KEX Hotel in Portland officially opens

US: As the first US location for the Icelandic hotel company, KEX Portland is centrally located in the city’s Central Eastside neighbourhood.

Designed by Hálfdan Pedersen, KEX Portland is housed in a restored 1912 building on the National Register of Historic Places.

Sleeping 152 guests, the property includes 14 private and 15 shared rooms to accommodate families, groups, and solo travellers.

Rooms are decorated with reclaimed furniture, and private rooms include queen and king-sized beds with headboards made from refurbished fireplace mantels.

In the shared rooms, bunk-beds are outfitted with privacy curtains, reading lights, and custom canvas sleeves for laptops, phones, and other personal items. Organic mattresses, sheets, and soaps are all environmentally friendly.

KEX’s ground floor features Vivian, the hotel’s restaurant spearheaded by executive chef Alex Jackson, formerly of the Michelin-starred Sons & Daughters in San Francisco, and culinary director Ólafur Ágústsson.

Other ground floor amenities include an oval-shaped bar, a lounge that doubles as a flexible performance space, and a secondary dining area for breakfast service.

The lower level meeting and event space, Gym & Tonic, opened with a public exhibit from French artist Thomas Le Dluz and a three-day, live-streaming of Iceland Airwaves – the country’s famed music festival.

Additional facilities include a 12-person sauna and a communal kitchen.

KEX founder, Kristinn Vilbergsson, said: “We are a concept born in Ireland, but we are very much a local hotel. We’ve created a space and an experience in Portland where locals feel like travellers and travellers feel like locals”.

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