Once a traveler When they are old enough to sign for a rental car, their outlook on the lodge becomes real lethal Weapon Quote about “getting old for this shit”. Inexplicably associated with the kind of European vacation characterized by a torn backpack and bad weeds, the hostel is usually low-priced. But it’s also about fewer barriers to socializing and vacationing outside of the tour bus. So it makes sense that Portland — long home to bunk options at Hawthorne Hostel (RIP), McMenamins Edgefield, and Northwest Portland Hostel — would be at the forefront of hostel upgrading. Noticeably absent in these new luxury projects? The word “lodge”.
The name — the Icelandic word for “biscuit” — isn’t the only outside influence on Burnside’s stylish renovation property. The first and only Kex is located in downtown Reykjavik. But despite the property’s European partners, co-owner Jessica Silverman opted for a vibe that’s “not a swanky hostel,” even with the four- and 16-storey rooms (there are also private and family room options). In true Nordic style, there is a sauna available for guests to use, and the decor leans toward old European style, such as a wall of horse stall nameplates from a Belgian racetrack. With some private rooms and even private bathrooms spread throughout, one need not embrace the bunk bed life to hang out in the halls. Although only open since 2019, Dottir’s in-house restaurant has already closed, replaced by the more casual Pacific Standard, a dedicated cocktail dining hall launched by Clyde Common bartenders Jeffrey Morgenthaler and Benjamin Amberg.
Just a few blocks from Kex, sunny Lolo actually has far more private rooms (62) than shared rooms, though the four- and eight-bed dorms are key to the communal atmosphere that sisters Lauren and Lee Gonzalez have been cultivating since 2021 It’s not just people in their twenties who come across the super-advanced space; It hosts everything from school groups to retired girlfriends’ outings to older millennials who want to spend their money on turndown experiences, not to mention the popular lobby café. Hoping to promote local talent, the hotel does not charge artists a commission to display in the gallery in the lobby, and the social calendar is filled with themed nights — comedy, movies, trivia — and salsa dancing. In the summer, the rooftop deck invites strangers to gather around the fire pit. Like Kex, Lolo Pass taps into an eastern neighborhood whose cool factor has been on the rise.
The association’s two locations could not be more different; Bingen, located on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge near Hood River, has reworked an old schoolhouse into a spa-style retreat, its pools set among simple new cabins while two-story rooms fill part of the historic structure. But the Portland location is in the bustling Old Chinatown, an invitation to urban exploration. Like most modern hostels, the bunk rooms at Society aren’t rickety Ikea-designed; Wooden stairs take guests to beds equipped with privacy curtains, power outlets, lights and storage. This association opened in 2015 in a building more than 100 years old, built by the Seafarers’ Friends Association for seafarers who need a safe place to crash. With a roof deck that opens directly onto the Portland skyline, it’s still essentially the same thing, albeit a little more luxurious.
This article originally appeared in our sister magazine, Seattle is dead.