We have two in London, and there is already one in Brooklyn, but the latest Hoxton Hotel to arrive in North America is in the maverick mecca of Portland, Oregon.
Standing proud on entrance of Chinatown, the building was used as a halfway house and then stood empty for years. But money is being pumped into developing the downtown area, and investors earmarking it’s potential, with music venues, cocktail bars and galleries offering a cool, urban vibe, as soon as you step out onto the sidewalk.
On entering the hotel, you can instantly identify the hipsters who are sipping their decaf Piccolo Latte skim and wearing bow ties and non ironic glasses tapping away on MacBook Airs. Mood lighting and mid century furniture create a homely vibe, and the reception is more desirable lounge, with the tattooed, pierced staff only distinguishable by a name badge.
Based on the original hotel in London, the Portland base has many of the same design quirks as it’s East End cousin. Sliding rich walnut panels in the bedroom, under bed storage and larger than life lights which give the rooms a decadent feeling, even if they are on the compact side!
This is of course an urban city hotel, so space is at a premium, and the Hoxton Head Honchos, have concluded that bedrooms are just for sleeping, so don’t expect any frills! I spent my time here tucked up in a King Size Single bed, one of the Shoebox rooms (Cosy and Roomy are also available) and had no complaints at all. The blackout blinds were essential to block out the city lights from the main road, and the only time light shimmered through, was at dawn when I had forgotten to close the sliding door to the bathroom; Cleverly designed, the pint-size room, didn’t have a bath, but the rainfall shower was powerful enough to make up for that.
With an original Roberts Radio, and quirky artwork, the vibe of my bedroom was eclectic. Air con was easily controllable and much needed with the wintry nip in the air, but you could kick back and nestle on the bed with a hot cuppa, whilst using fast wifi or making free phone calls “to everywhere except the moon”.
With a novel way for a quick snack as you’re getting ready for the day, guests are invited to leave their recyclable breakfast bag on the hook on the door at night, so the breakfast fairies can fill it with juice, a granola pot and fruit in the morning- which you can enjoy with a coffee or tea from your in-room kettle and free milk and water in the mini fridge.
When you’re feeling peckish, head up to the ninth floor bar and restaurant, ‘Tope’. The indoor fireplace is a welcome centerpoint in the wintertime, and join the guests who come for the tacos. Inspired by Mexican street food, the mood is relaxed, and the cocktails are plentiful. With views across Portland rooftops, the glass-panelled roof ensures plenty of natural light and a prime spot to have dinner with a sunset backdrop.
For a more refined dining experience, the restaurant on the ground floor ‘La Neta’ offers a fuller menu of Mexican fayre, using locally sourced ingredients. Join the locals for brunch or head there in the evening for a more romantic atmosphere.
If you are after a nightcap, head downstairs to the discreet basement bar; With no name on the door, this is a hidden gem; Intriguingly illicit, it takes advantage of its position in Chinatown, and specialises in American-Chinese fused food and cocktails and is open until the early hours!
However if you do fancy leaving the building, you will find plenty of nightlife and restaurants just a few blocks away. Almost home from home. If you’re hip enough.
Hoxton Hotel, 15 NW 4th Ave, Portland
Rates from $119, including a light breakfast bag.
For the most up to date information on PDX, check out www.travelportland.com