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“Trying but not there yet”
Review of Mark Spencer Hotel

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Mark Spencer Hotel
Ranked #8 of 142 Hotels in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
SE Connecticut
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Trying but not there yet”
Reviewed 23 June 2007

This centrally-located, downtown Portland hotel has comfortable suites and rooms with kitchens - a good place to park if you need to spend at least a week waiting for that interview, your new apartment/condo/house/etc.. They offer a nice breakfast that's included in the room rate.
However, we were dismayed by the internet access charge (wifi @ $8/24hrs, $35/week)
Also, our 'green' request to not refresh towels and bed linens unless we placed them on the floor was honored only for one day!

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — lack of communication in understanding guest needs
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank scallop
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 (271)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Level 5 Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2007

Friendly staff, continental breakfast of fruit and bagels and cereals. Nice location to Pearl District and free Internet. Rooms are older and basic but clean. Enclosed parking structure which cost $16 a night which seemed high to me. Overall nice time.

  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank lizwood71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2007

This was my fifth or sixth stay at this hotel. Had standard room with comfortable large bed and table, armchair; kitchenette area with refrigerator, stove, etc., small bathroom with tub/shower and good sink. Room was clean, well kept up. Front desk personnel all very friendly, competent and helpful. Included in room price, breakfast with juice, cereal choice, bagels, toast, various muffins and pastries and fresh fruit, as well as excellent coffee and tea, was very good. Afternoon coffee/tea and cookies 3-5 pm a nice touch. (When I walked in with 7-year old grandson at 2:35 for a short stop before going out again and asking about cookies, young lady at front desk went behind scenes to come with the tray to have grandson help himself to a couple of cookies, a most gracious touch.)Computer in small lobby was available to hotel guests on a first-come, first-serve basis, a rather pleasant convenience, which nobody abused by hogging. Location of hotel is splendid: two blocks to Burnside St. buslines and remarkable Powell's bookshop, top Portland seafood restaurant Jake's Crawfish is just around corner, short walk to many downtown shops, library, museums, concert halls, etc., also Pearl district. 10-12 minutes' walk (or a short cab ride) to Portland's Union Station and Greyhound station. Since I have a medical situation that requires me to lie down in early afternoon I asked that care be taken to service my room early each day, which was always done. This comfortable existence and pleasant atmosphere cost me $76 per day (weekly rate, which is a 30% reduction from the daily rate quoted on internet) plus the usual 12.5% hotel tax. Local calls are 50c, 800 calls are free.
I have already booked my next stay for August and highly recommend this hotel to all except the traveler who is only satisfied with luxury accommodations.

  • Liked — Comfort, convenience to public transportation, and outstanding value for money spent
  • Disliked — Nothing special.
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank melvinsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Renton Wa.
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2007

Just returned from a busy weekend trip to Portland, where we stayed overnight at the Mark Spencer hotel. Found the room to be very clean, relatively quiet [until 4:30 am., when our next-door neighbor decided to take a shower, with all the trimmings], and reasonably priced. We were treated well by the people at the front desk. A room was available at 3:30 pm., on the 3rd floor, overlooking Stark St.. Most of our visit to Portland was by foot, streetcar [very convenient, as it runs on 10th and 11th Avenues, on either side of the hotel], and bus. The Portland Big Deal pkg., was how we booked the room, along with tickets to the Portland Art Museum included. It cost $99 for the room, [double occupancy], $44 for the museum tickets and tax was $12.38. Happy with the stay, we returned home. A shock occurred when we checked our bank balance the next day. We had been charged an extra $25.00! Called to straighten it out, and the matter was resolved. Apparently, there is a sort of "incidentals" charge of $25 which is applied at check-in, which comes off when the bill is paid at check-out (if you haven't used things like the phone etc.) This was my only negative experience there. The afternoon tea, coffee and cookies were a welcome touch, and hit the spot. Breakfast was also fine, by me. The hotel staff were friendly, the lobby was pleasant, and worth another visit. Location is hard to beat, being central to the downtown area, the Pearl district, Cultural district, Old Town and Chinatown. And it is only 2 blocks from Powell's Bookstore! Great for travellers coming in by train, as we did. You can be car-free.

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
6 Thank Hubqueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2006

We arrived at the Mark Spencer to find that they had overbooked the hotel and would be putting us up in a corporate housing "apartment" in the next building over.

We realized going into it that the Mark Spencer was not a fancy hotel, however, we don't mind the small rooms and old charm of historic hotels. The pictures online looked good. Nothing fancy, but good. The corporate housing was a major, major step down from what the hotel interior shots looked like.

The corporate housing apartment had industrial carpet and stark white walls, two chairs and a small TV. The bed had bad linnens and a polyester bedspread that looked like it was out of a hotel room from the 80's. The bathroom was small and had a tiny shower with plastic shower bed and plastic shower liner as a curtain. Crappy towels. It made no attempt to be welcoming, charming or even just comfortable. It was a room you wanted to leave as soon as you walked in.

