Mark Spencer Hotel

, Portland, United States
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Mark Spencer Hotel

, Portland
2 star

Rooms: 101

409 Southwest 11th Ave - Portland - Oregon - 97205 - United States Hotel Website | | 503.224.3293
410 Traveller

Reviews - Mark Spencer Hotel

Below average room - good location
Submitted by: RS in 11/03/07
  • Age Group: 26 - 30
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Young Couple
Right in the Pearl - excellent location. The Max is about 3 or 4 blocks away - so that is very convenient. The staff members were very pleasant and helpful. The room however was lacking - very stuffy and the lighting in the bathroom was brutal. The continental breakfast was not that good by continental breakfast standards and there was limited seating. I would not stay at this hotel again but I am not upset about staying there once.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Mark Spencer Hotel

Awful. Awful. Awful.

from A TripAdvisor Member
With a room rate of 150 $ per night, disgusting out of date rooms that looks more like trailers than hotel rooms, ghetto appliances, lumpy beds, and a front desk that told me, upon requesting extra hangars that I "should come down and get them". Gee, thanks. If I wanted that kind of treatment, I would have gone for a fleabag motel. This is as close as you can get to a fleabag motel.

It did have a beautiful bamboo out front.

ve Found

from A TripAdvisor Member
Just wonderful -- I was leery of a hotel so reasonably priced, but I couldn't be happier with my 8-night stay while apartment hunting. I requested and got a very quiet room (this seems to be key, based on the reviews I've been reading). The kitchenette was very convenient and I found the room -- and the hotel in general -- perfectly clean. The staff were all polite, friendly, helpful. I had a flurry of faxes in and out, which they handled without complaint and they cheerfully discussed local restaurants. On-site laundry was clean and all the machines worked. It's not the Taj Mahal, but it's very well-kept and well-run.

If you're not a city person or you can't go two sentences without writing the phrase "my husband..." or you're shocked by gay bars, then this place is not for you. For the rest of us, what a gem.

Great Location, great staff

from A TripAdvisor Member
We had a wonderful stay at the Mark Spencer. I guess any hotel can have occasional bad days, but I didn't see any evidence of any of the problems previously mentioned by the unsatisfied reviewers. I will admit that the tea & breakfast are merely adequate, but to me those are perks, and I'm glad to have them. The food was simple, but always fresh and plentiful.

The location was absolutely fantastic. Within five blocks, you'll find Powell's, Wild Oats, and myriad stores & restaurants. The bulk of downtown & the Pearl District is within a 10-minute walk. The hotel is located on the new trolley line, which is a direct connection to the NW area, and a few blocks from the MAX. If you plan to stay in the city area, there would be no need for a rental car. We did have a rental car and did not stay in the hotel parking lot, although it's nice they have one. We saved money by using street parking after hours.

The rooms were nice, with a huge closet & big bathroom. We loved having a kitchenette for leftovers & cocktails, and thought the appliances were quite cute. The kitchen was fully stocked with brand-new pots & pans and plates & utensils, as well as a coffee maker and toaster.

Everything was clean and daily maid service and free NY Times made it even better. The staff were incredibly nice and helpful.

There is also a rooftop patio, which I highly recommend for pre-dinner drinks. It's a great view of the city. There are also laundry facilities in the basement, which would make this the perfect place for a long-term stay.

We had friends who had a "suite" which was quite large with a separate bedroom. Their only complaint was that the wireless internet was slow, and cost $6. Seems this should be a free amenity.

I can't recommend this hotel any more highly! See the pictures for your own opinion, but please excuse our mess. : )

Exceeded my expectations

from chucklebelly
I want to be clear right up front - I'm not giving this hotel 5 stars because I believe it is a 5 star hotel. It's not. It is however the loveliest two star hotel I have ever stayed in.

The hotel exterior is nice, with flower boxes on all the first floor windows. You enter the hotel via a walkway that looks down upon the fountain courtyard with small wrought iron tables and chairs for guests to use. The lobby area is small, but nicer than I expected. It is decorated in dark woods and had a comfortable elegance.

The front desk staff were professionally attired in white shirts and grey vests, and each one that I spoke with was friendlier than the last. They clearly took pride in providing excellent service, and it showed. I received great directions and restaurant recommendations from several of the staff.

