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“Love the Mark Spencer - I'll be Back” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Mark Spencer

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The Mark Spencer
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   409 SW 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97205 (Downtown)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #23 of 133 Hotels in Portland
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Oostburg, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Love the Mark Spencer - I'll be Back”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2011

This was the most enjoyable hotel I've stayed on. I submitted a bid for the price of my room, which was accepted. They have a terrific breakfast. Hard boiled eggs (shells removed), stainless steel flatware instead of plastic, good granola, and thank you for the incredible make-your-own-delicious cup of coffee. (You gotta' try it.) Location is perfect; there's a Stumptown coffee half a block away, I bought snacks at Whole Foods one block away, Powell Books is one block away, and there a block of food carts 2 short blocks away. Portland is a great walking city - a "Disneyland for Adults". A plethora of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and opportunities to get cash back on those credit cards.

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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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894 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (203)
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English first
Snoqualmie, Washington
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2011

Based on other's reviews and the description of the hotel (great location, executive suite with "immaculate" kitchenette, complimentary wine reception and appetizers, etc.) we were very excited for our stay. Unfortunately, we were unimpressed! I can appreciate the fact that the hotel is historic, but did not appreciate that the rooms were not maintained, smelled musty and like cat urine (to the point that we changed rooms, which did not help much... from cat urine to wet dog smell), and the rooms just felt dirty and dark. We have a young child, so thought the convenience of a kitchenette would be great. The vintage stove did not work and there was no microwave. The espresso machine that is advertised as an amenity was not working 3/4 of the time, the water was turned off for a couple hours for repair during our stay, and the complimentary afternoon tea and cookies and evening wine and appetizers was very chintzy.

The plus side of the hotel: Great location, friendly (but not overly friendly) staff (although WAY understaffed)

The negatives: the hotel rooms stink, felt dirty, outdated, the value is WAY overstated

Will never return to this hotel, and would not recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulsa, OK
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2011

This was our second visit to the Mark Spencer, both times for 5 nights, and we've been comfortably pleased both times. Per other reviews, it is true the walls are thin if the neighbor is clomping around or playing his guitar at midnight, but Chris at the front desk handled the guitar issue, and things were fine. Chris also handled the smoke alarm chirping on the first night, and they changed the battery in minutes. It wasn't a huge problem, just one of those things that can't be predicted.

The location is perfect, with Powell's Books, Whole Foods, Henry's Tavern (great happy hour food), and the Living Room Theatre all within 3-4 blocks. The metro is a few blocks away and the streetcar either outside the door or 1 block over, depending on your direction. Breakfast is just right for us, the coffee machine is a fun treat, and the happy hour wine was a nice way to meet other guests.

The hotel is old, and the rooms show their age, but renovations are in the works. The kitchenette is nice--at least the refrigerator, and a microwave is available on request, but would probably be nice to have them as standard--more so than the full stove. There are long term stay guests, so the stove makes sense. The new fitness center is small, but quite adequate. We use mass transit, not a car, so no comments on the parking.

If you want shiny new, with a pool for the kids, and all the bells and whistles, the Mark Spencer is not for you, but for very nice staff, helpfulness, friendliness and convenience, it is the place we'll choose in Portland.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Portland, Oregon
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2011

I rented a meeting space at The Mark Spencer Hotel for a Manager retreat. The staff was very helpful in getting the space prepared for my needs. They had fresh hot coffee ready along with pastries and muffins. Throughout the day they checked in periodically to refill water and coffee. I was very impressed how the staff made sure all our needs were being met. The experience overall was very good. I appreciated I had one less thing to worry about for the day.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Ware, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2011

This is the first time we've ever gone *back* to New York City looking forward to peace and quiet. All night long we were serenaded by truck, trains, jets, church bells that ring at six am (on a Saturday?) and even a helicopter! Not to mention the noise from local bars and partiers. We asked for a room change and told that ours was one of the quietest. Lack of carpeting and drapes in the stark room did not help abate the incredible racket. Great place to stay if you don't plan on sleeping.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Hueneme, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2011

I had the best time staying at the Mark Spencer Hotel. I parked my car in their underground garage and never got into it again until I left. Everything you need is right outside the Hotel door. Beside the convience of the hotel, the hotel is such a nice and warm place to stay. The staff were so helpful and nice and the rooms were very clean and updated for an older hotel. I just loved it and will surely come back again.

  • Stayed March 2011, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2011

This was my third stay at the Mark Spencer Hotel, and it was just great. The staff can't be faulted, from check in, where I asked for a room not on the street side, to the afternoon tea, umbrella loans, wine and cheese and the excellent breakfast. I was even lent a kettle so I could make tea in my room! The rooms are slightly dated, but they're spotless, and I loved the fact that I could cook when I wanted to, and that there was a toaster, especially as it poured with rain every day I was there. The area around the hotel is fine, and I love the fact that it's so near Powell's Books. Free WiFi was a real plus too, the only slight annoyance was that it had to be renewed every 12 hours. This was free, but it would have been better if it had been activated for the whole of my stay.

I'll be interested to see what the renovated rooms look like, but I really hope that the charm and affordability of the hotel isn't lost.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gcastaneda, Front Office Manager at The Mark Spencer, responded to this review, March 25, 2011
Thank you for being our guest this past month and for your continued patronage. We look forward to hearing from our guests and appreciate your comments.
Over the last two years, we installed all new sound proof, high efficiency windows as well as a centralized heating and air conditioning system. These upgrades have reduced our utilities by nearly 30% and have greatly increased our guest comfort. This winter we opened an onsite fitness center featuring state-of-the-art Precor equipment and later this Spring we will be reopening our famous rooftop garden. Within the next two years, we are planning extensive renovations and upgrades to our guest rooms, lobby and event spaces.
The historic charm of The Mark Spencer will not be lost during or after the renovation process nor will the hotel's affordability. We look forward to having our guests with us for many years!
I hope that on your next visit to Portland you will return to The Mark Spencer Hotel to see what’s new!
Thank you again for choosing The Mark Spencer Hotel while visiting Portland! It was a pleasure to have you as our guest!

Warm Regards,

Pam Coser
Front Office Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Mark Spencer

Address: 409 SW 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97205
Location: United States > Oregon > Portland > Downtown
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 Romantic Hotel in Portland
#20 Business Hotel in Portland
#31 Family Hotel in Portland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Mark Spencer 3*
Number of rooms: 102
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the world of hospitality, there are a few unexpected places in which timeless European flair, cultured style and Old World courtesy are vibrantly alive. These lasting impressions are also accompanied by a profound respect for another very precious aspect: your comfort. Welcome to The Mark Spencer Hotel, an exceptional value in the hub of the city. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Mark Spencer Hotel Portland
Mark Spencer Portland

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