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“Hidden contemporary gem that overlooks the Willamette River”

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River's Edge Hotel & Spa
Ranked #43 of 144 Hotels in Portland
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 8 October 2009

The hotel has a contemporary decor, located in a quite business district, and overlooks the Willamette River. It was a great choice if you are wanting to stay away from the downtown area, but is still within a 5-8 minute drive away. The staff, morning and night, were very friendly and helpful. The continental breakfast was delicious, with health conscious alternatives. The rooms are very ECO-friendly! Kudos.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jennyxgx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,239 - 1,245 of 1,352 reviews

Reviewed 8 October 2009

We landed in Portland for a memorial service and thankfully Avalon became a home away from home. Right out the door is a wonderful running trail along the river. There is breakfast on your floor and a beautiful free health club at your disposal. The staff was kind and helpful and the price on booking.com was right. Made a difficult trip a little bit easier.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank MontanaTraveler2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2009

When we arrived, we found out the hotel had been overbooked, and they did not have the 4 person room available we had reservations for (i.e., 2 Kings). So instead of providing a better room they did have for the same price, like a well run hotel would have (suite), we were downgraded to a 1 King room with a springy roll away. We were suppose to feel good about this, becuase they said they would only charge us for the 1 King in the room.

When we went for our reserved spa massages, we found out the spa had overlooked our reservations, and they did not have the massage staff available for us. My understanding is that double booking is common, to ensure the massage therapists are always busy...they don't seem to care that this means others do not get their confirmed wellness massages.

The entire experience can be described as very poor management. The staff themselves did work to avoid us from complaining regarding how we were being treated...but did not actually help us get comfortable (I don't think management would have approved). My back from the roll away hurts now as I write this...and of course I did not get the massage we booked...so I feel worse now on Sunday than before I left for our "relaxing weekend at the spa".

I did give the hotel/spa 1 star, but only becuase we did not have cockroaches/bed bugs and the staff were embarrassed at how we were treated by hotel/spa management policy's.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank ElizabethPortlandOR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2009

I'll start off by saying that I don't like any of my family members being lied to. My wife and I (both retired) travelled ( in two cars) with my daughter and her husband who have a 3 month old baby. We all booked a one night stay ( 2 rooms) through a Portland tourism site so the rate was reasonable at $109/night. with free parking instead of the $19/ night charge At our last stop on the Oregon coast the night before, we had discussed that perhaps we would see if we could stay an additional night at the Avalon when we arrived in Portland.
My daughter and her husband shopped with us at Woodburn, south of the city, but they decided that, with the baby getting tired, they should head out to the Avalon, while we stayed and did some more shopping in Wilsonville. Consequently my daughter and family arrived at the hotel about an hour before we did. While checking in, they asked about availability for another night stay and were told by the young lady at hotel reception that their room wasn't available another night and that the only room the hotel had free was $399 per night., otherwise they were fully booked. When we arrived an hour later my wife asked the same question and we were told that the hotel was filling up quickly for that additional night, so we should decide as soon as posible if we wanted that room for 2 nights. When we mentioned that our daughter and husband had checked in so we would both want our reservations extended the extra night, there was some major back-peddling going on behind the reservation desk and we were told that both rooms would be available at $116/night plus $19/night parking. ( the Portland website offer included free parking when we reserved, but that offer wasn't available through the hotel itself for the second night.). We said we would discuss it with the rest of the family and call down asap. It was only when we mentioned to my daughter that the rooms were available that we learned that they had been told something entirely different and we can only conclude that two young looking adults ( both 27yrs old) with a baby didn't fit the demographic requirements of this little hotel so weren't welcome in the establishment and were quoted an outrageous rate to discourage them from staying on another night.
As you can imagine this angered me greatly and I was already unimpressed by the hotels' requirement that all parking is valet parking.
When I declined the valet's request for my keys I was told it was " a liability issue " as they only had half the number of parking spaces than the number of rooms in the hotel....WHA? I was already parked and wasn't going out again so why did he need my keys? I asked...just put the tag on the mirror and I'll keep the keys...again I got a "hotel policy" mumbled answer. I didn't give him my keys as I had another trip to the car that I planned on making later and I think he sensed my anger as he didn't push the matter ...he did, however give me the parking chit and placed the tag on my inside mirror, asking that I give him the keys later when I had finished. which I reluctantly did. I noticed that the valets had patrons' cars parked on the sidewalks.....basically anywhere they could find so I am guessing that if I had driven up and unloaded in front of the hotel my car would have ended up there or being moved around as the evening drew on.
I hate valet parking. I don't trust them and I don't give anyone the keys to my car.....so in most cases at other hotels patrons are given a choice of valet or park it yourself further away...which I am quite happy to do. This hotel does not give you a choice as, by their own admission, they are under-alloted in their parking spaces. I found that annoying. This same valet insisted on helping my son-in-law with their bags despite my son-in-law's declining the offer. When they got to the room my son-in-law told the valet to leave the cart in the hall ( my daughter was breast feeding in the privacy of the room) but the valet still proceeded to enter the room at which point he had to be told firmly to leave.
Then there was the elevator that upon reaching the 5th floor ( top floor) began to shudder and vibrate before it came to a stop........disconcerting and unacceptable in any establishment, let alone one that has the delusion that it is a world class hotel.
Our room looked out onto the air conditioning units and a railway. The kids got a room overlooking the river..same price..why?
My wife thought she'd help bring down our largest suitcase when she was checking out. I intended to take it out to the car because there was a lot of shuffling of stuff in the trunk in order to get it all in. Because the valet had the keys he got the car from the lot and proceeded to take stuff out of the trunk on the street and lay the large suitcase in...scratching the rear bumper as he did ( it was very heavy). He also had no idea that I had already carefully placed my $2,000 CPAP machine in the trunk..a very delicate and breakable machine. When I arrived with our other suitcase I had to take it all out...on the street in front of everyone instead of the safety of the parking lot and re-arrange it in order to get everything in. Now that wouldn't have had to happen if there was not a valet stipulation at this hotel.
I found the hotel tries to be more upscale and "posh" than it really is and if you aren't wearing Armani or the like then you're second rate. It's trying to be trendy and "executive class" and it just doesn't cut it in my view. Very pretentious in it's appearance and in the attitude of the some of the staff. It does not have a warm, friendly atmosphere. I would not stay there again. I agree with some of the other evaluations that it is also hard to find if you're coming from the north or west. It's easier from the south

