North America

The Nines: Portland, Oregon

written by | Posted on February 1st, 2009

If your clients are looking for a getaway that gives them access to earth’s natural wonders, friendly people, arts, shopping and culinary delights without the hustle and bustle of a major city, Portland—Oregon’s most densely populated city located 60 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean—is an excellent recommendation.

In the middle of this vibrant city across from the historic Pioneer Courthouse and Pioneer Courthouse Square, one of the city’s true accommodation gems—The Nines—makes its home, in the former Meier & Frank department store building, a Portland landmark since 1908. Meier & Frank, which served as the city’s luxury outfitter for decades, was where the who’s who of Portland would go to get dressed to “the nines.” In October 2008, the aptly named The Nines, a Luxury Collection Hotel, under theStarwood umbrella, took over the top nine floors of the completely renovated and refurbished building, offering travelers 331 guestrooms, including 13 suites.

This uber-chic hotel is a testament to modern luxury—whimsically juxtaposing the old and the new amidst the grandeur of a historic building. Here, guests are greeted by the friendly bell staff—and we must say that the level of service throughout the hotel is quite impeccable—and ushered to a bank of elevators that lift them to an eighth floor reception area where they are welcomed into a 21st century upscale haven.

Just past the reception desk, clients will find themselves below a soaring 7-story-high grand atrium. Standing on the deep-espresso-colored hardwood floors and gazing at the gold foil-like walls and glass ceiling, stylish clients may be enticed to lounge in one of the sheer-draped glass gazebos.

Wide, open common areas are adorned with art that celebrates the talent that has made Portland the creative capital of the Northwest. Indeed, the property is filled with a bold collection of works by artists with local ties and commissioned exclusively for The Nines. The Nines’ developers brought in a local art consultant to find an eclectic group of artists to create the over 400 pieces of original art that grace not only the common areas, but individual rooms as well.

Past the lobby, corridors with plush, boldly patterned carpet and crystal chandelier-clad rotundas—all of which have been painted a distinctive shade of Tiffany-blue to evoke the feeling of being inside a hat box, the hotel says—lead your client to their guestroom. Behind each espresso-colored door, a guestroom that seems plucked from the pages of an art book awaits guests. The bygone era-style furniture is set against walls clad in iridescent taupe damask, while exquisite ivory-colored satin draperies offer an elegant background for the chaise, which is upholstered in Tiffany-blue velvet. There’s also a tall ivory leather headboard that gives way to sumptuous bedding. Another important protagonist in the room—and in fact, throughout the hotel—is the natural light, which seeps in and envelops the property.

And since everything is in the details, guests will love that the sinuous lines of the in-room glass lamps are reminiscent of mannequins, while the drawer pull on the nightstand is suggestive of an elegant silver bracelet.

Guest bathrooms are just as resplendent, featuring corner-mounted marble vanities characterized by delicately proportioned traditional wooden legs. The bathroom shower is enclosed with minimally designed glass panels and polished stainless-steel hardware.

Interior accommodations offer views of the atrium, while rooms with exterior views take in the city of Portland and the surrounding Cascade Mountains. The Nines provides an extravagant boutique hotel feel, with all the amenities of a five-star resort—42-inch, flat-screen TVs, free wireless, high-speed Internet access in guestrooms, bathrobes and slippers, and down comforters and pillows, among other goodies—and it does so with environmental and social consciousness.

Indeed, just as Portland is a city nestled among nature and home to a distinctively progressive and eco-friendly population, the hotel was conceived and created with that forward-thinking mentality: 100 percent of the energy utilized by the hotel comes from renewable energy sources, including wind power and carbon offsets.

The Nines, in fact, will be the third existing hotel building in the world to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s prestigious Silver rating (and the 11th hotel worldwide to have achieved any level of LEED certification at all).