- North America,
- United States
Chick trip. Hotel Monaco is steps away from shopping. They know how to treat a lady too.
See + Do
The Pearl District, Oregon
Not so long ago, the Pearl District was just a bunch of warehouses. Gradually, a few galleries moved in, some lofts were converted to live-work spaces, some ambitious new restaurants opened their doors, and a thriving example of "new urbanism" was born. Today, newly erected condos are packed with young singles and couples who enjoy easy access to the restaurants, wine bars, spas, galleries, and boutiques that have staked their claim in this now highly desirable part of town. Avid shoppers will find everything from locally designed party dresses at Bubble Boutique to antique and contemporary furnishings at Cielo and Hive to great shoes at Sole and fine art and photography at Butters and Blue Sky Gallery. Numerous eateries and watering holes sprinkled throughout the area make fine places to regroup and give the credit cards a rest. Jameson Fountain fills with splashing tots in the summer months, transforming the otherwise quiet square into a popular hub for families. The first Thursday of every month, the galleries stay open late, streets are closed, and the whole neighborhood turns into one big block party (visit www.firstthursday.org for more information).
See + Do
Museum of Contemporary Craft, Oregon
Portland, Oregon 97209
Tel: 503 223 2654
When the Museum of Contemporary Craft reopened in an expanded location in the summer of 2007, it threw a huge block party with local microbrews, gelato, live music, and an impressive array of artist demonstrations. Families mingled with artists, gallery owners, and donors, and the whole thing was a raging success. That pretty much captures what the museum is setting out to do: to make art and craft accessible, interesting, and fun. The calendar is packed with events, from formal tours, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations to casual coffee get-togethers during which a specific aspect of the craft world is discussed. The temporary exhibits may or may not strike a chorddepending on when you're here, you may find a broad retrospective on craft in America or a specific artist-based exhibit. At the very least, the gallery is full of distinctive items by mostly regional artists, from gorgeous ceramics to handmade jewelry and textiles.
Open Tuesdays through Sundays 11 am to 6 pm, Thursdays until 8 pm.
Hotel Monaco, Oregon
Portland, Oregon 97204
Tel: 800 546 7866 (toll-free), Tel: 503 222 0001
Like other Kimpton hotels, the Hotel Monaco bucks the sterile and minimalist boutique trend in favor of character and whimsy. Upon entering, you'll likely be greeted by Art, the official hotel dog, who's got his own bed and painted portrait in the lobby (if your own furry friend is along for the ride, you can book a session with the on-site pet psychic). The hotel draws inspiration from the local artists; creative types appear once a month, and guests are invited to try their hand at painting at wine-and-cheese gatherings every evening. The hotel's cheerful signature stripes and the red and periwinkle colors in the Asian-themed lobby do a good job of offsetting the often monochromatic Portland weather. The spacious and high-ceilinged rooms do the same with a riot of patterns and texturesthink plaids, stripes, and dots. The whimsy doesn't end there: Animal-print robes add a dash of sass, and teddy bears on the beds are a reminder of the building's history as a department store. All fun aside, the amenities are top notchflat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, l'Occitane toiletriesand the polished service shows that the hotel takes its job seriously. Ask for a room on one of the upper floors for maximum quiet. And if you get lonely, request a goldfish to keep you company for the duration of your stay. The staff is always happy to oblige.