Stephanie Holmes checks into the Jupiter Next hotel, in Portland, Oregon.


In Portland's trendy lower east side, on Burnside St, which is the dividing line between the north and south of the city. The hotel is next to the original Jupiter Hotel, a converted 60s motel that has been operating since 2002, and its onsite Doug Fir Lounge, one of the city's best live music spots. The Jupiter is known for being the city's first hipster hotel.

Getting there: Driving from Portland airport took around 20 minutes.


Check in experience: Fast and friendly, in the industrial-style lobby.

Room: A standard X-style room — with large window, 60-inch flat-screen TV, fridge, desk, and an "Alexa" style device called Roxy, which is kind of like a digital concierge. Just ask "OK Roxy … " followed by anything you need to know — where's the best place to eat/exercise/drink/shop nearby; how to get a late check-out; where to get a taxi etc. If you're old school, you can also use it as a phone to call front desk and talk to a human.

Bed: A comfortable double, with crisp white linen and an art-feature headboard with a photo composite of some of Portland's best-known landmarks.

Bathroom: Small, with frosted glass walls, and a door that didn't quite meet the wall. The walk-in rainhead shower had limited water flow, so didn't feel quite powerful enough.

Toiletries: Eco-soap, shampoo, conditioner and moisturiser provided.

Facilities: Not a lot in the room — not even so much as a kettle or ironing board. The fridge was completely empty, but a decent size if you wanted to fill it up with your own supplies. There's a bar and cafe downstairs in the lobby. Guests get free filter coffee from 7am-10am every day. No gym onsite but Jupiter guests can get discounted classes at Evolution Fitness next door, as well as a few other places in the neighbourhood.

View: I was only on the third floor, so my view was mostly of the motel across the road.

Higher rooms have views back across the Willamette River and Downtown Portland.


Wi-Fi: Free, no password required, and super-fast.

Entertainment: The bar downstairs seemed to be pumping every night of my four-night stay. Otherwise, the Doug Fir across the road has great local, national and international artists playing, for really reasonable prices. There's also the Bossanova club a bit further down the road, where live music is on most weekends. And there are some of the city's best restaurants just a couple of blocks away, including the acclaimed Le Pigeon, and craft breweries/cideries and food trucks close by. Interestingly, the street was once known as "heroin alley", but it's now one of the trendiest addresses in the city.

What else in the neighbourhood? The famous Voodoo Doughnuts has a store less than 10 minutes' walk — or four minutes' drive — away. Walk there, you need to burn off some of the calories.

Need to know: There's a growing homeless population in Portland, and you'll come across many people sleeping rough wherever you go — some of whom have set up tents on the pavements. If you walk west across the Burnside Bridge you'll be in downtown Portland in about 20 minutes but when you step off this bridge on the west side of the river, you're immediately in an area where there are many homeless shelters, drug rehabs and a lot of homeless people around on the streets. They generally leave passers-by alone, but on my first venture into the city, I was screamed at for a few minutes by one woman, who seemed seriously distressed. Just be wary — as you would in any city — and remember there are Ubers and taxis readily available if you don't feel like walking.

Noise: My room was above the function space, and the bar was the floor below that, so noise was an issue. There were earplugs provided on my nightstand when I arrived, which perhaps was a clue to the late-night atmosphere. With those in, I slept soundly.