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“Horrible Experience”

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Red Lion Hotel on the River
Ranked #53 of 139 Hotels in Portland
GreenLeadersGold level
Carlsbad, California
1 review
“Horrible Experience”
Reviewed 23 July 2011

I booked this hotel months in advance for a five night stay. The grounds are nice, but the room was literally in a basement. I knew there would be a problem when I checked in on the first floor and they said to get to the room and needed to go down a flight of stairs. The room is literally a dungeon - no ventilation, no view, and the window is eye level with the ground, two concrete barriers on either side, and a disgusting view of the parking lot. Whoever said there was a view was not in one of these rooms. I might as well checked into Alcatraz because it feels like a prison.

When I informed the front desk that I wanted a new room because this once was too stuffy, without air or circulation, and completely unacceptable, "Robert" told me that this is the room I booked - a double queen. Where in "double queen" is there any indication of the type or location of room this is?? I am not happy, and am forced to stay here now for 5 nights - unhappy, P.O'd, and never, ever, ever will stay here again. And as an avid traveler, open to less than comfortable conditions sometimes, would never recommend this to anyone. Ever! Beware!

Room Tip: Not in the basement
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank don4law
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (305)
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Kentfield, CA
Level Contributor
119 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2011

This hotel offers big rooms on the river next to I-5. Our family enjoyed the tennis courts (they have equipment) and the pool and hot-tub (lots of towels). The restaurant on site had good food (large portions). The club floor was really nice; we were touched by the efforts of the kind attendant who made cookies for the kids 3 minutes before she was to shut down the service. The regular rooms were great and the family suites were an excellent option. Yes, this is a big convention hotel but I was surprised how staff recognized us and made us feel our group was important. This place is dog-friendly, enabling one of our families to also enjoy the hotel. Two odd things about the hotel are that the motor pool & garbage are near the pool so it's better to get a river view over the tennis courts. Second, the elevators are quite a walk from the lobby for the elders in the group; the younger generations took to the stairs. Traffic permitting, it's easy to get on/off I-5 in either direction. There are back-roads to the PDX airport, too. Our tween/teens loved the Portland Saturday Market (a bit edgy for my tastes but the kids had a ball). We had an edible but atmospheric meal at nearby Island Cafe on Hayden Island.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WeGoMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
seattle
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2011

I always have problems giving ratings to a hotel property. What are we comparing the hotel to when we rate it?

Anyway, a 4/5 seemed about right.

From the outside the hotel looks pretty nice. When you walk into the lobby it has a definite grandma/grandpa house smell, although it is aesthetically pleasing and fairly large; not large like the MGM Grand large.

Free wifi internet and free parking

Check in went smooth although we thought we had one room level and they said we didn't that particular level. No big deal. We ended up upgrading from a double queen room to a king family suite. The family suite was not listed on their webpage but I had called to see what they had before coming. We upgraded for 30 more a night. This gives you a large separate room with a king bed. The main room was the standard two queen beds.

Each room of the hotel has its own slider onto a balcony that holds 4 people.

In the room:

Our king family suite has a refrigerator/no freezer, small freezer, bathroom with sink inside and a separate sink/mirror outside. There is an lcd tv in each room. It is only about a 32 inch or smaller tv but it works.

The carpets in the rooms had a very thick and soft pad under them. Things are generally pleasing to the eye except for the furniture in the room. It is weird really. There are nice furnishings around the hotel and then you walk into the room. The furniture is old and not in good repair. It seriously looks like the beat up furniture from value village and I would place the furniture from the 70's. It is scratched, discolored and just nasty.
The lamps in the room are nasty brass and the one on my side of the bed has a huge 11 inch long or so rip on the underside of the shade which is hanging down like the headliner of some early 70's Ford LTD Brougham.

The first night my back was killing me from sleeping on the bed. My wife liked the bed. The second night was not nearly as bad for me.

I can see two tennis courts below my balcony and we have a view of the river.

Our room, 302, is right next to the stairwell. This is not a good choice if noise bothers you. It was ok during the late and early hours. Otherwise, it sounds like a cattle run. The stairs are not concrete, they are wood and the sound of people going up and down the stairs transmits right through to the room. God forbid you get a run of kids that run back and forth all day like I have in other
hotels.

We are near an airport. Planes are taking off and landing. You can hear them in the room. It doesn't bother me very much as it isn't deafening or terribly loud We are also right next to a large bridge with lots of traffic but I haven't really heard the cars.


Around the hotel:

There seems to be plenty of parking and I saw security guards walking the parking lot during the day and night. The main areas of the hotel seem pretty nice but it wouldn't hurt clean the damn carpets once in a while.

There is a Taco Bell across the street as well as a mini mart. Other things are close by but you may not want to walk. There is a Hooters, a Safeway and I am pretty sure a Denny's within a half mile, if that.

This is a pet friendly hotel but I have not heard any barking or smelled any animal smells.

I had their free breakfast but was not impressed. You have to either sit down, do the buffet or order off the menu and you can bring it to your room. I am odd though. I like to get my own pastries, do my own instant oatmeal, make my own waffles, etc. The breakfasts here are from their regular restaurant.

