In most cases, no one would end up at a hotel bar on purpose.
Designed for the transient, they're often devoid of any authentic local flavor and most definitely overpriced. But while that last bit may be true some of the time, Portland's been blessed by a hotel boom in which developers are actually paying great attention to the details.
Sure, you'll still find the occasional eye-burning assault on good taste, like OuiBar inside the new Radisson Red. But more often, our hotel bars aren't just for captive travelers with no other options—they're places a local might want to seek out.
There's Xport, the 16th-story sky bar at the Porter with a double-sided balcony, fire pits and views of both Mount Hood and the West Hills. There's Rosa Rosa, Vitaly Paley's opulent new restaurant and bar, with deep basin green leather banquette seating, hypnotic black-and-white diamond tiled floors and drinks to match the swank. There's the sleek, streamlined ground-floor drinking lobby at AC Marriott, where there's no need to chase down a server—simply page one with the push of a button that sends a signal to the employee's Apple Watch-like device.
The best part is you're likely to be the only Portland resident among a smattering of businessmen frowning silently at laptops and couples quietly planning the next-days sightseeing itineraries. It's the kind of environment where you can savor that $14 cocktail in peace, with plenty of room to spread out. I don't know about you, but I'll cough up a few extra bucks to avoid jockeying for a barstool with the rest of the suckers at the usual crowded hot spots.