I have stayed at the Downtown Marriott. It's very nice and if you are a Gold member you get free access to the concierge level floors and the perks that go with it. When my husband and I checked in, we inquired about the free room upgrade but they were unable to give us a larger room. The room we stayed in (king) was comfortable and clean but rather small.
We go to Portland several times a year to visit our son and his girlfriend. The two Marriott properties we usual stay at are the Courtyard-Lloyd Center (which just had a complete overhaul of the lobby and lounge - it's beautiful) or The Fairfield Inn-North Harbour. Usually when we reserve at these two properties we are able to get the free room upgrade.
At the Courtyard-Lloyd center this means a two room suite with a kitchenette. The rooms are large, clean and comfortable. What I like about having the suite is my husband usually wakes up earlier than I do so he is able to go out into the living room and watch TV without disturbing me. This property is very close to downtown, which is another great feature. The one thing to keep in mind, however, is you do have to pay to park. As I write this we are at this property. They were booked solid this weekend so no room upgrade and they were only doing valet parking (but we are only paying the self-park rate which is, I believe $15 a night). The parking is underground which I feel is safer. Another thing is there is no free breakfast like at some of the other Marriott properties.
The Fairfield Inn-North Harbour is also a great property. Very clean and comfortable. They do provide a free breakfast. This is an ideal location if you want a quieter place to stay plus it is only minutes from Vancouver, WA. Parking here is self-park and free but it is in an open parking lot so we always try to park close to the hotel and under a street light. There is shopping nearby at Jantzen Beach and just a short drive away is the shopping and restaurants of Cascade Station and across the river in WA at Mall 205. Also, this property isn't too far from the airport. There is a Fairfield Inn right next to the airport but it's not a nice plus you have the airport noise.
Portland is a great city. It can be hard to navigate because of traffic but they do have a great public transportation system.
One other thing I should mention is Portland is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. What this means is they are everywhere. It took some getting used to for me and my husband as we just aren't used to it and so we would forget to not only check for motor vehicles when turning but bicyclist as well.
Thanx for all the great logistical information, and comparisons of properties. This is invaluable for those of us planning our first trips to cities.
FI North Harbor is a Cat 2 so an option for certificates.
I could not find a Courtyard Lloyd Center, only a Courtyard City Center or a RI Lloyd Center. Am not certain if its one of these, or if I am somehow missing one, but both are Cat 4, so the certificates would also work here/
That RI, is very nice, and having the tram is a huge plus to get around. Also enjoyed The Marriott on the river. If it still has Champions, it was a great sports bar.
Make sure you try to dine at Jake's or Ringside while in Portland. If you really want an upscale evening, dine at The Heathman. It is a special treat.
Thanx for all the great logistical information! I have never been to Oregon and would like to visit. I just checked this property out in the directory, and its a cat 4 so I can use my Summer Bonus Program Cat 1-4 Certificates here. The FS looks nice too but its Cat 5.
Now to find a cheap airfare!
This is from my wife, who has lived in the Tigard/Portland area for about 25 years:
Hi there, as a lifelong Oregonian, even if I don't still live there, I have lots of great ideas. If you are staying downtown, be sure and take advantage of the MAX for across the river, and main route transportation. The downtown Marriott location, on old Front Street, now MLK, gives a nice view, but is too far from the heart of the city. Closer locales to Broadway, Burnside, and access across the river are more "Rip City" originals. Try to take in a Blazers game at the Rose City, take the Max. If you want a great view, go to the Portland Rose Garden, where the real award winning roses are grown in the summer. The view is amazing, and the names of all the local queens of Rosaria, the mythical kindgom, are on display. Go up old Burnside to the Rose Garden, and if possible take in the Pittock Mansion, an original home of an old city banker. View of all the mountains can be seen there on a clear day, Hood, Adams, St . Helens and Rainier. The Portland Waterfront Park hosts the Fun Center during the Rose Festival when the US Navy fleet comes in. There are 3 parades, and I took my kids to all 3, the Junior, Starlight and Grand Floral. Go early, sit on the sidewalk, and bring chalk to draw pictures on the sidewalk.
Jakes and Ringside are always mentioned as great restaurants, but other secrets exist. Try Dan and Louis Oyster Bar, down near the Benson Bubblers. The Spaghetti Factory is right on the Willamette River. For breakfast, try the Original Pancake House off Barbur in the southwest for a giant "baby" pancake. One of the newer spots to try is VooDoo Donuts. Roses Deli in the Northwest has a great Jewish deli. Portland has lots of great food, and coffee shops are all over. Go to the Washington Park Zoo, home of the greatest bunch of elephants around, including the much loved *****. Go in April, and the city has a big birthday party for him, and we all eat carrot cake. There is a Ducks Store downtown, outlet for the University of Oregon Football team. Go sit in Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland's living room, have a coffee, and just watch the folks go by. Get out and drive a little, go to Estacada and see the Clackamas River, and keep going to Mt. Hood. The other way, on Highway 26, routes to the Oregon Coast on the Sunset Highway.
Read the Oregonian, a newspaper I still miss everyday. Portland is a wonderfully polite town. Most people don't cross the street without a walk sign, even if no one is coming. Honking is rare, how scary. Even though I lived there for many years, and still miss it, I just jump in the car, and go see somebody I know. We stay at the Marriott.
I too like the Downtown Marriott by the River. It is an older building but has a salt water pool, that is really relaxing. You can see my review of that one at:
I travel to Portland about once/month and stay at either the Residence Inn at Cascade Station, Residence Inn Riverfront , or Marriott on Broadway downtown, depending on my ultimate destination..
There is a Max stop at the Residence Inn, Cascade Station. Makes transportation to the airport or to downtown Portland really easy. And parking is free. I stay here if I am flying out.
Residence Inn Riverfront is right on the trolley. It is most convenient if you are going to OHSU medical office or up to the hospital, or PSU area.. Nice indoor pool. Easy walking to restaurants and the marina and the riverfront park. Self park, secure garage, I think parking is $25/night.
Marriott on Broadway is good. Walking distance (easy) to most events downtown. Parking is valet (I think it is $35/night, plus tips) so that adds to the cost.
I have stayed in several others, but these three are my favorite.
The wife and I stay at the Marriott Broadway City Center. Suites are GREAT. They have parking included in lots of the room deals but you have to be sure and call to confirm, the website is not always up to date on these specials and many times you have to do multi-night stays. We have paid $35(valet) for parking at times here. Parking in Portland's city center can be a real nightmare but the Marriott has always been very helpful with this. This is a Prime location hotel, close to everything. When staying in Portland we always try to stay here first (5 times this year).