More about Avalon Hotel And Spa
Terrific stay at Avalon
My wife and I traveled to Portland recently for vacation and decided to stay put in one location for two weeks--a first for us. After much searching through books and on the web, and wanting to avoid downtown noise and congestion, we settled on the Avalon Hotel and Spa. We were hopeful that it would offer us a warm welcome and, with a two week stay, the kind of ongoing service we wanted, but were concerned by some tripadvisor notices posted earlier about attitude and cleanliness. Suffice it to say that we were delighted by our stay. We easily negotiated a very reasonable rate when we made the reservation on the phone (much lower than the published web rate), and when we mentioned some negative comments on this site, we were assured that all would be done to make our stay memorable. They made good on their word, I'm delighted to report. Upon arrival, the staff was gracious and hospitable, and the reservations manager had thoughtfully left us a packet of information with directions to a local laundry, restaurant ideas, etc. Our large, comfortable riverview suite--and the view is lovely, although the other three sides of the hotel would offer truly uninspiring vistas--was well appointed although not luxe (for these prices, it was absolutely fine), and for $25 a small fridge was installed for us. Towels were plentiful, the rooms were immaculate (yes, the hallways could use a modicum of stain removal in spots, but that was the only cosmetic blemish we found), and while the furniture was not plush, the bed was exceptionally comfortable (firm) and the two large-screen TVs a bonus. We asked the always attentive and exceedingly friendly desk staff to direct us to a spot where we could buy the NY Times daily, as there is no guest shop in the hotel (either The Oregonian or US Today is delivered daily to the door), and voila--every morning the Times was slipped under our door, a delightful and unexpected touch. We're light sleepers and frequently worry that some loud, inconsiderate partyers will destroy our night's sleep, but either the walls are appropriately thick or the clientele incredibly sedate, because our stay during a fairly busy time was wonderfully quiet day and night. The town car limo service to downtown (and they are generous in their definition of downtown, covering not only the core area but the Pearl and Nob Hill districts where many restaurants, galleries, clubs, and shops are located) was well worth the modest tip we gave the friendly and accommodating drivers in exchange for the chance to have a few glasses of excellent Oregon wine with dinner and not have to drive afterwards. The spa was immaculate, and although we didn't take any treatments, we did use the gym every day and were grateful for that free convenience. A lovely bike/running/walking path winds past the hotel along the riverbank, and it's a nice way to get some exercise before or after dinner. One caveat--we found the one meal we took at the adjoining Rivers restaurant mediocre at best. While the menu is modestly appealing on the page, the food was bland beyond belief. But given the proximity of so many excellent Portland eateries, this is not a serious liability, and we can't comment on breakfast or room service food (from the restaurant). If you're hoping for a hotel in the thick of things, this might not be your best choice, though, because its location in an office park--while in a perfectly pleasant and safe neighborhood--is a few miles removed from the tourist action. However, if you're seeking a terrific place to relax and use as a convenient point of departure to explore Portland and evirons (one-minute drive to I-5 and five-minute drive to downtown), Avalon is excellent. Again, service was flawless and enhanced by the warm desk, bell, office, and driving staff (we were welcomed by name like family every time we entered the lobby) and we couldn't have been happier, especially for the price.
OK if downtown is full
The Avalon is not downtown and is not convenient unless you have business at one of the office parks nearby, although they do have complimentary car service. The riverview rooms have leafy, tranquil scenery, which is nice in a city. However, the doors do not have screens and we were eaten alive by mosquitoes. The rooms are very dark with only halogen-type lamps vs. any overhead lighting. The usual stuff is OK, bathroom, TV etc. all fine. Note to internet users: they charge $10/day for wi-fi but DSL is free! So bring your cord.
