The good stuff up front: Oxford Suites is a terrific deal. With an April special and a three-day stay, we paid about $85 a night with tax for a "King Executive" suite which is two rooms with doors that slide shut. This allowed us to travel with our young children and put them to bed at a normal time for them, while still having the outer room to read and talk until the evening. The room has a microwave and refrigerator, as well as a TV set in both rooms.
An included breakfast buffet included eggs to order, a daily meat (links, patty, and ham while I was there), beverages, waffle and/or pancakes, muffins, and more. It's no Embassy Suites, but Embassy Suites can be a bit too much, too. For a family of four, the free breakfast (simpler but better than a Denny's meal) saves $10 to $40 a day, depending on what you pack. Food and drinks (soft and beer/wine) are also available at an evening reception which we never coincided with.
The staff by phone and in person were just great to deal with. One of the ladies busing tables at breakfast made a lovely fuss over our kids, and encouraged one to finish his milk (which he did!).
Free parking is key, given that many hotels in Portland proper charge for parking, as much as $15 to $25 a day downtown.
It is a very noisy island, Hayden Island, and the soundproofing in the suites is remarkably good.
The mediocre stuff: It's not really a hotel, but it's not a motel either. There's a tiny lobby and dining area, but no restaurant service nor bar. In style, it's much more like a motel, but the rooms are far nicer. The bathroom lacks a sink, which is in the main entrance area. It makes things a little awkward, but not awful. There's no bell service, but there are luggage carts placed around the entrances. It feels a bit more motel like because there are multiple guest entrances, and it's a squat (four-story) spread-out facility. You can drive and park close to the nearest entrance.
The pool was nice, but cold, which is something we've found at other Portland hotels with indoor pools. I suppose there's not enough use before summer to keep it heated, and perhaps in summer it mostly self heats from the outdoor temperature.
The bad: Our room was at an uncomfortable temperature for the first two days. There's no central air or heat in the building (again, motel like), which means that you use a window heating/AC unit to control temperature. You can also open windows, but as other reviews note, it's quite loud. We were overlooking a car wash (we weren't there for the view, however), and the one time we cracked the window, the noise drove us to shut it.
Because our children were in the inner room, once we'd shut the sliding doors, the outer room in which we slept was essentially airless.
The bathroom had no electrical outlets nor mirror. That made it impossible to dry hair in an enclosed room, making it noisy in the main suite, and there is no way to use a nightlight. The bathroom is pitch black, and thus you have to turn the light on in the middle of the night to see your way around. It's an unfortunate design issue.
While the hotel had free Ethernet and Wi-Fi Internet access, and it was quite high-speed, the authentication system is broken and the network at times unreliable. Whenever our iPhones went to sleep, however briefly, we had to go through a splash page to get back on. When using my laptop, 3 out of 4 times, the connection seemed to break even though I couldn't get an authentication splash page to appear again. Erratic is too kind.
Finally, Hayden Island has only one way on and off: I-5. We sometimes spent 20 minutes for the last few miles to return to the hotel, even though we were coming and going at all times of the day during the week. I-5 simply bunches up near the Washington/Oregon crossing, and even if you immediately exit the highway for city streets (which doesn't make sense when heading downtown, for instance), you're still captive for the couple of miles to get on and off. The price made it worthwhile to battle traffic, but some may find it intolerable.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Exceptional has never been so affordable! Located on Hayden Island, the Oxford Suites Portland–Jantzen Beach is situated just minutes from downtown Portland, the Rose Quarter, the Oregon Convention Center, the Portland International Airport and downtown Vancouver, WA. Complimentary amenities include Full Hot Breakfast Buffet, Evening Reception, High Speed Wi-Fi, Parking, Indoor Pool, Spa, Sauna, Steam Room & Fitness Center. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Oxford Suites Portland - Jantzen Beach Hotel Portland
- Oxford Hotel Portland
- Portland Oxford Hotel