The hotel was full when I was there, so I wound up getting upgraded to the Junior Suite B (with twin beds) for the price of the Standard Room I had booked. They also offer a version of that suite with a Queen bed instead of the two twins. Since I was travelling solo, it didn't make much of a difference to me. Canadian travellers should note that there is an ongoing "Canadian Rates at Par" special. With proof of Canadian residency you pay the standard room rate in Canadian dollars, not US. For me, that meant that the $89 US a night room that I booked only cost me $89 Cdn, or about $72 US at current rates.

The suite consisted of two medium-sized rooms totalling about 450 square feet. The living room had a television, sofa, chair, two-person table and a kitchenette with a fridge, stove, oven and sink. The appliances were quite old, but in good condition. The bedroom had another TV, twin beds, a large dresser and a walk-in closet. The bathroom was of average size and was located off of the bedroom. The decor was comfortable, if uninspired. I would love to see more interesting art in the rooms. The mass-produced florals in gilt frames don't do justice to a hotel so committed to the arts. The room was meticulously clean.

The continental breakfast served in a small room off the lobby was great for what it was. There was ample coffee, tea and juice, along with bagels and bread to toast, muffins, croissants, danish and cereals. It was nothing fancy, but the bagels were great and there was a staff member constantly clearing tables and refreshing supplies both times I was there.

The Mark Spencer is in a great location for exploring Portland. It is on the edge of where downtown becomes the Pearl District. The fantastic Powell's City of Books is a block away, as is Jake's Famous Crawfish (where I had the best salmon of my life!). The southbound stretcar runs right in front of the hotel, and the MAX train is about 4-5 short blocks away.

The hotel is in close proximity to a few popular gay bars, so late night noise is an issue, particularly on the weekends. I'm an extremely sound sleeper, so I had no trouble even with the window open, but lighter sleepers might want to bring earplugs.

I can't imagine why anyone would ever stay in a generic chain motel when there are unique and affordable hotels like the Mark Spencer around.

t the Ritz

from A TripAdvisor Member
I stayed at the Mark Spencer while attending a conference and it was great. First, it was cheaper than the conference hotel (Hilton). Second, we had a kitchen which was great to prepare snacks, wine, and cheese. Third, we were in the most happening neighborhood in Portland: The Pearl district where we ate and drank fabulously each day and night. I am perplexed by these other reviews because we found our room pleasant, a bit old fashion, but supremely liveable. The only thing about our room was a musty smell at first but honestly, you get used to it and our clothes didn't smell. Come on people, this wasn't the Ritz. It's a bargain and totallly fine.

Sleepless in Portland

from Pavla
Yikes what a concept...a "boutique roach motel". How novel, with all of the cruddy Hotel rooms hovering over the very gay and awake Stark St...the noise into the wee hours is unreal or maybe I should say "TOO Real". Fights and hookups going all night long-only interrupted by sirens and police bullhorns.

And the rooms...gee..a 3 inch foam mattress no mattress pad (we shuddered to think about it) and sheets that slide off the bed when you slide least the sheets were clean cause little else was...and don't think that a "suite" is better...all we got was a broken, stained chair we wouldn't even put our coats on and a 50s era kithcenette complete with dirty dishes and nonworking refrig.

Oh yeah...forget about their continental breakfast or so-called "tea"'s all unattended, uncovered in the entry and unappetizing with all the hands that touch the stale pastries, bad apples, and the flies...ewwwww...better to eat elsewhere than risk hepatitis or food poisoning.

We paid over $100 per night and felt supremely ripped-off, but since all rooms in town were full...had to pay. We got lucky on the 3rd night of a weeks stay and found a room elsewhere.

a good bargain

from A TripAdvisor Member
After reading some of the reviews of this hotel I was a bit concerned about staying there, but I found it to be a decent place with an excellent location. The staff at the hotel were helpful and the room itself, while not luxurious, was comfortable. The kitchenette will be appreciated by anyone who is staying in Portland more than a few days. My only complaint was the noise from the bar on Stark Street. I recommend trying to book a room that overlooks SW 11th rather than Stark in an effort to avoid dealing with it. If you prefer to go to sleep early and are not a deep sleeper, then this is the one thing you should consider before booking a room at this hotel. Otherwise, it is a good bargain.

Only thing missed were roaches

from AnonymousSac
This was possibly the most disgusting place I have ever stayed in. I was travelling with my boyfriend for the first time ever; I got this hotel out of a discount book. 50% off and I still ended up paying a horrid $120+ per night.

We arrived a bit early, about an hour before our check-in time. However, we were assured that our room was ready. We headed up the scary-looking elevator, then entered the room (we had reserved a suite).

