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Contract High: Portland’s latest boutique hotel embraces the historic eclecticism of the city’s Eastside.

Designer hotel lobby with blurry person walking by, tile marble walls, round-edge green desk, white arched walls, globe pendant lights, black wall sconce

Portland’s Central Eastside welcomed the 57-room Hotel Grand Stark, a property operated by boutique hotel group Palisociety, this spring. Image courtesy Palisociety.

By Rachel Gallaher

As appeared in issue No. 58

Los Angeles–based hospitality group Palisociety has opened its second Pacific Northwest property, the Hotel Grand Stark, in Portland’s Central Eastside neighborhood. The four-story, 57-room historic property—which was built in 1908 and served as a hotel until the 1970s, when it became a local furniture warehouse—has been restored to its original purpose, with interiors that reflect the patchwork nature of Portland’s diverse neighborhoods.

From left: In the lobby, banquette seating with white melamine tables edged in solid wood offers a place to enjoy fare from the Grand Stark Deli. The hotel embraces the understated sophistication of the Northwest with Douglas fir floors, a color palette featuring shades of green, and décor and art sourced from local designers. Image courtesy Palisociety.

A local team—Works Progress Architecture, Urban Development + Partners, and Eric Cheong of North 45 Projects—came together with Palisociety to implement a full seismic retrofit, refinish historic windows and the brick exterior, construct a new roof, and build out the guest rooms. The on-property eatery, the Grand Stark Deli, is a refined and playful homage to the old-school delicatessen (think: checkered tile floor and glossy white counters), while Bar Chamberlain embraces the classic cocktail bar—made moody with a Northwest-inspired palette of dark-green and warm-gray paint colors. Public spaces also feature commissioned art from the local Nationale gallery, as well as vintage furniture and décor by local designers. “We wanted the spaces to feel as though you’re visiting an affable Portland friend’s loft—eclectic and approachable yet refined,” Cheong says. “The art and décor serve as a local guide to the vibrant and varied people, places, and things of the city.”

“The overall approach was to create a vibe that is identifiably Northwestern but without any of the forest kitsch. I wanted to stay true to our signature quirky Palisociety style, but pay extra attention to be unpretentious and quietly luxe at the same time.” —Avi Brosh, Palisociety

hotel room with double beds with white bedding, cozy throw blanket, plaid pillows, white walls, textile wall hanging in floral print, globe table lamps, old fashioned telephone, green pendant light, green velvet chair, round coffee table, picture ledge headboard

The regionally inspired palette continues in the guest rooms. “I chose colors that are not meant to go together to reflect the irreverence and wabi-sabi nature of Portland,” says Palisociety founder Avi Brosh. “Hunter green mixed with mint blue and black accents—on paper that is not supposed to work, but in Portland, it flies.” Image courtesy Palisociety.


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