Welcome to Backpacker’s Boutique. Every Sunday, this spot will feature a new travel blogger. Some weeks it will be a really fun interview about packing, fashion, and fitness so you can snoop inside their bags & lives a little bit and other weeks it’ll be a detailed luxury guide to a city the featured blogger/expat knows very well. E-mail me if you’d like to be featured.
A Luxury Guide to Portland, Oregon
Tell us a little about yourself and tell us why you’re an expert on luxury travel in Portland Oregon.
I’m Brianne, a travel blogger documenting my adventures at everydayrunaway.com. My blog focuses on creating daily, meaningful experiences both at home and abroad. When I’m not traveling, I seek out rich experiences at home in Portland, Oregon. I’ve lived in downtown Portland for the last few years, and walking or biking through the city’s neighborhoods has given me the opportunity to get discover Portland’s hidden gems.
What makes Portland a perfect destination for travelers seeking a glamorous trip?
Portland literally has something for everyone. With beaches, mountains, vineyards, rivers and hiking trails all within a few hours drive, Portland is also a great home base for exploring Oregon. The city itself boasts a great food scene, walkable neighborhoods, and some of the best beer, pinot noir, and craft cocktails in the Northwest.
What 5 star hotel is the best in Portland Oregon?
The Nines, Portland is literally right in the middle of downtown. Occupying the former Meier & Frank department store building, The LEED certified hotel overlooks Pioneer Square and is surrounded by restaurants and retail shops. Perched atop the Nines is one of my favorite restaurants/bars in Portland, Departure. The rooftop patios boast beautiful views of downtown, while the indoor restaurant offers amazing Asian cuisine, and Portland’s largest sake selection.
What about boutique hotels in Portland, of them all, which would you send your friends or family to stay at?
Portland has some great boutique hotels, but my favorite would have to be Portland’s Hotel Monaco. When President Obama visited Portland last summer, he stayed at the Hotel Monaco (if the President chooses to stay there, you know it must be good). Located in the heart of downtown Portland, Hotel Monaco offers guests complimentary bicycles to explore the city, as well as an evening wine reception to get to know fellow visitors while tasting local wines. With vibrant décor and quirky amenities (think animal print robes, luxurious bath products, and a complimentary gold fish to keep you company), the Hotel Monaco is reflective of the colorful city in which it resides.
Are there any fun activities for the adventurous traveler in Portland?
Where do I start? Portland’s waterfront is great for biking, walking or running. Visitors can also rent kayaks or canoes and paddle along the Willamette River for great views of the city. If you want to enjoy the rive from a larger boat, the Portland Spirit offers brunch and dinner cruises.
Hundreds of hiking trails are a short drive away, or you can stay in the city and hike Forest Park up to Pittock Mansion. The Willamette Valley also offers wine hikes through vineyards, or horseback riding wine tours.
Where are the best hang outs during the day in Portland Oregon?
Locals and visitors alike enjoy spending time at the waterfront (the stretch of parks and paths along the Willamette River). The Tom McCall waterfront park regularly plays host to festivals end events, while every week the Saturday Market attracts hundreds of people to the area. There’s also great restaurants and shops long the south waterfront, or grassy areas where you can relax with a book.
If you have a big date night, what are the most delicious restaurants in Portland and what are their best dishes?
Portland has so many great restaurants. If you’re in the mood for Thai food, Pok Pok is a must. Their famous Fish Sauce Chicken Wings are worth the inevitable wait. Portland City Grill is a great place to bring a date. It’s located on the 30th floor of the US bank building and boasts stunning views of the city.
Let’s talk desserts- what place makes the best?
As cliché as it may sound, if you’re visiting Portland you have to try the famed VooDoo Donuts. While it’s the bacon maple bar that made them famous, my favorite donut is the “Dirty Old Bastard” (chocolate frosting with Oreo cookie crumbles and peanut butter drizzle – don’t let the name deter you, this donut is delicious).
Tell us all the hot shopping spots; who’s carrying the trendy local designers in Portland Oregon?
The Pearl District (the neighborhood that borders downtown) has a great combination of local shops (e.g. Powell’s Books, Made in PDX store) and favorite stores (e.g. Anthroplogie, LuLuLemon). Northwest 23rd street also boasts a great selection of boutiques, designer brands and great restaurants.
What are a couple of the best salons and spas in Portland?
My favorite spa in Portland is Ruby’s Spa at McMenamins Edgefield. The spa is beautiful and guests can relax in the outdoor, heated (saltwater) soaking pool before or after treatment. The Edgefield grounds are gorgeous, and include restaurants, a golf course, a winery and a brewery. I also love Portland Spa & Boutique which is located on the waterfront and offers a good variety of servies to help you relax and rejuvenate.
Time for a great sunset view… where would you go?
Located in Portland’s West Hills, Pittock mansion overlooks the entire city, and is a beautiful place to watch the sunset. While you can drive to the mansion, most visitors prefer to hike the short trail through Forest Park and take in beautiful scenery. Pack a picnic, find a place on the lawn, then sit back and enjoy nature’s nightly production.
Now that the sun’s gone down, fill us on the best places to go for some evening drinks or a great pre-gaming spot in Portland.
You don’t have to look to hard to find some amazing drinks in Portland. Creative craft cocktails are the norm, and mixologists here do them right! There are so many great places to grab a drink in Portland, but one of my favorites has to be The Rookery bar at Raven and Rose. If you’re a bourbon fan, don’t miss The Multnomah Whiskey Library, where – as the name suggests – hundreds of bottles of whiskey occupy the shelves covering the walls.
If you end the night at a fancy club, which one do you head towards?
If you’re looking for somewhere to dance, or enjoy bottle service, check out Fifth Ave Lounge, District, or XV. All three clubs are downtown, and within walking distance from one another.
Brianne is an Idaho transplant currently living in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not working as a digital marketer, she spends her time exploring the Pacific Northwest, collecting experiences (and wine), and documenting her adventures on her blog, Everyday Runaway. Connect on twitter, facebook, and Instagram.
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