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“Large, elegant lobby; so-so room” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Benson Hotel

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Benson Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   309 Southwest Broadway, Portland, OR 97205 (Downtown)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #22 of 133 Hotels in Portland
Bend, Oregon
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Large, elegant lobby; so-so room”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2010

We got this room through a discount site so we didn't pay a lot-- which was good, since it was just "okay" for what the star rating was. A four-star hotel should have better guest rooms, in my opinion. The bed, a king, was nothing special, the room was older so it was pretty small and we've had better bathrooms (for size & amenities) at a more budget-rated motel. But the lobby was extremely elegant and well-appointed; the bar looked nice though we didn't try it, and the two restaurants on the premises looked like they had pretty nice atmosphere (again, didn't try them). We were only there for one night, a longer stay may have changed my impression for the better, but the bathroom wouldn't be any better. The business center was nice-- you can print boarding passes for free-- and the fitness room looked good. No pool on site.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1,118 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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seattle, WA
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2010

On a two-night stay at The Benson, we enjoyed the old world charm of this classic hotel. We found a great deal on Priceline ($70/night) which was a great value. I've never slept on a tempurpedic mattress, and I have to admit that it was very comfortable. I love being able to open a window, and this old hotel had four working windows for lots of fresh air. The complimentary wifi was fast, and even though it crashed one day for about an hour, the front desk was helpful and told us that they were working on the problem. Otherwise, the connection was totally reliable. On our last day, we asked for a late check-out and they granted a 2pm check out.

We didn't eat or drink in the hotel because there are so many great restaurants in the neighborhood.

While I usually go for the more modern experience, I would gladly stay at The Benson again when in Portland.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Las Vegas, NV
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2010

I booked this "4 star" hotel through price-line and was very disappointed. They are now listed as a 3 1/3 star which is still too high. The only good thing is the location. The bed was very uncomfortable with old ugly scratchy flowery motel-esque linens with old furniture/TV. The wallpaper was falling off, non-smoking room reeked of smoke, rusty rack in bathroom, horrible toiletries. It really ruined the trip I planned for my husband's birthday.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, Alaska
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2010

I have a couple of hotels that I stay at regularly in Portland, but figured, what the heck, I'd try going cheap and use hotwire. I ended up at the Benson. Knowing from my past experience at Hotwire, that you usually end up with a low end room, I immediately called the Benson and upgraded.

It was a mixed bag. The lobby was quite grand, the staff were great, and the corner suite I booked on the 10th floor was quite roomy. I did see some of the standard rooms and was glad I upgraded. Cleanliness was not great, I had to go under the bed to connect an electrical device and *yikes* it was a dust bunny convention! The carpet was quite worn too. The bed was nice. The television was an older non flat screen set.

All in all not bad for what I paid, but it definitely isn't the deluxe property that it once was. (I lived in Portland from 1989-2001, and at least in the early years, it was one of the places you might go for a special event).

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Chicago
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2010

First of all, let me say, I love old buildings - hotels included. I find them charming and cozy. I like the architectural details and the plaster and finished wood work that is seldom seen in modern construction, usually due to the incredibly high costs of new work made to look old. That being said, I also love modern styling and can appreciate modern, functional bathrooms and plumbing.

The Benson Hotel is definitely a charming old hotel with its quirks that one would expect in an historic landmark-y type hotel: i.e., french windows with no screens, small bathrooms with no storage and with very small tubs (5"0' long tops), warped uneven floors, odd shaped rooms, tall ceilings and no ceiling light fixtures (no wiring for that back in the day).

The lobby is truly beautiful and has seating to enjoy a beverage or snack. My boyfriend and I found the food excellent and the drinks very well done in the Palm Court. A highlight was the beef "slider" --- this is no little white castle burger. It is the perfect proportion and combo of beef, mushrooms, cheese, grilled onions and toasted bun. We went back twice for that little marvel! And the mojitos were very fine.

Now for the rooms. I so wanted to be pleasantly surprised, but upon check in we were given room 817 and I must say, that room was not up to my standards or my boyfriend's for how we like to travel. Though the hotel advertises that it has tempur-pedic beds in all rooms, this one did not have one. There was only one bathroom and slipper set in the closet for both of us. Also, the bathroom was very tired looking -- the glaze in the tub appeared dirty, but honestly, I believe it was just so old that it was clean but looked dingy. I was unimpressed but we thought, what the heck, just a hotel room, no worries.

