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Weekend trip to PDX w/stay at Hotel Modera - lots of pics

Weekend trip to PDX w/stay at Hotel Modera - lots of pics

Old Jul 12, 08, 8:06 am
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Burlingame, CA
Programs: TK Miles & Smiles, CM ConnectMiles, AA Advantage
Posts: 2,093
Weekend trip to PDX w/stay at Hotel Modera - lots of pics

For the 4th of July weekend I decided to go to Portland, OR for a quick visit. This city has been under my radar for quite some time and it was time to get acquainted with it. In many ways, I wonder how I could have missed it before. It has decent restaurants, nice attractions, is clean, green, compact, affordable, and relatively close since I live in SFO - in short, all the requirements to make it a good weekend getaway.

I booked my trip on AS since it has the best schedule and prices. Finding where to stay was more difficult because I was confronted with many choices. I debated between the Hilton, Paramount and Modera (a relatively new property that opened this Summer) and chose the latter. I was swayed in favor of the Modera because it was new (as with anything new there was more of an effort to impress), the favorable reviews I read and the free continental breakfast included in their rates.

Holiday weekends, especially during Summer are bound to be hectic and busy. Armed with those expectations I was not disappointed when I arrived at SFO. The line through security was not too bad and once inside the terminal I felt like I landed in the middle of chaos. There were people arriving and leaving all at the same time. Across from my gate WN was dealing with an overbooked situation and passengers were fighting with the gate agents, closer to my gate a kid decided to throw a tantrum and screamed like his limbs were being amputated. The father sat down and the "demon" started jumping up and down pointing at him in an accusatory manner while screaming and crying. He remained silent and emotionless like a statue while the rest of the boarding passengers were transfixed into this spectacle. Ah! the joys of summer travel. I was reminded of why I do not travel during this period preferring to defer my plans to the more agreeable months in the Fall or Winter.

Across from the terminal I could see the International A gates with their busy planes preparing themselves for their transatlantic flights.

AS 2570 CRJ
SFO-PDX Dept. 2:30P - Arriv. 4:15P
Y/C - Seat 17A

This flight is operated by Horizon. A gate agent made the annoucement about the limited storage space on the aircraft and came around the boarding area looking for oversized carryons to check. Boarding commenced and the only people that had the privilege to pre-board were families traveling with children along with people who needed extra assistance. No first class on these flights.

Aircraft at the gate


There were two FA's onboard. One was positioned in the front greeting and the other one was in the back busy checking her phone messages. The one in the back hardly made any eye contact with the passengers and that kind of sets a less than desirable impression.

The inflight service consisted of beverages and a small pack of mini bruschetta. No snack boxes were available for sale.

Inflight service

We landed on a cloudy day and parked away from the gates, therefore we had to walk to the inside terminal. Getting to downtown from the airport was pretty painless thanks to the great light rail transportation. The red line took about 25 minutes to get to downtown and from there I took the streetcar to get to the hotel. PDX, just like SEA, has this fantastic policy about riding for free within the downtown area.

Hotel Modera

The Modera is considered among the top properties in PDX according to Tripadvisor (ranks #4). It is in downtown but not close to the core shopping area (Pioneer Square). It takes about 10 minutes to walk there (about 7 block) or one can take either a bus or streetcar for free since it is within the fareless zone. It is very close to Portland State University and is a safe neighborhood. The property used to be a Days Inn and they did an amazing job transforming it into a boutique hotel.

The lobby is tastefully decorated and there is a relaxing patio where one can unwind after a long day. The ambience is stylish and artsy without being pretentious. The service from the staff, especially the front desk, was excellent. They were truly hospitable, attentive and professional. A free continental breakfast is offered which includes cold cuts, cheese (2 sliced types and cream cheese), breakfast pastries (bagels, croissants and scones), smoked salmon, capers, sliced purple onions, yogurt and fruits. Beverages were rather limited and the only type of juice they had was OJ. Not too bad considering that it is a standard included in the price of the room.

