Hmmm. I have never stayed in a hotel in Portland, but I do get asked about it a fair amount. Portland Oregon Visitors Association lists member motel/hotels in its Portland Book. They can also be reached at 877/678-5263.
Here is a list of places that I might consider staying at.
Another option, also not on the east side, is Inn at Northrup Station
(http://www.northrupstation.com/), on the streetcar line in NW Portland (trendy neighborhood).
The Jupiter (http://www.jupiterhotel.com/) is a new hipster hotel that opened in east portland, though not in the best neighborhood, and it's probably noisy on weekend nights.
A friend stayed here last summer and it seemed okay: Days Inn, (503) 221-1611, 1414 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97201 -- again, downtown, but I think the price includes parking.
There is a holiday Inn in my neighborhood: Holiday Inn Downtown
Portland (http://www.hiportland.com/about), (503) 233-2401, 1441 NE 2nd Ave which, added bonus, is actually on the east side. It might be outrageous—and really, it shouldn't be.
There's also a Red Lion, Red Lion Hotel Portland(http://tinyurl.com/9xvuc), (503) 235-2100, 1021 NE Grand Ave, right on the MAX line. Parking is probably included. If you're a light sleeper, ask for a room away from the MAX line.
But first, car? Or no car?
You might want to ask about parking if you plan to have a car in town—parking is really expensive downtown (compared to say, Roseburg, OR), and a car isn't necessary if you don't mind public transport [and that's pretty good here], and aren't planning to go on a daytrip, say to Roseburg. But if you are planning to have a car with you, a downtown hotel that offers free parking may work out to be cheaper.
Most hotels listed offer room service, non-smoking rooms, in-room phones, restaurants, TV, and airport shuttle. Of course, YMMV—if there's something your little heart is set on, ask. And, while there is no sales tax in Oregon, there is a lodging tax.
If I had to choose my favorite budget hotel downtown, it's hands down the Mallory.
- Days Inn City Center
1414 SW 6th Ave, 97201, 800/648-6440 or 503/221-1611, fax 503/226-0447.
Amenities: valet, pool, lounge.
- Mark Spencer Hotel
409 SW 11th, 800/548-3934
appears very classy, and right in the gay ghetto, close to the Stark Street bar scene, the Bermuda Triangle of Portland record stores, and Powells'. Each room has a kitchen!
- Four Points Sheraton Downtown Hotel
50 SW Morrison, 97204, 800/899-0247 or 503/221-0711, fax 503/274-0312.
Amenities: Suites available, valet, exercise room.
- Silver Cloud
2426 NW Vaughn, 800/551-7207 x8.
Close to trendy Northwest district. Free parking
- Pepper Tree Hotel
10720 SW Allen Blvd, Beaverton, 641-7477
- McMenamins Kennedy School Bed & Breakfast
5736 NE 33rd, 249-3983
Another McMenamins transformation, wedding beer, communalism and profits. This time in an old school.
- McMenamins Edgefield
2126 SW Halsey, 800/669-8610. prices: moderate
I know, you're saying to yourself, why on earth would I want to stay in Troutdale? Well, because this is an Oregonian's version of paradise: microbrews, local wines, decent grub, a movie theatre and beautifully garden grounds. The fact that it's in the old poor farm only adds to its charm.
They have a range of accommodations: a hostelling-style dormitory, rooms with shared baths, a couple suites with private bath, and a family room that will sleep up to 6. And, with the exception of the hostel, all include full country breakfast at the Black Rabbit Restaurant (on the grounds).
There are 3 (maybe more) Motel 6s in the Portland area (Troutdale, Tigard, Portland), all (but Portland proper) in the 'burbs. If you have to stay at a Motel 6, the Portland one is the best one if you don't have a car, but it's on an ugly stretch of an ugly, busy street. Still, theoretically, you can walk up to hip and hip-and-coming neighborhoods like Clinton Street, Division Street, and Hawthorne -- if you really like to walk. But only if you like walking. (While I have often hit Motel 6s on roadtrips, I wouldn't want to hit any of these three.)
has a couple Portland hostels now. All offer dorms ($16-$22 plus tax) and private rooms ($30-62 plus tax) within walking distance of hip, happening neighborhoods and excellent bus access; both have lounges, kitchens, laundry, & bike storage; both ask you to do a chore; both require reservations in the summer.