Stay Green in One of Portland’s Many Eco Hotels

Reduce your carbon footprint during your Portland vacation by staying at one these eco-friendly properties.

Already known as an eco-friendly city, Portland, Ore., has more LEED-certified, or sustainable and high-performing, buildings than any other city in the country, and that includes hotels. While on your Portland vacation, do as the locals do and go green—stay at one of these eco-friendly hotels that take green vacation practices far beyond towel-reuse programs.

The Nines

The Nines opened in 2008 on the top nine floors of what used to be the Meier and Frank department store. The newly renovated hotel anticipates a LEED Silver certification, uses energy and electricity from renewable sources, and the staff uses Green Seal-certified cleaning products. During construction, the hotel used low-emitting adhesives, carpet and paint to improve air quality, and installed low-flow faucets and dual-flush toilets in the bathroom that will save an estimated 500,000 gallons of water annually.

Inside, The Nines is decorated with original art and nods to the building’s history in the fashion industry, with a huge black stiletto sculpture in the lobby. While you’re there, find the unmarked “library,” a cozy side room that’s filled with books from local Powell’s Books and decorated with artifacts from local celebrities, such as photos taken by Gus Van Sant (director of the movie Milk).

525 SW Morrison, tel. 877-229-9995. Bonus: Book a room before April 18, 2009 and take advantage of the 99 for $99 special; room rates start at $99 per night.

Ace Hotel

The Ace Hotel decorators are masters of reusing and recycling, and you’ll be surprised at just what’s been repurposed. The coffee table in the lobby is an old fire door, desks were once used by the Army and couch upholstery consists of vintage Army poncho canvas.

But, not everything is historic—the paint is non-toxic, furniture and beds are made from sustainably harvested wood, and the mattresses are made from organic materials. Your room will be cleaned with natural cleaning products and you’ll find natural local soaps, exclusive to the Ace, in your shower.

Bring the kids and they’ll be busy figuring out just how something was made, finding surprises in the hotel’s details and sleeping in one of the “band rooms” (one bunk bed and one twin, starting at $99 per night). And, hang out in the lobby to get a real feel for Portland. The common areas are used by visitors and locals alike. “A lot of locals will hang out in the hotel,” says Shoshanna Cohen, spokesperson for the hotel, “it’s like a city living room.”

1022 SW Stark St., tel. 503-228-2277. Band rooms start at $99 per night, doubles start at $140.

Hotel Monaco

When the Hotel Monaco started its Carless Vacation package including free bike rental, it was so popular they decided to buy a fleet of bikes for the hotel. Now, that fleet sits outside ready (and free) for guests to use while exploring downtown and beyond.

Inside, the Monaco staff use natural cleaners and saves energy everywhere they can—like lights that turn off automatically when you’re out of your room and low-flow bathroom features.

506 SW Washington St., tel. 503-222-0001. Rooms average $149 per night. Bonus: If you book the Carless Vacation package now, you’ll get a personalized bike tour of the city. [Read more about carless vacations.]

The Heathman Hotel

When you pull up to The Heathman, you’ll be greeted by your own personal concierge (think butler), who will take care of your every check-in need. Inside, you’ll find floors and walls made from recycled material, LED lighting, low-flow shower heads and eco-friendly wine from local Van Duzer Vineyard ( in the mini-bar. During your stay, 72 percent of the waste will be recycled or composted, you’ll use a biodegradable keycard and all the ingredients in your food will be local and seasonal—the menu in the hotel’s restaurant changes depending on what’s farm fresh that day.

1001 SW Broadway, tel. 800-551-0011. Average room rate $229 per night.

Doubletree and Executive Meeting Center

Across the river from downtown, the Doubletree is one of the top green hotels in the United States, and possibly the greenest in Portland—no small feat. Its Green Team has been busy switching from disposing waste to composting, purchasing and managing their wind power supplies, reducing waste disposal by 65 percent and making sure that everything in the hotel, from to-go cups to carpet, is sustainable and eco-friendly.

Make your stay carbon-neutral by donating $1 each day you stay (they’ll ask you if you’d like that option when you check in) or visit its Web site to calculate just how much carbon your visit will use, then buy enough carbon offsets from the Climate Trust to undo the damage.

1000 NE Multnomah St., tel. 503-281-6111. Regular rooms average $110 per night; suites average $165 per night.

Destinations: Portland

Themes: Ecotourism, Urban Endeavors

Activities: Sleep

User Comments

Eco Luxury It is great to see the eco-friendly can still be trendy and luxurious. Nice post. I'll pass this on to my readers.