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All reviews the palm court classic hotel beautiful historic hotel beautiful lobby junior suite old school lobby bar the pearl within walking distance heart of downtown street noise valet parking powell's books bed was very comfortable corner room voodoo donuts few blocks
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Reviewed October 2, 2007

We recently stayed at the Benson Hotel in downtown Portland, Oreogn. It is a lovely old hotel, but we didn't experience the 4-Star service and ambiance that we expected. We arrived at the hotel at 3:00pm and our room wasn't ready. We left for an hour and came back at 4:00pm and it still wasn't ready. We had to beg to get into the room as soon as possible since we were meeting friends for dinner and needed to freshen up. We had booked a junior suite and the room itself was lovely, but very dark and even with all of the lights on it felt dark. The bathroom was one of the smallest and poorest I have experienced in a hotel of this caliber. In the morning, there wasn't even a newspaper at our door and when we went downstairs for breakfast, the newspapers were strewn all over the lobby and we couldn't even find one complete paper to read. The breakfast in the dining room was very good and the sevice was also good. I think it is a beautiful old hotel, but they need to fine-tune their services to make the 4-Star mark.

Date of stay: September 2007
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank Barbie726
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed September 17, 2007

Quite simply this is one of our favourite hotels in the USA. It manages to be upmarket without ever being stuffy; the staff are first rate; the location is unbeatable and we love the atmosphere in the public rooms.
After I getting a room on Priceline I contacted the hotel direct and paid $50 per night to upgrade to a suite, a strategy that I have employed whenever I have stayed at The Benson. I ended up with a lovely spacious, beautifully appointed room for a very reasonable price.

Date of stay: August 2007
1  Thank pirate859
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 30, 2007

The hotel had FABULOUS service & location. It is a couple blocks from the train station and the mall. I stayed there two evenings on a business trip and enjoyed my stay.

The building is older so it had a lot of character. The lobby great guests with music, rich dark wood and an inviting lounge that begets one to bum around a bit.

My room was on the 6th floor and faced a busy street yet it was very quiet. Perhaps the windows were sound proof? Because the building was older, the room was small and very clean. It just felt clean - which I liked! The turn down service was nice and the bed was temperpedic.

I dined in the restaurant at the hotel and the service was impeccable!

Okay, so here are some things to watch out for, they had some issues processing my invoice but it was quickly corrected. Their fresh fruit is just an apple and high tea is a hot cup of tea.

This hotel is great for business travelers and couples seeking a romantic weekend get away in the Porltand area.

Date of stay: July 2007
  • Trip type: Traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank explorer-0001
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 28, 2007

The Hotel is very beautiful and in a wonderful part of town. Close walking distance to so much! The people that work there are top notch. The restaurant was fabulous but spendy. The room was very nice and spacious, except the bathroom, it is small. The room wasn't quite as clean as I would have expected. Mainly dust on surfaces and the bathroom sink was not cleaned with detail. The only thing that I could really complain about was the noise from the street. Being down town you hear a lot of sirens wailing and a lot of construction noise from the surrounding streets. All in all we very very satisfied and really thought the service was great. P.S. park your car yourself in one the garages across the street. You will only pay about $17.00 a day where as the hotel will charge you $28.00 to Valet it for you.

Date of stay: August 2007
1  Thank JODIJJJJJJJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 13, 2007

Short version: 1) The street noise makes for an unforgettable no-sleep experience. 2) Room size/decor/amenities do not warrant hotel price rates. 3) Some hotel staff are in top tier of the hospitality industry.

Long version: I've always wanted to stay at the Benson and despite some less than stellar reviews on this site, I took the opportunity August 11. Hoping to avoid a "Priceline" room (mentioned elsewhere here) I reserved through the hotel at $184 +tax (AAA) for a room with Kingsize bed.

Small things can snowball into a negative experience: Upon arrival at 3:15 PM my husband and I were told we had been upgraded to a junior suite but it wouldn't be ready for 15 minutes. We were impressed with the free lemonade, ice tea and cookies made available as we lounged in comfy chairs. After 15 minutes we checked with the desk and were told it would be at least 45 minutes more and "check - in isn't until 4. "

We checked our bags and went to Powell's Bookstore (nice, short walk away). Around 4:45 PM we arrived to our room; the first thing we noticed is that the bed was half made (decorator pillows tossed on floor, sheets, bedcovers pulled back). It appeared housekeeping had started making up the room but left in haste. A phone call promptly brought housekeeping to resolve the problem.

Despite this negative (and the small bathroom with stained porcelain commode and sink, the single paned windows without screens, and the dark, outdated decor) I was impressed with the efficient and friendly porter/luggage/car valet service, housekeeping personnel, including the gentleman who came quickly to assess our room and make the bed right. Chris brought us Van Dyn chocolates: these staff were top-notch.

The best part of the stay was having a drink in the bar/lounge and listening to the great live jazz trio. The carved woodwork, chandeliers, oriental rugs and other furnishings in the lobby/bar are worth a visit to the lobby alone. Wonderful ambiance!

Unfortunately, the worst was yet to come. The tempur-pedic bed was a lovely dream waiting to happen. It didn't though because there was so much noise on the street five floors below, all night long, my husband and I were continually awakened without more than snatches of sleep--we're talking police sirens, ambulance sirens, cars screeching, car horns honking, and loud groups of people yelling at 2,3, and 4 in the morning. The Benson can't control this, of course but the Portland Tourism Bureau needs to know that some of the city's policies (e.g. Broadway as a drag strip, City Hall is now open 24/7 so street folks can use restrooms) may increase noise and will drive tourists like me elsewhere.
This could just be a summer problem--once the rains come, perhaps the all-nightlife noise goes away.

Finally, Coast Hotels is blessed to have such a great staff. But even without the street noise, Coast Hotels needs to sink some money into its rooms and windows! Currently the rooms are overpriced compared to similar rooms in Portland, and the best staff can't create the big thing they're promoting here- a good night's sleep on a tempur-pedic!

Date of stay: August 2007
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank mhI157ME
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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