Hotel Spotlight

At the Adorable Woodlark in Portland, You Don't Ever Have to Leave (the Lobby)

by Jeralyn Gerba
Woodlark All photos courtesy of Woodlark.

Portland, Oregon
Trendy, $ ($125)

The ridiculously adorable Woodlark hotel began as a tale of two dilapidated buildings in Downtown Portland, Oregon. On the National Register of Historic Places, the Cornelius Hotel and Woodlark Building were, at the turn of the 20th century, a "House of Welcome" and an early commercial skyscraper, respectively. Architecture firm OFFICEUNTITLED, along with local designer Oculus and Atlanta-based Smith Hanes Studio set about breathing new life into the old bones, by not only restoring and reappointing the French Renaissance and Beaux-Arts architectural details, but by merging the two adjacent buildings. With the addition of large windows, skylights, black and white tiles, handblown glass light fixtures, velvet furnishings, and photogenic plants, they created a modern hotel that is wildly warm and welcoming.

The communal space is a thing of beauty, an all-day hangout with a wraparound marble check-in desk and coffee bar, ten-foot-long leather sofas, comfy chairs, and botanical prints by early-20th-century West Coast photographer Imogen Cunningham. This being Portland, the hotel cultivated relationships with several local makers, creatives, and curators — tea makers, chocolatiers, florists, painters — to showcase the best the city has to offer and to ensure a colloquial vibe. 

It works. Soon after arriving, you'll want to move in permanently.

Book It

Rates start at $125. Click here for reservations. Or contact the Fathom Concierge and we can book your trip for you.

At a Glance

The Vibe: Capturing the spirit of the New Northwest, it's warm, cozy, sophisticated, optimistic, and curated with an artisanal touch.

Standout Detail: The glorious communal spaces — old world yet totally modern, part coffee shop, part living room — the hub every hotel lobby should want to be.

This Place Is Perfect For: Trendsetters, tastemakers, influencers (of both the real and virtual nature).

Rooms: 150 keys, a mix of doubles, queens, kings, and suites, are finished with raw woods, leathers, lacquers, brass, and sumptuous textiles that give the spaces a residential feel. Custom-designed wallpaper features botanicals found in Portland's Forrest Park. You'll find Italian linens, flatscreen TVs, handheld steamers, and in-room honor bars showcasing locally made chocolate bars and other products. There's 24/7 in-room dining and a Salt & Straw ice cream menu.

On Site: A beautiful little flower cabinet in the lobby (floral arranging classes happen Thursday afternoons); bicycles for borrow; rentable PDX gear; a Well Fit Kit (with yoga mat, bands, weights, and iPad) to be used in the room; and a 24-hour Technogym with an interactive workout MIRROR, treadmills, and Peleton bikes.

Food + Drink: Bullard encourages diners to go on a culinary journey from Texas to Montana to the Pacific Northwest, the route James Beard Award-Winning Rising Star chef Doug Adams took while developing his cooking style. The decor matches: denim-colored walls, penny-tile floors, outdoorsy memorabilia like deer antlers and fishing rods, and other accents of ruggedness. Abigail Hall is the parlor bar in what was once the Ladies Reception Hall of the Cornelius Hotel. It's a cozy 40-seater with a fireplace, chandelier, leather banquettes, and martinis for the table. Local caffeine purveyor Good Coffee mans the espresso machine in the lobby. Texas-style Kolaches and other breakfast pastries are available to stay or go.

What to Do Nearby

There's no short supply of all the things you came to Portland for: fantastic and eclectic food (high-end and low), indie boutiques, waterfront happenings, green spaces, and Voodoo Doughnuts. Powell's City of Books is legendary and walkable from the hotel. Try Headwaters for seafood and Q Restaurant & Bar for the prettiest nature-inspired plates. Serra sells quality weed and edibles. After imbibing, take a stroll through Portland Saturday Market, the country's largest continually operating arts and crafts markets for handmade goods and small-batch foods. The hotel offers a wonderful little guide to the neighborhood and beyond.

Keep Exploring the Pacific Northwest

Where the Continental United States Ends, a Sublime Dining Experience Begins
Forget Bucket Lists: How to Have an Epic Road Trip
From High Peaks to Hot Springs: Four Wild Days in British Columbia

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.