Hotel Review: Holiday Inn – Hillsboro OR

On our recent trip to Portland, we stayed 3 nights at the Hyatt Downtown but needed to book 1 night at a different hotel due to availability. Since I had just earned a lot of points from the Jan-April IHG Rewards Faster promotion, I had plenty of points to use for the stay. Most of the Downtown Portland options were pretty high (3 were Kimptons) so I chose a very nice looking hotel outside the city. The Holiday Inn Hillsboro.

Money Saved 

Because it was outside the city, parking was free! After paying $38 night 1 and $18 nights 2 and 3 at the Hyatt downtown, I was excited about not paying for parking. I redeemed 25,000 points for our one night reward stay.

At check in, I purchased 2 breakfast vouchers for $10 total. With our next day being a Travel day, breakfast at the hotel would simplify our morning. Plus if we had dined out, our bill would have been double that.

The Desk Agent recognized me as an IHG Elite member and offered me a choice of either 500 welcome points or drink vouchers. I often select the points because I am a miser, but the bar looked pretty cool so I went with the drink vouchers.  Maggie approved!

I ended up spending a total of $10 for the hotel, parking, breakfast and 2 drinks at the bar. Perfect!  After all this WAS a budget trip.  We chose to spend less on the expensive items like flights, hotels and rental cars, so that we could eat, drink and play more during our stay in Portland.

 

The Lobby

This hotel is only about 2 years old and is very nicely appointed.  The lobby flows into the bar and restaurant areas with many places to lounge or congregate.  A see through gas fireplace serves as the center focal point for this area.

The hallways were nicely painted and the carpet still felt pretty new.  Elevators were large, but a bit jerky and very noisy in a kind of scary sort of way.

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Rooms

The room had everything that we needed.  I was pleased with the 2 queen super comfy beds.  The nightstand had a lamp and great access to plugs for phone charging.  There was a wardrobe as you walked in for hanging up clothes as well as a mini fridge, microwave and keurig coffee pot.

Beyond that was a bench for your suitcase or for sitting to put on your shoes, a 5 drawer dresser with a flat screen TV and a desk area.  There was plenty of space to work at the desk and great lighting from the window as well as a lamp.

 

The bathroom was very clean and everything was in working order.  It came with Bath & Body Works toiletries in coconut lime verbena.  We had both a tub and shower along with ample vanity space for the two of us to spread out a lot of “girl stuff”.  Not sure I love the sliding barn doors they are putting on hotel bathrooms these days.

 

Bar & Dining Areas

Since we had drink vouchers, we stopped in at the bar after dinner for a drink.  The bar was very nice with a glass enclosed wine case, 5 beer taps and a nice selection of top shelf liquors.  The bartender was very excited about a new Colombian liquor she had just gotten in and made my daughter a drink with it.  I chose a simple gin and tonic and she offered to make it with a local gin and muddle in some lime for me.  I took her up on her thoughtful offer and it turned out very nice but both drinks were pretty strong.

The bar was popping at this time of the evening and unfortunately, it seemed that in addition to being the bartender, she also had to make food orders.  The kitchen was not nearby which left the bar unattended for long periods and some people actually gave up waiting and left.  I feel this is a Management issue of trying to stretch help in a way that didn’t work well.  We settled up after our one drink and headed up to our room.

In the morning we came down for our paid breakfast to find out it was really just an ok continental style buffet.  I’m not going to lie, I was disappointed in the selection and quality.  It wasn’t even as nice as some Holiday Inn Express breakfasts where the cost is included with your stay.  I was glad it only cost $10 for the 2 of us.  It was still convenient and got us on the road in time to do just a bit more exploring before heading to the airport for our flight home.

While we were eating, we discovered an enclosed patio just outside of the dining room.  It looked like it would be a great space to relax and read a book or hang out with your fellow travelers and enjoy a drink.  I also noted, that all the high top tables and lounge seating had great plugs and USB ports for charging up your devices.

 

Fitness Center & Pool

We got our workout from hiking uphill to waterfalls all day so we didn’t really need to visit the fitness center.  Although we were tempted, we opted for dinner down the street and a night cap at the hotel bar instead of a dip in this lovely pool or hot tub.  Maybe next time!

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The Highs

This hotel is modern, lovely and in great condition with tons of places to hang out.  Each staff member that I dealt with was exceptionally friendly and helpful.  Check in, billing and check out all went very smoothly and we didn’t encounter any issues during our stay.  The rooms are clean, comfy and everything was in working order.  We had a great nights sleep!

The Lows

I don’t recommend the bar if you are in a hurry or planning to stay for more than 1 cocktail.  Nor do I suggest spending the money on the uninspiring breakfast if you can avoid it.  Parking is free, but the trade off is being a good 20 minutes outside of Portland (longer during high traffic times as we found out on our way there).  You lose the Portland foodie vibe in this area, so be prepared for very ordinary dining options (we ended up settling for dinner at a large sports bar).

Final Thoughts

The hotel was a great value at only 25,000 points and no fee for parking.  If you are taking a day trip to the coast, this would be a great hotel choice.  Staying at this location would put you on the coastal side of Portland.  Because we had already put in a full day of hiking, we didn’t have high expectations for evening activities so Hillsboro was fine.  However, if you were looking for funky Portland style dining options or entertainment, you might prefer to stay closer to town.