Overall, there are many hotels out there that are much worse and many that are much better. For the money though, I think it is a decent deal and I would probably stay here again if I had to come back to this area.

This hotel could really be a great hotel given its location and architecture. I understand that the rates would be more though.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank livingaboard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
159 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2011

We stayed 3 nights here and were very pleased with the stay. The location and view are unbeatable! Easy access to both Portland and Vancouver, but it's location places you outside of the horrible Portland traffic! The room was quite spacious and clean. Pillows and bed were very comfortable. In our room, one of the queen beds was kind of caved in, as if the mattress needed to be replaced. Luckily the person in our party using that bed could not have cared less, but hopefully they replace that soon. We loved the Bath and Body Works amenities, too. The pool area was quaint and cute and provided a great view of the river, not to mention the pine trees providing that amazing pine scent too! I do not believe the pool is heated, so it will feel frigid at first, but you get used to it very quickly, especially if it is a hot day. The front desk staff was very informative with local attractions, and they even allowed us to check out late due to a circumstance. The one thing that we were not pleased with was the noisy traffic in the hallway in the morning. If you are on the "second floor", you are technically at ground level, and the guest room hallways are the way into the lobby/restaurant/bar. So in the morning, the sound of people talking as they walk down the hallway can be quite annoying if you are a light sleeper, especially since the floor near the door is tile and adds extra echo. With that in mind, I would recommend avoiding the second floor if this would be a problem for you. But overall, we would definitely come back and stay here!

Room Tip: Try to avoid booking on the second floor.
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank k86j84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore
Level Contributor
72 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2011

Hotel is a good base if you are doing day trips around the Portland area. We spent one day visiting waterfalls and one day at Cannon Beach and made trips into Portland. Traffic to and from Portland was heavy with the exception of early on the weekend.. There are not many food options on the "Island" Hotel has a pool but it was too cool in the evenings when we were there. Hotel has fee wifi but no computer available if you decide to travel without your laptop. It was very clean and the rooms are large.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bd45whp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oregon
Level Contributor
68 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2011

We especially liked that there were not spreads and exposed blankets. The cover sheet enclosed the comforter, so we knew it was cleaned each time, harrah. All hotels should do that. We had purchased a prepaid stay with hotel.com, and extremely great price.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank grammyoregon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California City, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2011

I stayed at the Red Lion on the River for 5 nights during a recent business trip to Portland. It's a great place for those wanting to stay fairly close to the City Center, but without the headache and expense of a downtown hotel. There are some things that would-be visitors need to know. I was attending a conference at a downtown hotel, and, for a variety of reasons, didn't want to stay at that hotel. I booked a room at Red Lion on the River through a pre-paid service and found a fabulous deal.

It's true that the exterior of the hotel is far more dated than the interior. It looks as if the Red Lion occupies about half of what used to be a much larger resort. The other building with the same architectural details, on the other side of the bridge, is all fenced off. I'll get to that a bit later. The hotel is HUGE, too, with an odd layout that requires significant walking from one end to the other to access certain areas.

The rooms are very spacious with comfy beds. Each room has a fridge. microwave, hairdryer, coffeemaker and iron/ironing board. Wi-fi is free, and the signal is great throughout the hotel, as they have numerous wireless hot-spots mounted in each hallway. Everywhere I took my laptop, I had a super strong signal. Parking is also free, and there are plenty of spots. Most of the rooms have private balconies. I ordered room service once, and found the Pacific Cod to be quite good and delivery was faster than they promised. This hotel is very pet friendly, and I met quite a few well-behaved dogs while I was there.

The bad? The main hallway carpets in the guest wings are actually kind of gross...lots of stains and rather filthy. They didn't fit at all with the rest of the decor of the interior of the hotel. The carpets in the rooms were much more modern and clean. I found that confusing. The hallway carpets need to be cleaned/replaced badly. The hotel almost seems like a work in progress -- with many elements having been upgraded/remodeled, and others in severe need of help. While not published on their website or noted in their guest directory, there is a paid guest laundry in the fitness center, which is on the tennis court side of the hotel. The real downside to this is (as was my case) if your room is on the other side of the hotel. Accessing the fitness center/laundry, can involve a nice long walk. They really need to have another fitness room and guest laundry on the pool side of the hotel. The fitness center itself was actually quite nice with a good variety of equipment, though the handle on the recumbent bike was broken.

If you want to explore the area around the hotel grounds -- be careful. There are private condos right next door to the hotel, and the walking/bike paths are a bit confusing. One of the condo residents warned me to stay off a particular sidewalk because a few of the other residents (he wasn't one of them) get really cranky about non-residents using their private pathways. I never had an issue, though. In fact, all of the residents I met on the island were very nice and I enjoyed talking to them.

Now, for the issues I experienced while I was there...and sadly, there were several:

1) I arrived fairly late my first night and went right to bed. In the morning, I discovered some used/dirty towels in the drawer of the nightstand. Yuck. I also found a used lotion/shampoo bottle in the bathtub, hiding behind the shower curtain. I was completely disgusted by this, but the rest of the room was really clean. It was clear that the housekeeper missed a couple of things. That morning, I happened to run in to the Housekeeping supervisor as she was checking rooms, and I showed her what I found. She apologized, took notes, and said she thinks that the person who handled my room was one of their newer workers. She was very nice, and while I was grossed out over it, I left it for her to handle with her staff.

