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“Pleasant Surprise”
Review of Crystal Hotel

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Crystal Hotel
Ranked #40 of 141 Hotels in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Pleasant Surprise”
Reviewed 12 August 2012

I accidentally came across the Crystal while looking for some last minute accommodation. i really lucked out. Right on the edge of the Pearl District, this funky place is a great deal. Nice restaurant on the main floor, very cool bar in the basement, the hotel is clean and very reasonably priced. The accommodations are "European style" in that there are shared bathrooms, but don't let that put you off. Each room has a unique theme, and the building has been nicely refurbished while keeping its original charm. Only complaint are the thin walls, hopefully you don't get stuck next to a noisy couple.

Well worth checking out.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Caesar555-12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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282 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (85)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 August 2012 via mobile

We stayed here during the week, which I think is part of why we had no complaints about noise! For more budget conscious travelers this is a great and whimsical option. The rooms are clean, the salt bath in the basement is relaxing and the location is superb. A Whole Foods is across from the hotel. The Pearl District is very walk able from the hotel as is downtown Portland and even the International Rose Test Garden. Each floor had 4 very clean shared baths so that really wasn't an issue.

Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Jess_in_DC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 6 August 2012

I regret that I have not reviewed this hotel sooner, as my boyfriend and I had a wonderful experience while staying there in March '12. We had never visited Portland before and were so happy to stumble across the Crystal. It was loaded with character and unique touches that made our stay especially enjoyable. I would recommend this place for any couple that is looking for somewhere a little funky and a little different- this is no Hilton or chain hotel, but much, much cooler.

Each room is themed to a different music group or band, and the hallways are filled with cool concert posters and memorabilia. The saltwater warming pool was amazing late night, and also in mornings with a Bloody Mary in hand (AWESOME Bloody Mary's btw). The service was friendly, laid back, and very helpful. We picked up a 6 pack on the way back to the hotel one evening and because we couldn't have glass in the pool area, the guy at the front desk offered to keep our drinks cold and bring them to us at the pool in plastic cups as we needed them. The live music in the bar/restaurant downstairs was awesome and the night we were there they even gave a complimentary appetizer and wine tasting to all the guests. They dropped newspapers at our door every morning and refreshed our towels and robes whenever we asked. The hotel was very clean and close to everything in Portland we wanted to see.

Things to be aware of are the rooms are small, but bearable if you're not planning on being in the room very often. Also, the hotel is european style which means bathrooms are shared, usually 2 unisex per floor- there was never a problem with ours being dirty or occupied when we wanted to use them.

Overall, a great spot for laid back, mid-20 somethings, looking for a unique and entertaining place at a good price.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank emilyfague
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milford, IN
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 July 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Crystal a total of five nights but not Sat. and Sun night. The shared bathrooms were no problem at all and actually kinda liked them because we both could shower at the same time. They were always clean.
The main problem was the noise. Our first night there was a party next door around 3 in the morning. The front desk handled it very well and requested the party to go into the basement in the bar area. The other noise problem was the recycled pickup at 5:00 in the moring. The worse was when we stayed across from Jake's and the deliveries and pickups were very, very loud. When I spoke to the fron desk they gave me a pair of earplugs and reminded me that we were downtown Portland. The earplugs help a lot.
Also, there was a lot of dust when when sat on the bed or moved the pillows around.
Staff was great and the location was the best.

Room Tip: Don't get a room across from Jake's
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 405SanK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2012

Planning our trip to Oregon, we came upon several hotels owned by the Mcmenamins. These guys are very creative; they take old buildings and create hotels out of them, generally keeping a lot of the place intact, posting historic photos and emphasizing the original theme of the place. We stayed at Kennedy Schools, out in the suburbs, which has a pretty neat history as well, but our favorite experience was staying at the building connected with the old Crystal Ballroom right by downtown Portland. This is a great place if you want to have an urban experience that's somewhat quirky; you are within walking distance of Powell's Bookstore as well as many great clubs and restaurants in the Pearl District. The hotel rooms, as in all Mcmenamins, have themes, murals or drawings of some kind in the room, and hand-painted headboards. Ours was the Summertime Blues! Some rooms have private baths, others shared. Do check out the historic music photos along the walls and stairwells.

This hotel has an excellent restaurant at street level (Zeus Cafe), as well as a bar/restaurant downstairs with live music several nights a week. The music we heard was exceptional--a local trio of women singers, plus a cellist from Europe. There was no cover, and the food and drinks were great. There is also in this downstairs level a wonderful saltwater soaking pool, which appears to be a pretty happening thing in Oregon, at least in all the Mcmenamin Bros hotels. They also tend to all have live music, sometimes a spa and wine tastings--they have their own vineyard and beer brewery, and have several beer pubs throughout the state! The Crystal is quirky and inexpensive; at the other end of the spectrum is probably their Grand Lodge (http://www.mcmenamins.com/grandlodge). Check out the options if you're going to Oregon...

Room Tip: Rooms are on the small side, but the beds are large and comfortable.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cathydew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eugene, OR, USA
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2012

Not a lot of amenities at this funky cool downtown hotel. If you want to go out exploring it's pretty central to a lot of things. The night we stayed was raining hard (Oregon June weather!), so it wasn't so fun to walk around. The beers and drinks are great, the food was good (fancier but not as good as other McMenamins we've been to) and the music in the cellar was good. Liked the salt water soaking tub after listening to an improvisational cellist is the cellar.

The rooms are very small. We don't mind the shared baths down the hall... actually kind of like it. But the door opens right in to the center of the room, so if you're naked and your spouse comes back from showering, you get to show yourself off to anyone else in the hall. Downtown is pretty noisy in the early morning. Garbage pickup that morning was about 3:45 am. Delivery trucks and other noises made for a poor nights sleep, despite the comfortable bed. The curtains were nice and heavy, but didn't hold closed in the center, so light from the street lights peaked in between them all night. Maybe they could provide a clothes pin and rectify that situation?

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank OregonTraveller71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ventura, California
1 review
Reviewed 29 June 2012

100 degree swimming pool is clean funky unexpected bonus.
Downstairs bar is cool. The basement bar and swimming pool is a nice surprise.
Staff is very nice.
Communal bathroom is clean.
Room is nice.

Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank Gary H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Crystal Hotel

Property: Crystal Hotel
Address: 303 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205-2302
Region: United States > Oregon > Portland > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #40 of 141 Hotels in Portland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Crystal Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just across the street from the legendary Crystal Ballroom, the Crystal Hotel has 51 comfortable guestrooms, each inspired by a song or performance from the Crystal Ballroom's past 100 years. Colorfully painted panels and headboards anchor the rooms, while deeply-hued walls, black velvet drapery and animal print upholstery lend a rock ‘n’ roll vibe. Large windows afford views of the city from all angles. Room rates include admission to the soaking pool and the opportunity to purchase tickets to the Crystal Ballroom show. With the inclusion of the Zeus Café and free live music at Al’s Den, this downtown hotel combines dining, relaxation and rock and roll history in the heart of the city. ... more   less 
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