Every time you look up, the city's skyline seems to get fancier.

Portland is in the midst of a hotel boom. They're sprouting out of the ground almost as fast as apartment complexes. And, from the outside anyway, they sure seem awful rich for the average Portlander's blood.

But if you actually walk through the doors, past the front desk, you'll discover Portland's hotels are more accessible than they appear.

So we decided to access them.

To be sure, this city's new hotels are more casual Friday than Monte Carlo. While there is no official rating system, Portland does not, by most standards, have a five-star hotel.

But with Portland potentially building more hotel rooms than it can fill, the time seemed right to explore the glimmering properties most residents presume are meant only for rich out-of-towners. And as it turns out, they're not entirely off-limits to locals—at least, not savvy ones.

We toured a dozen of the new and remodeled hotels that have opened in recent years, searching out their unique features and amenities. We didn't find any gold toilets or complimentary foie gras truffles, but we did discover basement rec rooms, human-sized Jenga sets and secret rooftop hideaways. We reviewed the new wave of hotel bars—the most discreet spots in town for a stiff drink and a fried rabbit. And we ranked the top 10 hotel restrooms—you'll thank us later.

Hotels are taking up an increasing amount of real estate in this city, and we believe it's time you took advantage. This year, the hotel lobby is the after-party.