The Society Hotel


Originally built in 1881 as a boarding house for sailors, the Society Hotel offers open airy rooms and city views from its epic rooftop. The hotel is an easy trek to the Old Town/Chinatown MAX Station to head in any direction you choose.  


BY: Alex Temblador Contributing writer

Hear that? It’s the sound of a siren weaving an enchanting song from the shores of Portland. While her sisters have been known to lure sailors to their deaths, this siren does not. Her magical song called to seamen of the late 1800s, who braved the treacherous seas by day and returned to Portland in search of a welcoming place to rest – they found that in what is today The Society Hotel.

Heed the call of the siren, friends – stay at The Society Hotel.

Though no longer a lodging house for seamen, The Society Hotel seeks to maintain the atmosphere that those seamen created — one bound by the sweat and bravery of strong men who combated the seas by day and engaged in Portland city life at night. Set in Old Town Chinatown, today The Society Hotel combines Old-World lodging houses with a trendy design to create a new type of hostel that focuses on comfort without falling into excessiveness.

While shared rooms of hostels often lack the elbow room needed, that’s not the case at this property, where bunk beds feature full-size mattresses, old-fashioned reading lamps, charging stations, and privacy curtains. With towels and bathroom toiletries provided at no cost, this hostel is more like a hotel in terms of service. The clean, neat style of the shared rooms combined with a hangout space, shared kitchenettes, and shared – but spacious – bathrooms, allow for modern men to reconnect and interact like the mariners of old.

Some travelers would rather engage with others outside of the shared rooms like at the on-site Society Café over deliciously roasted coffee, a beer, or a light meal, or on the rooftop patio which features 360-degree views of PDX. That works, too, for they also offer a Suite that’s the perfect combination of privacy and style for men who like to maintain domain over their own personal space. The white king-sized bed welcomes a tired soul to spread out and relax, while the robe and private in-room bathroom add just the right kind of comfort for road-weary travelers. An affordable price for a Suite is just the icing on the cake.

Big-brand hotels can’t compete with the wooden floors, eight-foot windows, brick walls, and the echoes of male camaraderie among modern gentlemen at The Society Hotel. And they sure as hell can’t compete with price of the minimalistic and laid-back vibe of the Suite. Heed the call of the siren, friends – stay at The Society Hotel.



The rooms feel wide open, with  suites featuring hardwood floors and exposed brick walls decorated with historical artifacts

Shared hostel–style rooms offer bunk beds and communal bathrooms, and the suites contain a private bathroom if you appreciate your space

Check out the lobby cafe and bar, take your cocktail to the roof for epic views of the city

The Portland Art Museum is less than a mile away