I stayed at the Heathman a couple of months ago (October 2011), for the first time since the 1980s (although I've eaten at the excellent restaurant several times). I'm not sure I will want to go back. But let me explain why, because there are still excellent reasons for others to stay there.
The main reason I feel reservations about returning is the room size. I opted for the least expensive room category and, although it was well appointed, it was cramped (and I'm a former bicycle racer and not your average large American, so I wonder how the meat-and-potatoes crowd would cope). The bathroom was an especially tight squeeze. It's as well engineered as an airplane lavatory, but it needs to be, because it feels about as big. I have seen other rooms at the Heathman that are larger and certainly at the time (this was in the 1980s) beautifully appointed. So I recommend spending the extra money for a room that's above the modest category I went for. I could afford to do the same, but out of some nebulous principle I dislike spending above a certain amount for any hotel room, since I regard it as basically a place to sleep.
There were a couple of minor glitches too. I found a hair in the bathtub, which I didn't much mind. I merely called it to the attention of the cleaning staff, who seemed appreciative that I'd alerted them to it. The shower handles are difficult to operate and when I called the housekeeping staff they had a ready script about how to turn on the water, so obviously I'm not the only person so challenged. When I made the reservation I was delighted to be asked if I wanted one of three types of beds, and I asked for a Tempur-Pedic, which I've always been curious to try; but my room came with a soft pillow-top bed.
The staff are friendly, professional, and attentive. There are fine French soaps and high-quality shampoo. Really, this is a fine hotel and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for those willing to spend more money to stay in one of the nicer rooms. Just don't be a cheapskate like me.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One of the city's most recognizable historic landmarks, the iconic Heathman Hotel in the heart of downtown Portland blends rich history with a reverent appreciation for the arts. The hotel's library boasts more than 2,700 volumes signed by the authors, while its world-class art collection celebrates the work of contemporary artists. Here, the art of service is alive and well, from the welcoming Beefeater doorman to the attention of your personal concierge. The Heathman has retained AAA's coveted Four Diamond Award for more than 30 years. Whether you are planning a unique Portland wedding venue, reception party, private party, corporate conference or an important business meeting, the historic Heathman is an unforgettable event setting for up to 150 guests. Downtown Portland's premier luxury hotel, the Heathman offers 3,800 square feet of versatile meeting, event and banquet space within eight private function rooms on our Mezzanine Level. ... more less
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