I had to go to Portland for emergency support on a project. On my drive down to Portland from Seattle I called the hotel and made a reservation. During the phone call, I asked the agent a ton of questions, because it was my first time staying there. The biggest concern was if they charge for parking and no they do not. This usually happens if you book a hotel close to the airport. They like to charge pretty much for everything. I always try to save money even for the company. I was also asking what kind of rates they offer and the agent on the phone gave me an excellent rate, because of me being an AAA member. The rate was not only cheaper than their regular rate, but I also got a 10$ coupon for every day I stayed there. This coupon could be used for breakfast or to shop during any time of the day in the little lobby shop for drinks and snacks.
Upon arrival, check-in was super easy and the receptionist was super friendly and helpful. Also, me being a Gold member I got a certificate for free coffee throughout my stay. More about it later.
After all day of working and driving down to Portland, I was pretty tired. I grabbed my bags and went straight to my room and I have to tell you. I love the design and layout. I booked a room with two queen beds because usually, these rooms give you a little bit more space. I was pretty happy with the space in my room. Everything was clean and organized. You also get 2 free bottles of water.
My room was facing towards the front of the building with a view of the shopping center “Cascade Station”. I also was able to see the planes flying in and out of Portland airport. You could hear the planes flying by but the noise level was not too bad and I liked the view. The little office desk was also right in front of the window, which I liked a lot. This makes it way more fun to work even in your hotel room. Also at the desk is the all-in-one connectivity panel. It has connections for HDMI, S-Video, VGA, and Audi-In, which allows you to watch content from your laptop, smartphone, or tablet directly at the TV screen in your room. Cables are available for free at the front desk.
The bed was comfortable and I didn’t have any issues to sleep in them. The room had two phones, one at the office desk and one right next to the bed. Both were wireless phones which lets you walk around in your room if you are talking to somebody. Well nowadays you use cell phones I know, but mine broke on Friday night. That’s why I was happy to have them.
The shower was very spacious and the shampoo and lotion had a nice scent and was not the cheap stuff you get in some hotels. The room also featured a safe, microwave, coffee maker, and refrigerator. All you need for a longer stay.
After I finished work the next day I had time to check out the hotel better. Like the indoor pool with a nice lounger and seating possibilities. They also had power outlets near some of them. So you could charge your phone while relaxing and hanging out. Right across the pool was the fitness center. Big spacious one with enough equipment for a good workout.
The lobby area featured the wxyz bar where they had live music on Friday evening when I checked in as well as on Saturday evening. The lobby area also features a pool table and two Macs (PCs) for guest use. There is no printer directly next to the Mac’s but you can print and it will be available at the counter. Near the counter is also the little food marketplace, where you also order breakfast in the morning and the coffee machine. You don’t just get cheap instant coffee no it is a real coffee machine. Once you decide what kind of coffee you want, you get a coffee with fresh crushed beans. This is way better than the cheap brewed coffee some hotels offer and which sits there forever. I love freshly made coffee and you can taste it. There is also a variety of teas available. As mentioned before, thanks to my gold membership with SPG I got a card that allowed me to get free coffee. That is how you should treat guests and I basically run on coffee.
But the biggest surprise to me was their effort to be green and take care of the environment. On the TV in the food market, they show tips on how to stay green and save the environment during your stay. They also encourage you, if you want to get coffee that you bring your cup from the room downstairs and don’t use the paper cups at the machine. They have also a second trash can in the rooms for recycling and different trash bins at the food market. That is not all! They also offer you 250 bonus points or 5$ for every day you decline housekeeping. I don’t really need housekeeping every day and the actual bonus points are always welcome. Of course, if you need fresh towels or sheets you can ask for it and you get it and still get the bonus points or voucher. To make use of this service, you can either mention it during your check-in and they will put it down. That stops housekeeping automatically from cleaning your room or you use the little door hanger, which you will find inside your room, and put it on your door outside.
The hotel is located at Cascade Station, which is a shopping area with many shops and restaurants. All right across the street of the hotel. There is a Starbucks, a couple of burger places and lots of shops for everything like Best Buy, Ross, Marshalls and so on. There is also a Leatherman store, the only brand store worldwide. I discovered that one by accident as I was trying to get help from Verizon with my broken phone. Not too far from the hotel is a light-rail train station. This makes it easy to get around even without a car. Due to its proximity to the airport, the hotel offers a free 24-hour airport shuttle service.
Overall this was a great stay at the Aloft and I am looking forward to staying at another one. During my stay, I also installed their app on my phone. The app has an amazing feature, which is amazing for people who are just jumping from hotel to hotel. The app tells you your room number. This is awesome! I had it before that I mixed up room numbers, especially if you stayed every day at a different hotel.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.