A Chic Portland Hotel Offers Lodging As Affordable as $35 a Night

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By Anna Jones / Published by Dwell
The Society Hotel in downtown Portland brings new life to an old sailor's hotel and provides adventurous travelers with a uniquely local experience.

Part hotel, part hostel, The Society Hotel combines affordable lodging with direct accessibility to the heart and soul of the city.  Conceptualized by four partners—building contractor Matt Siegel, friends Jessie Burke and Jonathan Cohen, and colleague Gabe Genauer—the goal was to build a visible and positive influence in a dilapidated area of downtown Portland. The hotel is now a new lodging typology that has launched renovated growth in the area.

A Chic Portland Hotel Offers Lodging As Affordable as $35 a Night - Photo 1 of 10 - Window graphics provide unobtrusive and elegant signage on the exterior glazing of the historic facade.

Window graphics provide unobtrusive and elegant signage on the exterior glazing of the historic facade.

A Chic Portland Hotel Offers Lodging As Affordable as $35 a Night - Photo 2 of 10 - The corner of the hotel is decorated with a vintage sign. 

The corner of the hotel is decorated with a vintage sign. 

A variety of spaces provide a balanced blend of retreat and community. In addition to a 24-bed bunk room and 38 private rooms and suites, guests can mingle in a lobby space with a lounge/cafe, and a rooftop deck with panoramic views of the city.

Built in 1881 and dubbed The Mariners Building, the structure originally housed sailors before becoming a hospital, and later a Chinese dance hall before becoming vacant in 1975.  Local architecture firm Integrate Architecture led the restoration of the building, focusing on maintaining the cast-iron storefront, brick and stucco walls, and completely overhauling the interior. (The upper floors, untouched since 1945, revealed furniture, clothes, WWI-era newspapers, and other artifacts in just the state they had been left.) 

Megan Blossom and Reiko Igarashi completed the modern interior decor and styling, finding inspiration from the building's rich history. The designers retained much of the original character:  the carved wooden handrail remains on the stair, wood trim and wainscot accent the walls, and original doors are re-purposed as custom millwork. 

A Chic Portland Hotel Offers Lodging As Affordable as $35 a Night - Photo 3 of 10 - The lobby of the hotel contains a cafe and lounge space that's complete with a fireplace. The cozy atmosphere provides an ideal location from which to look out onto the city and enjoy a beverage with fellow travelers.

The lobby of the hotel contains a cafe and lounge space that's complete with a fireplace. The cozy atmosphere provides an ideal location from which to look out onto the city and enjoy a beverage with fellow travelers.

A Chic Portland Hotel Offers Lodging As Affordable as $35 a Night - Photo 4 of 10 - In a nod to the past, the original doors have been re-purposed and now provide decorative paneling behind the reception desk.

In a nod to the past, the original doors have been re-purposed and now provide decorative paneling behind the reception desk.

The Society Hotel is transforming the hotel industry by focusing on providing visitors with a truly unique experience. An added benefit is the hotel's Society Only Service (SOS), a personal concierge service that provides guests with city guides and local recommendations for a curated Portland experience.

A Chic Portland Hotel Offers Lodging As Affordable as $35 a Night - Photo 5 of 10 - A hostel-like bunk room occupies the lower level of the hotel. Guests are provided with personal lockers and have access to a shared kitchen. 

A hostel-like bunk room occupies the lower level of the hotel. Guests are provided with personal lockers and have access to a shared kitchen. 

A Chic Portland Hotel Offers Lodging As Affordable as $35 a Night - Photo 6 of 10 - The wood-framed bunk beds come complete with a reading light and a privacy curtain.

The wood-framed bunk beds come complete with a reading light and a privacy curtain.

A Chic Portland Hotel Offers Lodging As Affordable as $35 a Night - Photo 7 of 10 - A variety of guest bedrooms fill the top three floors in a configuration that closely matches the original plan of the hotel. 

A variety of guest bedrooms fill the top three floors in a configuration that closely matches the original plan of the hotel. 

A Chic Portland Hotel Offers Lodging As Affordable as $35 a Night - Photo 8 of 10 - The original dark wood window frames and exterior brick walls remain intact. Simple, modern additions provide amenities in the guest rooms.

The original dark wood window frames and exterior brick walls remain intact. Simple, modern additions provide amenities in the guest rooms.

A Chic Portland Hotel Offers Lodging As Affordable as $35 a Night - Photo 9 of 10 - The rooftop terrace provides panoramic views to the surrounding neighborhood and city beyond. 

The rooftop terrace provides panoramic views to the surrounding neighborhood and city beyond. 

A Chic Portland Hotel Offers Lodging As Affordable as $35 a Night - Photo 10 of 10 - The rooftop is perfect for soaking in the sights of the city, enjoying acoustic music, and watching summer movies. 

The rooftop is perfect for soaking in the sights of the city, enjoying acoustic music, and watching summer movies. 

Rates start at $35 a night for a bunk, while private rooms and suites start at $75 and $110, respectively. To book a stay, visit The Society Hotel online.

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