For out-of-towners, the newly opened Nines is the upscale and stylish place to stay while visiting the CIty of Roses.
If Thursday night's opening bash was any indicator, The Nines will also be a hot spot for locals to grab a drink or enjoy a fine meal.
Hundreds lined up outside the historic Meier & Frank Building on a crisp, cool evening to explore firsthand the $137 million transformation that turned the upper floors of the building into The Nines.
They were not disappointed. An endless parade of platters tempted the hometown tourists with everything from quiche to pigs feet and foie gras on a stick. For good measure, another army of servers paraded decadent desserts, from coconut creams to chocalate mousse. Meanwhile, those not hydrated by mobile servers could cue up at the 'ice bar' where pink martinis cascaded down the slopes of an elaborate ice sculpture into awaiting glasses.
What better entertainment to accompany such a drink than Portland's own Pink Martini. Thomas Lauderdale, China Forbes and the band had the crowd gyrating in rapture to their worldly sound. The band's local roots and sophisticated style perfectly matched the Nines' own mix of worldly sophistication meets Portland pride.
The night's other entertainment dramatically showcased the most significant aspect of the remodel - changing the top floors of the former department store from a solid box to a hollow square. The resulting seven-story atrium gives every guest room a view, and made the perfect backdrop for a Cirque du Soleil-caliber performance by an acrobatic performer from Flam Chen Aerial who twirled upside down on a tapestry, suspended by giant balloons far above the hotel's main lobby.
From the custom pool table to the Powell's-donated books in the library, every detail is remembered and every touch is first class. The Nines is located at 525 S.W. Morrison St., Portland, Ore. 97204; 503.222.9996; www.thenines.com.