Hotel Insider: Hotel Monaco, Portland, Oregon

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The welcome

The hotel’s smart entrance and hallway provide a fitting welcome in historic downtown Portland. Inside, there’s a nice balance between cosy and grand, and the bold colour scheme fits in well with the location. There’s a choice of different comfortable seating arrangements in the lounge. The staff are friendly and genuine.

The neighbourhood

In the centre of the downtown area of Portland, within walking distance of the waterfront and a good variety of shops and restaurants, the 10-storey Monaco is one of a number of stately buildings that date from 1912. The building was originally a department store and sits opposite Macy’s. It’s about a 15-minute walk from the bus and train stations, as well as the Portland Art Museum.

The scene

Nicely no-nonsense. This 221-room hotel is popular with business and leisure guests of all ages, most of whom come from within the United States. There is also an Aveda spa.

The room

My room is a 10th-floor king premier suite decorated in the hotel’s signature wallpaper, which comprises drawings of birds flying against a cream background. Colourfully upholstered furniture gives it the feel of a grand boutique hotel. I have a view of the Macy’s building and the room is quiet.

The service

Bright and friendly.

The food

The street-level restaurant, the Red Star Tavern (, is also open to non-hotel guests, and has an attractive menu featuring local ingredients in the form of soups, salads, cheeses, fish and steak, but unfortunately it's closed on the night that I'm there. I have breakfast the following morning, however, and the fresh orange juice, coffee and toasted bagel with cream cheese (a total of US$14.50 [Dh53]) are all good. In the lobby, the hotel offers various free drinks and snacks at different times of the day.


The relaxing atmosphere and the sense of privacy. Also, every room has a yoga mat.


The slightly worn-looking animal print bathrobes hanging in the closet didn’t tempt me to wear them. The temperature in the room didn’t seem to be as cold as the temperature control stated, and the airflow from the air-conditioning system wasn’t constant.

The verdict

A comfortable retreat in a great location, and the sense of history comes as a bonus.

The bottom line

Double rooms at the Monaco Portland ( cost from $160 (Dh588) per night, including taxes, but excluding breakfast.