On my most recent PDX visit, I had the opportunity to stay in a queen family suite, a 16 person bunk room and a 4 person bunk room at nearby Lolo Pass, (likely KEX's most comparable property). So I write this review from a comparative rather than purely subjective sense. As a background, I'm a frequent traveler, travel agent and own a small lodging business. The vibe at KEX is solid. The style is a sort of modern art deco and reminded me a lot of Ace hotels but with a slightly less dreary and more welcoming aesthetic. The lobby is fab, with plenty of seating. The bar had great drinks, a solid food menu and moreover was open late (midnight on weekdays, full menu included). Khruangbin-heavy playlist on a solid sound system? Check. All in, a comfortable and stylish place to hang. Awesome. Also, the staff was super friendly though most members I encountered were within their first month of employment, usually a management red flag for me but also not uncommon this day and age. Shout-out to Zoe, she is a real sweetheart! The sauna was an unexpected perk and ultimately what swayed me booking a second night here vs Lolo Pass. Only one party is allowed at a time due to "safety" (COVID?) which seemed a bit excessive to me but it appeared an underutilized area of the property and thus had no issues using it whenever. This was an awesome experience, especially as a respite during my second night in a shared bunk room, because there's a shower down there so you have your own private suite for sweating and showering. This was a truly invigorating and luxurious way to start the day despite being in a budget accommodation. The queen room was nice, reasonably stylish and would fit 6 guests in comfort. Way too much space for one but hey 🤷 Also the queen mattress was superb and bedding quality excellent. The place also had a nice charm of old meets new in this refurbed historic building. On the other hand, the single pane windows let in a lot of sound, especially as my room overlooked the outdoor lounge downstairs and it happened to be 4th of July. Nothing some earplugs couldn't fix but I'd rather have modern windows than these relics for noise purposes. Similarly, the stylish curtains did not close fully letting some light through in the middle. Here's where things went off the rails: I originally booked a shared bunk and checked in online as prompted by email. During, I was offered a selection of upgrade rooms (at cost, though less than rack rate) but without making a selection, was taken to the next screen indicating I had selected a queen deluxe room at the same nightly rate ($45) I'd originally booked for the bunk room. The browser wouldn't let me go back, so I cautiously continued and finished the check in process. I arrived, checked in and then was surprised to walk into a room with 4 bunk beds, an adjacent queen bed and private bath with no separation between rooms. Adding to the confusion, there were some sunglasses and a few hanging magnets left behind. Confused (what room did I book? Was I bunking with a sun-averse robot?), I immediately went back to the front desk to verify if I was sharing a room and moreover if the nightly rate I was quoted was accurate. I was assured I was and that I had the whole run of the space. Elated and surprised, I inquired about extending at that rate for my final night in town but was told that it was likely a same day deal and to inquire the next morning with the front desk manager. Understandable; no biggie. But then next morning, I spoke with manager Rachel and was informed not only could I not extend at that rate but that I had been charged full bore some $160 and change for the night. Perplexed, I showed her a screenshot of the confirmation showing the $45 nightly rate quoted and she retorted "well I obviously I can't possibly honor that rate". After a brief back and forth, we settled on splitting the difference. I normally would've pressed the issue more but I was already contemplating the upgrade in the first place and felt the room was a solid value at ~$100 for the night (weekday, mind you). Nonetheless, I left feeling slighted and that some light bait and switching was afoot. Anyway, based on my pleasant hostel experience at nearby Lolo and the overall impression of KEX, later that day I decided to book a bunk for my final night. Despite the lower price point, I was less impressed by the value of accommodation especially on the heels of a fantastic stay at a comparable price and accommodation at Lolo. Firstly, I was disappointed to find the top bunks don't have a privacy curtain for some reason. This makes a big difference in light/noise and comfort levels. Furthermore, the only storage offered to the bunks were noisy drawers immediately under the bunks with no apparent locking device. Also, the mini-split ACs could not keep up cooling the room of 16 (yup, sixteen) humans. At one point in the night the room reached a balmy 78 degrees. No bueno. Also, the guests here seemed to be less considerate than at Lolo. I can't fault KEX for guest actions but this nonetheless impacted me more considering the sweltering room, lack of privacy and secure storage. For example, some character was repeatedly slamming the door in and out at 5AM, then tweaker-style going through their stuff for over an hour. I encountered two clogged toilets during my short stay. Folks would just pile their towels up in the bathrooms. Also, the bathrooms were frequently out of paper products. Come morning, I realized most of my bunkmates did not appear tourists but rather (houseless?) locals. I'm not sure how a property could filter these types of people but I did not encounter this issue at Lolo. I don't mind sharing a space with all walks of life, but considering the lack of storage/privacy/inadequate AC this was not cool. Another blow, the sheets on the bunk were super rough and definitely a cut below what the queen room had...bummer. Lastly, the property lacked guest laundry, a community kitchen/fridge (granted the front desk kindly offered to store items in the restaurant kitchen downstairs but this isn't ideal) and the rooftop wasn't open. Final blow, 3 of the 4 times I came down to the lobby, the coffee was empty--a cardinal sin in my book. I would definitely stay at KEX again in a private room with some folks to split the cost, but I did not find it a compelling value as a single at rack rate and couldn't recommend their shared bunk/hostel accommodations given the lack of practical amenities for this style of lodging.…
