Portland's Duniway: Inspired accommodations

The Duniway Hotel's vintage-inspired lobby.
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Unless you're a student of Pacific Northwest history, the name Abigail Scott Duniway might not mean much. A steadfast suffragette and lifelong feminist, Duniway (1834-1915) held a number of titles over the years: journalist, teacher, poet.

As outspoken as she was controversial, it's safe to say Duniway, an Illinois native whose family headed west along the Oregon Trail in 1852, was light years ahead of her time. However, in today's climate she'd be right on trend, and there was no better place for my best girlfriend and me to meet up for a girls getaway than a hotel named in her honor, the Duniway Hotel in Portland, Ore.

The Stoller Family Estate winery has partnered with Portland’s Duniway Hotel for a  Wine Beyond the Vine package.
The Stoller Family Estate winery has partnered with Portland’s Duniway Hotel for a Wine Beyond the Vine package.

Our weekend began in earnest about an hour's drive outside of Portland, at the Stoller Family Estate winery. The Duniway and Stoller partnered for a Wine Beyond the Vine package, and amid the rolling Dundee Hills in the heart of Oregon's wine country, we were met by Stoller's associate winemaker, Kate Payne Brown, and assistant vineyard manager Erica Miller.

After lunch, we had a chance to taste a few of their vintages, including La Rue, Helen, Nancy and Ruth, all named after women in the Stoller family. After a tour of the vineyard, we made our way to the Duniway.

The 327-room hotel opened in May 2017 and is part of the Hilton Hotels collection, although you'd never really know it based on the quirky design touches and boutique hotel-style feel. 

The lone typewriter in the lobby and beautiful portraits of tattooed women by Portland-based photographer Kevin Barry lining the hallways were nice touches, as was the vintage clock radio and fully loaded bar cart featuring local gin and bitters awaiting us in our hotel room. 

After a quick drink in our room and a stop by the handsome retro lobby bar, we headed back across the Willamette River for dinner at Langbaan, a speakeasy-style spot that's been hailed as one of the best Thai restaurants in town. It was no surprise, then, that the food was exceptional. However, what was surprising was seeing our new friend and Stoller winemaker Kate and her husband and friends at the table behind us. Especially for a restaurant with a max capacity of 24 diners per dinner seating.

A king room at the 327-room hotel.
A king room at the 327-room hotel.

The next morning, we woke up with a mission to explore the best of Portland: breweries, bookstores and all. We started downtown at Powell's Books. Two hours later, we explored the city on foot, stopping into a few breweries and women-owned bakeries and restaurants along the way before ending up at Duniway's signature Jackrabbit. 

A Chris Cosentino restaurant, with a darker, more masculine aesthetic and a menu playing heavily off of its in-house meat program (the tableside whole pig's head is a big draw, we were told by our waiter), thematically the restaurant is in direct contrast to the Duniway. We passed on the pig and chose to gorge on some delicious duckfat cauliflower and arugula strawberry salad instead before ending our vacay much like it began: with a bottle of sparkling Stoller Brut Rose on the hotel's newly minted rooftop patio, aptly named Abigail's Hideaway. 

We made a toast to Portland and to Abigail Duniway, who I think would have liked it here. I know we did. 

Rates for a standard room at the Duniway start at $200; suite rates start at $675. See www.duniwayhotel.com.

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