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank beachcombing101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2009

I was in Portland for the first time and on the last leg of a crazy few days of really tough business travel so I was ready to relax and be a little spoiled in a nice hotel for the weekend. I arranged all my travel plans around the notion that I could at least spend my 2 days off in a cool city and see my favorite relatives. I booked this place on hotels.com and the pictures were amazing and it sounded like something right up my alley.

I started with a screwy GPS episode, having picked the wrong street when entering in the address (which I later came to learn is typical in Portland so pay attention to whether it's NE, NW, SE,SW or St.,Rd, Ave. Ct, etc.) I pulled up to the Avalon and it took me a few minutes to realize I actually pulled into the right place. It was Saturday afternoon and I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. This hotel popped out of a parking lot in the middle of an industrial park and some trees. It was very strange. When the valet came out, I asked if there was anything nearby. He said downtown was about a 5-10 minute drive. When I asked if I could walk there, he said it would take about 30 min. Instantly, I knew something was wrong. I thought I was booking a hotel that was in the heart of Portland and was excited to stroll through the city. I was in the middle of a parking lot outside a hotel that looked like a big Ikea. I had a weird feeling but decided to just stay on track and go check in.

The lobby was big and gray and had techno music playing through really bad speakers. It reminded me of Catherine O'Hara's makeover of the house in Beetlejuice. Instantly I felt like this place was trying to be something it's not.

I checked in with the manager and he was polite. He was kind but he didn't explain anything about the hotel- he seemed rushed. When I asked about the lobby bar to grab a drink, he said the restaurant didn't open until 2pm. It was 12:30. No lobby bar?! I was so hungry and really wanted an afternoon beer. There was no option within walking distance. He said I could go to my room and order room service.

So I go to the elevator and walk through the hallway- again surrounded by these worn down speakers and techno music. Ick. I walk into the room and again was met with a menagerie of gray and mismatched Ikea meets Asian flea market style furniture. I honestly knew right then and there that I didn't want to stay. I talked myself out of being such a snob and tried the bed. It was squishy, in a bend-at-the-corners kind of way. Not good. I looked through the book on the desk for a room service menu and it was cheesily put together in Times Roman font on plain office paper with no style or thought for the guest experience. I called room service and ordered the mushroom soup, mandarin orange salad and a pot of coffee. The girl in room service was very kind- I told her I wanted something fast because I was so hungry and that's what she suggested. She was great.

I tried to settle in the place and go outside to my "balcony", which is separated by these nylon flaps from your neighbor. The "river view" on the website is nothing like the actual view, which is surrounded by brush and trees. I opened the door and thought it was falling on me. I called to the front desk thinking I had a faulty door but the manager informed me it was the design and talked me through the function of opening it properly. I sat outside and saw the walking trail below where a family walked by and picked some berries. Other than that, it was quiet. Kind of a creepy quiet. I sat there and realized that I wasn't comfortable- I wanted a place in the middle of the city where I could wander around alone yet feel surrounded by culture. I could have walked along the path down by the river but I only saw 3 people in an hour go by. It's not really what I was looking for. Plus, it seemed like I was the only person in the hotel.

Then, room service arrived. The server came in and placed it in the seating area. After she left, I was going to sit there and eat my lunch inside until I realized the condition of the chairs. They were dingy. You could visibly see the stains where several people had sat. The ottoman was stained. Then I looked around the room and really payed attention- the carpet was stained and everything had this trace of use all over it. Have you ever been to a nightclub or bar that seems great at night and then seen it in the morning and realized how disgusting it was? That's how I felt in the room. It didn't feel clean at all.

