The Mark Spencer: Portland’s Hotel to the Arts

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By Cydelle Higa-Johnston

In 1907, the Nortonia Hotel opened its doors in the heart of Portland’s Theatre District and quickly became a second home for many artists and entertainers, including Louis Armstrong, Spike Jones and Sammy Davis Jr. In 1966, the Nortonia Hotel was remodeled and renamed what is currently standing today as the Mark Spencer Hotel. While the Mark Spencer remains “home” to many modern day artists and performers, it is now a hidden gem in the heart of Portland’s newest district in Downtown, the West End District. As Portland’s Hotel to the Arts, the Mark Spencer partners with many art and music organizations, both locally and nationally, welcoming all who stop by.

As the oldest, still operating boutique style hotel in Portland, the Mark Spencer is currently undergoing a large, multi-million-dollar renovation. Each of the hotel’s 102 guestrooms and suites will feature new plumbing, wiring, raised ceilings in select rooms and a fresh air intake system through the building. After that, each room is rebuilt with museum finish walls and beautiful crown molding. Finally, modern touches are added with comfortable, top of the line interior accents, premium bedding and updated technology.

Throughout the renovation, it was important to preserve the history of the hotel while uncovering beautiful architectural elements and integrating these into the new design. Original brick work and interior beams are being exposed and refinished throughout the hotel for a nice marriage of old world charm and modern day beauty. The hotel is also recognized as a Green Seal Certified property for its practices in environmental sustainability. One thing that will remain unchanged is the first-class service provided to all guests. Each overnight guest receives a complimentary continental breakfast each morning, fresh baked cookies in the afternoon, an evening wine tasting reception featuring local wines, a daily copy of The New York Times and complimentary wireless internet access. Guests will also soon be able to experience neighboring restaurants and retailers in Spencer Court, adjacent to the hotel, through a direct access.

Nestled in the heart of the vibrant up and coming West End District, visitors have an opportunity to walk to renowned restaurants, enjoy tax-free shopping, visit museums, theaters and music venues, as well as easily accessing public transportation to take in the sights of the city.

Whether this is your first time or if you’ve been here any number of times in the past, we invite everyone to “Stay Like a Local” at the Mark Spencer Hotel – Portland’s Hotel to the Arts.

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