When I found out we were teaching a class in Portland, I emailed my colleague:
“Let’s stay at the Phoenix Inn. They have awesome fresh baked cookies when you check in.”
She emailed back:
“But how are the rooms?”
This is by far my favorite hotel to stay in when traveling for business. It’s not particularly fancy, but it does have free wi-fi (a recent addition they’re very proud of), homemade cookies every afternoon (today’s were oatmeal raisin, my favorite), a 24 hour pool, free “expanded” breakfast (which includes eggs, yogurt, fresh fruit, waffles, and oatmeal), and feather pillows. And an adorable front desk staff.
The last time I stayed here, I was alone. After a long day of teaching, I decided to venture into downtown Portland. I asked the front desk staff for recommendations. The two young girls conferred, then told me about a restaurant on the river with the comment, “It’s so romantic. It’s where we went for prom! You’ll love it!” Not exactly what I was looking for as a single business traveler, but their enthusiasm touched me. I thanked them then found a brew pub on my own.
There is something very comforting about a non-pretentious front desk staff. And a pool that’s yours for the swimming any time of the night or day. You’ve got my business, Phoenix Inn.