Finding a niche and filling it is about observation, following trends and trusting your gut. That is what hotelier Matt Siegel and his partners “We wanted to create an inclusive society of travelers, not exclusive. We decided to appeal to the adventurous traveler at different stages of their life,” said Siegel. “The mixed tri-level bunk room is designed for privacy, comfort and respect for others. It was really a social experiment that has worked out really well for us. We have standard rooms with lots of natural light and storage although there is a shared hall way bath each room does have individual sinks. Individual rooms with private baths are also available for those seeking more privacy.”have brilliantly accomplished with their Society properties in both Portland Oregon and recently opened Society hotel in the tiny town of Bingen Washington, population 750. “I just love to create and come up with ideas and see if it comes to fruition,” said Siegel.
A popular spot now for international and trendy travelers, there are amenities for everyone and Society Portland is an ideal accommodation in the city filled with rich history, great restaurants, entertainment, and natural wonders.
For those who want a more out-doorsy nature filled experience the sister property in Bingen Washington may be the place for you. Society Hotels just made it easier for those who want a step above tenting it or desire a more comfortable lodging without a hefty price tag.
Let’s face it, while in the area, the objective is usually to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, so who wants to spend too much time inside a hotel room but those options are well integrated in both properties.
The original Society in Portland Oregon located in Old Town/ China town area is a re-imagined and renovated historic property. “The original building was built as a safe haven for sailors in the rough and tumble days of Portland,” remarked Siegel. “The idea for the property came after a conversation with by brother who told me of a group who was doing hip-hostels in Chicago. Today our catalyst and effort have gone into creating a legacy with something new for travelers, and to also be a kind of light to the community.”
The Portland building still maintains many of the original architectural underpinnings. Finding the building virtually untouched in 70 years, not much in the way of improvements had been done on site, including finding untouched artifacts, newspapers and magazines dating back to the mid 1900’s which are now displayed throughout the hotel. Siegel and his partners did their due-diligence in preserving many of the original features including the 18 feet tall ceiling and the 1891 cast iron façade.
Today, Society engages modern travelers with its unique multi-faceted room options. This upscale property appeals to generations of travelers offering a more European flair with their co-ed bunk room, along with three floors of private rooms and a roof top deck with 360 degree view of the downtown Portland and the waterfront.
In the causal reception area a full service bar awaits those wanting a great glass of local wine or cocktail along with tasty food offerings for those wanting a bite to eat while relaxing in downstairs reception, social area.
“We wanted to create an inclusive society of travelers, not exclusive. We decided to appeal to the adventurous traveler at different stages of their life,” said Siegel. “The mixed tri-level bunk room is designed for privacy, comfort and respect for others. It was really a social experiment that has worked out really well for us. We have standard rooms with lots of natural light and storage although there is a shared hall way bath each room does have individual sinks. Individual rooms with private baths are also available for those seeking more privacy.”
“I grew up the Columbia River Gorge with all the drama of the waterfalls and water features, and it is the number 1 place we send people from this property”, continued Siegel. “The area is a Mecca for extreme sports, windsurfing, biking, etc. I am always looking for something interesting and my realtor found an old converted school building that had been a windsurfer hostel for the previous 30 years. The old school really had not been changed at all and there was great natural light, and great access to the sports, the wineries, and all the activities of the Hood River,” added Siegel.
The Society Hotel Bingen beautifully integrates history with a modern twist comprised of a mix of private standard rooms and bunk room accommodations in the main school house building along with a historical preservation of the original schoolhouse gymnasium that is open for group activities. A library and reception area is in the check in area across from a mini-café where a friendly barista will brew up your favorite cup of java.
“We were really excited to go into Bingen, into a community that has not had much growth many years,” said Siegel. “We wanted to create a destination and the spa, cabins and yoga sanctuary was a way to do that. The sanctuary came about as a way to bring people in during the winter months. I wanted to create a spot for families that we really could not do here in Portland. We wanted to create a space for health and wellness. We have the new buildings along with the original school house.”
Keeping the focus on clean, comfortable and flexible with rooms for everyone in your traveling circle, the newly opened Society Hotel Bingen has filled a need in a unique setting. Just across the bridge from Bingen, lies the Colombia River Gorge National Scenic area easily accessible via the Hood River Bridge. This pristine area is burgeoning with sublime outdoor recreation: kite boarding, windsurfing, mountain biking, skiing, fishing and kayaking.
The grandeur of Mt. Hood looming in the background with its striking ridge line of gleaming snow has adventurers looking up for that connection to Mother Nature which is readily available along the 35 mile Hood River County Fruit Loop. Although organized in 1992 to help promote the abundance of fruit and produce in the area, the flourishing agricultural scene continues to draw nature seekers from all over the world.
The area’s robust and vibrant; flora and fauna are showcased with over two dozen farms, u-pick orchards and quaint country road stands. It is the wineries and breweries that draw many to the Columbia River Gorge.
Here a world of wine awaits oenophiles and novices alike within a 40 mile radius. Notable Wineries, such as Maryhill where wine maker Richard Batchelor earned the 2019 Winemaker of the Year trophy at the Indy International Wine competition lures hundreds of visitors through this fairly new viticulture area.
Adjacent to a world class kite boarding area, pFriem( pronounced freem) is a craft brewery whose dedication to artisanal brewing is a welcoming place to hoist a stein of German and Belgian inspired brews.
The modern sleek brewery has spacious indoor and outdoor dining areas, with an upscale gift store for all you beer apparel needs. Enjoy a refreshing pilsner, barreled aged Saison, or a seasonal beer while enjoying a juicy burger, salad or a homemade charcuterie plate while watching the colorful kite-boarders and windsurfers undulating along the water’s edge in a whirl of floating color. The water front dining along the Hood River is a delightful divergent off the dusty road.
Mother Nature knows how to transform everyday routines into moments of awe and wonder with her every ready show of natural wonders. “We want to be of the people and the environment. Anything we do we have nature in mind,” concluded Siegel.
A trip to the Columbia River Gorge areas just became easier with a respite at Society Hotel’s unique accommodations. Whether you start in Portland Oregon, or begin in Bingen Washington., there is a place, a room and a view for everyone. With a nod to environmental awareness and dedicated care for the many types of travelers, Society is becoming a trendsetter in engaging every type of traveler.