KEX Portland opened earlier this month in Portland, Oregon. While the property does not shout sustainability from its website, it most definitely has some important green elements. First, the hotel which sleeps 152 guests is housed in a fully restored 1912 building on the National Register of Historic Places. The interior is designed by Hálfdan (Dáni) Pedersen, the designer of the hotel’s first location in Iceland. Pedersen first collected elements for KEX Portland during a buying trip in Europe. There, he sourced furniture, artwork, building materials, and unique objects from the 1920s to the 1970s from the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Egypt, Iceland, and beyond, later restoring and assembling them on-site for KEX Portland. Kex Portland guestrooms feature organic mattresses, sheets, and soaps. Kex Portland is very similar to its Iceland based cousin. In Iceland, KEX is in downtown Reykjavik. It is housed in an old biscuit factory and furnished with salvaged materials and found objects from various places.
Guests visiting either of the two hotels can opt for shared rooms or private rooms. When I tried to book a bed in a shared room at the Portland location, the rate was $49 for a bed in a room with four beds. If you really want to be an economical, you can sleep for $39 a night in a bed in a room with 15 other beds. Not my cup of tea but it works for some. I tried to book a private room and the rate was almost $132 a night.
Kex Portland has two F&B options: Vivian and dottis. The description for Vivian: “A buzzing, warm, inviting space where the offerings reflect the seasons of Oregon, filtered through the techniques, thoughtfulness and no-waste ideology of Nordic cuisine.” dottis has yet to open.
Interestingly, in Reykjavik, Gym & Tonic is KEX’s multifunctional hall for meetings, conferences, concerts, theater plays, private parties, etc. Kex Portland also has rentable space.
KEX first started in 2012, when a businessman and a set designer met at an abandoned biscuit factory in a strange corner of Reykjavík while scouting a location for an upcoming film. While the movie never got made, the vision for the set remained.