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Hotel Check: The Nines, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Portland

Portland, OR

BEST FOR:The rooftop pan-Asian restaurant Departure

BACKGROUND: This former department store has been repurposed into The Nines, a Luxury Collection Hotel. The eighth-floor lobby, once the centerpiece of the Portland shopping experience, surprises with its trendy atrium-style space.

WHERE IS IT? Next to downtown’s Pioneer Square, this is one of the city’s most iconic addresses. However, even though it’s a luxury option, The Nines has always maintained a casual perspective toward its guests. This is Portland after all, and the hotel is far from pretentious.

WHAT”S IT LIKE? Guests are welcomed on the ground floor and whisked to the lobby on floor eight where they can lounge in cozy sofas with a drink in the atrium where natural light streams in. There’s also a library with billiards table for quiet contemplation.

ROOMS: The rooms have benefited from a complete renovation with fresh fabrics and new furnishings. The views vary from interior-facing atrium vistas (Superior) to city-facing rooms (Deluxe Exterior View). The crystal pendant lamps help to make the rooms feel bright, and Tiffany blue lounge chairs add a pop of color. Especially appreciated are power outlets by the bed. Bathrooms feature BeeKind toiletries from eco-friendly dispensers, Frette robes, and steel basin sinks on elegant vanities. Club floor rooms are treated to lounge access with a continental breakfast spread, all-day refreshments, and evening appetizers and dessert with free beer and wine. Several suites are in the mix including the Nines suite with its own fireplace.

FOOD AND DRINK: Departure on the 15th floor is a city landmark and a sought-after reservation by many locals. You’ll find a delicious variety of Asian fare to enjoy indoors or on the popular al fresco terrace with its city views. The tasty Korean bibimbap, sushi, and wok-fried garlic broccoli were spectacular. Urban Farmer in the atrium serves a modern steakhouse menu with Oregon-grown beef and a selection of regional produce. The lobby bar offers a 200-strong wine list representing the West Coast’s best vineyards. The unique video installation by a local artist displays images of the Oregonian countryside.

MEETINGS AND FITNESS FACILITIES: Wireless Internet is free for all guests. Modern art decorates the 14 eclectic meeting venues for groups of all sizes including a ballroom for 600 people. Workout fiends will be pleased with the gym’s modern equipment, including extras like headphones and a fridge with chilled towels and bottled water.

VERDICT:  This pet-friendly hotel is a visitor favorite and deserves top accolades for its exceptional dining, on-point service, and rewarding Marriott Bonvoy benefits. Portland steps it up here, and big time.

DON’T MISS: Relaxing with a drink in the spacious eighth-floor atrium

PRICE: Internet rates for a traditional room start at $143.

CONTACT: The Nines, 525 SW Morrison, Portland, OR, 97204. Tel 877-229-9995.