Portland, the city of the famous Powell’s Books, Voodoo Doughnuts, microbreweries and weirdness. This natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest was the destination of a recent vacation that so happened to be over Memorial Day weekend. I stayed at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower, right in the heart of downtown Portland.
When I made the reservation at the Hilton, the HHonors devaluation had been recently publicized. I won’t go into the details but the short explanation number of categories went from 7 to 10, and points needed for a top tier hotel went from 50,000 to 95,000 points. I used the modest balance of HHonors points to book 2 nights, and a 3rd night as a back-to-back reservation via hotels.com. I did this because I didn’t have enough points for a 3rd night, but I also think that the Welcome Rewards program at hotels.com is more valuable than the current value of HHonors points.
You may find, when researching the rooms at the Hilton, that there is very little information on any advantages of staying in the Executive Tower. All I could figure out is that it’s slightly more expensive, and required more points, so I booked a room in the “regular” tower. I did know that there are separate front desks at each of the towers. If you knew you were staying at the Executive Tower, you could just go straight there to check in. I went to the front desk at the “regular” Hilton to check-in. The check-in was seamless, and I found out that I was upgraded to the Executive Tower; due to what I can only guess is my measly silver elite status. I was handed the room keys and off I went.
The Executive Tower is caddy corner from the regular Hilton tower. I was told that my room was on the 18th floor, but I realized the floors start at 11 and go up to 19. Perhaps 1-10 is in the other tower?
My room was at the end of the hall and thought I was getting a corner room which are typically larger than the other rooms on that floor. As I walked through the door, I saw not a window, but a bed. From then on, the room layout irked me for some reason.
Let me describe the layout of the room to you. From the doorway, on your right is the bathroom – standard single sink, though small. On the left, past the doorway to the bathroom, is the coffee maker and in-room safe. To the immediate right is the dresser with TV on top. Walking further into the room on the left ,is a window and round table with chairs; opposite that is a desk and chair. Then a king-size bed against the wall. It seemed odd to me that a corner room only has one window on one side of the room. Also, the room seemed narrow. I think part of the reason for that is that the room wasn’t much wider than the bed and nightstands on both sides. It did seem, judging from the pictures on Hilton’s website, that it was a bigger room than standard rooms in the regular tower. Sorry I completely forgot to take pictures (fail).
The Hilton & Executive Tower are 1-2 blocks South of Pioneer Square, situated (geographically) in the middle of downtown. While it seemed like most of the things to do were slightly further North, Pioneer Square seemed like it was a core intersection of public transportation. That includes, the MAX red line which takes you to/from Portland Airport. The ride takes about 45 minutes each way, but its only $2.50/person. Tip: if you arrive early in the day, opt for a one day pass for $5 to give you a full day of public transit.
Location: 4.5/5 – perfect location in downtown Portland. The only reason I gave it a score of 4.5 is that it seemed like I was doing more things in different areas with other hotels.
Comfort: 4/5 – All of the chairs and the bed were quite comfortable. There was ample seating in the lobby of the Executive Tower and the Hilton Portland. However, the blackout curtains in the room did not keep all of the light out in the morning.
Cleanliness: 5/5 – No complaints at all. The room, hallway, and lobby were impeccably clean.
The hotel was quite nice. I would consider staying at the Hilton Portland Executive Tower again, but I would evaluate my hotel loyalty and stay/points needs.