Hotel Review: Hyatt House Downtown Portland, Oregon

When planning our recent trip to Portland, figuring out which hotel to stay in was challenging.  There are a lot of hotels in Portland spread across the many neighborhoods in the area.  Location was important as was cost since this was a budget trip for us.  Most of the true downtown hotels came with pretty stiff price tags and heavy parking fees so I expanded my search area out a little bit further.

I wanted to stick with a brand that I have a loyalty account with so that I would be able to earn points for our stay or perhaps use some points to cut our costs.  That meant I was focused on Hyatt, IHG and Marriott.  There was a very economically priced Hyatt near the airport with no parking fee that I considered for a while.  But when I did a google search of what was around it, I didn’t think the area was a good choice for us.  The other Hyatt in Portland was not too far from downtown. It seemed to be in a pretty good area near a riverfront  park and some restaurants.  Since I was also able to get a good Points Plus Cash rate for 3 days (there was no availability for our 4th day), I decided we would give it a try.

Hyatt House Downtown

We arrived on a Saturday at around 7:40 pm Portland time.  It had been a very long travel day for us coming from Michigan.  We were hungry, a bit tired and just wanting to get checked in then grab a quick bite to eat and a drink in the hotel.  To keep it simple that first night, we sucked it up and used the Valet Parking which cost $39 per night.  There would be time to find a better option the next day.

After greeting us at check in, the Desk Agent informed us that the Bar/Restaurant would be closing at 8 pm due to some unforseen issue. This was disappointing.  They did have a little Grab and Go shop but it was mostly travel items and junk food which was not at all appealing to us. So we just headed up to our room.

The Lobby was very spacious with several different sitting areas and desk space near the windows with computers, printers and plenty of room to work.

 

 

 

When we got to our room, Maggie was very impressed with how nice it was.  I really like the style of Hyatt rooms.  We shared 1 large King sized bed, and we each had an end table with lights and plugs for our devices.  Although the bed was super comfortable,  the pillows weren’t that great.  There were plenty of them, but they didn’t have much fill.

The view from the room allowed us a peek of the nearby Willamette River.  We also had a comfy couch and ottoman by the window where I spent some time mapping out our daily travel routes.  Of course there was a flat panel tv perched upon a 6 drawer bureau and a closet with plenty of space for suitcases and way too many clothes for 4 days.

 

 

 

 

What we didn’t have, was much counter space in the bathroom.  Two girls traveling together tend to have a lot of “stuff” for getting ready.  We had to be pretty creative with that.  I was also not crazy about the sliding door for the bathroom that was pretty noisy when you opened and shut it.  I am often up early and prefer not to wake my travel partner when I need to use the facilities.  Additionally, the light switches were very wonky so I ended up in the dark in fear that I would turn the whole room light on accidentally.

There were typical hotel bathroom products and a large tiled shower with a nice high shower head (which I care nothing about because I am 5 feet tall, but when I bring my 6’1 husband it is important).

You may be able to see from this photo that the toilet paper holder was literally falling off the cabinet.

 

 

 

 

The room had a kitchen station with microwave, mini fridge and coffee pot with a supply of coffee packs and tea bags.  What I liked most in this area was the real ceramic coffee mugs and glass glasses.  A refreshing choice and better for the environment.  It was also very thoughtful of them to leave a tea towel and wine opener, just in case we needed them.

Now let’s talk about the desk area.  It was nice to have a desk and chair with an adjustable reading light and plenty of plugs.  We piled all of our travel brochures, maps and our purses there.  But what about the hutch?  It really puzzled me.  Was I supposed to move in and decorate?  I wasn’t really sure about the necessity of this item but I did find a use for it.  Remember how tight I said the bathroom counter space was, well I ended up using it as a storage overflow area for make up bags and hair appliances.

 

 

 

The next evening we found the second floor rooftop area.  From here you could see the river and a view of Mount Hood.  The space was quite large with fire pits and plenty of seating areas.  There was an unmanned bar (missed opportunity Hyatt) and a grill too.  Since the evenings were quite lovely during our stay, we did spend some time here.

 

 

 

 

What we didn’t have time to use was the Fitness Center or the Pool.  Both areas had window walls that let in tons of light and the facilities looked like they were very nicely appointed.

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk about my favorite part of being a Hyatt guest…..Breakfast. I love the quality of the items they present at breakfast. They really know how to put out a nice breakfast complete with a made to order omelette station.  Each day there was an omelette of the day.  This day it was a Caprese omelette filled with Pesto, tomatoes and yummy cheese.  The main menu seemed to rotate its regular options every other day which allowed for some variety in your choices.  There was also plenty of seating area available to enjoy your delicious breakfast.

 

 

 

 

We did make it to the bar one evening for a nightcap.  The staff were friendly and Maggie had a pretty good margarita and the Bartender was willing to make me a Negroni, which was not on the menu (it turned out ok but was pretty weak).  We were seated at the bar near the kitchen entrance so we noticed that all the “Bar Bites”  this time of night looked like warmed up frozen foods.  We were now glad to have dodged that bullet on our first night when they were closed.

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Final Thoughts

Always Reconcile your Hotel Bill!   I had some billing issues during our stay, but I handled them tactfully and the Manager made it right for me.  It’s a wonderful thing when you get good Customer Service.

The hotel itself was beautiful and the location was pretty good.  You can even grab the trolley right in front of the hotel if you prefer not driving in the crazy Portland traffic.  I liked how near it was to the river front park and having the option to walk to some local bars or restaurants if you wanted to.

The room was beautiful, mostly comfy and had everything we needed except for counter space in the bathroom.  Some of the fixtures were a little wonky like the lights, bathroom door and TP holder, but nothing we couldn’t deal with.

The hotel common areas were gorgeous, spacious and had tons of natural light from all the windows.  This Hyatt really has everything you could want or need on site.  Don’t forget they have that awesome breakfast, but maybe avoid the over priced low quality bar snacks.

If you need to park your car, go about a block past the hotel and there is a self service parking garage for either $12 or $18 dollars depending on how long you will need, instead of paying the $39 a night (plus tips) Valet Parking.  If you use the Valet, make sure you check your hotel bill daily to make sure the charges are correct.

This hotel suited us quite well for a home base during our Girls Getaway budget trip to Portland.  Depending on my travel and location needs, I would definitely consider staying at the Hyatt House Downtown in Portland again in the future.