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Need help choosing a hotel

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Hendersonville, NC
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Need help choosing a hotel

Hello Oregon friends,

Well, there's a new development in my road trip plans. I realized I had miles accumulated on my American Airlines Advantage program, and can redeem them for hotel stays. I've already reserved a night's stay in St. Louis and another in Denver for my trip, and looks like I have just enough miles for two nights in Portland, though only for a limited selection of places based on the miles I have left. Can you help me choose one that would best fit my plans?

The nights will be Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14 and 15. I'll be arriving in Portland after a day in the Gorge, then hitting a couple of brewpubs for dinner and afterward. On Saturday I'll get up early and spend the day hiking around the Mount Hood area, again returning around dinnertime to hit a couple more brewpubs (Deschutes, Hair of the Dog, Upright and Hopworks are all high on my list). Sunday is uncertain, but would like to hit Washington Park for a run, do some beer shopping at Belmont Station, and then head to Pacific City in the afternoon for my trek down the coast.

The major consideration here is being close to the light-rail line so that I don't have to drive at all after visiting the brewpubs in the evening. Safety of the neighborhood, proximity to things and, of course, quality if the hotel itself are also important. Here's a list of what I can afford with my miles (I realize these aren't exactly five-star hotels, but hey, it'll be free):

Hotel Fifty Chinatown, 50 SW Morrison St.

Red Lion Portland Convention Center, Broadway District, 1021 NE Grand Ave.

Holiday Inn Portland Airport, 8439 NE Columbia Blvd.

Shilo Inn Suites Portland Airport, East Portland, 11707 NE Airport Way

La Quinta Inn & Suites Portland Airport, East Side, 11207 Northeast Holman St.

Shilo Inn Portland/Rose Garden, Broadway District, 1506 Northeast 2nd Ave.

La Quinta Inn Portland Convention Center, Broadway District, 431 NE Multnomah

OK, I'm getting tired of typing addresses. A few others are: Howard Johnson Portland Airport, Quality Inn & Suites Airport Convention Center and Comfort Suites Portland Airport,

Thanks!

Portland, Oregon
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for Portland
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1. Re: Need help choosing a hotel

Staying at airport hotels is probably not your best bet. Far removed from the urban core. Hotel Fifty is walkably close to pubs, etc. Another option would be The Inn at Northrup Station. Easy walking, plus streetcar. Have fun!

Edited: 02 February 2012, 02:21
Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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2. Re: Need help choosing a hotel

The convention center hotels provide easy access in and out of the city and free connections to downtown. I love the Inn@Northrup Station, but it isn't a chain hotel and isn't on your list. Doesn't sound like you'll be spending that much time in your hotel. Pick something in the convention center area.

Hendersonville, NC
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3. Re: Need help choosing a hotel

Thanks so much to both of you. This is a big help to narrow my choices. To make life easier on myself, I'm narrowing it down to two - Shilo Inn/Rose Garden and Red Lion Convention Center. Both get decent reviews and sound like they're both super-close to the free light-rail.

Any feedback that could serve as a tie-breaker?

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: Need help choosing a hotel

If you're going to narrow it down to only those two choices, then I would definitely favor the location of Red Lion. It is right on the MAX line, across from the Convention Center stops. The Shilo Inn is 3-4 blocks north of MAX, near Broadway. Otherwise, both hotels are fine... especially considering the 'price'!

As for proximity to freeways, either is within blocks of both I-5 & I-84.

A walk to Upright would be pretty easy from the Shilo Inn, but the rest are a bit beyond the range most people want to walk (especially on heavily-traveled major streets)... So cab or bus are the better bets.

Hope that helps,

Brian

Hendersonville, NC
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5. Re: Need help choosing a hotel

Dang, Brian, you give beer AND hotel advice? Good stuff.

Thanks for the great info. I know I narrowed my choices to those two, but was there any other on my list that you'd choose instead?

Also, since you're obviously a fellow beer connoisseur, would the four breweries I mentioned as top priorities be on your list as well, figuring I'll probably be able to hit maybe five brewpubs in the city during that weekend?

Thanks!

Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Need help choosing a hotel

Well, if I was to go back to your original list, the one that's most attractive location-wise is Hotel Fifty (mamababoo liked this place, too, in her reply). It's right on the MAX line and adjacent to the Morrison Bridge (Hair of the Dog is <10 minute walk away).

All 4 of your 'top picks' are among the best I'd recommend. One thought to maximize your time is to skip the Hopworks on SE Powell (cool place but somewhat remote from your other places); instead go to HUB's BikeBar on N Williams, which is a block from New Old Lompoc 5th Quadrant and its cool SideBar. Also, you'd be close to N Mississippi Ave, a quirky/cool street that includes some good food carts, restaurants (Lovely's Fifty-Fifty = terrific pizza), Mississippi Studios (live music) and a handful of beer spots: Amnesia Brewing, Bridgetown Beerhouse & a German pub called 'Prost!'.

Be mindful of Upright's hours (4:30-9:00 Fridays, 1:00-6:00 Sat/Sun); they're a production brewery with only a couple picnic benches and tables, no food, 9 taps. Deschutes and HotD are both 'musts'. Possibly add Cascade Barrel House and/or Green Dragon if you're in SE?

I'll stop here, but I could keep going... :-)

B

Longview, Washington
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7. Re: Need help choosing a hotel

Can't give any advice on brew pubs, but I definitely like Hotel Fifty. It's close to Riverfront Park, great views of the river, if you can get a riverview room, and easy walking distance to downtown or the Max line.

Hendersonville, NC
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8. Re: Need help choosing a hotel

Thanks everyone for your great help. The deal is done - although it got so in a roundabout way.

So last night I went ahead and cashed in the rest of my miles and booked two nights at Red Lion Convention Center. Then, two hours later, I read msubulldog's comments about Hotel Fifty, so I called American Advantage and begged them to let me cancel Red Lion and switch the miles over to Hotel Fifty, which typically, under the program rules, would cost $150 for the cancellation and another $30 to make any changes to the itinerary. However, I explained that I had literally just made the reservation, and so the nice man on the phone put me on hold, spoke to his supervisor, and got the approval to let me switch for free. So, short story long, I'm staying at Hotel Fifty.

The only drawback is the $22 per night parking fee, which to me is a rip-off ... and that's $44 that could have been spent on beer, but oh well. Msubulldog - I will forgive you, especially since you give such good beer advice ... :-)

Anyway, I'm looking forward to my first visit to Portland and the stay at Hotel Fifty. Cheers to all who helped me.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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9. Re: Need help choosing a hotel

Did you offer to buy the nice man on the phone a beer?

;-)

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Need help choosing a hotel

mtnwriter,

Hotel Fifty is a much better place, right downtown, and IMO well worth the $22 parking fee. You should be able to hit all those brewpubs quite easily with public transport.

One other place to consider for micro brews is the Horse Brass pub on SE 45th and Belmont. Not a brewery, but it has a great list of craft beers and four on cask, from Portland, the rest of the state as well as WA and CA. The beers rotate constantly. From the bus stop at SW 2nd and Alder (just behind the Fifty) take the number 15 bus to SE 46th & Belmont (about 10 minutes ride).

Here's their current guest beer list.

http://www.horsebrass.com/beer/guest