So I sat outside to eat my food. The mini table hardly accommodated this but I made it work on my lap. The soup was like plaster- lumpy, gummy and just gross. The salad was drowned in so much white dressing it was overwhelming. I ate what I could because I honestly had not eaten that day but I didn't enjoy it. The coffee and cream was delicious- the highlight of my meal.

I realized then I didn't want to stay in this hotel. I felt really strange about it but I just wasn't comfortable, the service was bleh, the decor wasn't really my style, things weren't really clean and I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere and on my own. I called hotels.com, nervous that I would just have to ride out my prepaid nights and was pleasantly surprised to find out that there was no cancellation fee on their part. They did inform me that the hotel had a 1 night fee for all cancellations within 24 hrs. so I would need to speak with the manager about getting that waived.

So I grabbed my bags and went downstairs to the front desk. When I spoke to the manager, again, he was polite but rushed me away for other issues and just said, "yeah, ok, that's fine". As I waited for the hotels.com service rep to verify the cancellation with no charge with the manager, I overheard another front desk agent checking in some people. She explained to them about the balcony door, daily breakfast, spa hours, etc. hmph. I didn't hear any of that but I doubt it would've changed my mind.

So I checked out, paid my room service bill (which was terrible but I already felt bad enough for checking in and out within 2 hours) and went on to the Heathman.

Honestly, I don't know that I would ever stay here. The location is remote, which I don't mind if "remote" means someplace beautiful, but not in a parking lot surrounded by buildings and a tree-shaded view of a river. The techno music on bad speakers is just poor taste and the horrendous food from room service tells me that someone, or several people, just aren't paying attention. Even the centerpiece of rocks and candles in the main lobby had obviously missing rocks and it was dusty. Hopefully they open their eyes and pay attention to the details the way the Heathman does. For the same exact price, the experience was a world of difference.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled on business
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3  Thank Banannieaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2009

We spent several nights here on holiday last year, and were very impressed by both the hotel and the staff. Despite the fact that the hotel is not in the centre of Portland, it is really easy to get downtown, thanks to the excellent public transport system. The room was spacious and pleasant, with a view of the Willamette river. Todd at the reception desk not only recommended and booked us a great table at a restaurant in the city, but phoned us to check we'd found the place OK and were enjoying it.
We would definitely stay here again whenever we're in Portland, and would recommend it.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank DorsetnSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2009

Wow, just completed a three day stay and was totally impressed. The building and interiors are not just new, but stylish, sleek and extraordinarily clean. They have a free continential breakfast spread every morning and on every floor! Not only is it conveniant to be able to grab a quick bite in your jammies, but the selection of fresh fruit, muffins, breads, pastries, cerals, juices and coffee were all very good; not standard, very good and free! The rooms were spacious and the river side has massive balconies that overlook the willamette river. The bathrooms are five-star with seperate shower and bath. There is a walkway just outside the hotel that runs all along the river for miles in both directions. They have a free town car service to the downtown area which came in handy both in terms of not having to navigate, park or worry about a DUI. After sampeling many tasty local brewpubs in the Pearl District, I would just call the front desk on my cell and they would come get me wherever I was! Also all of the staff was SINCERELY freindly, not its-my-job-to-be-freindly, but actually downright warm. The business center has a fantastic mezzanine view of the lobby and there is a very nice spa attached that all hotel quest get free access to. The spa, the sauna, the hottub, the exercise equitment all free. The only problem I noticed with the spa was that it was not staffed with anyone other than a receptionist and you would make your appointment and they would bring in a message specialist, or manicurist, etc. Is the spa going out of business soon? That would be sad since it is a very impressive, high class suite of locker rooms with all the bells and whisles. To top it all off I got a great $159 a night rate at the hotels own website. I have never had such an overal fantastic experience at a hotel charging around $150 a night. It's almost unbeleivable.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank waterman222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about River's Edge Hotel & Spa

Address: 0455 SW Hamilton Ct, Portland, OR 97239-4245 (Formerly Avalon Hotel & Spa)
Region: United States > Oregon > Portland
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Portland
#15 Luxury Hotel in Portland
#15 Green Hotel in Portland
#30 Romantic Hotel in Portland
#52 Business Hotel in Portland
Price Range: £102 - £208 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — River's Edge Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
River’s Edge Hotel & Spa is an environmentally-friendly, 99-room luxury boutique hotel located at the edge of Portland’s South Waterfront District, an emerging mixed-use neighborhood integrating alternative transportation, parks and trails, green building practices, retail, restaurants and healthy living with art and design. Perched on the banks of the Willamette River just minutes from downtown Portland, River’s Edge offers travelers the sophistication and warm hospitality of the Pacific Northwest. Guests and visitors enjoy classic service, modern amenities and comforts expected from Portland boutique hotels, making River’s Edge Hotel & Spa a favorite among all Portland waterfront hotels. Among the hotel’s valued amenities are its luxurious two-level, 13,000-square-foot full-service spa, salon and fitness center as well as Aquariva restaurant and bar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Avalon Hotel And Spa
Avalon Hotel Portland

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