Walking into the sleek, urban-chic lobby at Portland’s Hotel Vintage, it’s no surprise this place has racked up some serious awards, including being named among the best hotels in Oregon by U.S. World & News Report and among the top Pacific Northwest hotels by Condé Nast Traveler, both last year.
The 117-room hotel in downtown Portland saw a $16 million overhaul in 2015 that brought this new look to fruition. Several walls feature huge, bright graffiti pieces incorporating Portland’s famous bridges, while a dramatic staircase floats just off the lobby and a large chalkboard illustrates various wine-related topics. These elements and more have helped it land on scores of design listicles since the renovation.
That renovation also brought more environmentally friendly aspects to the building. The hotel upgraded several systems, from the boilers to the heat pumps to the HVACs. It now scores an 85 on the Energy Star Scorecard.
Not only is it smack in downtown Portland, offering easy access to major attractions, the hotel also succeeds in being a destination in itself. Hotel Vintage regularly hosts wine tasting events in the lobby, packing the calendar with visits from local vintners. Tastings usually happen early in the evening, followed by live music. At the top of the floating staircase sits a game lounge, with a pool table, shuffleboard and a video game center that includes Nintendo Wii, PlayStation and Xbox.
The street-inspired art continues to the guest rooms, which include a mix of cork accent walls, distressed oak headboards, 45-degree solarium walls, balcony hot tubs, and butcher block work desks.
The food and drink game is strong here, too, starting with Bacchus Bar. Oregon wine and beer populates the menu, perfect for sipping while enjoying the game lounge and Italian-inspired snacks. Happy hour runs daily, from 4 to 6 p.m., and a progressive cocktail menu adds more options.
On the ground floor, chef Matt Sigler heads the kitchen at Italian-leaning Il Solito. Sigler’s brand of Italian food is described as “red sauce,” which is especially true at dinner. Well-done classics include spaghetti and meatballs, ricotta ravioli and fried calamari. Brunch has panache, with dishes like quinoa porridge; chicken sausage scramble; and an indulgent breakfast sandwich with maple sausage, asiago, fried egg, hash brown cake, hot sauce aioli and a potato bun. Be on the look out for the specials, which make creative use of seasonal ingredients, not unlike this cocktail from the restaurant’s amari-inclined bar program.