The Benson Portland, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, has completed a multimillion-dollar renovation of the 287-room property, located at 309 SW Broadway. With design by Seattle-based architect and interior designer GGLO, and building by R&H Construction, the nine-month project includes updates to the lobby, restaurant and bar, fitness center, meeting and event spaces, ballrooms and guestrooms.
“The Benson Portland takes pride in providing our guests with authentic and memorable travel experiences through distinctly local offerings and unexpected amenities,” said Mark Goeman, managing director. “These renovations demonstrate our commitment to guest satisfaction and alignment with the standards of this upscale, one-of-a-kind hotel brand.”
Featuring original Italian marble floors, Austrian crystal chandeliers and, according to the company, the largest collection of Circassian walnut within one building, this fabled, European-style hotel is a timeless classic. No detail was spared in the design and selection of materials, which honor the historic significance of the landmark hotel.
The new contemporary yet classic furniture throughout the lobby was carefully curated, using pieces by B&B Italia, a leader in modern furniture made in Milan. Warm, neutral textiles and intricate patterns create visual interest and a touch of creativity and beauty that is unexpected.
Palm Court Restaurant & Bar—with dining service provided by Culinary by El Gaucho and featuring custom banquette seating, a large community table and a unique bar design of hand-picked Calacatta Extra marble that waterfalls at the edge—beckons guests to imbibe, gather and connect. The design introduces a modern simplicity that, in contrast, highlights the existing architecture of the space.
The fitness center, relocated to the lower lobby level, was expanded to 1,500 sq. ft. and unites modern and traditional touches. The addition of frameless glass walls at the entry and in the studio adds light and translucency to the space. The warm wood tones of the flooring are reflected in the wall-to-wall framed mirrors that are bathed in inviting edge lighting. Classic exercise modalities are paired with contemporary and creative workout and wellness offerings, including a yoga studio, all of which keep health and wellness in mind. The elegant reimagining of The Benson’s fitness experience provides a space that is both energetic and calming.
Each of the newly refined meeting and event spaces pay tribute to the hotel’s rich legacy and its builder, philanthropist, and innovator Simon Benson. The Brintons Axminster carpet used throughout is inspired by the underlying themes, with patterns that evoke feelings of fluidity and serenity.
The Crystal Ballroom, replete with gold leafing, Austrian crystal chandeliers and an ornate coffered ceiling, maintains its historic elegance. Modern carpet inspired by an elegant European motif and new drapery at the cathedral windows complement the antique detailing and create a dramatic backdrop for weddings and special events. Brass-framed mirrors were reintroduced onto the paneled walls to brighten this grand ballroom.
The Mayfair Ballroom, and its pre-function area, features new technology, lighting and finishes throughout. Custom chandeliers, designed to mimic the historic fixtures of the lobby and built by Los Angeles-based Lusive Décor, are the highlight. More than 150 crystal ceiling fixtures were also repurposed from the hotel’s original guestroom corridors to create dramatic shimmering light, bringing sophistication and refinement to the 5,800-sq.-ft. ballroom.
While preserving the original detailing, other meeting space improvements include new down lighting, wallcoverings and technology. Dutch furniture design company Moooi is credited with the creation of a sculptural LED light fixture that illuminates the large mahogany table in the Regency Boardroom. In addition, 86” LED screens and integrated technology support unified collaboration for productive meetings.
Improvements to the hotel’s guestrooms and suites include the addition of 55” flat-panel televisions and installation of a state-of-the-art WiFi system for greater speed.