No other lodgings capture the eco-friendly vibe of Portland—and especially the woolly Hawthorne neighborhood—quite like Portland Hawthorne Hostel (3031 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503/236-3380 or 866/447-3031, www.portlandhostel.org, bunks $17 for HI members, $20 nonmembers). Among its most prominent features is an “eco-roof” over the front porch, a runoff filtering system planted in sedum and yarrow; there are also new cisterns to capture rainwater for landscaping and toilet flushing. The 1909 house offers men’s, women’s, and co-ed dorm rooms, plus two private rooms (one with a double bed and private porch, the other with one double and two twin beds). Amenities include a fully equipped kitchen (make your own pancakes for a buck!), Wi-Fi and local phone calls, lockers, and bike rentals. You won’t find cheaper accommodations in Portland without pitching a tent.
At the east side of the Burnside Bridge, as Burnside Street mounts the hill, there are a number of older motor-court motels, some of dubious quality. However, one of these older properties has an interesting tale to tell. The Jupiter Hotel (800 E. Burnside St., 503/230-9200 or 877/800-0004, www.jupiterhotel.com, $99 and up, parking $7) is what you might call a boutique motel, an older motel that has been totally updated with a chic modern look and such stylish accoutrements as fine linens, eye-grabbing art, and high-end toiletries. Although the standard rooms aren’t large, they are certainly chic; some larger rooms have kitchens.
Best of all, the Jupiter Hotel is also home to the Doug Fir Restaurant and Lounge, one of Portland’s top music clubs with a popular dining room open till 4 a.m. daily. Weekends can get pretty noisy, so bring earplugs or just dance till dawn. Since you’re likely to stay up late at the Doug Fir, you might want to consider waiting until after midnight to rent your room, when all unsold rooms are just $59.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel