Aloft Portland Airport

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01: Introduction: Saying goodbye to Virgin America
02: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin (economy class) SAN-SFO
03: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin (economy class) SFO-PDX
04: Best Western Ocean View Resort, Seaside, Oregon
05: Aloft Portland Airport
06: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin Select (premium economy) PDX-SFO
07: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin Select (premium economy) SFO-SAN

I had my first stay at an Aloft hotel way back in December 2013, and at the time, I considered it to be the coolest airport hotel I had ever stayed in. It was hip, fresh, casual, and cool – a much appreciated departure from the crusty Marriotts and Comfort Inns I seemed to always find myself in whenever I was out on the road. And ever since that experience, I’ve been itching to try other Aloft properties as often as I could. It took 3 (plus) years due to the fact that I don’t really stay in hotels that often, but finally, here is the full summary of my experience at my second ever Aloft hotel stay – this one at the Portland International Airport (PDX).

I remember my stay at the Phoenix airport Aloft quite vividly, and walking through the main entrance here at the one a PDX was like taking a step back in time.

Aloft PDX main entrance

Aloft PDX main entrance

I kid you not – it was exactly the same as I remembered, 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. It was at this moment that I realized what the Aloft brand was 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. Hrmph. 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 then 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…

aloft hotel bar and lounge

Bar and lounge area in the main lobby.

aloft main lobby lounge

The Aloft brand is all about socializing – this is another section of the lounge with plenty of seating and even a pool table. Cool!

aloft hotel self serve kitchen

Apologies for the blurry pic, but this is the self-serve kitchen area with lots of food-for-purchase options.

aloft hotel elevators

Elevators leading to the guest rooms.

aloft hotel hallway

Guest room hallways. Much nicer looking than the Best Western I stayed at the night before!

aloft hotel room door

I had room 331 for this stay – the door on the right.

aloft PDX airport

I was expecting something a *little* different than the room I stayed at at the Aloft PHX, but this was 100% identical.

aloft hotel bed

I do like the simplicity of these Aloft properties quite a bit though. Basic. Stylish. Comfortable.

aloft hotel bed 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 hotel bed

And I didn’t even notice it until just now as I was writing this trip report that the photo above the bed is actually downtown Portland. Nice local touch!

aloft hotel room wide angle

Another full wide angle view of the room. I love the simplicity!

aloft hotel room

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 hotel interior design

Another wide angle view highlighting the simplicity of this room.

aloft hotel work desk table

The desk, located in the front corner of the room.

aloft hotel alarm clock

Even the alarm clock was cool!

aloft hotel in room refrigerator

The in-room refrigerator – located under the bathroom vanity. :-/

aloft hotel room carpet

I want this carpet in my home office!

aloft hotel bathroom vanity

The bathroom vanity, located just off the main entry.

aloft hotel stylish bathroom

Close up of the vanity and sink. Stylish details everywhere you look.

aloft hotel room bathroom

Here’s a wider angle shot of the bathroom.

aloft hotel bathroom.

Here is the bathroom looking the other way (this is what you see when you enter the room).

aloft hotel room bathroom

Hope you’re decent when someone opens that door!

aloft hotel bathroom closet

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 hotel free water and coffee

Complimentary coffee and water. Thanks Aloft!

aloft hotel room bathroom

This is the bathroom. There’s no tub here, but I still found it to be quite nice.

aloft hotel red bathrooms

What is it about red bathrooms that I like so much?

aloft hotel shower soap

These soap dispensers in the shower were a nice touch. Much better than having to fumble around with tiny packages.

aloft hotel bathroom lights

I found the lighting in the room to be a bit dark overall, but the light fixtures were certainly cool looking.

aloft hotel in room lighting

The lights above the bed had the same issue. They looked really nice, but they didn’t put out much usable light.

aloft hotel room view

The view from my room. Not so glamorous, eh?

aloft hotel PDX map

Map of the entire property.

As you can see from the pics, there’s nothing different from this property compared to the one in Phoenix I stayed in three years ago. I probably could have used the same pictures from that old trip report and nobody would have known the difference!

So now that I’ve learned that Aloft hotels are nearly 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 SANspotter.com boring and I want to try and review as many different hotel brands as possible to keep that section of my trip report archive growing!

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