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“Downtown Gem” 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)   |  
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Ranked #19 of 132 hotels in Portland
Kennewick, Washington
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Downtown Gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

The hotel has an easily accessed, secure parking garage. The $18/day charge seems very reasonable for a downtown hotel. The entire staff was welcoming and helpful. Our king bed room was tight, but not cramped, and included a mini kitchen setup. The bed was very comfortable and there was no extraneous noise even though we were accross from the elevator. Amenties include afternoon cookies/coffee, evening complimentary wine/cheese, and a very nice breakfast selection. As other reviewers have noted, the location is perfect for walking to all of Portland's downtown attractions. This will be our first choice on future trips to Portland.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeri R, General Manager at The Mark Spencer, responded to this review, March 6, 2013
Good evening KennMan,

Thanks for writing in about your great stay. You stole my show! I usually point out all the great things we do to create value and comfort so thank you! Saying that, we also take great pride in a staff that is unmatched. Add that to our spotless rooms and great value, and we have bragging rights. We have a great new restaurant neighbor just around the corner called Cheryl's. Hope you have a chance to check it our next time and oh yes...the $18 parking rate is only $9 if you're driving a hybrid.

Thanks again and hope to see you soon,
Jeri
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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 (159)
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

The Mark Spencer Hotel was alright.

We stayed in a suite with 2 queen beds and a kitchenette and fold out couch. The bed was comfortable and the bathroom was fine. The hotel is old but it is remodeled nicely in the lobby area.

We agreed that the hotel looks nicer on the outside and in the lobby than in the actual rooms.

The downside is that we found a big cockroach in one of the towels that was in the room. One of our friends took care of it but we were all very grossed out. I know the hotel is an old building and it's not really the hotel's fault but it is still disgusting.

They gave us a discount for the issue which was a good thing.

However, I wouldn't stay here in the future. That issue aside, the location is good but I have stayed at other hotels in Portland where I've found the stay more comfortable and the amenities are nicer.

Parking is $18 in the lot across the street with in and out privileges. Not bad.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeri R, General Manager at The Mark Spencer, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Good evening Northwest Girl,

Thank you for taking time to post comments about your stay. I'm so sorry your experience was fell short to your (and our) expectations. You are absolutely right about the building being old. It's what what sets us apart but it can also bring challenges that are less likely with a newer building. We put your room out of service immediately and took precautions including calling in professionals to prevent anyone else from experiencing a similar problem.

We are embarking on a major renovation which will bring the rooms current and I hope you'll give us another try. Please ask for me personally if you have any questions and i'll also do my best to be sure you're in a newer room.

Thanks again,
Jeri
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Florence, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Very comfortable hotel in a good location, only a block from our favorite restaurant--Jakes. Also a block from PF Changs restaurant, the gigantic new and used book store--Powells, and one of my wife's favorite chef supply stores--Sur le Table.
The rooms were newly decorated, with 2 queens in one room and a kitchen/living room adjacent.
We drove a Prius hybrid and were pleased to get parking, underground, for half price.
But perhaps the nicest part of our visit was the friendliness of the staff. I had to go to the IKEA store for some special parts, and my 3 year old GPS was no help. I asked the check-in clerk if he knew where it was and he said he did. A lady from the back had heard my question and after just a couple of minutes completing check-in she presented me with 2 pages of turn by turn directions.
Also, check-out time is noon, which allowed us to shop locally and get back in time to vacate. A maid was kind of lurking near our door, obviously waiting for us to leave. Wife said, "We will be leaving in a couple of minutes." Maid responded, "Don't hurry, take your time" with a very friendly voice. All of the staff we came into contact with were extremely friendly, not all that common in the travel industry. We will be back!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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Jeri R, General Manager at The Mark Spencer, responded to this review, March 9, 2013
Good morning neighbors in beautiful Florence,

