At the beginning of the summer, The Duniway, A Hilton Hotel, made its debut to the city of Portland.
The hotel, which held its grand opening on June 8, is named for social pioneer, activist and journalist Abigail Scott Duniway, who paved the way for women’s right to vote in the state of Oregon.
Marketing manager Stephen Cassell, who visited our New York office, says that the redefined hotel, which was previously the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower, exudes all that the famous suffragist was: “a trailblazer, an innovator, an explorer.” Cassell says that the hotel’s motto is “luxury at its boldest,” seeking to keep to the degree of boldness that Duniway herself had.
“Everything relates back to her,” he says. “We’ve infused her personality in the hotel. It’s not about her, but the type of person she was.”
As a progressive and admittedly hip city, Portland attracts a certain type of person – casual, artistic, tattooed, bearded; to name a few – and this is the style The Duniway is going for. For instance, images of tattooed women line the walls of the guestroom floors – even the hotel room keys are decorated with hand-drawn tattoos.
“The Duniway is a Hilton hotel, but it doesn't look like one,” Cassell says. “It’s exciting to represent a Hilton hotel that is so unique.”
But, despite this, Cassell added that The Duniway still offers all of the amenities and programs that Hilton guests around the globe come to find.
The 20-floor hotel is equipped with 327 rooms, each with a 65-inch television and 300 different stations to choose from. The TVs are also able to connect with Android and Apple devices for those who might want to stream Netflix or Hulu right off of their phone. Each room also has 25 points of power for charging devices like phones and laptops, and is complete with a couch and queen- or king-sized bed. The Duniway, Cassell says, is the only non-Waldorf Astoria to have the brand's luxury mattresses. There are also hypoallergenic rooms that guests can order upon request.
The Duniway's design intended to bring the outdoors of Portland inside, with green leaf stained glass windows, lighting fixtures made from old bicycles, and other decorations based around roses – the latter two being a couple of the city’s defining icons.
The on-site hotel restaurant is the Jackrabbit, celebrity chef Chris Cosentino’s brainchild. Cassell says that the restaurant has an “adventurous menu,” based around Cosentino’s theory of sustainability and serving up dishes such as braised rabbit and pig’s head. The cocktail menu is primarily gin-based, offering 60 brands of gin from around the world, though there is an array of Oregon and Pacific Northwest-produced wines and beers as well. The restaurant also provides in-room service for guests.
The Rabbit Hole is the hotel’s private dining room, which has one table that seats six. Here, guests can indulge in table-side food, also prepared by chef Cosentino.
In the lobby is the coffee lobby bar, a partnership between Jackrabbit and Australia-based Vittoria Coffee that is open from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The lobby is where Cassell hopes to realize the hotel’s vision of #OnTheCouch, a series of “mini TED talks” where guests will be able to interact with celebrities and well-known locals who are also staying at The Duniway. Both guests and locals will be invited to partake in the #OnTheCouch series, as Cassell says it is an event that is designed to be very social.
“It’s for people interested in finding new things and meeting new people,” he says.
He hopes to incorporate one #OnTheCouch talk per week, and will be sure to keep an eye out for celebs that might be staying at the hotel or playing a show in the city during that timeframe.
Aside from #OnTheCouch, the lobby itself, Cassell adds, is welcome to any who enter. “It’s designed to feel like a living room,” he said. “People can just grab a coffee and sit.”
The Duniway will also soon be offering several packages for guests. The Farmer’s Market package will be offered the last week of each month until November, where guests can learn about what local farmers produce and why, followed by a mini-picnic in the lobby; with the Booch and Hooch package, guests can take part in a Kombucha tasting; and the Pot Priestess package will launch August 26, where Laurie Wolf – or as The New Yorker has called her, the “Martha Stewart of Marijuana Edibles” – will speak about her career and lead a tour through her two favorite dispensaries, where guests will also be able to taste edibles and try different marijuana strains.
“This hotel feels like Portland,” Cassell explains. “It’s about being bold and taking risks, exploring. That’s what comes with finding new experiences.”