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“Smoking/Cleanliness a Problem”
Review of Benson Hotel

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Benson Hotel
Ranked #16 of 142 Hotels in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Smoking/Cleanliness a Problem”
Reviewed May 7, 2006

I love the building! What splendour! But beware - if you don't like breathing second hand smoke, The Benson could be a problem for you. The 'lounge' is the magnificent lobby of the hotel; when waiting for checkin at the front desk, you may have to endure significant smoke inhalation. We arrived around 5 pm on a Friday evening - prime 'lounge' time, and had to wait 20 minutes for checkin, breathing others' toxic fumes.

Once we got to our room we opened the window for a breath of fresh air. Sadly we were faced with an ugly, ugly mess of cigarette butts, an ashtray and a liquor bottle located on the ledge outside of our non-smoking room's window. The mess was not cleaned up by the time we checked out on Sunday (although I had reported it on Friday night). Such a disappointment in so lovely a property!

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank IslandRandR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Sacramento, California
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2006

I meant to write a review a long time ago, but decided to go ahead when I came across the photos today... I can't believe it's now down to # 26 on tripadvisor!

I booked the room via Priceline for only $66 for a romantic getaway. Didn't really expect anything special, just a nice room. I had hinted - okay, might have more than hinted - to my husband that it'd be nice if he did something romantic and left it to him to figure out. When we arrived, we asked if there were any upgrades available. I don't remember now how much more, if any, we paid to get a bigger room (still not a suite, just their biggest corner room). What was funny was that the desk staff said it'd take a few minutes to move something from our reserved room to the new one. Then we could overhear a bit of stern phone conversation as she told someone to just do it.... I had no idea what it was going to be, and my husband seemed puzzled, but I thought he was faking it. Well, imagine my surprise when aftern about 10 minutes they said our room was ready and we were shown to a HUGE corner room with A LOT of rose petals strewn about the bed and floor along with a beautiful arrangement in a vase! It was then that we figured out some poor guy had already decorated our previous room this way, cleaned it all up, and proceeded to do it again! My husband actually was in the dark about the petals; he had requested they be sent to the room with the flowers, but expected to arrange them himself, so he felt bad about making the staff do so! When we went back down, he tried to give the desk staff an extra $20 for the effort, but she refused saying it was part of her job!!

Obviously, I was very pleased with the excellent service we received. I was equally pleased with the comfort and quality of the room. It was clean, the bed was great, and the location can't be beat. We had reserved the 3rd night at the 5th Avenue Suites but decided we'd rather stay here another night. Unfortunately, they couldn't come anywhere near the low price we'd paid on Priceline and the upgrade, so we decided to try the other hotel. We agreed afterward, that the Benson room was much more comfortable and luxurious feeling. By the way, the staff never made mention of Priceline, nor made us feel second class because of it.

Based on other reviews of small dark rooms, I guess the key is to request a corner room. We'll definitely go back to the Benson!

  • Stayed September 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank travelingWise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville,TN
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2006

I stayed at The Benson on April 21, 2006. I was a little worried because I had secured my room through Priceline at $89 for the night and I had read several bad reviews on Trip Advisor. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. When I arrived, I asked about upgrading to a king size room and they offered a JR suite at only a cost of $30 more over above what I paid through priceline. The room was great. It had a wonderful view of downtown Portland, one of the bridges (can't remember the hame), the Columbia river, and Mt. Hood. It was room 1017, so if you can get that one. It had a nice sitting area with a loveseat, chair, tables, and the armoire with TV in it. The king size bed was absolutely wonderful!! Because it is an old hotel, the lighting can be a little dim, but it was fine for me. The ONLY complaint I have is that the bathroom is too small. It has a pedestal sink so there is no room for your makeup and stuff. Otherwise, I thorougly enhjoyed my stay. Also, customer service was EXCELLANT. I didn't expect that because I have stayed at other 4 star hotels by going through priceline and they have always treated me different than a person that would pay the full rack room rate. But hey, I'm willing to give up a little bit of customer service to stay in 4 and 5 star hotels at 1/2 the price!!

