Sitting on the Columbia River and right off of I-5, the Red Lion Hotel on the River Jantzen Beach is perfect for Washingtonians heading into Portland. Located on Hayden Island yet only 10 minutes from downtown, it’s the ideal spot for those who want to avoid the downtown hustle and bustle while staying close to the action of the biggest city in the state. Plus, in spite of being separated from mainland Portland, it is not isolated from actual businesses or activities. It is within walking distance to several restaurants, a bank, grocery stores, and a mall, there’s no place we’d rather stay when visiting.
The hotel itself looks beautiful, with a historic style architecture and decor referencing the sixties. Upon entering you see the spacious lobby, complete with coffee stands and an ample lounge area. The property features several grand ballrooms for parties and a variety of special occasions. If you venture outside you can treat yourself to the large outdoor pool and hot tub, the riverfront trail, or the large tennis courts for a game or two. There’s even a fitness center if the weather isn’t up to snuff.
The rooms of the hotel range from intimate, cozy places to large spacious suites. We stayed in the Seattle suite, which was perhaps the biggest accommodation we’ve had the good fortune to stay in. The large amount of room and luxury contained inside gave us a home-like comfort not equaled by any other hotel. The suite contained three balconies with a beautiful view of the tennis courts below, the Columbia river, and the bridge that spans it. They opened up and provided an ample amount of natural light for both the living room and bedroom.
The kitchen is small but great for basic use, with plenty of counter space, and came with a small fridge, coffee maker, and microwave. The open design connected it to the dining area with an enormous table, and was in the same place as the living room. The couch was very large as well, and overall felt like an appropriate place to have a lot of people over. Along with the two televisions and Direct TV cable hook up, it almost felt too big for just two guests.
The suite came with two bathrooms, one upon entry and a master connected to bedroom. It included two sinks, a walk-in shower big enough for two, and a small spa. Again, the real draw is the size, with great room between all those elements, and that is consistent throughout the suite. It gave our stay a great sense of grandness and scale, and made us feel like we were treated with luxury.
After you relax in your room, you’ll want to head down to the Jantzen Beach Bar & Grill, the hotel’s restaurant. With giant windows looking over the Columbia riverfront and a menu featuring breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it’s a perfect place to grab delicious food.
Breakfast includes the typical egg dish varieties, with extra interesting options like chorizos, chilaquiles, and dungeness crab cake. Lunch includes several types of salads and a few varieties of sandwiches, pus some yummy pasta dishes. We had the chicken sandwich and the burger, which were great.
The chicken was roasted well and topped with crisp lettuce and onions, making for a great crunchy sandwich. The burger was grilled to our specification and came with crispy fries that were well seasoned. To top it off for dessert, we had the cheesecake, which was heavenly. It had the perfect creamy consistency and a delicious berry flavor, and was a joy to eat.
Even after you’ve eaten, the restaurant still holds some surprises. It turns into a nightclub in the later evenings, with a DJ providing music to dance to. With a full bar adjacent, it’s the spot to get your groove on and enjoy yourself.
Anyone visiting Portland and looking for places to stay will expect to seek out usual spots from downtown, close to the biggest restaurants and attractions, however the Red Lion on the Columbia River fit our bill perfectly.
The distance from downtown also made it much more preferable, since it’s quieter, easier to get in and out of due to lack of traffic, and right next to the highway. Next time you swing by Portland give them a try.