Last Updated: June 2019
Branded as “Welcome Wanderer”, the Hi-Lo Hotel, which is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection has quickly become our favorite hotel in Portland Oregon due to its convenient location, the comfort and style of the rooms, the staff, and the benefits offered for Marriott Bonvoy members.
If a hotel and West Elm had a love child, it might just end up looking like the Hi-Lo Hotel’s interior; it’s modern, unassuming, mildly funky, and while the colors might seem a little odd, they blend and make you wonder at the creative design genius of it all. For some things, the hotel’s design captures some of Portland’s vibe in a refined and upscale way.
History of the Building:
While the Hi-Lo is a new hotel that opened in 2017, its 120 rooms are housed in the historic Oregon Pioneer Building, which was originally known as the “Railway Express Building” built in 1910. The hotel conversion was approved because it was deemed by the Bureau of Development Services that the exterior renovations “did not compromise the historic integrity of the building“. With so much development everywhere, it is nice to see the historic preserved and re-purposed to integrate with the boom of tourism in Portland as of the last 5 years or so.
While the rooms are not large, they are well designed to maximize comfort and functionality. The rooms include reclaimed wood from Portland for a rustic contrast against all the other modern aspects, the polished concrete and even the gold fixtures in the bathroom. We have stayed in a King Guest Room and the Deluxe King Guest Room. We really enjoyed staying in the Deluxe King as it has all the features as the regular King, with more space and a nice couch and small table.
The Deluxe King rooms we have stayed in have had a rainforest shower. We love the local toiletries from Maak Lab (retail store a few blocks away from the hotel) in locked dispensers that are refilled by housekeeping to minimize waste (they used to be in large bottles that we suspect were being taken by guests).
In addition to the toiletries, you really feel pampered by the bathrobe; it’s a huge white plushy robe that’s super soft and keeps you warm and cozy.
In the past, there was never a refrigerator in the room, but in June 2019 there was. We are unsure if it was left there based on someone requesting one during their stay or if they are now putting fridges in the rooms. While it was practical, it was just placed by the window and looked out of place.
We also noticed that a new feature that wasn’t offered in the past is a glass bottle for water refills from the dispenser and from what we can see, there is one dispenser per floor. Some people may find this inconvenient but we prefer it to the bottled water they used to provide.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest drawbacks of this hotel is one that plagues many renovated rooms in historic buildings; soundproofing! The soundproofing is very poor in the rooms so unless you’re on the top floor, you can expect to hear noise from the other rooms. We were quite surprised to hear the toilet flush in the room next door to us as well as other noise from the other rooms. You can hear some of the noise from outside but I do recall a similar issue when we stayed at The Nines due to the MAX trains. In cases like this, we tend to not fault the hotel but to be prepared; we pack earplugs.
The Restaurant – Alto Bajo:
We have only had breakfast at Alto Bajo but have enjoyed the Portlander (fresh seasonal fruits, toast, granola and yogurt). They only serve drip coffee which suits us just fine but others seem to complain about this. Marriott Bonvoy members eligible for the breakfast benefit can choose from The Portlander (photo below) or the Hi-Lo Breakfast which is two eggs any style, breakfast potatoes, and toast.
Since our last stay, we were surprised to see they merge the restaurant space with the bar space. It does seem to make sense though based on how much space it was and how we never really saw it that busy. It is unsure what the now empty restaurant space will be used for.
Keeping with their branding and promotion of Portland products, The Hi-Lo has added their own cider and CBD infused beer to their in-house hotel products.
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Happy National Beer Day! We partnered with Portland’s @coalitionbrewing to create a CBD-infused IPA called “The Wanderer.” Have you tried it yet? . . . #welcomewanderer #nationalbeerday #oregonbeer #oregoncraftbeer #hilohotel #portlandhotel #cbdbeer #boutiquehotel #portlandoregon #pnwstyle #portland #portlandstyle #modernhotel #travelportland #hotellife #pdx #portlandia #youcaninportland #pdxnow #autographcollection #exactlylikenothingelse #altobajopdx #portlandrestaurants #pdxfoodie #portlanddrinks #yelpeatspdx #eaterpdx #pdxfood #portlandeats #portlandbars
The hotel has off-site self park for $25USD per day and valet parking for $43USD per day. We often chose to park at one of the lots nearby or on the street to save on the cost of parking. There is also free street parking depending on the time of day and day of week you are there.
- Pets: his hotel is pet-friendly; one pet per room is allowed as long as the pet doesn’t weigh more than 50 pounds.
- Children: Children are allowed at this hotel but we do not consider it as a child-friendly hotel; it’s more geared to adults as there is no pool and the rooms don’t have baths.
If you’re looking for a comfortable stay in a hotel that does luxury without being too pretentious, this is a great hotel for you. It’s conveniently located in Portland if you want to explore downtown and beyond. We’ve already booked for our annual trip to Portland for the Oregon Brewers Festival!
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