This AC Hotel which opened in July 2018 is Marriott's latest addition to the Portland, Maine downtown waterfront area. Marriott's other nearby properties include the Residence Inn (across the street from the AC), the Courtyard, the Press Hotel (Autograph Collection) and the Westin.
Portland is a very walkable city and during the past 20 years has become an interesting New England tourist destination. Portland is an easy 2 hour drive north of Boston, and the city is also easily accessible by a nearby train station and airport. The AC Hotel offers free shuttle rides (in a Mercedes SUV) anywhere in Portland including the train station and airport. During our stay we used the shuttle several times and met two of the nicest drivers you could ever have, Tom Derrig and Amy Tupper. Not only did they drop us off and pick us up at various locations, but they also gave us a guided tour and told us about the history of Portland. They both loved their job and were very proud of their city where they both grew up.
Rooms & Check-in
I always do mobile check-in to speed the process for my arrival, but I do enjoy stopping at the front desk to talk about the hotel and local area. The front desk associate, Amy, was very pleasant and accommodating.
On the way to our room we did pass by a hydration station which is a standard feature on all floors of AC Hotels. This AC, much like the others I have stayed at in the USA, is modern, somewhat minimalistic yet comfortable. There is in room coffee, fridge, safe, closet (yes a closet, unlike MOXYs that got rid of them), desk and sofa, and the bathroom features a walk-in shower.
There is a good size lobby bar and lounge area. There is also a breakfast area where the morning buffet is served. The offerings are very much like other AC Hotels including their signature meat slicer in case you want some prosciutto with your eggs. The lobby lounge does offer small plate appetizers and larger plates for sharing (see menu below).
At each table in the lounge they had a wireless pager (see picture below) that guests can use to call for the waitstaff/bartender or to signal when you are ready for the check. Awesome, why don't all lounges have these?
Each time we return to Portland we like to try out new/different restaurants. Here is a summary of several restaurants we dined at, ALL of which I highly recommend:
Hot Suppa- Located in Portland's West End, a small but awesome place for breakfast. Use the hotel's free shuttle back and forth. If you plan on going on a Saturday or Sunday morning, get there no later than 8 am or you may be faced with a long wait.
High Roller Lobster Company- Opened one year ago, it is located on Exchange Street one block down from the Press Hotel (Autograph Collection). It is all about fresh Maine lobsta! I can recommend the lobster roll and the lobster grilled cheese. If you are very hungry, try the surf & turf which is a homemade brisket burger topped with 4 OZs of chunk lobster meat...Oh my!
Miyake- Located on Fore Street, an easy walk from the AC Hotel. Somewhat limited menu, but a nice mix of specialty sushi offerings.
Street & Company- Located on Fore Street, this restaurant is owned and operated by the same group that has two other excellent Portland establishments, Scales and Fore Street. Street & Company's menu offers only seafood (unlike their other two restaurants which offer both seafood and various meat dishes) and it is delicious and nicely presented. Take the Hotel's free shuttle.
Solo Italiano- A short walk from the hotel on Commercial Street, this is a gourmet Italian restaurant (not your typical spaghetti and meatballs joint) with several delicious fish and pasta combinations. The menu changes daily.
This is a very nice AC property with a view of Portland harbor. We will definitely stay there again in the future. A word of caution however, there is ongoing construction adjacent to this hotel. Our stay was over a weekend so we were not disturbed at all. During weekdays it could be a different story so please check ahead of time with the hotel.
Lobby lounge & bar.
Wireless pager at each table in lounge to call for service...brilliant!
King room with harbor view.
View of Portland Harbor from room.
Another view of harbor from room.