Constructed in 1909, the building housing the Hotel Lucia may be old by Portland standards, but it has been a place of innovation since the beginning. Originally built by a successful German immigrant as an expansion of his popular Imperial Hotel, the New Imperial, as it became known, broke away to become its own hotel—before ultimately becoming the Lucia, one of downtown Portland’s most cutting-edge art hotels. Not only are the walls adorned with the largest permanent collection of black-and-white photographs by Pulitzer-winning photographer (and Oregon native) David Hume Kennerly, but the hotel garnered acclaim for installing the first permanent exhibit of social media art, in conjunction with Intel Labs. While the acclaimed restaurants are farm-to-table, in keeping with contemporary Portland tradition, they take the concept of “locally sourced” to a whole new level, utilizing Native American heritage techniques to prepare ingredients. In a city that can often feel homogenous in its hipsterdom, that’s compelling innovation.
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At the north edge of downtown, bordering the trendy West End, the Pearl District, and Chinatown, the Hotel Lucia puts guests within a stone’s throw of many of the city’s coolest spots. Pioneer Courthouse Square, at the heart of the city, is just a few blocks south, and the achingly hip Ace Hotel—with its trendy farm-to-table restaurant and subterranean jazz bar—can be found just a few blocks west. The area is filled with local landmarks like Voodoo Doughnuts, Powell’s Books, and Stumptown Coffee Roasters, as well as popular bars and restaurants like Clyde Common, Teardrop Lounge, and Oregon Wines on Broadway. Those in town on a Saturday should take a stroll toward the water to visit the Portland Saturday Market, a regular local arts and crafts extravaganza.
Need to Know
Rooms: 127 rooms, eight suites. From $169. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: One of downtown Portland’s most renowned restaurants, Imperial—from celebrated local chef Vitaly Paley—embodies many facets of the Pacific Northwest in its locally sourced cuisine, campfire-inspired wood-fired grill, and heritage (yes, that means Native American) cooking methods; the restaurant serves three meals a day. The more casual Portland Penny Diner channels the same philosophy in its fast-casual daytime dining options, from its counter service diner food to grab-and-go coffee shop bites. Spa and gym details: No spa, but the hotel does have a 24-hour fitness center.
Who's it best for: Art-loving couples and those traveling with pets. Our favorite rooms: While the spacious Superior King Rooms have corner views of downtown Portland, the penthouse-like Gallery Suite steals the show with its sprawling living room (complete with a fireplace) and—you guessed it—gallery-worthy artwork on the walls. Ice cream delivery: In addition to the usual room service, the Hotel Lucia has a special treat available for its guests. When your sweet tooth calls, ring the front desk and a pint of Portland’s famous Salt & Straw will be delivered to your room.