Hotel Fifty: Basic Portland Cool

Hotel Fifty, Portland, Oregon

What do you do with an aging mid-century hotel in a convenient downtown location? If you’re the Coastal Hotels group, you revamp that property into a cool, value-conscious lodging: the Hotel Fifty in Portland, Oregon.

Double room at Hotel Fifty, Portland, Oregon

The 140 rooms at the Hotel Fifty, which was previously a Four Points by Sheraton, have three view categories and two sizes. Many of the least expensive “courtyard” rooms overlook a parking lot, but they’re actually the quietest of the accommodations, since they don’t face the street as the “city view” rooms do.

The priciest rooms are those with a “river view.” Of these, the nicest — and quietest — are on the top (fifth) floor, where you can actually see more of the river. On the lower floors, you’re very close to the busy Naito Parkway, and the hum of the traffic may bother noise-sensitive travelers. From spring through fall, the riverside park hosts one festival after another — convenient for hotel guests, but again, a potential source of noise.

All the rooms have similar contemporary decor — light woods, dark duvets, and accents in green, gold, and white — and standard amenities that should appeal to both business and leisure travelers. Wi-Fi is complimentary throughout the property. Rooms have well-designed work desks with ample electrical outlets, as well as flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, coffee makers, and iPod docks.

The rooms with two double beds, which measure 330 square feet, could accommodate a family. Kids under 18 stay free.

Although there’s no on-site gym or pool, you can request a free pass to a nearby fitness facility.

Located on the eastern edge of downtown, the Hotel Fifty is an easy walk to most city center attractions. The light rail and buses stop within a few blocks of the hotel.

Lounge at Hotel Fifty, Portland, Oregon

The small hotel lobby has no place to sit, but you can sprawl out in the lounge at the H5O Bistro & Bar, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, as well as late afternoon and late night happy hour specials.

Summer double room rates start at $169. Compared to other downtown hotels that have less traffic noise and higher-end finishes (like the Hotel deLuxe), Hotel Fifty prices are on the high side, but if you can scoop up a special rate, the location is handy, the staff helpful, and the rooms comfortable.

Check prices online at

Hotel review by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller, who also blogs about her culinary adventures at WanderFood. Exterior and lounge photos courtesy of Hotel Fifty. Guest room photo © Carolyn B. Heller. Hotel Fifty and Travel Portland hosted my stay for review purposes.

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