The bustling city of Portland Maine is known for its vibrant arts scene, trendy shops, delicious restaurants, beautiful waterfront, and modern breweries. Located about 2 hours from Boston, Portland Maine is an easy city to get to. Travelers can drive, or take the Amtrak Downeaster right into the city. If you are planning a trip, you may be wondering where to stay in Portland Maine. Here are the different Portland Maine neighborhoods, as well as the best places to stay in Portland Maine and some Portland Maine hotels.
Disclosure: I’ve received complimentary stays/media rates at the Westin and Portland Harbor Hotel. I also received complimentary tickets on the Amtrak Downeaster. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. A purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no additional cost to you.
Note, as you review Portland Maine hotels, make sure that you are looking at locations in Maine, rather than Oregon. Many hotels in the two states have similar names and it can be very easy to make a mistake.
Best Places to Stay in Portland Maine
Neighborhoods in Portland Maine
When you picture Portland, you probably think of the Old Port district, which is in downtown Portland. This neighborhood features cobblestone streets, shops, restaurants, and is located right on the Casco Bay waterfront.
Most of the hotels in Old Port charge for parking, and offer valet parking. You’ll be able to walk once you arrive, so you may find that you won’t really need your car. If you do take the train, it would probably be best to stay in Old Port. Check with your hotel to see if they offer a shuttle that can bring you around the local area.
You’ll probably find that the hostels in Old Port are the most expensive, but the location can’t be beat. Scroll below to read about some of our favorite hotels in Old Port.
Arts District of Portland Maine
The Arts District is also located in downtown Portland, and is adjacent to Old Port. When we stayed in the Arts District, we found that it was a short walk to the shops and restaurants of Old Port.
In the Arts District, you’ll find the Portland Museum of Art as well as the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine (note that this museum will be moving to Thompson’s Point soon) and Victoria Mansion. There are also coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques in the surrounding area.
Despite the name, South Portland is actually a different but adjacent city from Portland Maine. It’s located on the waterfront, in Cape Elizabeth. There are attractions in the area, including the Portland Harbor Museum. If visiting the Portland Head Lighthouse, you’ll be right by South Portland. You will, however, need to drive to the city center, Old Port, or the Arts District.
Portland International Jetport
Near the Portland airport, called the Portland International Jetport, you’ll find chain hotels. If staying at one of these locations, you’ll find that you will need to drive or take a taxi to many of the attractions in Portland. However, you’ll also be able to take advantage of cheaper prices and possibly free parking. While I haven’t stayed near the airport, here are several hotel options (click through to read reviews);
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland Maine
- Hilton Garden Inn Portland Airport
- Home2 Suites by Hilton Portland Airport
Portland Highway Hotels
Like in most cities, you’ll also find hotels right off the highway. In Portland, Maine, some of these are also relatively close to the airport. We haven’t stayed at any of these specific hotels, but you can click through and read reviews.
Like the airport hotels, these aren’t walking distance from downtown Portland so you’ll need to drive to get there. Rates are likely to be lower, however. Because most of them are chain hotels, you’re likely to find standard amenities and comfortable rooms.
- Courtyard by Marriott Portland Airport
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Portland, ME
- Ramada Plaza Portland
Portland is also accessible to other family travel destinations, so you can easily combine a trip. Our favorite nearby cities are Kittery, Maine, where you’ll find outlet shopping, and Freeport, Maine, home of LL Bean.
Where to Stay in Portland Maine
Portland Harbor Hotel
Right in the heart of Old Port, you’ll find the Portland Harbor Hotel. This gorgeous, central boutique hotel offers both rooms and suites that are perfect for families.
Valet parking is offered for an additional fee, and there’s also a car service available to registered guests. During our stay, we just took the car to and from the train station, but were easily able to walk to the restaurants and shops that we wanted to visit in Old Port. The hotel also offers complimentary bike rentals in the warmer months.