I was hesitant to book the shared bath room but honestly there were probably 7 bathrooms for 10 rooms and I never once had to wait for a bathroom nor did I encounter anyone on any trip to the bathroom. If you're hesitating, too, I'd say give it a go. The room was small (barely big enough for the bed!) but our travel style is to spend most of our time outside of the room, so it was perfect for us. We arrived a couple hours early and they made particular effort for housekeeping to focus on what would be our room first so we could check-in and get settled. Very friendly staff. The lobby is beautiful (unfortunately the bar/restaurant wasn't opened yet when we visited), walkable location, right on a major road so can get noisy from traffic, but overall a nice experience. AND SAUNA. Free sauna for guests, booked an hour at a time. A great way to start the day. Close enough to the bridge that we walked over to the Saturday Market. Sometimes the elevators seemed to not work, and several of the exterior doors were 'for guests only' but didn't seem to be operable from the outside. Chocolatier next door makes everything smell good.…
I so wanted to like this place. The hotel itself is a nice property but nothing was open (restaurant or bar) over Presients Day weekend, which seems odd. The Queen room was small. I mean ridiculously, pathetically small. There was nowhere to sit, nowhere to move. The bed took up half the room and the bathroom the other half. There was about 6 inches between the bed and the wall on both sides, so we had to slide in sideways. Plus a sliver of space for a desk. The closet was a 4 peg rack on the wall next to the door. And this is a ~$200/night hotel. So not luxury but not cheap. It felt like a student hostel except no fun. I’ll not stay here again and will reconsider whether to stay in the Reykjavik property. So disappointing overall.
I am very fussy about my accommodations but this was a work trip so someone else was booking for me. To complicate things, I was arriving around midnite so I was anxious that were there any issues, I wouldn't be able to address them. WELL...that was all for nothing because the hotel was PERFECT!! Check-in was super smooth. In fact, I called earlier in the day to let them know about the late arrival and they pre-checked me in during the day. All I had to do late at night was show my ID and pick up my key card - stress and drama free. The room was gorgeous! I had a King en suite. Clean - I mean really clean!! TV was loaded with all the apps - Sling, Netflix, Prime, and so on. The bathroom was gorgeous and the products in the shower added a touch of luxury. I swear I smelled verbana. Yum! King size bed, comfortable blankets, kitschy art. I just loved all of it. The hotel has plenty of cute private nooks where you can drink your coffee and read which was great since the restaurants were both closed during my stay. And despite the closures, I was still able to get a hot up of tea from reception and hang out in the common areas. I really love this place and am already planning my return visit. I can only imagine the energy during the spring and summer seasons!…
Friendly staff; clean, nice, cozy room. Would love to return. Centrally located. Easy access to many bridges and the river. Kitchen available. Nice shower. Comfy bed. Quiet, even though in the middle of the city.
This is my first time staying in an upscale hostel. Though it does cost more than the normal hostel, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality. The bohemian atmosphere is intriguing. The restroom/shower combos are well-maintained and beautiful. We stayed the first night in a bunkbed dorm room. It was quiet and the bedding was extremely comfortable... along the lines of a mid range to high-end hotel. The second night we got a private room and it was very simple and beautiful just like everywhere else in the building. Service at the restaurant/café was great and I really appreciate how down to earth the staff was. Sidenote… My two favorite things about the place were the sauna and all the strategically placed hooks spread throughout. :-)
Stayed here with my husband - The vibe of the whole place is really special, it has an intimate and retro feel. The restaurant and bar were great, which makes its a nice all in one experience if you feel like staying in. The room was cozy. We did not get to use the sauna sadly because it looked relaxing. The staff in the hotel and restaurant were really genuine and made you feel welcome.
My wife and I stayed at Kex for a night with some friends recently. We loved the building and the location. The dinner and drinks at Dottir were amazing and the bar area is super cool and has a warm feeling.
Quickly becoming a must stop for Portland vacationers. In the heart of some of Portland's best nightlife. Great proximity to other Portland spots. Concert at Doug Fir, soak at Knot Springs or get a slice of pizza, this neighborhood is great.
We stayed in a King Room here, and it was super spacious and comfortable -- great bed and linens, lots of hooks to hang our things on, and a nice size desk with a lamp and chair. Super spacious bathroom, and nice urban view out the large window.... The restaurant and bar downstairs have a great vibe and the food and drinks were fabulous! They feature foods from Iceland, which make the menu unique to Portland. We can't wait to visit their Rooftop bar when it opens this Spring!