Woodlark is a fusion of two century-old buildings in downtown Portland, recast with art-deco elegance and a pinch of plant-life to reflect the Pacific Northwest’s nature-loving spirit. Aged brass and rich velvet sit alongside raw wood textures and hand-blown glass in the light-flooded interiors, and bespoke OMFG Co wallpaper adds a pop of colour. Local produce gets the Texan treatment at the meat-focused restaurant Bullard, fireside cocktails flow in the stately Abigail Hall bar, and there’s a Good Coffee outpost serving small-batch brews.
Double rooms from £135.90 ($181), including tax at 15.3 per cent.
Rates don’t include breakfast; it’s $10 for a to-go box of homemade pastries, or you can stop by the in-house café, Good Coffee (your first coffee is free). There's also a resort fee of $27.67 a room, per night. Domestic phone calls are free.
The Woodlark Building was Portland’s first high-rise structure, when it was built in 1912.
At the hotel
Gym, free WiFi, bikes to borrow. In rooms: Smart TV, Urbanears Lotsen Bluetooth speaker, honesty bar stocked with locally sourced snacks, pillow menu, in-room fitness equipment, free water bottle, air-conditioning, tea and coffee, Min bath products.
Our favourite rooms
The light and airy Premium Vaulted King rooms have 15ft ceilings and views over the city. If you’re a sucker for a spiral staircase, go for a Loft Suite, where the king-size bed is tucked away on an elevated mezzanine level.
Portland is the home of Nike, so bring your swooshed-up athleisure-wear – the locals practically live in it.
All public spaces are wheelchair-accessible, and some rooms have roll-in showers and hand-rails.
Sign up your pooch to the Very Important Pet programme (for free) and they’ll be greeted with a bed, bowl, toy and tasty treats; there’s also a room service menu and a list of local pet-friendly attractions to peruse. See more pet-friendly hotels in Portland.
All ages are welcome. Extra cots can be added to some Studio Suite Kings (request when booking) and highchairs are available in the restaurants.
Grab a corner booth by the window, and settle in for a feast.
Stetsons and jeans to fit in with the Texas theme, or plaid shirts and hiking boots to keep things more in keeping with outdoorsy Oregon.
Chef Doug Adams hails from Texas, and you can see that influence in the southern-styled menu at Bullard (which is named after his hometown, FYI). The kicker, though, is that everything is made with produce from the Pacific Northwest, so you get Oregon dry-aged beef in the smoky barbecue burgers, and local chicken fried up in spicy honey-mustard jus.
Abigail Hall is a painstakingly restored, flora-filled cocktail bar in what was once the Ladies’ Reception Hall of the old Cornelius Hotel. It’s named after Abigail Scott Duniway, a Portland Suffragist who led meetings in this very room, in the early 19th century. Propose a toast to her with craft cocktails such as the Silver Harvest (New Deal No.1 gin, Hayman's Old Tom gin, escubac and cucumber) and order a dungeness crab roll with shoestring fries on the side.
Breakfast is served from 6am to 11am. Good Coffee is open from 6am (7am at weekends) until 6pm. Bullard serves lunch from 11am until 3pm Monday to Friday, and dinner from 5pm until 11pm every day. Abigail Hall is open from 3pm until late, every day.
You can order food and drinks to your room at any time of day or night. A streamlined version of Bullard’s menu is available from 7am to 10pm; outside these times there’s a petite overnight menu.
Woodlark is slap-bang in central Portland, where Alder Street meets Park Avenue.
You can fly direct to Portland International Airport from dozens of cities in the US and Canada; from Europe, your best bet is Delta or KLM from Amsterdam. The airport is 12 miles from the hotel, which takes around 25 minutes in a taxi.
There are epic Amtrak routes up and down the West Coast, from Seattle (three hours), Vancouver (eight hours), Sacramento (15 hours) and Los Angeles (30 hours). When you pull into Portland, Union Station is just a five-minute cab from the hotel (or a 15-minute walk, if you’re travelling light). For scooting around town, there’s the Max light-rail system – your nearest station is Library/SW 9th Avenue, a couple of blocks from the hotel.
If you’re planning to delve into the Pacific Northwest’s national parks and cruise along the rugged coastline, a car is all but essential. While you’re in Portland, use the hotel’s valet parking service for $45 a night.
Worth getting out of bed for
Wake up and smell the Good Coffee, then pig out on Texan fare at Bullard, and sample signature cocktails at Abigail Hall. Go for a workout in the fitness center – there’s a Mirror virtual instructor and Peloton bikes for spinning, alongside the usual treadmills and weights. You can join yoga and pilates classes too.
Start with shopping in the Pearl District, where former warehouses host indie boutiques, contemporary art galleries and buzzing bars and restaurants. Browse for the next bestseller at Powell’s City of Books, the world’s largest independent bookstore, then retire with your read to the peacefully poised Japanese Garden. For views over the city, take the OHSU aerial tram from South Waterfront to the top of Marquam Hill.
Head for the Portland Saturday Market if you’re in town at a weekend (it’s also open on Sundays), and hunt for handcrafted wares among the textile, jewellery and furniture stalls.
Restaurants, schmestaurants – Portland is famous for its innovative, irresistible food carts; there’s a whole block of them, called the Alder Pod, at SW Alder Street and SW 9th Street. Feast on a more formal kind of finger food at The Waiting Room (2327 NW Kearney Street), which does Southern-style fried chicken alongside oysters and champagne. Or if you absolutely insist on a knife and fork, fine-dine at James Beard award-winning Beast (5425 NE 30th Avenue), where the six-course prix fixe menu changes with the seasons.
Teardrop Lounge (1015 NW Everett Street) has been lauded as one of the best bars in America by Esquire magazine; pick a signature cocktail from the extensive list, and you’ll find out why. Alternatively, mix it with the locals at the dingy-but-devilishly-fun vintage arcade bar, Ground Kontrol (115 NW 5th Avenue).
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this historic hotel in Oregon and unpacked their artisan coffee and craft beer, a full account of their Pacific Northwest break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Woodlark in Portland…
The story of Woodlark starts not with the Woodlark Building, but with the Cornelius Hotel. It was built in 1908, and quickly established itself as the city’s ‘House of Welcome’, hosting timber industry entrepreneurs on business trips to Stumptown. Four years later, the Woodlark Building became Portland’s first official skyscraper. Unlike the wood-and-steel-framed Cornelius, it was constructed with then-newfangled technology of reinforced concrete. So, the two neighbours are not exactly natural bedfellows – but nothing gets in the way of a determined hotelier. With the help of Los Angeles’ R&A Architecture & Design, Atlanta-based Smith Hanes, and Portland’s very own Oculus Inc, Provenance Hotels have ingeniously married the two. It wasn’t an easy job. The brick facades were repointed, metalwork and window frames were restored, and new stairs were added to equalize the floor levels. Some problems seemed insurmountable – what to do with the 20ft ceilings on the upper floors, for example? Answer: double-height loft suites, of course, each with its own spiral staircase.