First off, I am sure I already replied to your posting; however, it's not showing here. Apology in advance if two come through but since I don't see it, I want to be sure you hear back from us. I personally reply to all comments, as I have always thought it a little odd for us to expect people to take time to write about their stay if we're not going to acknowledge it. We are a unique hotel with a variety of room types and we like being a little different. Most of our guests appreciate the kitchenette and they most certainly appreciate the secure, underground parking with the best prices anywhere downtown. As you mentioned, consideration is given to hybrids: it's only $9 to park! If you're not a hybrid, it's all of $18. Try to match that anywhere downtown! I'm not surprised our front desk employee went above and beyond with directions to IKEA. It's easy for me to brag about the employees, because it's true. They are exceptional: from housekeeping, engineering and front desk. They truly care about the guest and your testimony speaks for itself; …"it's not common in the travel industry". And our location to Powell's Books couldn't be better, as well as all the other great dining and shopping opportunities in the Pearl District. We have a fun new restaurant neighbor: Cheryl’s on 12th. Next time you're here, hope you have a chance to check them out; I don't think you'll be disappointed. Please come back soon and if there's anything we can do for you or your friends here at the hotel, please give us a call. Have a great weekend and thanks again for writing in. Jeri
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Seattle, Washington
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

We recently stayed in one of the newly remodeled rooms, and it was fantastic. The room was bigger than expected, had a very useable kitchen area, plus a separate bedroom with a really nice, stylishly modern bathroom. And it's in easy walking distance from all the usual downtown attractions: Powell's, Kenny & Zuke's (great bagels and sandwiches), lots of restaurants, cafes, music venues, etc.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 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.
Jeri R, General Manager at The Mark Spencer, responded to this review, March 2, 2013
Good morning Aaron,

Thanks so much for sending in a great review about your stay with us. It's great when our guests do the work for me....you've mentioned most of the reasons we brag about our great hotel: value/location/comfortable....I'll add that we have an unmatched staff anywhere (and I've traveled a lot). The hotel is spotless I might add. As you know, we have a great complimentary breakfast topped off with a selection of gourmet coffee and appetizers to go with a few glasses of free wine during our evening wine party. And for more food choices, the list is endless; Kenny & Zukes being one. We also have a great new restaurant neighbor around the corner: Cheryl's on 12th....definitely a thumbs up according to our guests (and I agree - I've tried about everything on the menu). We hope you come back soon. Thanks again and hope you have a great weekend in beautiful Seattle, Jeri
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East Burke, Vermont
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Let me start with my only negative to the Mark Spencer: it is an old hotel, and occasionally shows its age with dated furniture and a few frayed edges. If you don't mind that (which we don't), it is an excellent choice for Portland. The price is good; the staff is helpful and friendly; the rooms are spacious (or at least ours was). It is located on the edge of the once seedy but now upscale Pearl District, which is full of restaurants, shops, jazz clubs. If you need to get to other parts of the city, one of Portland's clean and inexpensive trams runs right in front of the hotel, and more are just a block or two away.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeri R, General Manager at The Mark Spencer, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
Greetings from the Mark Spencer Hotel! Thanks so much for sharing remarks about your stay with us. You pretty much summed it up for me. When folks ask me about the best feature of the hotel I often offer up that it's a beautiful historic building...but it can also be the most challenging feature. It's certainly not a cookie cutter hotel; the rooms vary in size; there are wonderful conversation areas and places that a new building just doesn’t. But aside from the physical part of the building, I believe our employees stand out among the best anywhere. The unique location of the hotel - a few blocks from amazing restaurants, galleries and shopping, whether you're looking for the Pearl District or Pioneer Square - it's about as good as it gets. If you're driving, you can park your vehicle underground - away from elements of rain, sleet, snow...and for $18. If you're driving a hybrid, it's all of $9! Our complimentary continental breakfast is unmatched. We have a new restaurant neighbor around the corner: Cheryls' on 12th; thumbs up there. And, we're home for short and long-term stays for Portland Center Stage along with other artistic venues here in Portland. I hope you'll be back soon and if so, I invite you to join me for a glass or two, or three of our complimentary wine - offered daily, 5-6pm, served with other tasty bites including pizza, cheese and crackers and freshly baked cookies. Thanks again! Jeri
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Redondo Beach, California
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

