“Put a bird on it.” The design team at this downtown Portland hotel took that directive from a satirical Portlandia sketch very literally. The whimsically decorated and charmingly stylish boutique hotel pays homage to Oregon’s avian wildlife throughout its decor—but especially in the guestrooms’ wallpaper, which is covered in images of the kinds of birds guests will see outside their windows, including hummingbirds, black-bellied plovers, and sharp-tailed sandpipers. Colorful plaids and wingback chairs upholstered in tree-inspired fabrics are paired with duck-footed lamps to further evoke the woodsy, Pacific Northwest theme.
But, fortunately, just like Portlandia, the hotel doesn’t take itself too seriously. A Kimpton hotel, its service is top-notch but unpretentious, with the resident pup acting as the welcoming committee on weekends and tarot card readers popping in during happy hour. The popular restaurant is excellent and doesn’t try to be more than the classic, farm-to-table restaurant it is. This being Portland, there are more than 20 bikes to borrow, so guests can fit right in with the locals as they tool around town; just be sure to wear something bird-patterned.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
In the heart of downtown Portland, the Hotel Monaco is surrounded by the city center’s lively scene, with plenty of shopping, theater, dining, and nightlife all within a few blocks—and with a MAX (the city’s extensive light rail system) station just a block away, putting the rest of the city within easy reach. The central Pioneer Courthouse Square is just to the south, and the oh-so-trendy West End neighborhood—home to the almost painfully hip Ace Hotel, Portland icon and world’s largest bookstore Powell’s Books, and acclaimed restaurants like Clyde Common—is just to the west.
Need to Know
Rooms: 221 rooms, 139 suites. From $169. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Serving gourmet, sustainably sourced American fare—think apple cider–brined pork chops and one killer burger—in an elegant downtown dining room for three meals a day, the Red Star Tavern is a Portland classic, drawing a discerning crowd of locals at all hours. The extensive whiskey library is legendary, and the four-hour happy hour guarantees plenty of time to sample the local beers, creative cocktails, light bites, and other specials. Spa and gym details: The acclaimed Dosha Salon & Spa is just next door, and in-room spa and beauty treatments can be booked in advance. The hotel also has a well-equipped fitness center, open 24 hours a day, and all rooms come with yoga mats for guest use. Additionally, a veritable fleet of Public bicycles are available for guests to borrow.
Who's it best for: Business travelers with a sense of style, pet lovers, and anyone who appreciates a little whimsy. Our favorite rooms: While the Grand Suites are the largest and most impressive suites, complete with teal velour sofas and fuschia chandeliers, it’s the King Corner Rooms that actually get the best light in the house. Social hour: Like all Kimpton hotels, the Monaco offers a free wine hour for guests every evening from 5 to 6 p.m., but this one ups the ante with live music and a tarot card reader or musician.