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Hotel Fifty, overlooking the downtown riverfront

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Hotel Fifty, overlooking the downtown riverfront
photo by Andrew Collins
An upscale but competitively priced boutique hotel across the street from downtown Portland's scenic Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Hotel Fifty (50 S.W. Morrison St., 503-221-0711 or 877-237-6775) opened in 2008 following a sleek, contemporary top-to-bottom redesign (it had previously been a Four Points by Sheraton property). Steps from the city's MAX Light Rail, and also the closest hotel to the city's Pride Northwest GLBT celebration held each June, Hotel Fifty has a terrific location, and management enthusiastically courts the gay and lesbian market. The hotel is also home to a bar and restaurant that's fast-becoming popular among Portland noshers, H50 Bistro & Bar, which serves sophisticated, exceptionally creative small plates (there's a long enough menu that several friends can easily make a memorable full meal of these).

There are 140 rooms (a typical one is pictured here), each with high-end, high-thread-count bedding, alarms clocks with iPod docking stations, 42-inch plasma TVs, well-designed work desks and chairs, dual-line speaker phones, free WiFi, refrigerators (on request), and beautiful bathrooms with large walk-in showers outfitted with "rain" showerheads.

The exterior of the five-story building, many of whose rooms have balconies with downtown and Willamette River views, is smartly done. The location is a plus for the reasons mentioned above - Silverado gay bar is also nearby, as is the city's famed Portland Saturday Market, with its hundreds of arts and crafts stalls. That being said, some rooms do experience a bit of noise from the busy road and Morrison Bridge (request a Courtyard Room if you'd rather have quiet, but keep in mind that you'll be giving up the great city and river views available in other units).

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