Can't beat the location...easy walk to see everything. Just a couple of blocks from Powell's, Living Room Theater, Saturday farmers market, red line stop, and a million other things. They offer guest friendly breakfasts, wine tastings and cookies/coffee every day. Staff was very helpful in offering suggestions and transportation details. Good value for the price. The hotel is on the older side, which has its charms. My room had a kitchenette, which I didn't use, but would have been great if I had a longer stay. My only somewhat negative remark is that my room did have a noticeable musty smell. Which isn't unrealistic for an older hotel. It did get a bit stronger when I turned up the heater. Easily fixed with a travel candle...Anthropologie was only a few blocks away. Still highly recommend the hotel especially for the extra, unexpected touches.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 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.
Jeri R, General Manager at The Mark Spencer, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Good evening and thank you for posting a review about your stay. You brought up many of the items that travelers are looking for: great location, great staff, great value ....that's our story. We bake fresh local pizza every evening and present it during our complimentary wine party, along with an assortment of cheese and crackers, and yet more fresh baked cookies...then we top it off with a couple of glasses of Oregon wine...hard to beat that when it's all wrapped up with a very modest rates. And let's not forget our own secure parking garage for those who drive, at an incredible parking price of $18. Hard to imagine that rate getting lower but if you drive a hybrid it's $9! There's a great new restaurant around the corner: Cheryl's on 12th. Whenn you stay next time, be sure to check it out. Sorry about the musty smell and thanks for letting us know; we're on it. Hope to see you again! Jeri
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Marysville, WA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

This was a get away weekend for my husband and me, and this was a perfect place to stay. Upon check-in, we were greeted warmly and given a Valentines cupcake. Our room was much larger than I expected, with a sitting room/kitchen and a separate bedroom with a king bed. The bathroom was on the small side, but never felt cramped. I like that the hotel has the refillable shampoo/conditioner/shower gel dispensers instead of all the individual little plastic bottles.
The breakfast was good, with a large selection of breads (but none of those icky prepackaged sweet rolls), cereal, fruit and yogurt. I liked the hours of breakfast. We were able to go running in the morning and still get back in time for a good breakfast. Cookies in the afternoon!

The hotel is not new and it has some wear and tear that is noticeable, but not distracting. It adds to the unique feel. It's a great central location. We easily walked to OMSI, ran around the river every morning, and wandered the Pearl district.

I would easily recommend this hotel. It's a delightful alternative to the chain (cookie cutter) hotels.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Jeri R, General Manager at The Mark Spencer, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Good evening, Kit,
Thanks so much for taking time to write about your stay with us. You covered a lot for me! We can make claims such as extraordinary employees, spotless rooms and unmatched value. But wait...it's true. Our "Continental Breakfast" (and it's a lot more then juice, coffee and a stale muffin) left an impression on you; the location is steps from the Pearl District and close to everything downtown, and the employees actually care about our guests. We've already started the first phase of an extensive renovation to address the wear and tear in the rooms. Since you are runners, I hope you know that we have an exercise room in the hotel, in the event you don't have time to run to OMSI. We have a great new restaurant neighbor: Cheryl's on 12th. It's around the corner and has an excellent menu. You can jump start the evening with a glass or two of Oregon Wine, cookies (baked by our staff); pizza bites, and cheese and crackers. If you have an interest in the arts, you might appreciate knowing that we're home to the Oregon Center Stage performers; some for long-stays, and numerous other artist venues here in Portland. You are right: we're not a cookie cutter hotel. I hope we'll see you again and please don't hesitate to contact me personally. Thanks again... Jeri
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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:
#9 Romantic Hotel in Portland
#19 Spa Hotel in Portland
#20 Business Hotel in Portland
#32 Family Hotel in Portland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Mark Spencer 3*
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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