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The Nines, Portland, Oregon 

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525 SW Morrison
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 877 229 9995 (toll-free)
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
When a place bills itself The Nines—and is built into the upper floors of a historic downtown department store—expectations are understandably lofty. Consider them to have been surpassed: The 331 rooms are stunningly chic, with nods to the building's fashionable history (dark woods, sleek glass, polished metal light fixtures, dangling strands of leaded crystal against the curtains, tufted white leather headboards, and a turquoise-velvet récamier positioned in front of large windows). The service is no less impressive, from the friendly doormen to the prompt room service staff, who deliver food that's as hot as it would be if you were in the dining room. The hotel still honors Portlanders' highly local sensibility with a library stocked by Powell's City of Books; locally commissioned original art; and Urban Farmer, a steak house with perfectly prepared beef (no fewer than eight types, including corn-fed, grass-fed, and grain-finished) served under the glow of large-scale video panels displaying the city's trademark bridges. If you can tear yourself away from your room's luxe embrace, Portland's best restaurants, most interesting arts venues, and top shopping are a pedestrian-friendly stroll away. —2009 Hot List

When to go: December, for shopping and to marvel at the soaring Christmas tree across the street in Pioneer Square.

Which room to book: For a small premium, upgrade to a corner room with more space—including an uncommonly capacious natural-light bathroom—and a satisfying city view .

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