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jojo7 Apr 19th, 2007 08:37 AM

Embassy Suites Downtown Portland
Our family of 4 are going to Portland for a 2 night stay in June. I have reservations at the Embassy Suites Downtown but now I am questioning my choice because of several negatives written in my Fordor's travel book. Apparently, the Chinatown area where the hotel is located is to be avoided at night which concerns me since I have my children with me. Can anyone advise if this hotel is not in a good/safe area or if there are better options? Thanks.

NWWanderer Apr 19th, 2007 09:28 AM

I'm a frequent visitor to Portland, and I've stayed at that Embassy Suites, and it's not in Chinatown, it's in Old Town. I thought the area was just fine--yes, you'd want to exercise the normal urban area caution after dark but that's true in most cities. And yes, there are some homeless people/panhandlers but that's hard to avoid in urban areas (or at least it is here in Seattle).

I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again but if you're really concerned, then you might want to look at the Hotel Monaco which is more in the core of downtown and has suites also (but no pool or free breakfast).

Andrew Apr 19th, 2007 09:54 AM

Old Town/Chinatown are basically the same area - to distinguish between them is irrelevant. Anyway, the Embassy Suites is in neither - it's on the south side of Burnside and Old Town/Chinatown is just on the north side. I'm not sure which district the hotel is technically in...

In any case, I agree that the hotel is in a decent area. I would avoid Burnside St., however, and stay south of there. Burnside does have some homeless people - who are harmless, mostly, but scary to people not used to a city. You'll find homeless people anywhere downtown, actually. If you walk on the streets you'll almost surely be hit up for spare change. Just ignore such people and move on.

NWWanderer Apr 19th, 2007 10:21 AM

Ah, ok, Andrew, thanks for clarifying. For some reason I thought Old Town was the area just south of Burnside from 1st to 3rd or so, whereas Chinatown was on the other (north) side of Burnside.

laurelee Apr 19th, 2007 10:48 AM

I was just in Portland with my son and elderly mother. I was also trying to decide between the Embassy Suites and Hotel Monaco. As we drove into town--I was able to see both areas that the hotels were located in. Although Embassy Suites wasn't really in a "bad" area, I did like the area surrounding Hotel Monaco better and was glad that was my choice. The Hotel Monaco was perfect for us.....we had a suite with two beds and a pull-out sofa. The room was huge and everything was top-notch. I was glad I went this direction. Hope this helps.

traveler24 Apr 19th, 2007 12:12 PM

A word to the wise
if you decide to change hotels--don't cancel ES until you have another one booked....
June notorious for be crowded for Rose festival...

jojo7 Apr 20th, 2007 08:12 AM

Thanks all! I am really not too concerned with homeless people since it's unavoidable in the Seattle area where I live, but drunks, drugs and crime would bother me. I would definitely go for Hotel Monaco if it had a pool. The two other options I am considering is the Residence in at River Place or the Hilton Executive Tower on 2nd. Any comments on these two? Residence is further but they offer free transportation to downtown. THANKS.

Andrew Apr 20th, 2007 09:08 AM

The Hilton (actually on Taylor between 6th/Broadway not 2nd) is two buildings on catty-corner blocks. The "old" Hilton I consider rather dated although I think it has been remodeled. The new building (the "Executive Tower") across the street is pretty nice - my parents stayed there a few years ago. I'd probably try to get a room there rather than in the old building (when my parents stayed, the two buildings operated as one hotel - you could checkin at either front desk and stay in either building). Note that 6th Avenue is under heavy construction right now (bus mall is getting MAX train tracks) and that could impede getting around that area a bit.

The Hilton is right in the heart of downtown and in a great location. The Residence Inn is far removed although as you say there is a shuttle plus a direct Portland Streetcar connection right to downtown. There is some construction in that area, too. However, the Riverplace area near the hotel is pretty nice - a marina, some shops and restaurants, etc. I was walking around the area the other night and noted that some people would quite enjoy staying in this area - being able to walk by the river would be fun for many.

The Residence Inn is close to the streetcar stop but a block more removed from the heart of Riverplace. Not quite the cache of downtown but if you like the river, I'd definitely go with the Residence Inn.

kimamom Apr 20th, 2007 09:22 AM

We have enjoyed several stays at the Riverplace Hotel. I love the location by the river, we have had nice river views. The hotel is very pretty with a good restaurant, a private spa with a jacuzzi and sauna and we had access to the athletic club down the block which was very nice with a large indoor pool. :)

We enjoyed the Heathman Hotel last June, the Symphony Suite was very nice and the location is good, in downtown Portland. Also a great restaurant here where we enjoyed a nice dinner and brunch the next morning. ***kim*** ((f))

beachbum Apr 20th, 2007 10:00 AM

Ummm... kimamom, the (Marriott) Residence Inn and Riverplace Hotel are not the same place.

As for the choice between the Hilton and Residence Inn, both locations are fine. So, it's just a matter of location preference. I'd liken it to choosing between Seattle's Edgewater and some downtown core hotel.

jojo7 Apr 20th, 2007 12:01 PM

Kimamom.. What did you think of the indoor pool at Riverplace Club? Kid friendly? It sounds like they open a couple of lanes for open swim. After given it some thought, I like the idea of being in the Riverplace area with easy access to downtown. I am going to decide between Residence Inn or Riverplace Hotel. Both have advantages and disadvantages of what we are looking for in a hotel so just have to weigh it all out. As far as cost, Riverplace is actually slightly cheeper for their suite vs. Residence Inn's 2 bedroom suite.

lcuy Apr 20th, 2007 01:03 PM

Kim has not stayed at Riverplace since before it was sold in 2003, so she may not be the best reference. Riverplace has really good prices since they have had such bad press in the last few years. Their restaurant is especially poor.

kimamom Apr 23rd, 2007 07:36 AM

Hi jojo, we have stayed several times before it became a Larkspur property and have stayed there since the change. The remodel is gorgeous and we found the service to be of the same standards it was before the change. :)

We enjoyed nice breakfasts at the restaurant, Three Degrees, great food and gorgeous views of the river. The pool at the club is very large, it was very nice. Enjoy your time in Portland wherever you stay! ***kim*** ((*))

beachbum Apr 23rd, 2007 07:41 AM

uuhh.... kimamom, per her response to you on TA, jojo7 has already decided to stay at Residence Inn. So, when was the last time you stayed at Riverplace?

jojo7 Apr 23rd, 2007 09:23 AM

Thanks kimamom for your response. We did decide on the Residence Inn for several reasons, however, I would like to try the restaurant at Riverplace Hotel. Thanks for the recommendation!

mms Apr 23rd, 2007 12:15 PM

Jojo--Unless you are starving and don't feel like going anywhere else, I would pass on the restaurant. I ate there about 2 years ago and while it wasn't horrible, there are much better options around.

lcuy Apr 23rd, 2007 12:17 PM

jojo7- I'll be curious to see your review of Three Degrees. Hope you don't have as awful food and service as I experienced...

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