Hotel Review: Aloft PDX
I prefer to stay at Hilton properties, but over the past few weeks I've been traveling so much that I've stayed at Hilton brand properties, Starwood and IHG hotels. Many of my hotel selections were based on convenience and my travel schedule. At the end of my recent west coast trip I spent a night at the Aloft at Portland International Airport.
If you aren't familiar with the Aloft brand, it's a more casual version of Starwood's W Hotels. In fact, it's Aloft, by W Hotels. These funky hotels have a modern, hip vibe which has become a hallmark of the brand. There's no front desk in the traditional sense. Instead, there's a circular desk in the lobby where guest check in, pay for breakfast, snacks, etc. The lobby features comfy couches and lounge-style seating and there's a bar, which at this Aloft was quite popular in the evening.
Aloft's tend to be airport hotels for the Starwood brand and are on a similar level of service with Hilton Garden Inns, Hampton Inns, etc. The room was comfortable and very modern. (Can you spot the faces in the pillows in the photo of the bed?) Internet is free with your stay. My room also featured a coffee maker with real mugs, which is nice, and a couple of bottles of water. I also liked the standup shower. I don't take baths, so I don't really care for tub showers.
This Aloft did feature Starwood's keyless feature where you can use your smartphone as your room key, but I had a bad experience with his feature at the W Ft. Lauderdale and opted for the old fashioned room key card.
The Aloft in Portland is conveniently located about a five minute drive from the airport terminal and car rental return. Parking is free. This hotel is located adjacent to a large strip mall/outlet mall. Food options include a 24 hour IHOP, there's also a Buffalo Wild Wings and Starbucks nearby as well as a few other chain restaurants. Without traffic, this hotel is about a 20 minute drive from downtown Portland.
The internet was decent. Cell service in my room was spotty, but this is not the hotel's fault. (I have AT&T) This Aloft had an indoor swimming pool and a decent fitness center with plenty of machines and some free weights. I was able to squeeze in a workout, which was great.
This is an above average airport hotel. If you don't mind the hip style of this hotel check it out. If you prefer a full service hotel with traditional amenities, ie: bellmen, valet, room service, etc, you may not like this hotel. This hotel has a convenient location, clean modern rooms, and decent amenities. One thing I miss with Starwood that I get with Hilton is free breakfast. I'm Diamond with Hilton, but Hilton gives both Gold and Diamond members free breakfast at most hotels. I'm Gold with Starwood and there is no free breakfast.