Canopy by Hilton: Portland's Newest, Hippest Hideaway
The allure and excitement of traveling for races can actually just be one gigantic headache sometimes. Especially if you travel A LOT. Finding hotels that are central, affordable, and come with more than just musty carpets, broken microwaves, and a stock photo print of “Grandma’s 9th Duck Pond Attempt” is a test of endurance within itself. I feared this fate for myself at my most recent race (Elk Kings 50k Trail Race in Tillamook, Oregon). Often times when I travel to Oregon (which is OFTEN), I end staying with some dear friends in Northwest Portland. That was not in the cards for this trip, so I sought out the hippest, most “Katie” hotel I could find.
If I could be a hotel, I would be Canopy by Hilton. This space is beautiful, conscientious, convenient, and COOL (look at all that alliteration, thanks high school AP English). Located in the Pearl District of downtown Portland, you are moments from anything and everything you want to be moments from. Breweries galore, grocery stores, shopping for anything from bikes to clothing to haircare to furniture, VooDoo Doughnuts, Powell’s Bookstore, coffee shops on top of coffee shops (and I mean real, delicious, sexy PNW coffee). In addition to the proximity to all the aforementioned attractions, you are very near to the Willamette Riverfront Path, which will take you all along the most mispronounced body of water in Oregon (just kidding, I’m sure people mispronounce Deschutes by the thousands). The riverfront path is the ‘freeway of the athlete’, offering many paved miles for biking, running, or walking opportunities to see any of Portland’s 12 unique bridges. I make it a priority to visit my favorite: St Johns Bridge (easy to spot with its distinctive and dreamy green/teal color).
As a traveling athlete, I care a great deal about what amenities a hotel offers. More often than not, my trips are not really a vacation. I still have training, eating moderately well, and getting good sleep on the daily agenda. It seemed at first glance that Canopy was a place for working professionals traveling on business to have a comfortable stay. I guess you could say that was me too, considering I still had to answer emails, take work calls, and conduct my social media business as usual (despite also having to attempt a 31 mile mountain race, but I digress). This might have been the first hotel I have stayed at where I actually wanted to STAY at the hotel, rather than go out and explore. The bar, the restaurant, the communal lounge areas, the gym, and the room itself were so exceptional that I really only ventured out to grab a few items I needed in the area, enjoy some time near the river, and get my VooDoo doughnuts of course.
So let me hit the highlights for you.
The rooms are expertly curated to suit all your needs while simultaneously making you feel like you are a really really posh lumberjack. Plaids and stripes with pops of color. Funky fresh at its core. I used the in-room Nespresso machine many times a day (fun fact - the coffee was provided by Caffe Umbria, a great small coffee chain from Seattle). The management team left me a little sampling of some of the treats they offer for purchase down in the lobby and a note wishing me well on my race. Let me assure you that even if I wasn’t writing the review of their hotel, the staff would still have been this thoughtful if they were aware of my plans. A huge difference between Portland and Los Angeles (where I live) is this attention to detail. You don’t need to have a bunch of money to be treated with respect and enjoy a little luxury in Portland.
I really struggled with sharing time between my room AND the communal areas on the lobby floor. I took so many flipping photos of these spaces, all the while with a look of disbelief and awe at the colors, lights, patterns, textures, and flawless floor planning. The restaurant/bar area flows seamlessly into some of the table areas where people would sit with their laptops, share coffees, or hang out and sip on some fruit-infused water. No matter where you are, there is an outlet. And you can take that to the bank.
You felt taken care of, all the way down to the variety of free weights, cardio equipment, expertly wrapped towels and tray of free earbuds in the gym. Oh yeah, I forgot, I had to share time with the gym-floor view as well. How lucky to get to workout on a real spin bike while staring out at the downtown Portland skyline. And in an effort not to dwell on this spin bike too much, it adjusted high enough for my 37” inseam legs. Miracles do happen.
The definition of conscientious. The rooms came with reusable glass carafes for water. In the halls near the ice machines there was a bada** filtered water re-fill system for those glass containers and your personal water bottles. This is a HUGE selling point for me. Reuse/recycle is a topic I will openly and passionately discuss with anyone who will listen. So thank you Canopy Hotel. Thank you for leading by example. Good Karma points for mile and miles and miles.
My final plug is for a service that one of the hotel staff members alerted me to. If you are in Portland, you absolutely must use Parking Kitty. This app alone makes me want to drop everything and move to Portland right now. This app allows you to park at most Downtown Portland parking spots and pay for your stay with your phone. GET THIS -> once your time is up, you don’t need to return to your car if you have the app. All you do is pull out your phone, add more time/money in the app, and voila! It was a real life saver for me and allowed me to walk around and experience the city without worrying about my meter expiring. Bless you Parking Kitty. Bless. You. Now please enjoy the scrolling photos below and soak in the entire experience of Portland and the Canopy Hotel by Hilton. xo Katie