This is not a four star hotel
This hotel did not meet our expectations. After staying in numerous other three and four-star hotels in Portland, we could not believe how much this hotel cut corners. The property has potential to be a nice hotel, but it would take an enormous investment not only in money, but also in hiring and training staff. The bellman and two desk clerks were not rude, just ambivalent, like they hated their jobs. The spa aroma permeated the lobby, which was pleasant. But, the hotel does not maintain separate wings for smoking and non-smoking guests. So, to get to your room you may have to run thru a gauntlet of smoke. The hallway had numerous broken light fixtures. The room had broken bulbs in the light fixtures. When we arrived the terrace door was off it's top hinge like it had been broken into. We heard another guest wrestling with their door too. It was then we discovered the doors come off their top hinge if you turned the handle a certain way. “Scary.” The mirror above the bathroom tub had not been cleaned. It was just in poor condition. The parking spaces are so tiny and we could not locate handicapped parking. But, be warned if you take more than one space, you may end up with a paper on your windshield warning that your car will be towed for taking up two spaces. Now there were plenty of parking spaces because the motel was not busy. The following hotels are a better bet by far: ****Riverplace, Westin, Hotel Vintage Plaza ***Benson, Paramount, Red Lion Lloyd, Marriott, and Red Lion Columbia River. Portland is a beautiful city to visit, so do yourself a favor and look for a better place to stay.
Avalon was better than some, not as good as others.
I am originally from Portland, so I knew where the hotel was located, but I can see how many people would get confused and lost trying to drive to it from downtown. The valet was very nice, and helped unload our bags, but there was no bell service to take the bags to our room. So we took a baby, stroller, 1 extra large suitcase, 1 smaller case, bag of toys, diaper bag, DVD case, purse, etc. by ourselves. Check-in was easy and quick, and they let us check in 3 hours early, and then explained about the European style terrace doors, to which apparently there is a trick to opening. They confirmed our crib and refrigerator, which together was an extra $35.00; the crib was charged nightly, the refrigerator was one charge for the length of stay. The decor in the lobby is very contemporary, but comfortable and pretty. We somehow got the bags to our room by ourselves, which was just barely finished being cleaned, and were met with an overwhelming smell of mint, though not unpleasant, just cloying. The room was a bit small, and we immediately went to the terrace door to see our river view we had read so much about. Unfortunately, our view was 98% obstructed by a stand of trees that grew along the entire length of the hotel, and were quite tall so we knew that changing rooms for a better view was futile. No one seemed to have one. I tried to open the terrace door, and realized they really hadn't explained it well enough. When the handle points up, the door pops open at the top and leans in for ventilation. When the handle points down, the door is locked. When the handle is horizontal you have to pull hard on it and it opens like a regular door. It only took 15 minutes to figure it out. I then went into the bathroom, which was very nicely done and spacious. Unfortunately when I opened the shower door I was hit with a very strong mildew smell, which, by the way, got worse each day we stayed. The bed was a king, and I pulled down the covers for a little rest before our big day, and was extremely dissappointed by a set of very scratchy and rough sheets. I had been looking forward to soft hotel linens for a while. Of the 3 nights we stayed, we got turn down service on one of those nights. That is a service I could care less about, but I do like consistency. Room service was lightning fast and the food great, and comes from the hotel restaurant, Rivers. We never made it into the spa, but I have heard great things about it. We loved the jogging path along the river that goes in front of the hotel. I have no idea how long it is, but it seemed to keep going on. There is complimentaryu town car service to and from downtown, which we did not use, but it is a nice touch. All in all it was a pretty good experience. Though next time we go to Portland, we will opt to stay at the Hilton downtown.
Kudos to the Avalon
I was searching for a hotel in Portland for a business trip and could not find a room downtown at the City Center Marriott where it was suggested by some coworkers to stay. So, I found the Avalon with a great special on Expedia: free valet and free internet. If I had stayed downtown at the Marriott, I would have had to pay for both of those things. I even checked Expedia again yesterday and saw they were running another special better than the one I booked with! So, cost wise it's a wise spend.
