Music-inspired McMenamins Crystal Hotel Opens in Portland

by  Liz Webber | May 24, 2011
Crystal Hotel
Crystal Hotel / Courtesy of the property

Beer-making and boutique hotels may not be an obvious connection, but Portland-based brewery McMenamins has a knack for turning unused buildings into hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, and more. The brand’s latest project: McMenamins Crystal Hotel, a 51-room property linked to the legendary, nearly-100-year-old Crystal Ballroom concert venue across the street.

Rates at McMenamins’ first downtown hotel start at just $85/night. Eclectically-designed rooms (be warned these have shared bathrooms) and nine suites (with en-suite facilities) sport names based on songs performed at the Crystal Ballroom over the years. Local artwork is displayed throughout; guests also have exclusive use of an underground saltwater soaking pool.

For music fans, staying at the Crystal Hotel has its perks. Guests can book tickets for the Crystal Ballroom – even if the show is sold out – and also get early entry to the venue. Upcoming acts include Adele and Arctic Monkeys.

Back at the hotel, guests can enjoy pre- and post-concert sessions at music venue Al’s Den, named for Portland’s 1940s gambling kingpin who set up shop on the site back in the day. There’s also the Zeus Café, an all-day restaurant using local and seasonal ingredients.

Though visitors go to McMenamins-branded establishments mostly for the novelty value (locals say the beer – in a city with more than 30 breweries – is fairly average), the price and perks at the Crystal Hotel make it worth a serious consideration for a stay in Portland.

For general trip-planning information, see our Portland Travel Guide.

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