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Portland, ME - where to stay?

Portland, ME - where to stay?

Old May 31, 15, 11:25 am
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Portland, ME - where to stay?

I see there's a food thread already for PWM, so I will check out that one for where to eat However, my wife and I are doing a 3-day getaway in late August to Portland, and we haven't booked a hotel yet. No hotel status, just a hotel.com/Rocket Miler, so open to pretty much anything that isn't going to cost me a fortune. That said, I know this is high season up here, and most hotels are over $300/night, which I am fine with. Going over $400/night wouldn't be optimal unless someone here convinces me otherwise

So question is: where's the best spot to stay? I'd like to have a combination of location and view (harbor view for sure), but otherwise pretty standard amenities - not looking for a suite or anything fancy otherwise. FWIW, my initial once-over seems has me leaning towards the Westin Harborview, although it's not right on the harbor.

I only went to Portland for a friend's bar mitzvah 15 years ago, so I'm pretty much a newbie to the area. Any thoughts / tips much appreciated!
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Old May 31, 15, 1:36 pm
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I would try to stay central somewhere near DiMillos - I stayed here once and thought it was nice.

Hilton Garden Inn Portland Downtown Waterfront
65 Commercial Street, Portland, ME 04101
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Old May 31, 15, 2:29 pm
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Hilton Garden Inn is good. Hyatt Place is a brand new property, not a converted Amerisuites, and is my favorite (but I'm loyal to Hyatt). The new Westin, which is the gutted and remodeled Eastland Park hotel, is also pretty nice.

If you can swing it, my call would be the Hyatt Place room or suite with a balcony on the Fore Street side (facing Casco Bay). In the summer, that balcony will have a great view and be a nice place to hang out after you get back for the day. The Old Port is still small enough that you can walk to any restaurant.
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Old May 31, 15, 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by PWMTrav View Post
Hilton Garden Inn is good. Hyatt Place is a brand new property, not a converted Amerisuites, and is my favorite (but I'm loyal to Hyatt). The new Westin, which is the gutted and remodeled Eastland Park hotel, is also pretty nice.

If you can swing it, my call would be the Hyatt Place room or suite with a balcony on the Fore Street side (facing Casco Bay). In the summer, that balcony will have a great view and be a nice place to hang out after you get back for the day. The Old Port is still small enough that you can walk to any restaurant.
What is the construction at the Hyatt Place like? The ones I've been to in the past (in Austin TX and Charlottesville PA) were virtually identical - that is to say that while the setup / space was solid, the new construction seemed a bit on the cheap side (the walls are very thin - we heard the next-door neighbors enjoying each other's company, if you catch my drift), and there was absolutely no differentiating factor between the hotels - had a very cookie-cutter feel to it. If this is different, I wouldn't mind, but I have different feelings about spending $350+/night vs. the ~$125/night I spent at those other locations.
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Old May 31, 15, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by PsiFighter37 View Post
What is the construction at the Hyatt Place like? The ones I've been to in the past (in Austin TX and Charlottesville PA) were virtually identical - that is to say that while the setup / space was solid, the new construction seemed a bit on the cheap side (the walls are very thin - we heard the next-door neighbors enjoying each other's company, if you catch my drift), and there was absolutely no differentiating factor between the hotels - had a very cookie-cutter feel to it. If this is different, I wouldn't mind, but I have different feelings about spending $350+/night vs. the ~$125/night I spent at those other locations.
Keep in mind you're coming to Portland at the peak of tourist season. Price out any decent hotel in the Old Port and you're going to be in the same price range. $350 at the HP Old Port vs $125 HP Wherever isn't the comparison. This same HP is $90-120 in the off-season. Have a look at what the HGI, Westin, Portland Harbor, Hampton Inn and Marriott properties are going for and they're going to be a bit higher as well. However, as a Hyatt Cat 3 hotel (used to be Cat 2, RIP), the HP is a good value and has very good availability.

The construction quality is the same as any other new construction (not renovated Amerisuites) HP. I'm local, but we've done a few weekends at this property, haven't heard our neighbors. What I will say is that you WILL hear some noise from the bars if you're facing Fore Street, since the windows aren't soundproof, but I haven't minded (and it's not kept my 3 year old awake). But since you mentioned noise, it's worth mentioning that.

If you want to go higher end, the Portland Harbor Hotel is across the street and a nice place. However, I prefer the HP for the balcony rooms, or the Westin for the rooftop bar.

Portland doesn't have a true high end property in the Old Port. Everyone is going to have the following in common: Mid-range with a decent but not spectacular breakfast, no destination restaurant on the property, somewhat expensive parking ($18-25/day), and a good location (since the Old Port is small). Therefore, the decision really comes down to brand loyalty, if any, price and room features.

When I was blogging more steadily, I wrote up a review of the HP Old Port: https://saverocity.com/arewethereyet...rtland-review/

I'm going through to see if I have any pics of the other hotels. I know we've stayed at them.
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Old Jun 3, 15, 6:24 pm
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I stayed at the Hyatt Place Portland last summer when it was first built and didn't have -any problems with noise between rooms. Every place in Old Port is kind of noisy though since the bars play music until late at night. Even on the 6th floor we heard a lot of street noise but it didn't bother me or my infant. The views were great.

