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“Quiet, Funky, Very Clean, Eclectic.” 4 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)   |  
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Ranked #20 of 133 Hotels in Portland
British Columbia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Quiet, Funky, Very Clean, Eclectic.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2011

I decided on the Mark Spencer after a recommendation by a colleague. To be honest, I was looking at some of the other "funkier" hotels, but decided that I'd bid on a room here and give it a whirl. I was not, at all, disappointed.

I'm the kind of traveller that likes to stay in unique, eclectic places that have a cool vibe but are clean and quiet. There are some busier "funkier" hotels around, but I like my busy/funky to be elsewhere to where I sleep.

First: the location. It can't be beat if you want to hang out in the Pearl. You'll read everywhere about this - close to Powell's books (which was the most awesome book buying experience of my life), close to the water (voodoo donuts, saturday market), close to the livingroom theatre (drink a beer! watch a movie! eat dinner if you want!), etc. but what really was the cat's @ss for me was the cookies and tea and wine reception. What an awesome way to get your guests to socialize a little in a totally inviting atmosphere. plus the breakfasts were super hearty (and free all-day lattes). It made it a great deal.

I also liked how they had a little dog-shaped blackboard that listed the names of the pet visitors. Seriously, how cute is that.

what was the best was how CLEAN it was. the rooms were kind of retro but very very clean and bright. the hallways were great, the stairways were huge and bright, and the staff were all very, very nice. it was a really great place to stay. the (free in the downtown) streetcar stops just right down the street too.

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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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864 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 (193)
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English first
Olympia, Washington
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2011

Asked for a hotel recommendation from personel at Portland Jazz club, "Jimmy Mak's"
who highly recommended the "Mark Spencer". Called for reservation and asked about dinner and hotel staff made a reservation for us at one of the best Italian Restaurants we have found, (Piazza Italia"). Arrived early, Parked in MS garage enjoyed the afternoon visiting Powells book store and lunch at Whole Foods Market, ( all within a block or 2). Back to Mark Spencer and lobby was full of folks checking in. The staff were happy, friendly and very efficient. Our room was sparkling clean and bed was firm and comfortable. Personel-the best!!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Snoqualmie, Washington
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2011

Our visit got off to a rocky start as our room was not ready when we arrived at 4:30pm, and we were tired from driving. However, that was soon forgotten by the wonderful wine reception and comfortable room. The hotel staff was professional and accommodating. The all day coffee bar was great and I took full advantage of it. Check out is at a respectable time, too - 12 pm. I was even granted a check out time of 1 pm. The only opportunity for improvement that I noticed was that the housekeeping was average. The bathroom and bedding was spotless; however our room came with a small kitchen and dishes, and the dishes were not very clean. I had to wash them before we used them. On morning, I left a couple of coffee cups and small plates in the sink and housekeeping did not wash them, even though they had serviced the room. To me, that is a small sacrifice for a very comfortable and reasonable hotel in downtown Portland.

Room Tip: Watch for Living Social and Groupon deals.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Oostburg, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
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.

Room Tip: Name Your Price
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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.
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulsa, OK
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Mark Spencer

Address: 409 SW 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97205
Phone Number:
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
Hotel Style:
#15 Romantic Hotel in Portland
#23 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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