Hotel Spotlight

This Classic Portland Hotel Is a Real Page-Turner

by Jeralyn Gerba
Heathman All photos courtesy of Heathman Hotel.

Heathman Hotel
Portland, Oregon
Modern Classic, $$

As much as we all like sleeping in places that feel shiny and new, can we agree that a storied old building with a rich history is worth a slumber party? The famed local Heathman Hotel has been turning heads since the 1920s and '30s, when it was the city's "newest and most modern" hotel and made a lasting connection to the arts community by hosting KOIN's radio studios on its mezzanine (the shows transmitted as far and wide as California, Nevada, and Idaho), and, therefore, many of the musicians and performers passing through. Today, the lobby is shared with the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (next door), which is home to the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. A 2018 renovation made turned the hotel's rich trove of books into a one-of-a-kind library featuring 2,700 author-signed books from guests including poet laureates, Noble Prize winners, and U.S. presidents.

Book It

Rates start at $150. Click here for reservations. Or contact the Fathom Concierge and we can book your trip for you.

At a Glance

The Vibe: Next-generation classic.

Standout Detail: The soaring library with a large fireplace and salon-like feel — a lovely place to settle in for a literary event or Russian tea service.

This Place Is Perfect For: Bookish families, literary romantic types.

Rooms: A mix of kings, queens, doubles, and suites make up the 151-room hotel, each with a tastefully modern look fashioned from reclaimed materials (wood, handblown glass, limestone), lhandsome textiles, and local artwork. Jonathan Adler toiletries can be found in the bathroom. Guests can request the pillow menu, special pet amenities, and a Well + Fit kit that has a yoga mat, bands, and iPad preloaded with workouts and meditation apps.

On Site: Heathman prides itself on its partnerships with Portland-based businesses like the beloved Powell's Books (an acclaimed indie bookstore), Jacobsen Salt Co. (stocked in the room's honor bar), Bee Local honey (thoughtfully packaged in TSA-friendly jars), and the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, which is adjacent to and connected with the hotel and is the home of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. A really nice gym on the mezzanine has windows (!), Peleton bikes, a rock-climbing wall, and heavy bags.

Food + Drink: James Beard Foundation Best Chef Pacific Northwest award recipient and winning Iron Chef contestant Vitaly Paley helms the kitchen at Headwaters, focusing diners on the culinary jewels of the region, from farm to sea. Paley also runs a spirited Russian Tea Service in the show-stopping library on weekends, with dishes passed down from his grandmother. Reservations are a must. Thirsty guests who wander to the honor bar will find an enticing selection of local spirits as well as a daily happy hour (from 5-6 p.m.) showcasing complimentary Pacific Northwest-inspired cocktails.

What to Do Nearby

The hotel cemented its place among the city's artists and intellectuals long ago. Absolutely check for orchestra tickets at the adjacent concert hall. Also ridiculously close: Portland Art Museum, Portland 5 Centers for the Arts, Oregon Historical Society, and Japanese Garden. There are tons of cute cafes, bars, shops, and restaurants, many of which are included in our Portland Guide.

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.