The Portland Harbor Hotel is also nice.
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Old Jun 7, 15, 5:04 pm
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Appreciate the feedback folks - ended up going with the Westin, as the price is a bit better ($350 for a harbor-view room v. $430 for a balcony room at HP).
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Old Jun 7, 15, 9:29 pm
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Originally Posted by PsiFighter37 View Post
Appreciate the feedback folks - ended up going with the Westin, as the price is a bit better ($350 for a harbor-view room v. $430 for a balcony room at HP).
Wow, $430? It's official, our local economy is doing better this summer than last. Glad you were able to get something with a view at the Westin. I was just in that area today, you'll enjoy the place.
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Old Aug 20, 15, 8:40 pm
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Originally Posted by PWMTrav View Post
Wow, $430? It's official, our local economy is doing better this summer than last.
Nah! It's just Portland Maine in the summer where hotels sucker punch those from "away" into paying exorbitant prices during the summer and foliage season to recover for the lack of business they experience from November to May and make Boston properties look like bargain city. Make it when you can because it's going to be a long winter.
If you want to eat seafood where the locals eat head over to Ken's in Scarborough or The Rising Tide Restaurant just down the road. Good, fresh local seafood at fair prices. Here's a little help to check them out. These are only 2. Head out and explore and you're sure to find many that are just as good. Sorry I'm a little late to the conversation but I hope this helps those that might still be coming to our great state.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/kens-place-scarborough
http://www.risingtiderestaurant.com/...rant_Home.html
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Old Aug 21, 15, 6:04 am
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Originally Posted by general45 View Post
Nah! It's just Portland Maine in the summer where hotels sucker punch those from "away" into paying exorbitant prices during the summer and foliage season to recover for the lack of business they experience from November to May and make Boston properties look like bargain city. Make it when you can because it's going to be a long winter.
If you want to eat seafood where the locals eat head over to Ken's in Scarborough or The Rising Tide Restaurant just down the road. Good, fresh local seafood at fair prices. Here's a little help to check them out. These are only 2. Head out and explore and you're sure to find many that are just as good. Sorry I'm a little late to the conversation but I hope this helps those that might still be coming to our great state.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/kens-place-scarborough
http://www.risingtiderestaurant.com/...rant_Home.html
Hotel prices seem a little stronger this year, though. Thankfully you can still use 12k points per night at the Hyatt Place. It was pretty awesome when it was 8k a night last year. I live pretty close to Portland, but we like to stay in town occasionally.

If Ken's is full, Bayley's down the street is not what I'd consider a substitute. Both are order at the window fried seafood shacks, but that's about where it ends. If Ken's is full, continue on to Rising Tide. I've never eaten at the Clambake on the same road (Pine Point Rd), but I've also never heard that I should. Pine Point Grille is a newer place, a bit nicer than Ken's and those places (meaning table service). I've eaten there a few times and have liked it.

I drive down Pine Point Rd every day
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Old Aug 21, 15, 10:04 am
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Originally Posted by general45 View Post
ke bargain city. Make it when you can because it's going to be a long winter.
If you want to eat seafood where the locals eat head over to Ken's in Scarborough or The Rising Tide Restaurant just down the road. Good, fresh local seafood at fair prices. Here's a little help to check them out. These are only 2. Head out and explore and you're sure to find many that are just as good. Sorry I'm a little late to the conversation but I hope this helps those that might still be coming to our great state.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/kens-place-scarborough
http://www.risingtiderestaurant.com/...rant_Home.html
Not including ambience as any place on the water has it better than off Route 1, but how would you compare the seafood with Bob's Clam Hut down in Kittery?
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Old Aug 21, 15, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by bosbdl View Post
I stayed at the Hyatt Place Portland last summer when it was first built and didn't have -any problems with noise between rooms. Every place in Old Port is kind of noisy though since the bars play music until late at night. Even on the 6th floor we heard a lot of street noise but it didn't bother me or my infant. The views were great.
Noise was so brutal when we were there last summer we switched to a nonview room after one night. Music went on til 2am.
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Old Aug 21, 15, 2:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
Not including ambience as any place on the water has it better than off Route 1, but how would you compare the seafood with Bob's Clam Hut down in Kittery?
I like Bob's but wouldn't make a special trip to eat there. They're both pretty good. There are so many great roadside shacks that sell absolutely great seafood. You've got the Lost Gull in Oxford, The Red Barn in Augusta, The Bluebird Restaurant and Helens Restaurant in Machias and Warren's also in Kittery.
I found what I think is a great little restaurant located in a small shopping mall in Portsmouth, NH, just a 15 minute drive across the bridge from Kittery. It's called Hebert's Restaurant. The portions were huge and the prices extremely reasonable. Plus you can use restaurant.com certificates to bring the cost down even more. They also have a 50's style diner in the rear of the restaurant if you want to try that out.
http://www.hebertsrestaurant.com/index.html
You won't get oceanfront views at this place, but will experience great seafood. I don't care if a place is fancy just as long as it's good.
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Old Aug 21, 15, 3:01 pm
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Originally Posted by PWMTrav View Post
I drive down Pine Point Rd every day
I envy you but where I'm from up North my business takes me down to Calais, Machias and Jonesport two times a week and there are some pretty good places to eat along the way. I've also got an "in" to buy my lobsters, crabmeat, haddock and shrimp right off the boat and not at out of state prices. Last year I was paying $2.50 a pound for lobster. So it's not too bad up here.

Last edited by general45; Aug 21, 15 at 3:10 pm
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Old Aug 21, 15, 6:02 pm
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Originally Posted by general45 View Post
I envy you but where I'm from up North my business takes me down to Calais, Machias and Jonesport two times a week and there are some pretty good places to eat along the way. I've also got an "in" to buy my lobsters, crabmeat, haddock and shrimp right off the boat and not at out of state prices. Last year I was paying $2.50 a pound for lobster. So it's not too bad up here.
Yeah, you guys definitely don't get hit over the head with tourist pricing like we do. I love Portland, but every time I visit in the summer, I remind myself to wait next time until after Labor Day. Around here, I do try to give the business to restaurants open after tourist season - it's a good indicator of where to eat well, versus where to be treated like a tourist. For what it's worth, Ken's does close for the season, but that place is literally a shack - I doubt they could heat it.
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