The stylish, gay-friendly hotel brand Kimpton is at it again, adding two existing (and much acclaimed) to its growing portfolio in the past month, with another on the way.
As sunny days arrive in Portland each summer, I often walk from my downtown condo along the Willamette River for happy hour on the balcony of the handsome RiverPlace Hotel, one of Kimpton's latest acquisitions. The contemporary hotel, whose architecture nevertheless recalls the Queen Anne grandeur of the late 19th century, is home to a notable restaurant, Three Degrees, which I hear good things about. In truth, I've only ever eaten at the adjacent bar, which has a long row comfy chairs on its patio, overlooking the river and the historic Hawthorne Bridge - it's a terrific spot for happy hour each afternoon from 4 until 7. With Kimpton at the helm, I'm guessing the restaurant may be in for an upgrade. The hotel itself has airy, spacious rooms, many with river views, and it enjoys a quiet location yet easy proximity to downtown
The other newcomer is another hotel I've long admired, Santa Barbara's Mediterranean-style Canary Hotel, an arresting beauty in the heart of the city's bustling State Street retail and dining district. One of my favorite things about this property is the rooftop pool, from which you can look miles into the mountains above the city, or out over the ocean. The restaurant here, Coast, is well regarded for its seafood. Before dining here, consider heading up to the aforementioned rooftop for a drink at the snazzy bar. Here's more on what to see and do in lovely Santa Barbara.
Kimpton has also announced a third upcoming acquisition, San Diego's stunningly situated Hotel La Jolla, which is undergoing a renovation but will open at the end of June, looking better than ever, in the swank community of La Jolla - just a short drive from the gay scene at famous Blacks Beach. These properties join such recent Kimpton ventures as the Hotel Palomar in San Diego, and the Surfcomber in Miami Beach.