Here are some shots:

From the outside


Another view of lobby

Room with faux fur covers


Ice freezer with buckets in the drawers


Portland is a city that is very easy to get around thanks to its superb public transportation. Some of the most famous attractions are the Rose and Japanese Gardens in Washington Park, Powell Bookstore, Pioneer Square and the parks located throughout the city. The city is pretty compact and one can cover the major sights in 2-3 days. There is a creative energy that is palpable and this is one place that seems to nurture a lot of artists and alternative types.


Rose Garden

Japanese Garden


What is 4th of July without fireworks?

On my last day I visited the Saturday market (It was Sunday and opened) and did some last minute shopping by Pioneer Square. Portland proved to be a very enjoyable getaway and I will come back for more. The trip back to the airport was painless and pretty soon I was on my way to the Alaska Boardroom. The club was not as big as I imagined it to be for a hub city, but it was well appointed with some decent snacks. I helped myself to some cheese crackers, crudites and cheese.

Alaska Boardroom

Close to the gate there was a Frontier plane about to take off to Denver. Indeed a whole different animal, as the name suggests, particularly the painted tails with the depiction of animals, which are one of the best paint jobs I have seen for airlines.

Here is my plane at the gate

You can tell which airline PDX belongs to

AS 388 - 734
PDX-SFO Dept. 5:50P - Arriv. 7:44P
F/C - Seat 3A

The flight was pretty full and they were asking for volunteers at the podium. The compensation offered was a free round trip ticket whenever AS flies which was not a very good deal in my opinion. Personally I think getting a credit amount for a future trip gives you better flexibility and choices.

We boarded quickly and the FA's were busy trying to allocate space for all the carryons. I must admit that AS's crew are pretty proactive when it comes to assistance compared to the more "traditional" carriers, not to mention the professional and friendly demeanor of the reservation agents whenever I had the pleasure of talking to any of them.

This flight was listed as a snack so when I initially booked this trip I was hoping to see the "improved" catering. Alas, all I got was the snack basket, althought it had some decent selections to choose from. The purser was extremely friendly and approacheable, making it a delight to sit in F, even for this short of a flight.


I enjoyed the pumpkin crunch and Swiss chocolate the most. On a previous trip to YVR all I had was warm nuts and this is way better than that. So it's still an improvement. Arrival into SFO was on time and this concludes another enjoyable trip on AS. Thanks for your attention and time.

Last edited by aw; Jul 12, 08 at 2:23 pm
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Old Jul 12, 08, 8:40 am
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Join Date: May 1998
Location: PDX
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Posts: 15,974
Lovely trip report, aw. Glad you enjoyed your trip to my hometown and I appreciate the review of the Modera, which just opened a month ago. I've been watching its progress throughout the spring as I passed by it every day to campus. Nice to know I can recommend it with confidence to out-of-town guests. May I ask what rate you paid?

One small note:

Originally Posted by aw View Post
The Modera is considered among the top properties in PDX according to Tripadvisor (ranks #4). It is not in the center of downtown and takes about 10 minutes to walk there (about 7 block). It is very close to Portland State University and is a safe neighborhood.
Actually, the hotel is in the center of downtown, so I'm not sure what you're basing your geographic reference on. (Shopping area perhaps?) For the record, anything in Fareless Square on the west side of the river is considered downtown. As you said, since the downtown core is so compact (and our city blocks are rather short), I'm not sure it's helpful to readers to parse its perimeter so finely as to mislead. And since public transportation is free downtown, nothing is really very far away.

Originally Posted by aw View Post
On my last day I visited the market and did some last minute shopping by Pioneer Square.
Which market -- Portland Farmer's Market @PSU or the Saturday Market or something else? Whichever way, plenty to see and do (and eat!).

Two thumbs up on an excellent trip report!

Last edited by essxjay; Jul 12, 08 at 8:46 am
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Old Jul 12, 08, 2:32 pm
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Location: Burlingame, CA
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Thanks essxjay. I amended the information in my report to reflect your point about the location of the hotel. I was referencing the shopping area as "downtown".

I paid a government rate of $126 for a twin room. I believe that the actual price was $149 during that week. I overheard one of the desk agents say that once the property opens a restaurant, the rate will jump to $199.

I went to the Saturday Market just north of Waterfront Park. I didn't know that there was a Farmer's Market by PSU but will keep that in mind next time.
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