Needless to say, we got a full refund and went somewhere else. We felt like it was an absolute bait and switch, going from a decent property to something semi-scary.

I did some research on Expedia.com and found winter rates during the weekend at the Mark Spencer average about $110. You can stay downtown at the Mariott for $20 more/night and its gorgeous and newly remodled. I recommend paying the $20. I will absolutely never book there again. Regardless of if I actually got to stay in the real hotel the next time.

  • Stayed December 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank rstlne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gig Harbor, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
328 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 446 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2006

The price and location of The Mark Spencer Hotel are the only things this place has going for it.. I paid $91 for one night, plus $16 for parking, and had easy access to the Pearl District, downtown, and my business conference at the Oregon Convention Center -- thanks to the Portland Streetcar and the MAX light rail "Fareless Square" routes.

The room was dismal -- reminiscent of a dorm room. The mattress was hard and uncomfortable, the sheets and blankets of low-quality, and the carpet was dated and thin (hallway carpet was bunched and wavy in places). Overall, it felt dirty and by nightfall I was wishing for the comforts of home -- and hoping I wouldn't take home any bedbugs. (Luckily, I didn't.)

On the bright side (if there could be one in such a dim room) was that the room, on the 5th of 6 floors, didn't have much street noise. The kitchenette was adequate, but it would be better outfitted with a microwave instead of a stove. The full-size refrigerator is useful for a more lengthy stay.

Additionally, hotel service was fine. Booking, check-in, and cleaning staff were all friendly, though not so attentive. (I'm an independent-minded traveler, so that was alright.)

I've stayed at two downtown Portland hotels lately, but have yet to find one that's of good value. The Mark Spencer Hotel is no exception.

  • Liked — Location.
  • Disliked — The dismal, dated room!
  • Tips/Secrets — Make use of the Streetcar and MAX.
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Kris_K_D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pleasanton, ca
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2006

Before my husband and I went on our trip in September and stayed at the Mark Spencer, I was a little worried because of some of the reviews on this site. However my worries were unfounded! My husband and I were planning a long 10-day trip I didn't want to spend a lot of money on the hotel and the Mark Spencer has a 1/2 off rate if you stay for a week or more. Yes the hotel is old, and has some signs of age as there were some shabby fixtures in the bathroom, but the beds were comfortable and the linens were clean! Also we had lots of closet space! The staff is very friendly and multilingual. And although the AC is just a wall unit, we had 2 of them in our suite and they were able to cool down our entire room on the hot nights. Also staying in the city near the hopping Pearly district there was some city noise at night from local clubs but I would expect that if I stayed in any city! And since my husband and I spent our days walking around town and seeing the sites we were able to slumber soundly through any the general street noise. What makes the Mark Spencer so great beside the fact it’s a cheap place to stay and the great location is the kitchenettes. We stocked our fridge with bottled water, fresh fruits and cheeses, which we purchased from whole foods which was only a few blocks away. Also we popped jiffy pop on the stove, and had plenty of room to stretch out and sort through our purchases from Powell’s bookstore, Everyday Music, and Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe all fantastic and within walking distance! The location of this place is superb. We didn't rent a car and used Trimet which was so close by and completely free downtown! You won't find a better-located hotel for the price! We also enjoyed the Roxy a cute little jukebox joint right around the block, with good music and cheap eats and open very late for you night owls! Also loved the Fish Grotto too. I would definitely stay at the Mark Spencer again! Particularly if I planned to travel with pets or children as I could store their food in the fridge and easily walk almost anywhere. The Mark Spencer is Shabby chic, and a very relaxing place to stay after a long day of sight seeing. Although I should mention that if you discriminate against homosexuals you may want to stay clear since it’s just a block away from the gay bathhouse in Portland. My husband I didn't mind it, but I'm sure the occasional same sex couple holding hands or kissing in the area could offend those right wing Christian types. We really enjoyed the hotel! 5 Stars!

  • Liked — Cheap price, fridge in the room, clean comfortable beds, location, location, location!
  • Disliked — noticeable wear and tear from age
  • Tips/Secrets — Check out Powells books store, the Roxy, Everyday Music, Moonstruck Chocolates, and the Fish Grotto!
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank cajunbliss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mark Spencer Hotel

Property: Mark Spencer Hotel
Address: 409 SW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97205-2603
Region: United States > Oregon > Portland > Downtown
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#22 Family Hotel in Portland
#22 Romantic Hotel in Portland
#25 Business Hotel in Portland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Mark Spencer Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 101
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the world of hospitality, there are a few unexpected places in which timeless European flair, cultured style and Old World courtesy are vibrantly alive. These lasting impressions are also accompanied by a profound respect for another very precious aspect: your comfort. Welcome to The Mark Spencer Hotel, an exceptional value in the hub of the city. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Mark Spencer Hotel Portland
Mark Spencer Portland

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