Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bachelorette Party Weekend in Portland

I spent a weekend in Portland celebrating the impending marriage of my friend Kiley to her fiance Todd, who happens to be one of Shyawn's closest friends. We drove down from the Seattle area on Friday afternoon and stayed in Portland through Sunday morning.

Shyawn and I had visited Portland the year prior for our anniversary so I was looking forward to seeing the city for a second time.

Note: being that we went out a lot, many of the photos were taken with my point and shoot instead of my DSLR.

Hotel:
We were able to stay at the Westin Portland for the amazing low rate of $69 per night as one of the friends of the bride works for Starwood Hotels. Everyone shared a room, so it ended up costing me only $35 each night; quite a bargain! The hotel was located in a fantastic location in downtown Portland. The hotel has been recently renovated with modern and ascetically pleasing decor. Our rooms were spacious and comfortable and featured the Heavenly Beds and Heavenly Showers, both of which lived up to their hype. The shower was not only large but the water pressure and shower head were amazing! Directly next to the lobby was the small but beautiful lobby lounge and the hotel's on site restaurant The Daily Grill which we utilized on several occasions. The only negative aspects of the hotel were that the lobby was much smaller than I had anticipated it would be and there were only two elevators, which during busy times created a line that reached out to the lobby. However, for the price we paid, the amenities and location were fantastic so I really have no complaints!
Westin Portland
Westin Portland
Westin Portland
Westin Portland
Westin Portland
Westin Portland
Westin Portland
Westin Portland
Westin Portland
The group enjoying a late lunch at the Westin Portland.
The group enjoying a late lunch at the Westin Portland.
Pretty candle at the Westin Portland.
Westin Portland
Westin Portland
Westin Portland
Westin Portland
Westin Portland
Westin Portland


Dining:
Given that this was a bachelorette party, there wasn't much eating that occurred! However, below I have described the places we did eat at.

For our main dinner of the weekend we ate at Departure, which is located on the highest floor inside the Nines Hotel. Shyawn and I had visited the Nines Hotel during our previous trip and had eaten at the hotel's other restaurant Urban Farmer. I would classify this trendy and modern-looking restaurant as Asian Fusion that offers small plates that are best shared with a group of people. The plates are relatively inexpensive, but most people would need to order three to four plates to get enough to eat, so it could end up being a pricey meal. I ordered the Chicken and Shrimp Springrolls, the Smoked Salmon Roll, and had several bites of the Garlic Fried Rice. All three were very delicious but I enjoyed the rice dish the most.

Although we didn't have the opportunity to walk outside due to rainy weather, there is supposed to be an amazing panoramic view of Portland from the restaurant's balcony.
Fun entrance to Departure.
Edamame from Depature.
Asia Pear and Apple salad from Departure.
Chicken and Shrimp Springrolls from Departure.
Smoked Salmon Roll from Departure.
Garlic Fried Rice from Departure.
Butter Lettuce salad from Departure.
Harami (Wagyu Skirt Steak with Crispy Elephant Garlic) at Departure.
Chai Milk Chocolate Cremeux from Depature.
Yuzu Meringue Tart from Departure.
Yuzu Meringue Tart from Departure.

We were lucky enough to be located just one street away from a few dozen food carts. Emily and I decided to hit up Tito's Burritos on Saturday morning for a late breakfast. I ordered a Carnitas Burrito and Emily requested the Chicken Taco Salad. The pulled pork in my burrito was incredible and the best I had ever eaten. Up until this trip, Chipotle was my favorite place to order a burrito but now Tito's Burritos holds that claim!
Tito's Burrito food cart in Portland.
Tito's Burrito food cart in Portland.
Chicken Nachos from Tito's Burritos food cart in Portland.
Carnita Burrito from Tito's Burritos food cart in Portland.
Carnita Burrito from Tito's Burritos food cart in Portland.

Out of convenience, over the course of our stay we ate multiple times at the Daily Grill located inside the Westin. The food there was fine, nothing out of this world, but we did manage to take advantage of two happy hours in which the restaurant offers multiple appetizers from $3-$5. I also ate breakfast there on our last morning and ordered the Eggs Benedict with fresh squeezed orange juice. Both items were very delicious.
Daily Grill at the Westin Portland.
Daily Grill at the Westin Portland.
Eggs Benedict from the Daily Grill at the Westin Portland.

Nightlife:

We visited a club called Dirty on our first night. We had table service reserved, which cost $200 and included a bottle of champagne and shots for everyone. In hindsight it was a very wise decision to have made reservations for table service as we had plenty of room to dance and spread out in comparison to the regular area which was extremely crowded. The club is well known for its dozens of stripper poles, which several of the girls had fun dancing on. This is a great place for a group of girls to visit on a bachelorette party! The only downside to this place was that there was one bathroom stall which was quite annoying and resulted in long lines.
Part of the group at Dirty Nightclub.
Our lovely bride having fun at Dirty Nightclub.
All of us girls at Dirty Nightclub.
Some of the girls dancing at Dirty Nightclub.
My friend Emily and I at Dirty Nightclub.
Having fun at Dirty Nightclub.

On the second night we stopped in at a bar called Dixie per the recommendation of our waitress at Departure. We had asked her to recommend a lounge-type place that was low-key and casual. Unfortunately, Dixie was none of the above. It was a massive bar that was extremely loud and had no place to sit. We didn't end up staying too long; part of the group (including myself) left and went back to the hotel while the others continued to bar hop for the next few hours. This bar would be a good choice for those looking for high energy and a place that can accomodate large groups but I wouldn't recommend it for a bachelorette party
Dixie Bar in Portland. 
The other Jen and Kiley at Dixie.
Kiley and I at Dixie in Portland.
Some of the girls at Dixie in Portland.
Dixie bar in Portland.

The girls in the bridal party decided to throw Kiley's lingerie shower during our weekend in Portland. We were initially going to have her open her gifts in one of the lounge areas at the Nines Hotel but at the last minute they decided to host the party at a strip club called Spyce Gentlemen's Club. Portland claims to have the most strip clubs per capita in the United States so I guess it was only fitting. We blindfolded Kiley before leaving the hotel and she had no idea what we were going to do or where we were going. I was able to capture photos from the experience below.
Poor Kiley waiting for the unknown.
Helping Kiley get out of the taxi.
Our lovely stop for the afternoon.
Kiley's first reaction to realizing we had taken her to a strip club.
Kiley's first reaction to realizing we had taken her to a strip club.

Overall, I think Portland makes a great destination for a bachelorette party for Seattleites whom are looking to celebrate outside of the city. The downtown Portland area is relatively compact which makes club and bar hopping very easy to do. The weekend we visited happened to be very rainy so we ended up utilizing taxis but had the weather been better it would have been very easy to walk everywhere.
All of the girls whom attended the bachelorette party.

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