The lobby is really nice: very contemporary and elegant interior design. Receptionist was very nice and recommended I order food from Rivers (across the walkway). Whenever I called the front desk for basic questions, they were very pleasant, using my name (which I think is always a great touch by the staff).
Room was nice: marble floors and countertop in the bathroom, complimentary robes for use, comfortable bed and elegant interior design. Free internet (although if you want wireless, you have to pay $9.95). Potted plant and rock garden outside my window.
It really is a nice boutique hotel. I am not really into staying downtown but if I wanted to spend a lot of time there, the drive would have been about 7-10 minutes. My coworkers said they have attended very nice dinner parties. If I go back to Portland, I will stay at The Avalon again.
Very nice, but some disappointments
We got a suite at the far end of the building with a view overlooking the river. It's true, you must splurge on the view. People usually write reviews b/c they were either very impressed, or usually becuse there are big disappointments. Here are the pros/cons we experienced:
- The hotel is beautiful, hip, ultra clean and special.
- The men's hot tub at the SPA was down for retrofit/repair! Can you believe a SPA doesn't have this working? I was so disappointed as this was one of the reasons I was looking to stay here. I was able to knock off $30/night, but it left a sour note.
- The fireplace wasn't working so didn't provide the extra oomph for a romantic evening we expected. They did bring someone in to repair it while we were gone the next day.
- They do not offer free valet if you book direct as we did. $10/day.
- They would not honor a AAA discount because we purchased the suite.
The hotel was only 46% booked.
- All staff was professional and curteous.
- Staff did not describe the amenities when we checked in.
- The Rivers restaurant was beautiful. Food, bread and service was very good.
- NB: The road system in this part of Portland is horrendously designed. We got lost the first few days getting to the hotel for two days. Absolutely remember to get turn-by-turn directions from Google or Hotel.
My very favorite hotel
This hotel is a true gem! The rooms are very modern, comfortable and “new” rooms (in sharp contrast to most major chains with well worn furniture and mildewed showers). This hotel is located in a beautiful area along the river. It is quiet and there is no traffic and the fireplace in the lobby is a perfect touch. Beyond the facility, what really makes this hotel shine is its exceptional service. I spend dozens of nights a year in hotels for business and I now have a favorite hotel. The Avalon’s staff are nothing short of delightful. I asked about a bus route to go down town and a complimentary town car was instantly available to take me into town and pick me up when I rang and said I was ready to return to the hotel. Wake up calls greet you by name with a real live person on the other end of the phone. One of the mornings I needed breakfast before the next-door restaurant opened. The staff instantly offered to get me some breakfast and within 10 minutes smoked salmon, cream cheese a fresh bagel and fruit were delivered to my room. When I order car service to the airport, a note card was slipped under my door confirming the reservation and asking how else they might help me.
There is a spa in the hotel, however, I did not have a chance to take advantage of any of these services. I did take a look and it was beautiful.
Dont check in after midnght ..
We tried checking around 1245am and things did not go well. The counter person mumbled all kinds of things to himself and became visibily frustrated. He said he "couldnt check us in" so he would just "put us in a room and let someone who knew more than him fix it in the morning." He gave us a small room which isnt what we reserved and then put us in a huge suite which was also not what we reserved. We stayed in the suite and the manager DID fix it in the morning and gave us the suite at a very reduced rate for our two nights.
- Don't expect GPS ("never lost") to find this hotel, it wont. Print out the directions from google or expedia.
-Room service is sketchy at best. Your order will more than likely not come on time so plan on that. Also, the room service seems to have a shortage of silverware so make sure you check it out when they bring anything.
-My husband said the hotel spa was very nice and the massage was excellent.
-The coffee and bath products were exceptional.
Overall the hotel isnt bad and the manager was very helpful. It's more that at 1am you dont want to deal with Joe Under Trained Counter Help and the problems that go with it.