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 continues to set the standard for classic luxury in the City of Roses. 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.
The Heathman Hotel
Dating back to 1927, the Heathman is one of but a handful of Portland hotels listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While the rooms at this downtown landmark property are nothing to scoff at—with their ample use of gold-tinged decorative elements coupled with more subdued contemporary furniture—the common areas alone are enough to make this classically upscale property worth considering. The hotel’s library is a bit of a local literary landmark, with thousands of autographed titles and regular wine hours on weeknights. Anglophiles will appreciate the doormen dressed in Beefeater costumes, and passersby with pups in tow might end up spotting a small fountain statue featuring a similarly clad bulldog, complete with a perpetually full water bowl for passing pups. In keeping with the English theme, there’s also an afternoon tea service here, a rarity in the laid-back, coffee-focused Pacific Northwest.
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