Portland, Oregon

I love Portland! My dog and I lived in Hillsdale, a neighborhood in Southwest Portland, in 2006 and 2007. In that timeframe, I enrolled in master’s courses in Urban and Regional Planning at Portland State University. I also took the Oregon bar exam. And then I returned to the Midwest.

I set sail once again for the West Coast in late 2014, hoping to find steady income. En route, I spent a night in Bozeman, where I lived for two years, and Ritzville, a small town in the midst of scrubland in eastern Washington.

Eventually, I arrived in Lake Oswego, in Southwest Portland. I coexisted as a grateful guest for five nights with a friend, his girlfriend, and their daughters. The apartment, surrounded by lush forest, yet close to downtown, felt like home.

Afterward, I ambled to Northeast Portland, near the airport, landing at a Radisson for four nights. Two of those nights were free, and the other two were booked with points. The staff enjoyed serving guests, a welcome sign of good hospitality. The check-in agent provided vouchers for evening drinks and appetizers, as well as breakfast, all included with the room. My abode, on the private fourth floor, had a lounge down the hall, where I topped off mochas and lattes.

I stayed one night at the Hyatt Place, also near the airport, using a free night certificate. I might have used the award at the Grand Hyatt in Seattle, but in Portland, the only option is a Hyatt Place. The hotel is encompassed by new, chain development, with convenient rail links.

The next day, I drove to the eastern suburb of Gresham, spending four nights at the Four Points by Sheraton, using SPG points. The walls are paper thin, but the staff is obliging. The location, distant from downtown Portland, is connected by rail, but Gresham is a worn-out section of town.

Following the Four Points, I crossed the Willamette River into Washington, spending a night at the Staybridge Suites in Vancouver, using IHG points. I retreated back across the river the next day, staying two nights at a Holiday Inn Express in Troutdale, a suburb on the eastern edge of Portland, at the entrance to the Columbia Gorge. I redeemed additional IHG points.

On my return to South Dakota, I stopped in Missoula, Montana, for a night at the Holiday Inn Downtown, booked via Priceline. My final day on the road was a twelve-hour stretch to Fort Pierre, through rain and scattered snow.

The adventure endlessly entertained. My move to Portland is impending. Below is a re-cap of accommodations and hotel points used. While the trip dissipated a substantial amount of points and awards, it confirmed my suspicion that wise utilization can prove opportune, and financially rewarding.

PDX1

Friday August 22

Bozeman, MT – Holiday Inn Express

15,000 IHG points

Upgraded to a King Suite

 

Saturday

Ritzville, WA – Best Western Plus Bronco Inn

$103

Nice hotel for this isolated locale

 

Sunday through Thursday

Portland (Lake Oswego) – Joe’s Place

FREE

Thankful for an air mattress and a welcome home

 

Friday

Portland – Radisson

28,000 Club Carlson points

With Club Carlson Gold Status, upgraded and received certificates for breakfast and evening drinks and appetizers in the restaurant.

 

Saturday

Portland – Radisson

FREE

With the Club Carlson credit card, the last night of any award stay is free. I booked two two-night stays (see below).

 

Sunday

Portland – Radisson

28,000 Club Carlson points

 

Monday

Portland – Radisson

FREE

 

Tuesday

Portland – Hyatt Place

Category 1 – 4 Free Night Certificate (obtained after $91 paid night in Denver).

Enjoyable, but should have saved the certificate for a more desirable property.

 

Wednesday

Portland (Gresham) – Four Points

4,000 SPG points

Walls are paper thin, but staff is obliging

 

Thursday

Portland (Gresham) – Four Points

4,000 SPG points

Earned SPG Gold Status after this stay

 

Friday

Portland (Gresham) – Four Points

3,000 SPG points

Reduced rate on weekends

 

Saturday

Portland (Gresham) – Four Points

3,000 SPG points

Another weekend night…

 

Sunday

Portland (Vancouver, WA) – Staybridge Suites

15,000 IHG points

A quiet suite with comforts of home

 

Monday

Portland (Troutdale) – Holiday Inn Express

10,000 IHG points

Sandwiched between two truck stops, but pleasant staff

 

Tuesday

Portland (Troutdale) – Holiday Inn Express

10,000 IHG points

More of the same…

 

Wednesday

Missoula, MT – Holiday Inn Downtown

$70 booked via Priceline

Late arrival and early departure with view of lobby

PDX2

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Categories: Hotels, Oregon, Travel, Travel Blog

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