The room looked as though a bomb had gone off in it. The linens were twisted and thrown on the floor. Literally every sheet and towel had been used by the previous guests and, since there was a crib/playpen thing, they'd obviously had a kid in there. Maybe that was the source of the awful smell--or maybe it was the stains and hair in the bathroom.

I immediately called downstairs and complained that the room had not been cleaned. The front desk person insisted I had entered the wrong room (which would be rather scary to think that their keys opened more than one room). After assuring the staff that I had the correct room, they said they would send a housekeeper up immediately.

After twenty minutes, I called again and was assured the housekeeping staff was on its way. We didn't even have anywhere to sit.

About ten minutes later, a staff person came with a new key and apologized for the delay. He said he was upgrading us to a nicer room with a view. Sure, the living room section of the suite had a view, but the bedroom looked directly into other windows. Also, the walls were concrete or barely covered--either way, we froze despite using the questionable blankets. Speaking of linens, I believe I practically had scratch marks from the cheap towels. And it was not truly an upgrade--the kitchenette we had counted on using was gone (I still scratch my head over this upgrade thing).

I was excited about the afternoon tea--I get downstairs on the shaky elevator to a box of those cheap danish butter cookies you get from vendors at Christmastime because they cost about $1/tin in bulk. The tea was straight from the supermarket as well--nothing special.

When we left, it turned out the reason for our free upgrade had not been communicated, and I spent nearly half an hour trying to convince the front desk that we had been upgraded because of the lack of housekeeping service.

I rarely get to travel and was so disappointed...thank goodness I now know about this website. Stay away from the Mark Spencer...or, as we still refer to it as, "that horrid hotel we picked in Portland."

service with a smile

from adverb
For context: I was coming from the Ritz in Philly and this was my first trip to Portland. This hotel is completely serviceable - kind of like a Marriott Extended Stay or a Wellesley. It had everything I needed, friendly staff and great location. The hotel and amenities are a little worn around the edges but I have no complaints. I had a room next to the elevator and it was a little noisy but I was so tired from running around Portland to all hours I didn't care. If that kind of thing bothers you then request something at the end of the hall.

Stay Away!

from A TripAdvisor Member
Talk about false advertising! Nothing about the Mark Spencer website even remotely resembles what it really is. My husband went to check in while I got our son and luggage ready. I could tell by the look on my husband’s face when he came out that he was not happy. He had been told to completely empty the car due to the area that the hotel is in - this was a major mission since we were on a road trip from San Francisco with a 5 year old! The lobby smelt disgusting and the floor our room was on smelt even worse! Although there were signs saying it was a non-smoking floor, you could have fooled me - it reeked of stale cigarette smoke. The room smelt as well, the phone didn’t work, and the toilet was clogged. We paid extra for the wireless service and it didn’t work either! We lasted there 20 minutes before we called Hotels and the wonderful woman in customer service got us a reservation at the Avalon. We paid $20 more a night and got a 4 star hotel that smells great! Skip the Mark Spencer at all costs!

Top Local Tips for Portland

Low-Budget sightseeing Hop on the downtown streetcar at NW11th and Couch. Ride to the Cultural District's South end, get off and enjoy Museums, Theatres walking around the south Park Blocks. Get back on the streetcar on 10 th Ave. and ride it to NW Glisan. Leave the streetcar and explore the Pearl District, Chinatown and Old Town on foot. Either catch a westbound #20 bus or walk back to the hotel on foot.

Light Railway This is one of the great conveniences in Portland. The Max trains run out to the airport at standard city fares ($1.70 adult, 85 cents senior) and runs within a couple of blocks of the Mark Spencer Hotel. There is a free zone on Max, as well as the buses, which covers downtown Portland on the west side of the Willamette River and extends across the river to include stops at the Convention Center and the Lloyd shopping mall. In a southerly direction, the MAX trains run as far as the new development being built along the river from which an aerial cable car connects to OHSU (Oregon Health Sciences Univ.) for a $4 round-trip.

Portland's MAX Portland's public transportation system ROCKS!!!! Free ride in City Center zone, $2 to get right to the airport in about 20 minutes, reasonable ticket prices outside of the free zone, designed with bicycles and people with disabilities in mind.


Other names for Mark Spencer Hotel

  • mark spencer portland
  • mark spencer hotel
  • mark spencer
  • Address: 409 Southwest 11th Ave - Portland - Oregon - 97205 - United States
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