Stay away from Penthouses
My wife and I were celebrating a good business transaction, and wanted to pamper ourselves with a penthouse suite at the Benson.
Our experience was a total disaster.
The initial impression was good, with friendly and helpful staff. However, when we entered the elevators, we got a distinct smell of skunk. That was, I’m sorry to say, the best part of that day.
When we arrived at the penthouse floor, the smell was one of old, and not the good kind, but rather the one you find in old, second-hand clothes stores, or an attic that hasn’t been cleaned in years. This was the second best part of our day.
When we then opened the doors to our room, the stench of mold almost threw us back. We took a quick look at the room, left our luggage, opened the windows to try to get the smell out, and left for about an hour.
Upon coming back, the stench was still there. I should note, however, that the hallway now smelled like Fabreeze or some other air-freshener.
We immediately contacted the front desk to notify them because this will probably require major work to fix and may even be hazardous to ones health. We were told this was completely new to them, that they had never heard about it, and offered us a different penthouse suite. Walking into that suite, the same smell was there, so we contacted the assistant general manager who came up to inspect. While waiting, we saw another guest in the hall, and asked for a second opinion. That person confirmed the smell and said it was the same in their suite.
The general manager blamed a bad nose for not noticing but also told us they had never had any complaints about the rooms and that an engineer would be called to check it out.
From then on, our stay at the Benson was very enjoyable. We were given a smaller Junior suite, which actually was much, much nicer with better view and a more open feel to it. We got a complimentary box of chocolates and bottled water, as well as a hand-written note with sincere apologies. Upon checkout, we were offered a gift certificate for three nights in the penthouse suites (which we promptly refused but asked for a different room certificate instead) as well as free breakfast.
If it hadn’t been for that incredibly bad experience with the penthouse suite, this hotel would have gotten 4 stars from us. If it hadn’t been for the very good and professional handling of the situation, this hotel would have received 1 star from us.
Pick a Junior suite before a Penthouse suite any day, and you should have a great time in an awesome and beautiful hotel.
Clean, comfy room, great hotel
My second stay at the Benson. Great location in the city center. Took the Trimet light rail to just blocks away ($2.50 pp for 2 hrs) and quick walk to hotel. Front desk staff was very friendly and helpful. Our room was clean and comfortable with a king temperpedic bed. Looks like a recent redecorating. The bathrooms are small, but what do you expect from a 100 year hotel- it just celebrated it’s anniversary. The bar is beautiful and make a great Spanish Coffee. Recommend walking to the Bijou or Mother’s for breakfast- Yum!
Great Place to stay!
Ended up booking the Benson through Priceline and this was the first time I had gotten this hotel through Priceline. Regularly visit Portland for short over night trips and always make it a habit to book in the downtown area, as it is the perfect place to relax in Portland with everything being so easy to get to via walking or any other of the many forms of transport available in Portland. Arrived to the hotel and decided to use the Valet service. It’s a bit pricey at $31 for the night but your only other option is trying across the street in the parking garage but there are no in and out privileges if you choose to go somewhere distant. Valet service was quick, efficient and friendly, so overall a good bargain for the price. On arrival we were greeted by the door man immediately, and our bags were promptly loaded on a bag cart. Went inside to check in and was again greeted by a very friendly staff.
Decided to grab our own bags as the check in process was so quick and we were only in town for an overnight. Up to the room we went as we were given a room on the 11th floor. Only recommendation I have is that if you can, ask for a room facing the street. Our room was facing another building and didn’t have a view. This did not however detract from the experience. Walking into the room it was clear that this hotel had been in Portland for a very long time. Having been opened in 1912 it still had the feel of that time period. I was a bit surprised at the smaller size of the room. We had a Queen size bed but seeing that the room was booked on Priceline there wasn’t much of a choice. I am sure I could have asked at check in for something different. The size of the room did not take anything away from the excellent service or experience. The room was clean and well kept. All the amenities you would expect from a hotel of this caliber. Nighttime was amazingly quiet. No matter where you stay, usually you can expect some noise but this place was silent. Then again, not arriving back to the room until 1230 in the morning may have had something to do with that. Either way, I was impressed.
Throughout the evening we did utilize the hotel bar at one point, and ordered an appetizer as well. Again, staff was very friendly and willing to please.
Next day was just as pleasant. We had decided to do some exploring on the outskirts of Portland and asked for a late check out which was granted with no problem.
Overall the experience was great and I’d stay here again without a thought.
Great Downtown Location
My wife stayed at the Benson over Veterans Weekend and were happy with the room and service but have one strong recomendation for travelers. Our room faced Broadway which made it extremely noisy. I would recommend to anyone staying at the Benson to request a room off Broadway.
Overall I enjoyed our stay but both my wife and I commented when we woke up how much noise from the street we heard through out the night. The hotel is one of Portland’s downtown turn of the century hotels which means it retains its older windows that do not do a good job of blocking noise.
Loved the Benson..:)
We stayed in the Benson for four wonderful nights after a huge trip flying in from Australia, and prior to picking up our motorcycle to commence a 3 month ride up into Alaska, Canada and then back down throughout the USA. Couldn’t have picked a better place to relax and fix our jet lag and see and feel the sights and vibe of Portland. Just hanging out in the lobby is a beautiful experience. It is magnificent. The bed and room were extremely comfortable, and within 200m we had one of the best micro breweries that is the Baileys Tap Room, and across the road the restaurant Sanataria which we visited numerous times. Can’t recommend the Benson enough.