I am back at the Riverplace in Portland, Oregon. I was just here for the first time this Spring (the property is newly Kimptonized). The showers are (sadly) all plastic in this city when it comes to Kimptons. Must have something to do with the rain??

I liked the Riverplace way more than the Portland Monaco though. Sadly, for my last stay, the number of hours in room could be counted on less than one hand. This time I am staying two days with some down time and I am stuck in dinky little 403. Oh well.

Anyway, Hell was clearly beginning to freeze over when United actually had power, wifi, and a comfortable ride for my cross continent journey. I was not upgraded. But I have learned the hard way over the last two years that my 1,579,471 of loyalty really don’t mean jack shit to United. Upgrades? Ha ha ha ha. Not for me. Only on flights that never take off.


I was psyched to arrive at the Riverplace again. Hoping for another shot at a nice room, this time with some time to be IN the room. But I must have arrived too late. And sadly even though I booked this room MONTHS AGO, the kind of room I like was unavailable. We’ll chalk that up to bad planning. NPS does not like bad planning. No we do not. We do not reward bad planning with super happy drivel blog postings. No no. We strap on the asbestos suit from the ’80s flame wars and flame on.

Step down in room quality at Kimpton PDX? United making me a happier camper than Kimpton? Inner Circle guy does not get a hot damn room?? Hell is clearly frozen over. Maybe the inner circle of hell.

My favorite interaction of the night was when the front desk called to, “make sure everything was satisfactory with the room.” “No, I said. I don’t like this room as much as 202 where I was last time.” Want to flumox the front desk? Tell them the truth! hah. “Um, well we were all out of that room category?!” {insert something here about bad planning} Did I mention the bad planning?

Here is the plastic shower in the tiny bathroom of 403.

This shower is not the kind of shower we like.

This shower is not the kind of shower we like.

And here is a Vine of the room. It all fits nicely in 6 seconds. Just sayin’.

Margo Helgen of the social media interwebs did try to pull off something nice, arranging a Hibiscus Mule cocktail (bit on the sweet side unlike this posting). But apparently Margo has no sway over computer system room allocation. Alas, Margo they should upgrade your magic wand! Thanks for playing along.

Hibiscus Mule cocktail. Afraid Jacques would not really approve.

Hibiscus Mule cocktail. Afraid Jacques would not really approve.

And there was some serious confusion over just who ordered what cheese plate. One did arrive we must say!

So we’re going to bed. Maybe tomorrow during downtime after my early morning keynote we will be in a better mood. I doubt it.

Though the RiverPlace Hotel has apparently been around for a long time in Portland, it is now branded as a Kimpton (before it was operated by Kimpton but not under the brand). A quick stay was most welcome. You see, after the meeting at Skamania, a big trip to Powell’s Books was in order. Powell’s is the best bookstore in North America.

From the falls to Portland is just 20 miles or so.

The front desk staff Ellie and Dave were super friendly and nice as were the valet guys. Portland has lots of nice people, and some of them work at RiverPlace. I was assigned room 202.

I was greeted with an amenity including sparkling water, some cheese and a couple of notes.


The best aspects of 202 are its completely non-hamster-cage design. Lots of round, no square walls. Beautiful space. Sophisticated style.

202 one way

202 one way

202 the other way

202 the other way

The king bed was very comfortable all three hours I was in it.

202 bed

202 bed

And, yes, there is a river. And you can see it from 202.

view from 202

view from 202

The bathroom is spacious with modern European fixtures. But you’re not going to believe this…the shower had a plastic shower curtain on a curvy rod over a (Euro) tub. Horrors! Run away!!


Say it ain't so!

Say it ain’t so!

This is plastic.

This is plastic.

Maybe the RiverPlace has some rooms with glass showers? We’ll have to try again and see. All in all the RiverPlace beats the Monaco hands down in my book. Much better quality hotel.

Two hours and $375.92 after I found the new door, I escaped Powell’s with a huge pile of books that filled my expandable suitcase to the brim. The Powell’s fiction/lit section is a dream for any real reader.

Then it was on to Clyde Common pretty much right around the corner for a delicious dinner and some world class cocktails. Pork rinds with trout roe and horseradish lemon cream? Amazing.

After dinner I sauntered over to the (busy but not overcrowded) bar to be served by Beckaly Franks. She is a master. We had fun playing around with some experiments (including a drink I imported from New Orleans). Her best of the evening was Winter is Coming
1 oz James Pepper 1776 Rye
1 oz Perucci Vermouth (like Dolin’s blue)
.75 oz Genepy (or green chartreuse)
1 t luxardo
healthy dash of angostura
stir down. serve on rox. lemon twist.

One of the on the card drinks at Clyde Common is the Broken Bike:
1 oz cynar
2 oz pinot gris (dry)
2 oz club soda
The restaurant bottles these in advance and serves a small bottle. Add lemon oil or a lemon twist. I am going to try it on the rocks.

The bar at Clyde Common is world class.

Morning came way early.

Four showerheads and some glass doors for the RiverPlace hotel. All we have to say is no plastic showers!