Well, my boyfriend then took a shower and while in the shower we had some bad luck that turned into good luck: he slipped and fell and managed to take out not only the shower curtain but also the toilet on the way down, breaking it's seal and causing the toilet tank to leak. Upon reporting the accident to the front desk, we were met with apparent real concern, tylenol was offerred, my boyfriend asked if he was all right and then we were moved to room 1217 on the top floor.

Room 1217 had a beautiful view, more daylight during the day, an updated bathroom with a chrome showerhead and not a plastic one as room 817's had been and a tempurpedic King bed. This room was so much nicer and we were so much happier there. The TV's are old, and the room arrangement is awkward but all in all, we were much happier.

As for the street noise that others mentioned, I did hear some late night revelers but I wasn't too bothered, the boyfriend slept through everything as usual. We never heard anyone else on our floor except for walking past the corner room and hearing a piano playing. No slamming doors, no fire alarms, no other disturbances.

Housekeeping did a good job, the hotel staff was solicitous.

The only recommendation I would make to the Benson is this: Seriously, are all the rooms on the 8th floor so dire? They need an immediate update to be comparable to other hotels in the Portland area.

Would I stay at the Benson again? We are still discussing it. We weren't so blown away that they made us want to call the Benson our home in Portland, but it did have its charms.

Would I recommend it? Yes, but with a full explanation of the facilities as I experienced them as it is such a crapshoot as to what type of accommodation one could get. I would not want my friends or family to be disappointed.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2010

I just spent 2 nights at the Benson with my boyfriend over the Easter weekend. We booked this hotel on Priceline and got a very good deal. For the price we paid, we were very happy with the hotel. I would rate the Benson a solid 3.5 star hotel but definitely not a 4 star.

First some of the really good things about the hotel:
- The location is great!! You are in the center of Portland, walking distance to almost everything.
- The staff were extremely friendly and welcoming and very helpful. The concierge recommended some places to eat and we tried the Portland City Grill - fabulous dinner and amazing view from the 30th floor. Not crazy expensive either.
- The hotel exterior is lovely and the lobby is very elegant. They have live music I believe on Saturday night.
- The bed was INCREDIBLE! I know some people mentioned that it could take some getting use to but I don't usually sleep well in hotels and I slept like a log.

Now for the major reason I would not give this hotel a 4 star rating:
- It's in desperate need of some updating. Our room was not terrible as some have mentioned but it is old. The TV is so dated and picture quality is terrible. Flat screens are a standard now especially at a 4 store. The washroom was clean but also very dated with no place to store anything and it should have a fan.
- Parking is $29/night...valet is the only option. We parked directly across from the hotel for $20/night and the garage has in and out privileges.

I would recommend this hotel if you can get a good deal on Priceline and if you are not expecting a luxurious 4 star hotel. It's a good value hotel.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Santa Fe
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2010

Benson Pros:
- Perfect location in downtown Portland - close to everything
- Classic hotel with beautiful lobby and outside facade
- Very nice staff - good service

Benson Cons:
- older rooms that don't keep out the sound from the street or the hallways. did not have a good night sleep on a Saturday night because I could hear people yelling from the streets and coming home late from the bars in the hotel hallways. it woke me up several times.
- Benson has become a big priceline hotel - saw several backpackers and rowdy younger clientel. noticed that a lot of people weren't tipping the valet, which has a negative impact on overall service and morale (if you are getting on priceline, then you're probably getting a good deal)
- parking is $29.00 (but all parking in dt portland is expensive)
- rooms are standard - no frills.

I don't think I would stay at the Beson again because of the bad sleep I had with the noise in the hotel. 3 star hotels in Dt Portland are probably better because they are newer and keep the sound out.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Benson Hotel

Address: 309 Southwest Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
Location: United States > Oregon > Portland > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 133 Hotels in Portland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Benson Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 287
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Classic Landmark Hotel located in heart of business & financial district. ... more   less 
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