The Top 10 Hotel Restrooms in Portland For When You Desperately Need To Go

You’re full and wincing, and much too demur to duck into an alley or squat behind a car. What do you do? Where do you go?

We've all been there.

The bars are closing, and you've greatly overestimated the capacity of your bladder. You're full and wincing, and much too demur to duck into an alley or squat behind a car. What do you do? Where do you go?

If you're in Portland, your best bet is to make a beeline for the nearest hotel lobby.

But not all hotel restrooms are created equal.

In a quest to find the best bathrooms to crash, I toured a long list of hotels in Portland and ranked the top 10 by ambiance, privacy and location. Remember, while the trek from front door to toilet is often short, determination is key. Are you a guest? No. But carry yourself with confidence, and relief will soon be yours.

1. Canopy

(425 NW 9th Ave)

Nearby bars: Teardrop Lounge, Allora, Nuvrei

Ambience: Clean, white, bright, quiet, good-smelling, all-gender

Privacy: It's a single, fairly large restroom situated well away from the hotel's bar and restaurant area and adjacent to a comfortable lounge.

Best feature: Canopy's restroom is downright pleasant—clean, quiet and doused with a whole Bath and Body Works' worth of air freshener. You can diddle on your smartphone, whistle a happy tune, read a book—whatever it is you do while squatting—in peace.

How to find them: Once through Canopy's double doors, you have to walk past the front desk to your left to find the toilets.

2. Jupiter Next

900 E Burnside St.

Nearby bars: Doug Fir Lounge, Rontoms, Burnside Brewing Company

Ambience: Cavernous, stone-walled, gender-neutral, vampire lair-like

Privacy: Seven, decent-sized stalls with floor-to-ceiling, gray stone-paneled walls

Best feature: The seven stalls are arranged in a semicircle around a trough-style shared sink. Faucets and candelabra light fixtures are all gold, and the soft, dim lighting won't leave you gasping at your own reflection.

How to find them: Walk straight past the front desk, veer right up a couple steps and find the restrooms tucked behind the lobby coffee bar.

3. The Society Hotel

203 NW 3rd Ave.

Nearby bars: CC Slaughters, Darcelle XV, the Siren Theater

Ambience: Like a cigar lounge, but bathroomy

Privacy: The Society's restrooms are among the largest. They're private, individual rooms where you can peacefully shut yourself away.

Best feature: The walls here are covered with framed old newspaper clippings, which are a convenient source of reading material.

How to find them: After walking through the front doors, walk straight past the front desk to get to the restrooms. They're easy to find, but you might get side-eyed by the concierge.

4. Hi-Lo Hotel

320 SW Stark St.

Nearby bars: Huber's, Kelly's Olympian, the 3rd Avenue food carts

Ambience: Pink, plush, 1950s aesthetic

Privacy: Multiple stalls, separated by floor-to-ceiling walls

Best feature: Perfect bathroom-mirror selfie lighting. Plus, there are two large mirrors on either side of the sinks, facing each other, which make for a very entertaining, infinite-reflection illusion.

How to find them: Hi-Lo's restrooms are some of the easiest to sneak into. Walk through the doors and to the left, and never enter the concierge's line of sight.

5. The Duniway

545 SW Taylor St.

Nearby bars: Jackrabbit (which shares the same restroom), brown-bagging in Pioneer Courthouse Square

Ambience: Dark, sultry, small

Privacy: Typical, open at the top and bottom of the stalls

Best feature: An ATM is located right outside, in case you need to make a cash withdrawal, and the dim lighting and round mirrors are soothing and pleasant for not-so-sober eyes.

How to find them: These are not easy to find, in large part because they are for both hotel guests waiting in the lobby and people dining at the adjacent Jackrabbit. To find them, walk past the front desk and turn right down a small hallway.

6. The Heathman Hotel

1001 SW Broadway

Nearby bars: The Brunish, Newmark and Winningstad theaters, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Headwaters

Ambience: Large, airy, aristocratic

Privacy: Typical, open at the top and bottom of the stalls

Best feature: While not the most private, this restroom does have a small, leather chaise lounge, which is convenient if you towed along a bored friend. There's also a large, crystal teardrop-adorned chandelier in the back corner. It's showy for a restroom, yes. But you deserve nice things.

How to find them: No slinking past the front desk is necessary here. Just walk straight through the doors and veer to the right.

7. Marriot Downtown Waterfront

1401 SW Naito Parkway

Nearby bars: Chances are, you'd make an emergency stop here if your route home is along the Southwest waterfront.

Ambience: Don't be surprised to find a lobby full of lanyard-wearing conference guests.

Privacy: Typical, open at the top and bottom of the stalls

Best feature: Thanks to the high traffic in the hotel lobby, you won't feel like you have to feign being a guest. There's also a Biketown rack out front, if you feel like picking up a bike to finish your journey home.

How to find them: Walk past the hotel restaurant and around a small "business center" and gift shop to get to the toilets.

8. The Porter

1355 SW 2nd Ave.

Nearby bars:  Keller Auditorium, Morton's Steakhouse

Ambience: Clean, full of art, softly lit

Privacy: Multiple stalls, separated by floor-to-ceiling walls

Best feature: The art in this restroom was some of the most interesting, and the walls were filled entirely by a collage of painted portraits and frames. Plus, the hand towels were actual towels. Luxury.

How to find them: I had to ask for directions here. The restrooms are down a hall to the left of the front desk.

9. AC Hotel

888 SW 3rd Ave.

Nearby bars: Rock Bottom Brewing, Q Bar

Ambience: Like the restrooms in a dying shopping mall that was updated in a desperate attempt to seem cool again, with fluorescent lighting.

Privacy: Multiple stalls, separated by floor-to-ceiling walls

Best feature: There's a pretty large lounge space just outside the restrooms, in case you brought your whole crew.

How to find them: These were the most difficult restrooms to locate. You have to walk down two sets of stairs, which are to the right and behind the front doors.

10. Dossier Hotel

750 SW Alder St.

Nearby bars: Alder Street food carts, Jackknife, Multnomah Whiskey Library

Ambience: Bland and airportlike

Privacy: Typical, open at the top and bottom of the stalls

Best feature: A series of portraits of hats adorns the walls,
titled Hat I, Hat II and Hat III.

How to find them: The toilets are located on the second floor of the hotel, which means you have to work extra hard to reach them. When in desperate need of relief, it's probably wise to look elsewhere.

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