the benson

a coast hotel - portland, oregon

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Traveler Rating

Sleep Quality
Very Good

Most Recent Traveler Reviews

Classic Downtown Portland Hotel

The Benson is located very close to everything right downtown. The concierge service is top notch.
The Hotel restaurant is very nice and the El Gaucho is one of the best restaurants in Portland. The bathrooms are small.

- W1616XUjosej

Portland-OR Benson Hotel

Good location with many eateries and shops in close proximity. Only issue might be the street parking. We were able to find street parting a few blocks away, and luckily since this was a Sunday, the parking was free until 1:00 pm

- Steve H

Great stay in Portland

Beautiful Hotel in the middle of Portland. It was within walking distance to everything.
Hotel was beautiful, clean, updated, and the staff was wonderful.
Tempur-pedic mattresses. Niiice.
My son and I just wanted to spend a weekend here and wander around town. The hotel was perfect for this. I would return to this hotel in a heartbeat.

- 236greggh

My worst hotel experience of 2017...maybe even the past 5 years…

I travel quite a bit for work and I have never written a restaurant, movie, hotel, or any other type of review in my life. However, my recent stay at the Benson has caused me to sign-up for a Trip Advisor account just to write this warning.

Maybe my experience is just a confluence of bad coincidences, mixed with a few bad apples on staff, but my stay last week was possibly the worst hotel experience I have had in recent memory and CERTAINLY the worst of any hotel in this price range (>US$400 a night).

Regardless of how much you pay, or the # of stars a hotel has, there is one element that 95% of hotels (in my experience) all have down pat, and that is being respectful, conscientious, and at a bare minimum, putting up at least a front of being pleasant. Quite frankly, the staff the Benson has put at reception do not have the emotional maturity to work in the service industry (or perhaps are not given sufficient training internally). I don’t mean to make broad statements, and I’m sure there are number of lovely employees at the Benson, but I dealt with three individuals, all of which did not meet even the bare minimum of what I would expect from a first-term high school co-op, in terms of dealing with a customer, hotel or otherwise.

For example:

1) After checking in, I was working on a deadline and the internet connection was not down, but no one (literally no one) at the hotel could provide me guidance as to how to connect. I was given the 1-800 number for their external service provider and expected to wait on hold and then provide detailed personal information and troubleshoot with an IT technician that was not even part of the hotel. It would be the equivalent of your TV not working and they provide you the phone number for Samsung’s head-office. I noticed another reviewer recently had a similar experience. When I told the staff that I was not comfortable dealing with one of their vendors and providing such information, it was clearly communicated to me that it was my problem. I responded that a basic expectation I have when staying at a hotel is access to internet (I understand if it is down, that happens, I get it), but I was told that maybe I could get access in the lobby of another hotel. Which I DID! I told them my issue at the Benson and they gave me their wifi connection, they were pleasant, it took 2 minutes, and I wasn’t even staying there! Come one…that’s crazy….I could end this review right here…

2) The room keys use technology from the 1990s and constantly de-magnetize, but are needed to use the elevator. This happened to me two times and I conservatively estimate that during my four night stay I saw 7 to 10 people marooned in the elevator, comically laughing that their room keys were not working again and were hoping to find another guest on their floor. This in itself is only a minor annoyance (but come on, the hotel architecture and décor is beautiful and historic, but somehow a telephone in the room from 1988, a keycard system from 1995, and a TV from 2004 don’t come with the same charms), but the real aggravation is when you bring this to the attention of the staff, and within 5 seconds you get a *sigh* a roll of the eyes, and a “what, did you put the card near your cell-phone!!?? or MasterCard!??!”. That’s fine, they must get annoying guests like me who bother them for access to their room every day, but update your system, don’t hire a bratty 20 year old to scold you on which pocket to keep your access card in.

3) My wife couldn’t figure out how to use the in-room wine opener (they had a funky design to them, but maybe were are both just wine opener impaired) and she asked the front desk for help when she happened to be walking through the lobby. However, she was quickly interrupted by another winner at reception that chimed in: “That’s the opener ALL the rooms have, so I don’t know what you want me to do about it” (refer to induvial from #1 above). Well, I’m sure that’s true, but after asking the bar tender, turns out all it takes is a 5 second explanation….who would have guessed that the attitude and drama are kind of unnecessary…

4) In addition, to the flagrantly rude staff, the hotel also lacked in several ways that many other hotels do from time to time (although not usually at this price level) including outdated appliances, filthy furniture, understaffed cleaning staff (we had the daily room clean start as early as 11:00am and on two occasions, not until 6:00pm), a very loud environment (not the hotels fault on this one, but just as an FYI, Broadway is a very loud street).

As a quick aside to the staff I dealt with: I get it, you are not happy to have to answer to the quirks and demands of dozens of new guests everyday…but at least fake it…we all have to at some point or another at work. Save the eye-rolling, and sighing for when the customer is not right in front of you.

As a quick aside for management: If you continue to have a bunch of 20 year olds mind the shop on off hours, please ensure they at least have the emotional maturity of their age, or if possible, a little older. Paying >US$400 a night and having to deal with 17 year old teenage angst is not what I signed up for, or paid for. Yes the building is beautiful, but as they say, its what’s on the inside counts, and I wouldn’t stay at the Benson again for the price of a motel by the airport (which I hear has recently cracked this whole internet connection mystery).

Lastly, to be fair, I obviously brought this to the attention of management, who was very understanding, listened to my concerns and even comped me a free breakfast. Although this is much appreciated, it doesn’t change my assessment of the hotel overall, and perhaps I am just in the minority as I see the hotel is generally well reviewed, but if any of the above would irk you as a guest, I highly recommend you think twice before staying at the Benson.


Great Weekend at The Benson

Excellent place – service was outstanding, rooms were very nice & clean. Restaurant was very good. Very accessible to all parts of the City & it’s surrounded by many really good eating establishments. Great place to stay in Portland!

- BeausBoys