Portland Oregon is one city that I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of. The art and music scene is amazing, great restaurants are endless and the people are some of the nicest I’ve met along the Pacific Northwest. I recently visited this city with my boyfriend and discovered that when you want to live it up to the Nines….that’s exactly where you need to go.
1. Location, Location, Location:
The Nines is a luxury hotel atop the landmark Meier & Frank building right in the heart of downtown. And who needs a car when this hotel is literally within walking distance to everything you’ll want to do?
In the mood for shopping? If you have a good arm you could probably throw a rock and hit Pioneer Place, filled with upscale stores and just next to Saks Fifth Avenue. But if the mall isn’t your thing the streets are sprinkled with lovely boutiques and superb vintage stores.
An art lover? The Portland Art Museum is super close to The Nines as well as local artist studios which, on the first Thursday of every month, open up to the public and turns a portion of downtown into a creative frenzy.
The world famous 4.5 acre Portland Rose Gardens are also close to the hotel where you can see literally over 10,000 of these beautiful flowers.
2. Psychic Service:
The Nines must require their valets to be psychic because as soon as my boyfriend and I pulled up in front of the building, without hesitation there were two men to help us with our bags. Every staff member we came across was impeccably dressed, friendly and eager to please. At check in, before I could even think of a question to ask about the hotel, it was answered.
3. The Art:
This place is an art lovers dream! During the creation of The Nines, artists worked with the hotel influencing its design concepts to adorn it in exclusive, original and local art. At each turn these works can be found throughout the hotel amongst a backdrop of turquoise, creams and earth tones. Each suite contains a unique piece of art from artists at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. At check in, the backdrop of the front desk showcases a beautiful fused class sculptural wall that transitions you into their amazing atrium.
4. Urban Farmer:
This is what Portland’s all about. Supporting the locals with a focus on organic sourcing and simple preparations. The Urban Farmer is The Nines’ fine dining modern steakhouse restaurant set in the back corner of the atrium. Amongst native grasses you can sample some of the best cuisine in the downtown area produced by local farmers and executed by amazing chefs. In true Portland style the restaurant shows its support by listing the farmers the food is sourced from as well as their exclusive cattle farmers that work with the restaurant. The Urban Farmer is also one of the few restaurants in the City that have a canning license. In their semi private section of the restaurant they like to call “the pantry” these good are on display and used as needed in the chefs delicious creations.
5. The Mini Bar:
Why leave your room when you can play “Cocktail” in your suite? Although The Nines can defiantly whip up some specialty drinks of their own, my boyfriend and I were more than happy with the in room selection. The snacks here satisfied our midnight cravings and they definitely had something for everyone.
6. Reading is Cool!:
For me, an escape to the library is always a good time but at The Nines I was blown away. This living, breathing library is a comfy, dimly lit room tucked away off the atrium. With books constantly being added and taken away, no two visits are ever the same. The shelving is created from salvaged barn doors and is scattered with drawings and photos done by local artists. Curl up on one of their chocolate brown plush leather couches and watch your afternoon wiz by you. And if reading isn’t your thing, test your aiming skills on their pool table in under an antler chandelier and wait for your turn on one of many gold painted wooden stumps.
7. Mod Atrium:
The Nines created this atrium to ensure its guests always have a room with a view, either of the downtown or looking out onto the bright glass ceiling atrium. Complete with unique original sculptures, installations and semi private separated rooms, this is a great place to catch up, hang out or even get some work done. When you don’t feel like going outside, this area is your best bet.
8. There’s No Place like Home:
Being on the coast, Portland is no stranger to its occasional gray rainy days but every suite at The Nines is softly lit with natural light, making the room nice and bright even when it’s not outside. It’s been a few weeks since my stay here and I’m still day dreaming about their bed. It was seriously comfy. Staying here I felt right at home with a great view of downtown, fast, complementary Wi-Fi, just enough space… and oh, did I mention the comfy bed? The bathroom is beautiful, doused in marble with luxurious amenities and even a vanity. When check out time rolled around, I was honestly sad to leave.
9. The Departure:
Designed by Skylab, Departure is probably THE coolest rooftop restaurant I’ve ever been in. My inner geek is a huge fan of Star Trek (next generation all the way!) and this place had me beaming from head to toe. Upon entering Departure, you’re greeted by a long dark hallway lit by angled purple lighting which takes you up a ramp under a geodesic glossy black dome that made me feel like I was walking onto the Starship Enterprise. Recently voted as one of the best roof top restaurants in the West Coast by Sunset Magazine, Departure is also one of the only rooftop restaurants in the city at this elevation with an outdoor patio. The patio, by the way, is huge! Can you say great views or what?! Serving up exquisite modern Asian cuisine, the food here will blow your mind. And if you are a sake lover, Departure has the largest selection of hand crafted sake in the city along with a variety of exotic Asian inspired cocktails that will make you feel like you’re going on a real adventure. I enjoyed every element of this restaurant and lounge. It is – without a doubt – a spot worthy of checking out, even when you’re not staying at the hotel.