The perfect Portland hotel for the Instagram set

I was eating an apple in the lobby of the Woodlark Hotel, the newest 150-room boutique in downtown Portland, catching up on some work, when I got up to walk down the carpeted hallway outside. the fig tree with violin leaves and the amiable baristas who worked the marble cafe-bar, to use the toilets. When I returned, my apple core was gone.

Usually, I would suspect a fast-acting janitor. But in this case, the culprit was a photographer, who needed my fruit rubbish on his shot. His subject ? A young girl, maybe 18 or 19. The format ? “My Instagram,” she admitted, a little sheepish.

If you still needed proof that millennials are an economic force, look no further than Woodlark, whose designer candy lobby regularly draws the so-called Instafamous for less formal offerings than the one I accidentally choked off. . The space opened to guests just before Christmas 2018 after combining two hotels listed on the National Register of Historic Places, saving Cornelius’ dilapidated building from ruin. Now, it feels like it was created for the Instagram ensemble, from the headboards above the beds, to the mid-century modern furniture stored in the bedrooms, to the verdant leaves on a white wallpaper that just asking for a selfie.

Decor – The interior can best be described as an airy and comfortable modern living room, thanks to the tropical plants in the lobby, accented by brass inlays, warm wood, vintage-looking textiles, and hand-blown glass light fixtures. Works by Portland artist Maja Dugolecki, some of which were created in a temporary studio across the street, can be found throughout the hotel. A long marble check-in desk greets guests before moving on to a coffee counter and a room filled with comfortable armchairs and leather sofas.

Main dish – The hotel lobby is a space neglected by customers, who too often choose real cafes as a meeting place. But cafes are generally terrible spaces. Even when great coffee and food is being served, people still crowd into standing stools and balance their laptops along narrow rectangular shelves with the door constantly open and closed, blowing freezing air (or sticky moisture) every few seconds. When I’m traveling or stuck in a city between interviews and dates or looking for a restroom or a refill of my water bottle, I always look for a hotel lobby. With the recognition that it takes a certain amount of white privilege to walk into a hotel where you are not a guest without fear of being kicked out (or arrested), this has truly become one of my hacks from favorite trip. Hotels want people in these spaces. It makes them feel full.

Courtesy of the Woodlark Hotel

The Woodlark’s best achievement is its lobby, which looks a lot less like a lobby than a better version of a cafe, as it is actually a cafe featuring java from local roaster Good Coffee. It is certainly the popular spot in the hotel and my favorite place in the building (other than the restaurant, which we will come back to later.) The Woodlark, like many newer hotels, is joining the trend of pushing people out of town. their rooms and in common areas. Its lobby looks like the living room you’ve always dreamed of.

Rooms – The rooms are quite spacious, but something about the layout and the furnishings makes you sleep here and that’s it. However, the modest space is so well laid out that it made me want to redesign my bedroom in its image. Honor bars are filled with Smith matcha tea and Woodblock chocolate, two Portland favorites. The art is a collection of photographs taken in the 1920s and 1930s by Portland-born Imogen Cunningham. There is also custom-designed wallpaper, patterned with the flora found in the city’s iconic forest park, as a backdrop for the two-tone blue velvet chairs and custom-made handmade wool rugs.

Courtesy of the Woodlark Hotel

Restaurants – Woodlark’s main restaurant is the Bullard, inspired by executive chef Doug Adam’s roots in Texas and his career in Oregon. Adams manages to infuse a bit of hometown charm into the otherwise hip dining scene of downtown Portland. Bullard has 40 seats in Abigail Hall, the walls of which are adorned with hand-painted flowers. A collaboration with restaurateur Jennifer Quist, the food is kind of like what happens in a ’90s romantic comedy, when a sweet and beautiful girl but for the bad hairstyle and ill-fitting clothes gets a makeover and all. the world falls in love with her. Adams’ smoked meats and Tex-Mex flavors are dressed in typical Portland style: there’s a dish that’s useful but not overly valuable, and a technique that’s professional yet surprising. If you have to choose, focus on the smoking section of the menu, like the 12-hour smoked prime rib from local breeder Painted Hills, topped with pickled jalapenos, homemade tortillas, and a delicious concoction Adams calls for. modestly “green sauce”. The least useful but truest recommendation I can offer: try everything.

Courtesy of the Woodlark Hotel

Editor’s Note: The Woodlark is the final installment of our bimonthly article on beautiful new and restored hotels, The New Room with a View.

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Sandy A. Greer

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