When was the last time you stayed at a Days Inn? Stay at the Hotel Modera and it won’t have been quite as long ago as you imagine. Yep, this hip, downtown Portland boutique hotel was built in the 1960s as a classic Days Inn, but its retro architecture and geometric midcentury style are about all that remain of its vintage motel days. Now, it’s home to one of the most comprehensive collections of Pacific Northwest art (over 500 gallery-worthy pieces adorn the hotel’s walls) and one of the city’s most respected farm-to-table restaurants, helmed by renowned local chef David Machado. Its leafy interior courtyard not only attracts discerning locals to its fire pits and craft cocktails, but is home to the city’s very first living wall, populated with ferns and other local plants. And this is all to say nothing of the rooms themselves, which offer a whimsical play on midcentury decor—all with modern amenities, of course, including Italian designer toiletries and spa-quality robes. No, this definitely isn’t a Days Inn anymore.
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Perched on the edge of the Portland State University campus, at the south end of downtown, the Hotel Modera doesn’t have the most scenic of locations—indeed, the urban campus atmosphere caters more to weekday business than weekend leisure—but is conveniently situated for exploring the downtown sights and nightlife on foot without having to be in the thick of the noise and bustle. The city’s largest and most popular farmers' market is held just a few blocks away on Saturdays, while the Portland Art Museum and Oregon Historical Society are just a short stroll downtown. While much of the city’s top dining can be found downtown and in the West End, the neighborhood around the hotel is home to several local institutions, such as Veritable Quandary and Raven & Rose.
Need to Know
Rooms: 174 rooms, six suites. From $159. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Nel Centro, the hotel’s French and Italian Riviera–inspired restaurant, serves three meals a day (and a popular brunch) in its airy, wood-paneled dining room. The eatery’s secluded courtyard is one of the most pleasant in the city, as well, complete with fire pits and a living plant wall. The restaurant’s bar attracts a well-heeled after-work crowd and other downtown denizens to its local brews, craft cocktails, and happy hour specials. Spa and gym details: While the hotel has neither a gym nor a spa, it does offer guests free passes to a fully equipped (complete with a lap pool) 24 Hour Fitness gym, located just around the corner, and each room has designer Tarocco bath products from Italy and spa-caliber robes.
Who's it best for: Business travelers with a sense of style. Our favorite rooms: All rooms have Carrara marble bathtubs, iPod docks, and midcentury-inspired furnishings, but those with views of the hotel’s lush, secluded garden are the most scenic—and the quietest. Good to know: Pets are more than welcome at the hotel, which provides pet beds, pet food, and water bowls, plus recommendations for dog-walkers and pet-sitters.