Benson Hotel

309 Southwest Broadway, Portland, Oregon, 97205, United States
#6 of 149 hotels in Portland
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 9 reviews
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WulfstanTraveller's Profile Photo

Beautiful Place but Poorly Run

Bad (2.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on October 24, 2010

The last time we were in Portland, we stayed several nights here at the Benson, one of Portland's most famous old hotels. However, our stay was quite mixed.

On the plus side, it is a beautiful, historic old building. It has a beautiful, grand lobby and general ambience, beautiful staircase, mezzanine, etc., it has nicely made doors with the logo inlaid in wood, generally very nicely made rooms, etc. It also has some nice views and it's a perfect location for exploring downtown, old town, Pearl district, being right in the heart, between Pioneer Courthouse Sq and the Pearl and near Old Town and Skidmore. There is a parking garage across the street as well.

However, the place is not well-run at all. Aside from the doormen, who seem quite helpful, the service is spotty and inefficient, the maid/room cleaning is very, very bad with poor attention to ensuring the linens, towels, floor, and room in general were cleaned. The maid service in particular seems truly abysmal, just about the worst I have ever experienced and I shall not go into details. The hallways are full of huge boxes of pillows, etc., making the place look like a warehouse. This gives a very negative feeling. They give the impression of either not knowing at all how to run a hotel, or simply not caring and there is an vague air of neglect about the place once you go above the lobby/mezzanine area. The worst thing, though is the horrid room-keeping/maid service.

Thankfully, and an important plus side, is that we did not pay very much for the place, I think due to the timing of our stay. The rate was actually quite low. We ha a 4-person room for just over $100.

Ultimately, I am on the cusp here. For how well run and cleaned the place was, I would give 1 star, but its beauty and location, etc., should be worthy of 4 stars at least. I am giving it 2, but it is closer to 2.5. I just can't say that I was truly satisfied and I was certainly "somewhat" dissatisfied, but its good qualities are very fundamental and the building is in decent shape. It's not run-down in the sense of peeling paint or anything, and it had good beds, etc. It is simply that the maid/cleaning/general management needs to change and make sure everything is run professionally and smoothly and in a way that gives the impression that they care about having you there.

It occurs to me now that I should have taken a picture of the hallways full of boxes but at the time I didn't think of it and I took a picture of the one stretch of empty, box-free hallway that I saw, so I could have a good picture of the hall. Just be aware that this is not an accurate representation of what the halls actually look like when full of boxes. I have, since returning home, read that other people had the same problem with the boxes.

Unique Quality: Great, unique qualities are that it is a beautiful, historic place in a great location. Those are the only things that save it.

Directions: Downtown, at Broadway between Oak and Stark, just south of Burnside, the big east-west street.

aqazi's Profile Photo

Great Location

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on August 11, 2010

I booked it on Priceline and judging by the reviews on Trip Advisor we were either going to have a great time, or a real lousy time. Fortunatley for us we were upgraded to a King corner room and we had a great time here. Its a little bit old school but the people that man the place seem to be fairly young and that might be the problem as you really get the old school hospitality or the charm. Anyway we liked it and the location was super. Close to everything and then the publick transport int eh city is free anyway. Parking is expensive but for $20 a night you can park across the road which is closer to the hotel than our office car park is to our office.

raevnzno's Profile Photo

Great Downtown location

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on August 25, 2008

This proved to be a great base for our quick weekend trip. The location is excellent. Only 4 blocks from the tri-met rail. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The room was great. Not the small european room that you sometimes get with mid-town hotels. We had plenty of room for the two of us.

Unique Quality: Tempu-pedic beds! best sleep I've had at a hotel in a long time. Great sound-proofing on the rooms as well.

klj&a's Profile Photo

Benson Hotel

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on October 27, 2007

Just average. It's a nice classic hotel, but I had a couple of issues. First, my room was not clean. There was a used cup of coffee and the bathroom was not cleaned very well. Also, called the lobby for my car which I left with the valet. Waited for 15 minutes before it was figured out that the request had not been relayed from the lobby to the valet. Needless to say, I didn't use their valet service again and self parked across the street for much cheaper. As far as the rooms go, it's nice and the hotel location is ideal.

Unique Quality: Connected to El Gaucho, a great place for a steak and a rare cigar room.

birchy99's Profile Photo

Old Time Elegance

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on September 10, 2004

We have stayed at The Benson many times over the last few years. And not by necessity but by choice. The lobby is immense with dark wood paneling, a lobby bar with evening music, and a restful sitting area.
The rooms are modern and range all the way from doubles to junior suites to full suites. Most presidents and dignitaries who visit Portland stay at The Benson. One night after a Neil Diamond concert we waited by the elevators to get a glimpse of him and his retinue. Soon a bus pulls up, two immense security men enter the lobby, call the elevator, and whisk Neil and his wife into it and upstairs. Meanwhile his band was being welcomed and congratulated by a band of middle aged groupies who all knew each other by first names. What fun!!
We have often stayed at The Benson during the Christmas Holidays when the lobby is decorated with holiday cheer. Being right downtown on Broadway it is close to all kinds of department store shopping.
Here's hoping that The Benson will be there for many more decades to come.

Unique Quality: It just oozes old time elegance. Truly one of the great old hotels of the Northwest.

Luxury and Enjoyable

by written on April 30, 2003

I stayed for the first time at the Benson at a friends recommendation and was treated so well in that beautiful hotel that I think everyone should put it on their list of places to stay. The price was absolutely wonderful as well. Far less than what I thought.

Unique Quality: Located in dowtown, restaurant , fruit when you check in, coffee, wine tasting

Directions: downtown

Luxury and Enjoyable

by written on April 30, 2003

I stayed for the first time at the Benson at a friends recommendation and was treated so well in that beautiful hotel that I think everyone should put it on their list of places to stay. The price was absolutely wonderful as well. Far less than what I thought.

Unique Quality: Located in dowtown, resteraunt, fruit when you check in, coffee, wine tasting

Directions: downtown

fargoman's Profile Photo

Hotel of the Stars

by written on September 26, 2002

One of Portland's oldest and grandest hotels.

Unique Quality: Located in the heart of downtown Portland and close to everything. And, if you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a visiting movie star!

Directions: Downtown

TashieKitten's Profile Photo

But this is my home?

by written on August 26, 2002

Being that I live here...I haven't stayed anywhere but home. That said, there are a multitude of accomodations from the very expensive Benson Hotel to regular motels like Motel 8 to a couple of hostels. There are many places around Portland to camp, but none in the city, so far as I know. There are also a few B&B's in town.

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Nearby Benson Hotel

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Amenities at Benson Hotel

  • Restaurant
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Room Service
  • Fitness Center
  • Business Services
  • Pets Allowed
  • Suites
  • Shuttle Service
  • Bar / Lounge

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