This hotel celebrates the craft-driven ethos of Portland

This hotel celebrates the craft-driven ethos of Portland


To reintroduce the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower, our client asked us to maintain the expected level of comfort and service of the Hilton Brand while establishing a boutique hotel experience that celebrates the industrial history and artistic, craft-driven ethos of Portland. Our challenge was to offer guests familiarity while creating a personality all its own.

Interior Designer: Allen Chan

Design Firm: DesignAgency

Project Photographer: Eric Staudenmaier

We were also challenged to create a hospitality environment tailored to the modern business and leisure traveller – this involved a respite from the urban hustle and bustle, by creating thoughtfully considered guest rooms, and public areas that are comfortable for both working and socializing.

At the entry, a custom-designed screen of gilded and blackened steel-framed floral imagery signifies a departure from the typical hotel lobby, providing an immediate point of visual interest, a nod to Portland’s native ecology, and a lively connection between interior and exterior.

The lobby is a social hub mixing traditional craftsmanship and detailing, celebrating the craft spirit of the city with warm stone, beautiful lighting, and an eclectic mix of comfortable seating that can be configured in both intimate and communal arrangements. Shelves lined with local curiosities give character to the space, while a nature-inspired palette creates a calm and intriguing ambiance.

Bright and airy, the guestrooms offer carefully proportioned furnishings, custom wallpaper, built-in amenities, light materials, and an open layout divided into “zones” make the modestly-sized rooms feel surprisingly spacious and relaxing, while at the same time encouraging guests to explore the hotel’s communal spaces. A curated book selection from Powell’s Books (Portland’s iconic bookstore) and bespoke touches by local artisans give each room a unique vibe that is rooted in the locale. The guestroom design also seamlessly supports the needs of the modern traveller with well-placed USB ports, strong wi-fi and thoughtfully placed, warm lighting.

To design a hotel on par with what guests expect from the Hilton brand but also with an independent character, we aimed to create the experience of a grand hotel, but with an approachable Portland spirit. The resulting space has a polished, yet casual sensibility that feels at once special, comfortable and humane.

Allen Chan

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