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“Can't beat the price for the location and convenience! Shabby Chic!” 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 #20 of 133 Hotels in Portland
Pleasanton, ca
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Can't beat the price for the location and convenience! Shabby Chic!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2006

Before my husband and I went on our trip in September and stayed at the Mark Spencer, I was a little worried because of some of the reviews on this site. However my worries were unfounded! My husband and I were planning a long 10-day trip I didn't want to spend a lot of money on the hotel and the Mark Spencer has a 1/2 off rate if you stay for a week or more. Yes the hotel is old, and has some signs of age as there were some shabby fixtures in the bathroom, but the beds were comfortable and the linens were clean! Also we had lots of closet space! The staff is very friendly and multilingual. And although the AC is just a wall unit, we had 2 of them in our suite and they were able to cool down our entire room on the hot nights. Also staying in the city near the hopping Pearly district there was some city noise at night from local clubs but I would expect that if I stayed in any city! And since my husband and I spent our days walking around town and seeing the sites we were able to slumber soundly through any the general street noise. What makes the Mark Spencer so great beside the fact it’s a cheap place to stay and the great location is the kitchenettes. We stocked our fridge with bottled water, fresh fruits and cheeses, which we purchased from whole foods which was only a few blocks away. Also we popped jiffy pop on the stove, and had plenty of room to stretch out and sort through our purchases from Powell’s bookstore, Everyday Music, and Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe all fantastic and within walking distance! The location of this place is superb. We didn't rent a car and used Trimet which was so close by and completely free downtown! You won't find a better-located hotel for the price! We also enjoyed the Roxy a cute little jukebox joint right around the block, with good music and cheap eats and open very late for you night owls! Also loved the Fish Grotto too. I would definitely stay at the Mark Spencer again! Particularly if I planned to travel with pets or children as I could store their food in the fridge and easily walk almost anywhere. The Mark Spencer is Shabby chic, and a very relaxing place to stay after a long day of sight seeing. Although I should mention that if you discriminate against homosexuals you may want to stay clear since it’s just a block away from the gay bathhouse in Portland. My husband I didn't mind it, but I'm sure the occasional same sex couple holding hands or kissing in the area could offend those right wing Christian types. We really enjoyed the hotel! 5 Stars!

  • Liked — Cheap price, fridge in the room, clean comfortable beds, location, location, location!
  • Disliked — noticeable wear and tear from age
  • Tips/Secrets — Check out Powells books store, the Roxy, Everyday Music, Moonstruck Chocolates, and the Fish Grotto!
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
san diego
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2006

We stayed at the Mark Spencer for a 4 day weekend. We paid for the one bedroom suite which was tiny. The bed was against the wall on one side with barely enough room to walk on the other as well as only enough room for one person to stand at the foot of the bed. Living room was comfortable with very functional but very dated kitchen. Kitchen did come completely equipped with dishes, can opener etc. Other than the dated surroundings the largest problem that almost caused a move to a different hotel was the air conditioning. It was not terribly hot outside but the rooms were small and stuffy requiring air to be on all the time. The issue was the freakishly loud window units in both bedroom and living room vibrated and droned all evening. I could not recommend this hotel during hot weather.

The upside: the location is fantastic for the Pearl District or the max train to anything else. Powells bookstore is 2 blocks away and could keep anyone busy for days. The staff was very pleasant as were other hotel patrons.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — loud airconditioning units
  • Tips/Secrets — don't bother with upgrade to suite
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2006

