Fodor's Expert Review Benson Hotel

309 S.W. Broadway, Portland, Oregon, 97205, United States See on Map

If you’re looking for old world charm in the middle of downtown Portland, look no further than The Benson Hotel. This historic landmark is a favorite of visiting Presidents, CEOs, and other big wigs - and with its classic European design and two ballrooms (because one isn’t enough?), it’s easy to see why.


The gold and maroon decor in the rooms at The Benson Hotel make them feel like a mix between medieval Europe and the Gryffindor Common Room (in a good way!). But while the decor might feel old world, the amenities are all modern, like the Tempur-Pedic mattresses and iPhone docks.


The bathrooms are a bit on the small side, especially considering the grandness of the rest of the hotel. But they’re well-maintained and stocked with organic bamboo bathrooms and slippers and bath products from Gilchrist & Soames.

YOU SHOULD KNOW The biggest challenge in the bathroom is the lack of counter space, so if you’re a person who needs to spread out all your products and tools when you get ready in the morning, this bathroom isn’t for you.


We’ve got one word for the lobby at The Benson Hotel: WOW. From the rich mahogany panels to the huge crystal chandeliers to the cozy sitting room (complete with fireplace), everything about this lobby oozes elegance.


The Benson Hotel has a 24-hour “Executive Workout Room” (quite the fancy name for a gym) that’s stocked with cardio equipment and free weights.


In the mood for a steak? Well, you’re in luck. El Gaucho is The Benson Hotel’s steak and cigar lounge, serving up some of the best cuts of meat in Portland. Just like the rest of the hotel, this restaurant is a bit old-fashioned, but in the best possible way. Make sure to stop by for dinner and enjoy a live flamenco guitar performance.

Not a meat-eater? No problem! Portland is a vegan and vegetarian-friendly city, and El Gaucho is no exception - just let the server know your dietary restrictions and they’ll point you to the right items on the menu.


If you’ve got cocktails on the mind, make a stop at The Palm Court, a fantastic bar and restaurant located in the lobby of The Benson Hotel. The Palm Court specializes in craft cocktails, but if you’re not in an adventurous mood, they also make a mean Manhattan.


Getting Around

Getting around downtown Portland is easy on foot - especially when you're staying at The Benson Hotel, which is right in the middle of everything. If you want to venture out to other areas of the city, the SW 6th & Pine MAX station is just a 3-minute walk. If you can't get by without a car, expect to pay $40 per night for valet parking.


Just a few blocks away is Portland City Grill (6-minute walk), an elegant seafood and steak restaurant located on the 30th floor of the US Bancorp Tower (known to locals as “Big Pink”) and home to the most breathtaking views of the city and the Cascade Mountains. You’ll also want to try Lechon (8-minute walk), a foodie favorite serving up wood-fired dishes from South America, blending flavors from Argentina, Chile, and Patagonia.


Grab a drink at Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House (7-minute walk), where the 26 beers on tap feature Deschutes favorites as well as new and seasonal beers brewed on-site specifically for the Portland location. In the mood for something stronger? Head to Multnomah Whiskey Library (8-minute walk), one of the hottest spots in Portland specializing in - you guessed it - whiskey. With over 1800 varieties of spirits to choose from, you’re bound to find something you love.


The Benson Hotel is the kind of place that makes you want to put on your Sunday best and enjoy the classiest night on the town Portland has to offer. And in a city that’s known for beer, hiking, and keeping things weird, that’s saying something.


Grande Dame


Phones: 503-228–2000;800-716–6199

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