Pampered in portland

Pampered in portland

Portland's Avalon Hotel and Spa, located at the edge of the trendy South Waterfront District and the Willamette River, treats health-conscious travelers to a combination of refined luxury and rough-hewn beauty that is so typical of the Pacific Northwest. And they do it in a package that is Earth-friendly and certified by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

"We project that feeling of peace and tranquility because of where we're located," says Noelle Davidson, Avalon's director of sales and marketing. "You get a sense of relaxation the moment you enter the lobby. Some of the downtown hotels are about hustle and bustle and business meetings. Here, you don't get that — it's very relaxed. We have the cozy fireplace, and to the east you have that beautiful view of the Willamette River. We have all the amenities — the spa and the restaurant, the continental breakfast and complimentary Internet."

The Spa Chakra is a popular feature of this boutique hotel, offering a full slate of massages and facials, with a blend of holistic and conventional body care that focuses on overall health and wellness.

A process called kinetic analysis is used to define personalized wellness profiles and fitness goals. Guests can choose from a variety of domestic and European spa treatments, including aromatherapies, specialized massage techniques and revitalizing body wraps using all-natural ingredients.

One- and two-bedroom suites are large and contemporary, most with private balconies that provide intimate dining with a view. Or guests may sit riverside at the Aquariva Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar. The dinner prices range from $13 to $18 for an entree, Sunday brunch prices range from $8 to $15 and lunch prices go from $7 to $17. The menu is distinctly Northwest, with such options as Oregon pear and dandelion green salad, pan-fried Willapa Bay oysters with artichoke-lemon aioli and pan-roasted halibut with oyster mushrooms and fresh black truffles.

If your idea of the perfect getaway runs more toward contemporary sophistication and the pleasure of "retail therapy," Avalon may still be your idea of paradise.

"Downtown Portland is about a mile and a half away, really just a few minutes to shopping and the nightlife. We provide transportation into downtown — that means not having to deal with parking, and that is a real plus," says Davidson.

Avalon was the first LEED-certified hotel in the Northwest, Davidson says, and one of just a handful in the world so far.

"We're very proud of being a LEED-certified hotel," she says. "We've had to change many things to qualify for this certification; that means biodegradable containers, recycling, air-quality standards, even cleaning supplies."

For more information, call 888-556-4402 or visit www.avalonhotelandspa.com.

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