Within the hotel, you’ll find three separate buildings. For our stay, we were in the executive section with suites. In the main section, you’ll find self-service complimentary beverage stations including Starbucks coffee.
Other amenities at the hotel includes turndown service with complimentary lobster chocolates and water. There’s also a fitness center. If you travel with your dog, the hotel is dog friendly with an additional fee per night. We’ve seen so many dogs walking around the city, so it’s definitely a dog friendly city.
The Press Hotel
For our latest visit to Portland, Maine, we decided to stay at the Press Hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. This charming hotel was originally the home of the Portland Press Herald. This newspaper-themed hotel offers fabulous service and amenities, right in the middle of Old Port.
From the vintage typewriters in the lobby for guest use to the quaint newspaper-themed touches in the hallways and rooms, no detail is overlooked. The hotel offers complimentary morning coffee in the lobby, as well as a lobby bar and delicious restaurant.
There’s also a fitness center, turndown service, flat screen televisions, bicycle rentals (from Memorial Day to Labor Day), and complimentary car service. The customer service is fabulous – we had to wait a bit for our room to be ready and they offered us a complimentary breakfast, which was absolutely delicious
See more reviews of the Press Hotel here.
Hyatt House Portland
Located across from the Portland Harbor Hotel in Old Port is the Hyatt Place Portland. It’s a chain hotel, but definitely has a boutique hotel feel. While this brand is typically known as a business hotel, it also works well as a family hotel. Our family was very comfortable there during our stay.
Amenities at the hotel include valet parking (for a fee), free WiFi, a coffee bar selling coffee drinks, a small indoor pool, a fitness center, and a business center. Guests also have access to a complimentary breakfast with hot items like breakfast sandwiches and bacon as well as fruit, cereal, oatmeal, juice, and coffee.
It’s definitely one of the most convenient locations in Old Port, and you can often get a great rate. Our room had a beautiful view of the bay. We did find that our room was a bit small once the sofa bed was open, but we really didn’t spend much time in the room.
Westin Portland Harborview
Located in the Arts District of Portland, the Westin Portland Harborview is a comfortable, family-friendly hotel. It’s across the street from the Portland Museum of Art and the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. Old Port is within walking distance, and the hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle to take you within a 3-mile radius.
Room amenities include a small refrigerator, a coffee maker, in-room safe, closet, table, bench, large workspace, comfortable armchair, hairdryer, alarm clock, and beautiful views of the city. If you are a member of the Starwood Preferred Guest program (there’s no cost to sign up), complimentary WiFi and bottled water is offered.
I always love staying at Westin hotels, because I love their signature amenities. The Westin in Portland Maine also offers these, including the Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath, as well as their signature White Tea and Aloe scented toiletries.
Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland Maine
For a recent conference I had the opportunity to stay in the Holiday Inn By the Bay, located in the Arts District of Portland. This hotel is currently undergoing a full renovation, and rooms will soon be in line with the H4 principle I learned about during my stay at a Holiday Inn in Asheville, NC. If staying there, I’d probably wait until the renovations are done because work is being done at the exterior of the hotel during business hours.
The hotel offers a parking garage, indoor swimming pool, restaurant, lounge, conference facilities, and a complimentary shuttle that can take you around the Old Port area as well as to and from the transportation center and airport. Rooms have a microwave and refrigerator, making them nice for families that need to heat up food in the room. The rooms aren’t too large, but have the standard amenities you’d expect in a chain hotel room.
The location within the Arts District is about a ten minute walk from Old Port, and the hotel offers affordable rates. I was most impressed with the friendly staff that was willing to help with any need.
There are other popular hotels in Portland, but I haven’t stayed at them. These include the following:
- Residence Inn by Marriott Portland Downtown/Waterfront
- AC Hotel by Marriott Portland Downtown/Waterfront
- Portland Regency Hotel & Spa
- Courtyard by Marriott Portland Downtown/Waterfront
- Hilton Garden Inn Portland Downtown Waterfront
What is your favorite Portland Maine hotel?