It was the kind of love at first site that set the tone for the entire birthday celebratory getaway in Portland. Immediately upon walking into the lobby at the Hi-Lo, Autograph hotel (a Marriott boutique hotel), I knew this was the place I'd be happy to call home for the next few days. The hotel is one of the most beautifully decorated spaces and the amount of natural light peaking in provides all the energy and inspiration one could need for a trip. It's a perfect spot for photos with its chic and modern design. The hotel building is actually quite historic (it was originally the Oregon Pioneer Building, an office building named for a financial services company); the 120-room hotel was just renovated and opened in June of this year. Hi-Lo is perfectly positioned for whatever you want to explore in the city, from shop hopping to restaurants and food pods, and the ever-famous, Powell's book store. I honestly can't imagine going back to Portland and not staying here again.
Our room came with a comfy king size bed, cloud soft pillows and a reading lamp on each side along with a desk. The outlet and clock also have USB ports which are very helpful charging multiple devices (gotta stay connected!). The bathroom was modern with a dark slate sliding door and a modern standing shower with gold finishings and TWO pressurized shower heads.
Hotel Highlights // Complimentary Internet and Netflix, heated floors, lobby swing, rain head shower and convenient location.
We were welcomed to Alto Bajo, the hotel's restaurant, for brunch one of the days. Alto Bajo showcases traditional Mexican flavors in a modern, distinctive way. This was the first time I actually tried Oaxacan cuisine with accents of contemporary style and I absolutely loved it! The ambience and environment were very relaxing and very on par with the hotel's decor as well. The huge windows and high ceiling gave a very open feel.
The hostess and servers were all so welcoming and very focused on experience. They did an exceptional job of taking care of us! We tried practically everything on the menu because we honestly couldn't decide. Seriously, everything was delicious!
We started with the Aguachile which is a chef-selected bowl of oysters with in a vibrant tamarind and uni broth, topped with mangos, chilies and cucumbers. This was one of my favorite items on the menu because it had a perfect balance of citrusy meets sweet.
Next up was the salmon poblano, a pacific king salmon piece (it was massive) smothered in a creamy roasted poblano sauce topped with mushroom conserva and trout roe. This was one of those dishes you would come back for over and over again; it was so elegant and so ridiculously flavorful. The salmon was also cooked to perfection (and I'm pretty particular about how I like my salmon).
We also got the poblano chile relleno, which was stuffed with spinach, smoked goat cheese, apples, almonds, cranberries and rice. The nutty and sweet flavors combined with the soft yet crunchy pepper was incredible and it was all bathed in a delicious tomato sauce.
And of course we had to get an egg-based dish, we opted for the chilaquiles rojos. This is your typical, go-to Mexican style breakfast dish that consists of tortilla chips, salsa, crema, cheese and eggs. It was pretty simple and tasteful.
Lastly, the crew came out to surprise us with birthday treats! Churros with marionberry jam, banana ice cream and Mexican eggnog. HOLY WOW. I'm a sucker for churros so this dessert had me drooling for more. And the second dessert was a cajeta flan with goat milk custard, a berry compote and corn crumbs. This one tasted like a molten lava cake with a fresh twist.
Overall, you can tell there is a ton of love going on in this restaurant. The ingredients are in season and fresh, and the dishes get a standing O for innovation.