The Hi-Lo Hotel delivers something new to the Portland scene. It pays its respects to the Pacific Northwest with raw, exposed materials that contrast with contemporary colors and feels to create a modern take on luxury. The historic space it calls home provides the strong foundation for a relaxed, yet inspiring visit to this laid-back city.
Quiet and relaxed, yet complex and interesting. In the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Portland is quite the unique spot. With an extended weekend in sight, we had just enough time to plan a last-second road trip to check out all The City of Roses had to offer. Our typical travel itinerary is a bit of controlled chaos – a handful of must-sees are pinned on the map, but we let the city get the best of us and embrace the winding to-and-fros that spontaneously sprout. Settling into the natural rhythm of any city is always the objective for us, and finding an ideal home base for our outing was a major priority. This time around, we also had a hankering for something a little more luxurious.
After whittling it down, one pick emerged: the Hi-Lo Hotel. After a six hour drive south, first impressions delivered a sense of calm. It was quickly apparent that a contrast of elements was a major theme – clean teals and pinks flanking raw, exposed concrete and wood settled us into the relaxing space. Growing up in the PNW has made us seasoned vets who know how to make due with those dreary grey days, and a major way to do it is by creating a bright, open space. Upon arriving in our room, we were in awe of the beautiful arched window spanning the entire width of the room, letting in lots of light. Although the Hi-Lo opened its doors in the the summer of 2017, the character of the curved arches and old wood feel of the 1910-built Historic Oregon Pioneer Building still felt strong in the stately room.
What we really loved was the overall aesthetic – it was comfy and luxurious, but not excessive or over-the-top. The local reclaimed wood wall and exposed concrete delivered an original and modern design, with a reserved feel. This curated care to detail and authentic connection with these raw elements really hit the mark and wove a little bit of the northwest into the personality of the space.
Whether we were coming or going, the friendly and attentive staff was great. They clearly knew their way around Portland, and gave us some local insight to make the most of our days. In the couple days we roamed Portland, we zigged and zagged our way through some great eateries and local breweries. But if you have the chance to stay at the Hi-Lo, don’t forget to check out what’s right under your nose. After trekking around town, we returned through the gold-accented double doors through the refreshing scent of the lobby (it really smells amazing!) to the Lo Bar. Happy hour never fails to give a traveler a late afternoon boost, and a couple brews paired with the creative Mexican cuisine from Alto Bajo really hit the spot for us.
If you’re only in town for a quick day or two, you can probably get away with scant shuteye. With a couple back-to-back days trying to pack in as much as possible, the cozy, comfortable king bed was just what the doctor ordered to revive us at the end of a long day. A spacious bathroom with heated floors, a rain shower, and Maak Lab products to invigorate the skin and the senses weren’t too shabby either.
Quiet, relaxed, and complex. Just like its host city, Hi-Lo delivers on these traits and creates a connection of elements throughout the space. From the gilded detailing of the Lo Bar and subtle matching finishes of the bathroom faucets and shower, the consistent attention to detail makes the Hi-Lo a unique northwest find, a place we would love to return on our next visit to this lovely city.