Don’t let Portland’s low-key, outdoorsy-hipster vibe fool you: the Heathman Hotel is as grown-up and refined as they come. Opened in 1927 as an expansion of one of the city’s grande dame hotels, the Heathman has been the height of classic luxury for the City of Roses since its opening. Rather than rest on its laurels, though, the hotel has consistently upped the ante, collecting a museum-worthy array of modern art (including a handful of Warhols alongside works by acclaimed local artists), boasting one of the most impressive collections of autographed books in the world, and offering guests a choice of mattress in the sumptuous rooms. Indeed, so famously decadent and romantic is the Heathman, with its award-winning restaurant and almost-nightly live jazz in the bar, that it was used as the setting for several of the rendezvous in E.L. James’ infamous Fifty Shades of Grey—although, for most guests, the original crystal chandeliers and marble fireplaces inspire magic enough.
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Right on Portland’s own Broadway, the Heathman sits amid the city’s downtown bustle. The central Pioneer Courthouse Square is just a few blocks away, and the greenway that runs down scenic Park Avenue starts on the other side of the hotel. The impressive Portland Art Museum (PAM) is a stone’s throw away, as are the Oregon Historical Society and the Northwest Film Center, home to the Portland International Film Festival and numerous film events and screenings throughout the year. Two of the city’s top performing arts theaters and concert halls happen to be just next door, too. Take a stroll along the greenway to the popular Portland Farmers Market at PSU, held on Saturdays year-round, and grab a bite at one of the many acclaimed neighborhood restaurants, such as Raven & Rose.
Need to Know
Rooms: 110 rooms, 40 suites. From $309. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: One of Portland’s few classic fine-dining institutions, the Heathman Restaurant & Bar offers white-tablecloth service and a daily changing menu made with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients meant to embody the Pacific Northwest. The elegant Tea Court Lounge is a Portland icon as much as the hotel itself, serving a formal afternoon tea daily, in addition to cocktails and light bites each evening and live jazz several nights a week. Spa and gym details: The hotel has a fully equipped fitness center, and offers guests access to a nearby athletic club for a small fee. While the hotel does not have a full spa, in-room spa treatments are available.
Who's it best for: History buffs and lovers of classic luxury. Our favorite rooms: While the Renaissance and Symphony suites are the most spacious and decadent rooms at the hotel, the luxurious Executive Kings are guaranteed to offer panoramic corner views of downtown Portland. For lit lovers: In conjunction with renowned local bookstore Powell’s Books, the hotel is home to a well-stocked lending library—one of the only hotel-libraries in the country—part of which is the world’s second-largest autographed library, with over 3,000 signed editions. All of the autographed books have been left by guests of the hotel, including Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners.