The Aloft Hotel at the Portland International Airport (PDX) didn’t surprise me at all. I knew what what was coming even before going in the front door, and thankfully, it met all my lofty expectations (pun intended).

I consider the Aloft brand of hotels be some of the best bang-for-the-buck properties anywhere. They are hip, fresh, casual, and cool – and a much appreciated departure from the crusty hotel brands I seem to always find myself in whenever I’m out on the road.

A full review of my 1 night stay at the Aloft Hotel at PDX

Walking up to the Aloft / PDX brought back a lot of great memories from some of my past Aloft stays. I also appreciated the fact that it was in a fairly walkable area with a variety of restaurants and shops just minutes away. Before going inside, I was already nearly breaking my arm from trying to pat myself on the back so hard.

Aloft PDX main entrance
Aloft PDX main entrance. Yup, I’m definitely in the right spot!

First impressions

I kid you not – this was exactly the same as I remembered from the Aloft PHX with the only difference being the staff at the front desk. The floorpan was exactly the same, as was the decor and food in the little self-serve “kitchen” area just off the main lobby. The Aloft brand is all about consistency.

For example, every Marriott or Hyatt (or whatever large chain hotel you go into) is slightly different from one to another. But the Aloft brand, apparently, is 100% “cookie cutter” in it’s approach to setting up franchises all over the world. I didn’t know that. I was expecting something slightly different than what I had experienced before, and not getting that was a bit of a letdown at first.

But the more I thought about it, the cookie cutter approach makes a lot of sense. It’s kind of nice being able to book an Aloft hotel and know exactly what you’re going to get before you even arrive. Less worry makes travel so much easier…

The lobby

Aloft PDX lobby bar and lounge
Bar and lounge area in the main lobby. It’s almost as cool as the lobby and lounge of the Moxy Hotel at the Vienna Airport. Almost.
Aloft PDX lobby lounge
The Aloft brand of hotels is all about socializing – this is another section of the lounge with plenty of seating and even a pool table. Cool!
Aloft PDX self serve food
Apologies for the blurry pic, but this is the self-serve kitchen area with lots of food-for-purchase options.

Getting to my room

Aloft PDX elevators
Elevators leading to the guest rooms.
Aloft PDX guest room hallways
Guest room hallways. Much nicer looking than the Best Western (in Seaside) I stayed at the night before!
Aloft PDX room 331 door
I had room 331 for this stay (the door on the right).

The room

Aloft PDX room
I was expecting something a *little* different than the room I stayed at at the Aloft PHX, but this was 100% identical.
Aloft PDX bed
I do like the simplicity of these Aloft properties quite a bit though. Basic. Stylish. Comfortable.
Aloft PDX pillows
The pillows on the bed were a nice touch. At first I thought they were an abstract design, but then you see that’s not quite the case…
Aloft PDX artwork
And I didn’t even notice it until just now as I was writing this review that the photo above the bed is actually downtown Portland. Nice local touch!
Aloft PDX room decor
Another full wide angle view of the room. I love the simplicity!
Aloft PDX window shades
And this is the view from the other side. I should note that it was 3pm with full bright sunshine outside when I took these pics, but the window shade blocked out nearly 100% of the light. Nice!
Aloft PDX interior design
Another wide angle view highlighting the simplicity of this room.
Aloft PDX in room desk
The desk, located in the front corner of the room.
Aloft PDX alarm clock
Even the alarm clock was cool!
Aloft PDX carpet
I want this carpet in my home office!
Aloft PDX lights
The lights above the bed had looked really nice, but they didn’t put out much usable light.
Aloft PDX view from room
The view from my room. Not so glamorous, eh?
Aloft PDX floor plan
Floor plan of the entire property.

The bathroom

Aloft PDX bathroom sink
The bathroom vanity, located just off the main entry.
Aloft PDX bathroom vanity
Close up of the vanity and sink. Stylish details everywhere you look.
Aloft PDX in-room refrigerator
The in-room refrigerator – located under the bathroom vanity. :-/
Aloft PDX bathroom layout
Here’s a wider angle shot of the bathroom.
Aloft PDX bathroom details
Here is the bathroom looking the other way (this is what you see when you enter the room).
Aloft PDX bathroom door
Hope you’re decent when someone opens that door!
Aloft PDX bathroom shelving
The shelving unit behind the bathroom vanity contained a small closet, a safe, a magazine rack, and a shelf for complimentary coffee and water.
Aloft PDX complimentary water
Complimentary coffee and water. Thanks Aloft!
Aloft PDX shower
This is the bathroom. There’s no tub here, but I still found it to be quite nice.
Aloft PDX toilet
What is it about red bathrooms that I like so much?
Aloft PDX shower soap dispensers
These soap dispensers in the shower were a nice touch. Much better than having to fumble around with tiny packages.
Aloft PDX lighting
I found the lighting in the bathroom to be a bit dark overall, but the light fixtures were certainly cool looking.

Final thoughts

As you can see from the pics, there’s nothing different from this property compared to the one in Phoenix I stayed at previously. I probably could have used the same pictures from that old trip report and nobody would have known the difference. However, this room was a lot nicer (and more stylish) than the room I had at the SFO Aloft.

So now that I’ve learned that Aloft hotels are mostly (but not always) identical from location to location, would I go out of my way to stay at one again? Yes and no.

  • YES because I find this brand to be a fun and refreshing change from all the other boring airport hotel chains.
  • NO because that would make boring and I want to try and review as many different hotel brands as possible to keep my archive of hotel reviews growing!

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