2) The toilet in my room seemed to be running rather sluggish and was gurgling from the start. At one point, it nearly overflowed. The front desk sent their maintenance guy up with a plunger, and he fixed it. He said that he has this happen several times a day because of the low flow kits they installed. As with many hotels, they are trying to conserve resources, so this makes sense... but it clearly comes with a few drawbacks.

3) They have a shuttle service that will take you to the MAX (light rail) station. I was told that when I was ready to be picked up to go back to the hotel, all I had to do was call. I got to the station just before 10pm and was told I'd have to wait about 15 minutes. I was okay with that, but I told the young man at the front desk that I was a bit concerned because it was dark and fairly deserted at that time of night. My cell phone battery was running low. He was nice and offered to stay on the phone with me... but that wasn't necessary and I decided to just wait. After 45 minutes to an hour, the driver still had not showed up. I again called and I guess the driver forgot about me. They sent somebody else for me instead, and this was after 11pm. On the way back, I asked him if they forgot me, and he told me the other driver was "not that bright." I was really bothered by that. It may or may not be true, but why was he telling a guest that? I refused to use the shuttle/van service again after that, and decided to go for the extra expense of driving myself downtown. I'd decided that my safety was more important than the $20/day I had to pay for parking the last few days I was there.

4) On my last day, a large group of people were checking in for a ballroom dance competition to be held the following days at the hotel. The family that checked in the floor above me was really, really loud. I mean, ridiculously loud. It sounded like the children were jumping on the bed and running around uncontrolled, or they were practicing their Latin dance routines. I had to call down twice about the noise, and while it lessened a bit... it didn't stop. I finally went down to ask for earplugs. While down there, I spoke with the security guards who said they were trying to fix it.... and apparently, I wasn't the only one who complained. That evening, the front desk called and offered to move me to a "junior suite" so that I could get away from the noise. At first, I didn't want to bother since I hadn't finished packing and was leaving the next morning. After thinking about it (and hearing more noise), I figured I'd accept their offer. I'd get some quiet rest and they wouldn't be bugging any guests directly below them. It seemed like a win-win.... even though I really didn't want to move. My room was fine, but it was nice to move to a more quiet part of the building that last night since I had a long drive home the following day. In reality, I probably would have just preferred to use the earplugs and have them comp my room service instead... but I didn't think about that until later. No biggie, though.

Over all... this is a GREAT hotel if you need to watch your travel budget and don't mind being on the outskirts of town. Despite the issues I had, I would stay there again... with precautions. I really liked my room and the view.
Just be really careful about the timing. If you're there during a big event, you won't get much peace.

There are quite a few restaurants right nearby, and a lot of shopping. Now, some of the previous reviews noted that many of the shops are closed. I found out why while I was there. In June of 2011, bulldozers are coming to tear down most of the mall as part of a project dealing with the I-5 bridge expansion. So, in the next few years, this area will be under a lot of construction. I suspect that's why the hotel on the other side of the bridge is fenced off. My guess is that it's going to be torn down, too.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank CrossMyDesk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Red Lion Hotel on the River

Property: Red Lion Hotel on the River
Address: 909 N Hayden Island Dr, Portland, OR 97217-8118 (Formerly Doubletree)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Oregon > Portland
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Green Hotel in Portland
#34 Business Hotel in Portland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Red Lion Hotel on the River 3*
Number of rooms: 320
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A cozy hotel in Portland - Red Lion Hotel on the River - Jantzen Beach Breathtaking river views greet you upon arrival at Red Lion Hotel on the River - Jantzen Beach. Our Portland waterfront hotel provides comfortable accommodations in a rustic setting just outside downtown Portland. Our accommodations provide a calm oasis on the water away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Each premium guestroom and deluxe suite serve as the perfect home away from home during your stay at our Columbia River hotel. Business guests will appreciate 36,000 square feet of flexible function space on the water. If you're coming by plane, our complimentary airport shuttle will provide safe and comfortable roundtrip service. Greet the day with an incredible breakfast at our onsite restaurant, the Jantzen Beach Bar & Grill, before enjoying a leisurely walk along the waterfront or a quick game of tennis on our Red Lion Court. Enjoy premium accommodations and amenities at a great value at Red Lion Hotel on the River - Jantzen Beach. TOP FEATURES AT OUR DOWNTOWN PORTLAND HOTEL: Restaurant & Lounge Swimming pool & whirlpool JB's Night Club​ Pets can stay for just $15 a night GET LOCAL AT NEARBY ATTRACTIONS With a prime location near Downtown Portland, guests at Red Lion Hotel on the River can enjoy both the liveness in the city and adventures in the Pacific Northwest nature nearby. Explore these attractions during your stay at our hotel in Portland. Delta Park Columbia River University of Portland Local craft breweries Theme parks ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Red Lion Hotel Portland
Red Lion Portland
Portland Red Lion
Red Lion Jantzen Beach

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