Heathman Hotel ideal for Big City getawayNothing says the Big City like a luxury hotel, and it really can be worth the splurge now and then to spend the weekend right downtown in one of our vibrant Northwest cities. The shopping, restaurants and entertainment are all within walking distance and you may just find a very distinctive hotel room or suite.
We found ours at the Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland. And what better place to stay for a travel writer than in the Literary Art Suite, a fun accommodation decorated just like the reading room in a bookstore. A globe, some old printing type, an ancient typewriter, a glass dome with antique books -- these were just some of the decorations along with a murphy bed with walls decorated as printed pages from books.
The big leather couch was perfect for sitting back and enjoying a good book, and there are plenty of those as well -- all kinds of books, in fact, which are displayed on the suite's book shelves that line one wall. The "bookstore" area connects to a standard room with a king bed and there are bathrooms in both parts of the suite. Add to that a complete dining room table and chairs, a fainting couch, big and small flat-screen televisions and you have a complete -- and distinctive -- home away from home.
The Heathman put the Literary Art Suite together in partnership with the Literary Arts of Oregon and The Arts & Lecture Series. The book display was done by Powell's City of Books, just a hop, skip and a jump from the hotel and famous to book-lovers all over the world.
There are other theme suites as well: The Portland Center Stage Suite, the Fine Arts Suite, the Oregon Symphony Suite and the Grand Suite, a massive 1200-square-feet abode with a full wet bar, stereo, jetted tub and all the amenities you would expect from the Heathman's largest suite.
From the Heathman, it's not difficult to make your way to many of Portland's unique attractions. Some of those include:
Food carts -- a five-minute walk from the hotel you find a diverse assortment of food carts offering every kind of food imaginable. Portland actually has over 500 food carts organized into what is called pods -- or groupings of carts. No need to spend big money for your dinner out in Portland.
Powell's City of Books -- this is considered the largest used and new bookstore in the world and occupies an entire city block. Located downtown, Powell's has more than one million books, nine color-coded rooms and more than 3,500 different sections.
Pittock Mansion -- history buffs and antique-lovers will enjoy visiting this remarkable mansion built in 1914 for Henry Pittock, owner of the Oregonian newspaper. Today the mansion is owned by Portland Parks and Recreation, which has turned it into a museum and 46-acre park.
Portland Art Museum -- nearly a half-million visitors a year stop by this amazing museum, the oldest one on the West Coast. It's one of the 25 largest art museums in the country with a total of 240,000 square feet. The permanent collection has more than 42,000 works of art, not including the temporary exhibitions.
Bagdad Theater and Pub -- This magnificent movie theater is out of Hollywood's Golden Age and is quite a sight to behold with its barreled arches, ornate wrought-iron fixtures , mosaics and painted Mediterranean designs. Uniquely you can enjoy hand-crafted ale and pizza during the show.
West End -- This part of downtown Portland is where you find the trendy boutiques and restaurants as well as a thriving art and music scene. The shops and eateries here blend old and new, classic and trendy, to offer visitors a flavor that is uniquely Portland.
For more information about the Heathman Hotel, please visit portland.heathmanhotel.com or phone (503) 241-4100.
PHOTOS: Beefeater greets new guests at Heathman; food carts are just minutes from Heathman
PHOTO CREDITS: Photos by Cary and Sandi Ordway
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