We have just returned from a weekend away at The Mark Spencer Hotel in Portland. It was a first trip for both my boyfriend and I. We carefully researched our options and chose this hotel because it seemed to make the most sense. As Canadians, we were particularly pleased to find they offered a Canadian dollar at par rate. The hotel décor was OK, older. I did notice some ear and tear on the wall paper in the lobby. It wouldn’t take much to spruce this place up, some paint on the dark drab doors and new bed spreads. The lobby was welcoming, with a computer for guests to use, coffee and tea was always out and available. Very nice selections of teas and coffees. Honey for tea too, which is rare to find in these situations. The “free breakfast’ was pretty good for being free: Corn Flakes, Granola, oatmeal, apples, bananas, toast, bagels and pastries (muffins, croissants, turnovers and danishes), OJ, coffee and tea. Very plentiful, if we were out of anything they’d bring more out as soon as you asked or they noticed. Afternoon tea was also provided; Cookies and tea, which was nice after a day of sightseeing. Our room had a bit of a musty odor. There wasn’t any actual attendant however, so dishes would pile up because people seemed to be too lazy to put them away. People also spilled out into the lobby to eat their breakfast and left their remnants around. Gross. The room was older, a bit worn but very clean and tidy. The housekeeping staff were all very sweet and helpful, I left a note requesting an extra towel (we were only given two) and we came home to find three extras!! Bathroom had new linoleum floor. Kitchenette was nice, I was a little afraid after reading that one other reviewer on this site felt like the kitchenette was at the foot of their bed, but our was on the other side of the room, because this hotel is a converted apartment building my guess is all of the rooms must have different layouts. We checked in late and were given a room on the first floor, with the window facing the entrance. This proved to be very noisy in the AM and late at night. The walls are pretty thin. On our first night we were awoken by our loud drunk neighbors, we’re a young couple so we don’t usually get too fussed by this but it was so loud we were very annoyed! There was tons of closet space in the room, and one walk in closet with a dresser drawer and full length mirror which was able to use as a dressing area and keep all of my girly junk out of site. Parking turned out to be expensive, $16 bucks a day to park in their garage, which is very secure but I felt expensive. The hotel itself in a fun area with a few good bars around ( check out “Bettie Ford” a hilarious, hip bar which sells itself as cocktail therapy, the staff dress like doctors and nurses, the food was really good and cheap!) Also good was Henry’s Tavern…make a reservation, it was crazy busy. Good food, good prices, lots of comfort food on the menu (the meatloaf was amazing!) about a million beers on tap too! Whole Foods is right by as well which is nice if you’re staying a bit longer and want to make use of the kitchen. Loved Portland to bits, when we come back we’ll spend a bit more and stay at a nicer hotel.

  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis, MO
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2006

We stayed at the Mark Spencer in Sept. I had read all the reviews and weren't 100% sure because people mentioned the noise. However, our stay was wonderful. There were a lot of young people (early 20's) there, but we did not have ANY noise problem! The staff was great. I asked for a light bulb and had 2 people there in a minute. Turned out it was my mistake - didn't use the switch on the wall. There were cookies in the afternoon and a good continental breakfast in the morning. They even had raisin toast and hot chocolate! The location could not be better - close to public transportation - great restaurants (Henry's , Jake's) both recommended by the hotel and both great. The room was a good size and everything was very clean. It had a kitchen, fridge, but no microwave which we didn't need. All in all, we were extremely pleased.

  • Liked — Location
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanaimo, BC
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2006

We loved this hotel for our four day long weekend - at the edge of the trendy and fun Pearl District (two blocks from Powell's Books, Whole Foods Market and Sur La Table) and just five blocks from downtown entertainment and shopping. Easy access to rapid transit (right in Fareless Square).
Very friendly staff at front desk, room spotlessly clean. Our room overlooked the courtyard, and with many of the window-air-conditioners working, the room was noisier than we expected - but we adjusted after one night.
Enjoyed having a small refrigerator and a microwave in our room - made pre-dinner snacks and drinks much easier.
The Big Deal through the Portland Visitor Association ensured a great rate, continental breakfast, NY Times, and a booklet with coupons for discounts on shopping, tourist and dining.
We will return to Portland and the Mark Spencer.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — noise of airconditioners outside
  • Stayed September 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugene, Oregon
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2006

The hotel is shabby without a doubt. The real problem though was the horrendous odor I found in my room when I returned from dinner. When I went to the desk I was told that what I smelled were fumes from the industrial washers and dryers on the lower floor, and that the management was "well aware" of the problem. I was further told that there was no plan in the future to correct it.

I checked out and found a much better hotel a bit farther from downtown. Cheaper is not always better.

  • Liked — Checking out
  • Disliked — Unhealthy fumes, run down over all condition
  • Tips/Secrets — Avoid it like the plague
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2006

We paid $156.38 for one night in the Mark Spencer Hotel, which seemed to be a good price for Portland. (If you stay for a couple of nights, the rate is really great since our room came with a full kitchen). The Hotel and our room was fine and clean, but the furnishings were a little old. In addition, since the building is a very old building, each room has a window air conditioning unit that does not really cool the room that well (we were not uncomfortable though). The Mark Spencer is two blocks, however, from the trendy Pearl District of Portland, which has great restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. The Mark Spencer does not have its own parking lot/garage...we ended up finding a spot on the street and did not have to pay since we got to Portland so late and were leaving so early. The Hotel also had a basic breakfast in the morning.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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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