Do your clients have a favorite color? Chances are they’ll find
it at the Inn at Northrup Station, one of the brightest-hued hotels
they’ll ever encounter.
The Northwest Portland facility was formerly known as the Carriage
Inn, a 1978 motel providing affordable but forgettable overnight
and weekly rentals. In 2001, Portland-area investors bought and
redeveloped it as a boutique hotel so that it would better
harmonize with the surrounding gentrified neighborhoods and
emerging retail district called the Pearl.
Portland-based architect Steve Routon applied his restoration savvy
to the exterior, reinventing it with a stylized mix of brick,
steel, concrete, glass and soaring trellises. Meanwhile, the design
team of Jim Yockey and Pieter Reed went to town on the interiors.
The result comes across at once retro and futuristic. In the lobby,
fused glass pieces brighten up the windows. Chairs look like
stuffed cactuses without the quills, yet they are surprisingly
comfortable. In the guestroom bedrooms, curled metal rods playfully
snake in and around the headboards, while in the hallways, lively
oval crystals dangle from lamps like someone’s showy earrings.
Color catches the eye no matter where it looks, from the intensely
lime green soap dish in the bathroom, to the lavender couch with
striped pillows in the guestroom sitting area. The overall effect
is fun and funky, with a distinctive style.
Inn at Northrup Station general manager Bill Stevens explained that
the architecture and interior design of the hotel reflect the
creative energy of its environs.
“Northwest Portland evokes a true sense of independence, from its
vast array of retail shops and restaurants, to its unique cultural
attractions,” said Stevens. “Our area, including the Pearl
District, represents the epicenter of the city’s arts community,
with numerous galleries and working studios found throughout
adjacent, vibrant neighborhoods.”
While the Inn at Northrup Station doesn’t have its own restaurant,
it’s located within a five-minute stroll of more than two dozen
dining establishments, including such popular Portland eateries as
Wildwood, Paley’s Place, Serrato, Lucy’s Table, Papa Haydn and Jo
Bar Rotisserie. A real perk is the complimentary continental
breakfast that enlivens the inn’s lobby each morning. Juices,
fruits, granola, homemade muffins, yogurt, milk, bagels with cream
cheese and coffee fuel clients for the day ahead. When the morning
fare has been cleared away, several oversized glass containers
somehow remain forever filled to the brim with candy, serving the
sweet tooth around the clock.
Northrup Station is one of the many stops along the city’s
streetcar line, which makes a continuous six-mile loop from the
Northwest to Southwest districts. The clean, sleek cars stop at 40
stations along the way and hold up to 140 passengers each. Thanks
to a GPS tracking system, clients can consult a reader board by the
inn’s porte cochere to determine the arrival time of the next
streetcar, about 30 steps from the front door. The hotel gives
guests as many free passes for the line as they need during their
Since the inn hosts largely business travelers during the week, it
provides clients with high-speed Internet access and a handy
workspace in each room. During weekends, leisure travelers can take
advantage of the free on-site parking and fully equipped
“We find that people who initially visit us on vacation often
return for business, and vice-versa,” Stevens noted.
An open-air rooftop garden with tables, chairs and a barbecue makes
for an added bonus during the warmer months.
Clients who gravitate to mainstream hotels might turn up their
noses at the Inn at Northrup Station. But anyone who appreciates
friendly service and a daring design will enjoy this energetic
alternative, no matter what color they’re in the mood for.
Inn at Northrup Station
2025 NW Northrup
Portland, OR 97209
Hits: All of the accommodations in the Inn at
Northrup Station are suites featuring full kitchens with granite
countertops. The property is located by a streetcar stop, making it
ultra-convenient for traveling around the city.
Misses: Rooms aren’t soundproof. If your clients
stay in a unit facing the street, they’ll hear the streetcar and
other outside noises. Earplugs help when neighboring guests decide
to hold a loud conversation in the hallway after hours.
Be Aware: While the hotel has no restaurant, it’s
within easy walking distance of a variety of eateries. Room rates
come with a generous continental breakfast.
Plugging In: All units feature an executive desk
with two dataports. High-speed Internet access is available for a
nominal charge. Every room offers two-line phones with voice
Clientele: Business travelers during the weekdays,
leisure clients on weekends.
Rates: Depending on the season, rates range from
$99 to $159 per night. Travel agents can get discounts of up to 60
percent off rack. Also, each month the hotel gives away one free
suite night to a travel agency that has booked clients there.
Commission: 10 percent