotels.
Their personalities differ slightly. The deLuxe is located just on the fringe of western Portland’s downtown commercial district in a quiet neighborhood near a light rail stop, and its motif is Hollywood, from the wall-sized, vintage Hollywood photo that greets you across the lobby sitting area to the black-and-white publicity photos of film screen legends from the '20s, '30s and '40s in guestrooms and hallways.
Lobby at the Hotel deLuxe
Room at the Hotel deLuxe
The Hotel Lucia is a bit more businesslike, located in the heart of downtown with a ground floor and downstairs decorated with good art. The guestrooms and hallways are splashed with photos, as is the deLuxe, but this time the shots are of (mostly) political icons by my buddy, photographer and Oregon native David Hume Kennerly.
Lobby at the Hotel Lucia
Room at the Hotel Lucia
Kennerly’s shots of presidents, world leaders and poignant moments in history make for great browsing, and the hotel won’t mind if you visit a couple of different floors and stroll past the framed shots at your leisure. (And David won’t mind if you visit his Website to buy copies of his prints.)
Both hotels have those nice, thick walls that older buildings boast. Along with that age, of course, come small bathrooms, but the fixtures are up to date. I would ask for more horizontal space in the Lucia’s bathroom, but the (real iron) tubs and showers are tiled to the ceiling, and the towels are fluffy.
Flat-screen televisions, comfortable beds and staff members eager to please help explain why both hotels made the 2009 Conde Nast Traveler “Gold List” as favorite hotels. Except for a quick lunch at the deLuxe (a passable Cobb salad and good service), I did not dine at the hotels, and I’m sorry I missed the Thai restaurant, Typhoon, that is attached to the Lucia.
Portland has that Pacific Northwest outdoor vibe, and staff members at both these hotels have that what-can-I-do-for-you attitude while also looking as if they might just leave work early to hike Mt. Hood. Mirroring the generally green reputation of the city, the hotels won’t change bed sheets everyday if you don’t request it, a towel left on a rack won’t be replaced unless you leave it on the floor, and the in-room tea and coffee are organic. Little touches, such as hooks on the back of the bathroom door and comfy robes (especially at the deLuxe), lend to the quality of a guest’s stay and offer evidence someone thought about the guest experience when renovating the properties.
The price of a double room at the Hotel Lucia begins at $179 on weekdays, $152 on weekends via the web, but always check for specials. The deLuxe rates start as low as $101 and include a $10 voucher for food and drink through the end of this year.