Multimillion Dollar Upgrade

The Benson Portland Completes Multimillion-Dollar Property Upgrade
Landmark hotel unveils stunning renovations by GGLO and R&H Construction as part of a brand revitalization initiative

Photos Courtesy of the Benson Portland

The Benson Portland, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, has completed a multimillion-dollar renovation of the 287-room property, located at 309 SW Broadway. With design by Seattle-based architect and interior designer GGLO, and building by R&H Construction, the nine-month project includes updates to the lobby, restaurant and bar, fitness center, meeting and event spaces, ballrooms and guest rooms.

“The Benson Portland takes pride in providing our guests with authentic and memorable travel experiences through distinctly local offerings and unexpected amenities,” said Mark Goeman, managing director. “These renovations demonstrate our commitment to guest satisfaction and alignment with the standards of this upscale, one-of-a-kind hotel brand.”

Featuring original Italian marble floors, Austrian crystal chandeliers, and the largest collection of Circassian walnut within one building, this fabled, European-style hotel is a timeless classic. No detail was spared in the design and selection of materials, which honor the historic significance of the landmark hotel. 

The new contemporary yet classic furniture throughout the lobby was carefully curated, using pieces by B&B Italia, a leader in modern furniture made in Milan. Warm, neutral textiles and intricate patterns create visual interest and a touch of creativity and beauty that is unexpected.

Palm Court Restaurant & Bar — with dining service provided by Culinary by El Gaucho and featuring custom banquette seating, a large community table and a unique bar design of hand-picked Calacatta Extra marble that waterfalls at the edge — beckons guests to imbibe, gather and connect. The design introduces a modern simplicity that, in contrast, highlights the existing architecture of the space.

The fitness center, relocated to the lower lobby level, was expanded to 1,500 square feet and unites modern and traditional touches. The addition of frameless glass walls at the entry and in the studio adds light and translucency to the space. The warm wood tones of the flooring are reflected in the wall-to-wall framed mirrors that are bathed in inviting edge lighting. Classic exercise modalities are paired with contemporary and creative workout and wellness offerings, including a yoga studio, all of which keep health and wellness in mind. The elegant reimagining of The Benson’s fitness experience provides a space that is both energetic and calming.

Each of the newly refined meeting and event spaces pay tribute to the hotel’s rich legacy and its builder, philanthropist, and innovator Simon Benson. The Brintons Axminster carpet used throughout is inspired by the underlying themes, with patterns that evoke feelings of fluidity and serenity.

The Crystal Ballroom, replete with gold leafing, Austrian crystal chandeliers and an ornate coffered ceiling, maintains its historic elegance. Modern carpet inspired by an elegant European motif and new drapery at the cathedral windows complement the antique detailing and create a dramatic backdrop for weddings and special events. Brass-framed mirrors were reintroduced onto the paneled walls to brighten this grand ballroom.

The Mayfair Ballroom, and its prefunction area, features new technology, lighting and finishes throughout. Custom chandeliers, designed to mimic the historic fixtures of the lobby and built by Los Angeles–based Lusive Décor, are the highlight. Over 150 crystal ceiling fixtures were also repurposed from the hotel’s original guest room corridors to create dramatic shimmering light, bringing sophistication and refinement to the 5,800-square-foot ballroom.

While preserving the original detailing, other meeting space improvements include new down lighting, wall coverings and technology. Dutch furniture design company Moooi is credited with the creation of a sculptural LED light fixture that illuminates the large mahogany table in the Regency Boardroom. In addition, 86” LED screens and integrated technology support unified collaboration for productive meetings.

Improvements to the hotel’s guest rooms and suites include the addition of 55” flat-panel televisions and installation of a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi system for greater speed.

The Benson Portland is also part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for the company’s 18 world-class brands. Members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows them to choose nearly any combination of Hilton Honors Points and money to book a stay, free standard Wi-Fi and an exclusive discount that can’t be found anywhere else. They also enjoy popular digital tools available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app, through which Hilton Honors members can check in, choose their room and access it using a digital key.

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