I had been wanting to visit Portland, Oregon for years. I had read all the articles and travel guides, and I had friends who raved about the food, the nature, the art - just about everything. But it wasn’t until recently that the stars aligned and I was able to plan a full work-free five days in the Rose City.
I wanted to stay somewhere right in the center of the city - within walking distance of all the great restaurants, shops, and other attractions that Portland has to offer. As I was doing my research on different accommodations, one place kept coming up again and again - The Woodlark Hotel. So I eagerly made my reservation and packed my bags.
Located in the heart of Portland, The Woodlark is a stylish 150-room boutique hotel housed in two stunning buildings from the early 1900s. It’s actually a combination of two deeply historic Portland buildings. One is the circa-1908 French Renaissance-style Cornelius Hotel, nicknamed the “House of Welcome” and renowned for its dynamic Ladies Reception Hall. The other is the 1912-born Woodlark Building, one of the city’s first skyscrapers and home to a thriving drug store and pharmacy beloved for its soda fountain. (Read: architecture and design lovers will be in heaven here).
But the historical exterior definitely doesn’t mean that you won’t find all the modern amenities seasoned travelers expect today. The rooms are beautifully designed with, as Goop says, “rich emerald-green and midnight-blue custom wallpaper, velvet sofas, and blonde hardwood floors.” Guests can enjoy Sangre de Fruta bathroom amenities, free high speed Wi-fi, Bluetooth speakers, and a pristine fitness studio with Peloton bikes.
And then there’s the food and beverage situation…
The hotel’s Bullard Tavern offers elevated seasonal fare for lunch and dinner, while the Lobby Bar has an expertly curated menu of wines from around the world. But my favorite of the dining options was Abigail Hall. Located in the original Ladies Reception Hall of the former Cornelius Hotel, it was once the stomping ground for suffrage leader Abigail Scott Duniway, known as “the pioneer Woman Suffragist of the great Northwest.” Now this intimate, sumptuously designed space serves up a European-inspired buffet for breakfast, high tea during the day, and craft cocktails at night. It was so fun to enjoy a drink (or three) knowing all the history that occurred in that very room!
But let’s get to the city itself. The Woodlark is within walking distance of some of the best attractions Portland has to offer. In the mornings, I would swing by the Good Coffee in the lobby for a Cherry Chili Cacao Latte and a pastry before heading out. I’d enjoy a leisurely walk through the neighborhood, where I perused art galleries, quaint book shops, and unique jewelry and clothing stores. The Woodlark is also near the Portland Art Museum, Lan Su Chinese Garden, and the stunning Portland Japanese Garden. And, of course, along the way I stopped at as many incredible cafes and restaurants as I could handle. (Toki and Oven & Shaker were a few of my favorites!)
I couldn’t have been happier with my stay at The Woodlark. The hotel itself was beautiful, and I loved learning about the history of the building and surrounding area. It was the perfect base from which to explore Portland for the first time. Centrally located and easy to get to all of the city’s top attractions, it’s a must-stay for Portland newbies and returning travelers alike.