The second hotel of our Labor Day Weekend PNW Adventure was in Portland, Oregon. Specifically, I booked a night at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront to try something new. Plus, it was one of the cheaper options with a central location that weekend.
Over the years, I’ve checked out several different hotels in Portland: the Portland Marriott City Center (now the Bidwell Marriott Portland), the Hi-Lo Hotel, and the Residence Inn Portland Downtown/Pearl. While I would’ve liked to check out the reimagined Marriott City Center, I really wanted to try someplace truly different for me. That (and the price) is why I ended up choosing the Portland Marriott Waterfront.
Booking the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront
For our one-night stay, prices were low enough that I didn’t think redeeming points made any sense. Well, not straight points, anyway. I ended up redeeming 24,000 points plus $92.80 for my single-night stay. Parking was an additional $49 for our stay. That comes out to a grand total of $141.80.
After checking out of the Hyatt Regency Seattle, we jumped in our rented Infiniti Q50 and headed south. After 2.5 hours of driving, we arrived in Portland, Oregon, pulling into the porte-cochere (valet-only) of the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront just before 12 noon. Like the rest of Portland, the lobby of the hotel was relatively quiet, so after a brief wait, we were greeted by a friendly and professional associate.
After thanking me for my loyalty as a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite, the associate informed me that our room was ready. Better yet, he informed us that we were upgraded to a water-view high-floor room. Nice!
Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront Room 1515
Room 1515 at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront is a standard king Wlliamette River-view room. Not all of the views from these rooms are created equally, though – but more on that later.
These rooms are on the smaller side, which means that the closet immediately to the right of the entry door (and across the bathroom) was very small. Half of the closet was occupied by the safe, single-serve coffee maker, and a couple of drawers. The other side was a traditional closet.
The bathroom in our room was also quite small, featuring a single vanity, a toilet, and a shower stall.
Naturally, this property also features toiletry dispensers attached to the wall of the shower rather than single-use bottles.
Looking into the rest of the room, standard rooms at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront feature a fairly chic but dark design to them, featuring (in our case) a king bed, a sofa with a small table, a large adjustable HDTV, and a built-in desk with a chair. Floating nightstands are on either side of the bed, one of which is topped with a corded phone and the other a radio/alarm clock.
While the room looks good from afar, upon closer inspection, things weren’t so great. There were more than a few stains on the carpet and sofa, while a musty smell permeated the room. Good thing we were only staying for a night.
While the smell of the room was bothersome, the HVAC may have been even worse – it was LOUD. See the “counter” where the water bottle and ice bucket ar? That’s the HVAC unit of the room, and it makes the same noises as a standard window a/c unit. It’s also about as effective as one.
Unfortunately, things weren’t too much better with the water at the hotel. The water temperature in our room was average, though the pressure was lame.
The bed was also kind of disappointing. Yes, it was soft, but it was almost too soft. Again, it’s a good thing we were only here for a night.
The view from our waterfront room at the Portland Marriott Waterfront was decent. We were right on the Willamette River with a view of Tillikum Crossing off in the distance, though I would’ve preferred a room with a view of the Hawthorne Bridge and Mount Hood.
We didn’t have time to actually use the Club Lounge at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront, but I did pop in to check it out a bit. It’s an expansive space that does serve breakfast, evening refreshments, and all-day drinks. It was empty in the middle of the day, save for a few people scattered throughout. I did end up stopping in a couple more times to fill our Yetis.
Props to whoever turned on Rick & Morty!
Overall, I was fairly disappointed by the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront. Sure, the front desk associates were fantastic, but the room was a major letdown, as was the overall hotel itself. Though things like the darkness of the overall design is subjective, other things like the slowness of the elevators (they’re VERY slow), the sound of the HVAC system, etc. are all issues that are less so and much more difficult to change.
Personally, I’d probably opt to stay at the Bidwell or the Residence Inn Downtown/Pearl next time around. I’d also consider the Hyatt Regency Portland.