Skip to content

The Society Hotel: review

After my Icelandic stopover, a pleasant business class flight took me to Oregon. After picking up our rental car, I headed out to downtown Portland, where I stayed in The Society Hotel.

The beautiful Society Hotel in Portland, Oregon as seen from across the street

I’m not going to slice and dice my opinion for you guys: I really wanted to love this hotel, but for me personally, that night wasn’t just the experience I was hoping to have. Let’s start with the things that left a good impression! The outside of the building looks stunning! The Society Hotel, with its dark-green facade, is located in a historic 1881 building. The rooms are nice. We had the ‘private suite’ which is actually a standard sized room but has its own bathroom. Other rooms in The Society Hotel have shared bathrooms, or you could also opt for a bunk bed in the bunk room, to get the most bang for your bunk, I mean buck!

Shower @ The Society Hotel in Portland, Oregon

Beds are extremely soft, oh my! Still reminiscing about that cushiness ;-). The decoration of the rooms and the hotel in general also helped to create a cool industrial vintage vibe that I was totally digging. The Society Hotel also has a rooftop patio for views over Downtown Portland on a balmy summer evening, and a chic café in the lobby.

Me sitting on the rooftop patio of The Society Hotel in Portland, OR


This all sounds pretty cool huh! I bet you’re probably all wondering why I didn’t leave with a warm fuzzy feeling. For starters, there was something wrong with our key cards, making me have to trot up and down to the reception for 4 times. Staff was really nice though and tried their best to help me out, but I couldn’t help to feel slightly annoyed. I was thinking, what if we leave the hotel and our key cards don’t work to open the front door after eleven? Luckily desk staff is there all night.

Secondly, and this is a bigger issue, the neighborhood tipped the balance from arty and bohemian Portland to ‘hobo central’. There were quite a few homeless people (of whom most of them also happened to be drug addicts who have schizophrenia) setting up camp on the sidewalk. And I mean that literally, some of them had tents so it didn’t exactly make the neighborhood look inviting. This is an issue in Portland in general so I can’t blame the hotel for that. But because of that, there was also a lot of rowdiness (yelling) outside the hotel at odd ours in the night, a bit of a sleep disturber. The Society Hotel doesn’t have their own parking but staff made an excellent recommendation to park our trusty Lincoln MKT in a nearby monitored car park.

The Society Hotel: review 1
View of Chinatown from our hotel room window

Quick recap: the hotel itself is really nice! I’m looking for the right words to describe it. I think I would call it an upscale-hostel-style hotel. Its surroundings are unfortunately less nice, making me not unequivocally enthusiastic about this place. If you’re used to Portland or don’t mind about the outside factors, then by all means pick this hotel for your next Portland visit! If you’re a bit of a scaredy-cat like my girlfriend. This hotel or the city in general might not be for you.