Helpful?
3 Thank TravelkidNashville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laguna Beach
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2006

The Benson Hotel costs $25/night for valet parking. Right next door is a 24hr parking structure. Only $17 for 24hrs. Safe and close.

Helpful?
5 Thank seremarcus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2006

The hotel is in a great location in Portland, but then again, there are lots of hotels in downtown Portland, so that is hardly exceptional. It is nice, and was very clean. I liked it well enough, but it was the small details though were what bothered me--inconsistent maid service, a front desk guy who claimed stupid drunk people were "epidemic" when I complained about the noise in the hall at 1am, etc. Twice I was awakened by a maid knocking on the door wanting in (at 8:30 am) despite the do not disturb sign. They say papers are complimentary, but charge on Sundays. If they charge almost $200 a night for a room, why charge me for the Sunday paper?

Bottom line, dont pay full price for this. I got my room through priceline for about 40% of the listed price. And valet is $25/night, with in and out privileges, but you can park up the street overnight for less.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LadyoftheMoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattle
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2006

The Benson in downtown Portland is an excellent hotel at a reasonable price, within walking distance to most things you might want to see in the city. Two couples of us spent two nights and were very happy with our choice. The rooms are very comfortable and up-to-date, the ones facing the outside wall have the most light. Everytrhing provided with the room, e.g. TV, furniture, personal care items, are of good quality. The staff is friendly and helpful, but will let you take care of yourself if you so choose, e.g. take your own bags to your room. There is a very pleasant lobby downstairs where there is free wine tasting, free apples, free newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal. See what I mean? Good restaurants in the hotel and nearby make this the perfect place from which to visit Portand. Hooray for the Benson!

Helpful?
4 Thank drelde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salem, OR
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2006

The bottom line is that this was a “mixed” experience. This hotel is a Portland institution and the lobby is gorgeous. There’s a bar in one corner of the lobby, but it closes (on a Saturday night) at 12:30 am. The front desk staff person who checked us in was cordial, professional, and efficient, even as she attempted to charge us more than the agreed-upon upgrade price. Although politely remarking that she was glad to take my word for it when I offered to show her my notes, she couldn’t help but express (fairly haughtily) how surprised she was that our upgrade was “discounted.” On first blush the rooms were decorated in a way you would expect from a 4-star hotel, yet on closer inspection the condition of the rooms looked a little worn and rough around the edges. The pedestal sink in the bathroom looked nice until you tried to do hair and makeup and realized that the only room to set curling irons, make up, etc. was a 4 inch deep shelf over the sink that tilted down ever so slightly so that most items rolled off into the sink, and that was half taken up with a rather ordinary collection of sample bathroom amenities in a battered plexiglass holder. The shower/tub had plenty of hot water and great pressure, but the tile grout was grungy looking. The towels were fluffy and wonderful, but there was no sign of the bathrobes advertised on the website. One room had extra blankets and pillows but there were none in the other room (where they were actually needed.)
The details: As I have been anxious to try Priceline after reading about others’ experiences, I figured I couldn't go wrong with a 4-star facility so I booked two rooms. I was delighted when my roll of the dice netted two rooms at the Benson as I felt it was the perfect place to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. Fortunately after I made my reservation I called the hotel directly to confirm the rooms and found to my shock that the rooms I paid for were Queen rooms, rather than the King rooms shown on the hotel’s website (Queen rooms were not listed as available for that evening on the hotel’s reservation website.) I was told the upgrade would be $20 per room so my price for a $179 room went from $109 to $129, which I still thought of as a decent bargain. However, after staying in the rooms I think the price was no bargain. It appears that they set aside rooms in need of remodeling and in poor locations (one room’s view consisted of a solid cement wall across the street) as their “Priceline” rooms. It’s an understandable policy but in our case a mistake as we will not return to find out if the quality of a regularly priced room is in fact any better. In the future we won't use Priceline and as we plan to stay frequently in Portland, we will simply choose other 4-star hotels with better reviews.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Deborah G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Benson Hotel

Property: Benson Hotel
Address: 309 Southwest Broadway, Portland, OR 97205-3794
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Oregon > Portland > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 142 Hotels in Portland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Benson Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 287
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Classic Landmark Hotel located in heart of business & financial district. ... more   less 
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