KEX, a social hotel born in Iceland, will open its first US location in Portland, Oregon, this autumn.

KEX Portland promises design-forward, budget-conscious hotel accommodations, an all-day ground floor restaurant and flexible performance space, and a rooftop bar overlooking the City of Roses. 

Spearheaded by KEX Iceland, ChefStable Group and Greenlight Development, KEX Portland will embrace the energy of its new neighborhood, Portland’s thriving Central Eastside.

Accommodating 156 hotel guests in all, KEX’s private and shared rooms will emphasise comfort, and functionality, offering stylish accommodations for families, groups, and solo travelers alike.

“We are adjusting our ideas, concepts, design, culinary, and beverage programs to include what we think is the coolest stuff about Portland itself,” says KEX Iceland owner Kristinn (Kiddi) Vilbergsson. “It will have the same underlying ideas as our Reykjavik hotel, but the execution will feel totally at home in Portland.” 

Housed in a fully restored and updated 1912 building, KEX Portland’s interior will be designed by Hálfdan (Dáni) Pedersen – the designer of the hotel’s first location in Reykjavik.

With a decidedly artistic approach to interior design, Pedersen collects unique objects and design elements first, later restoring and assembling them on-site to create a space that looks timeless.

The hotel’s interior will incorporate imported objects from the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Egypt, and beyond, all found by Pedersen and restored for KEX.

KEX’s décor will weave the old and the new, bringing a worldly, eclectic flare to the space, while also harnessing the character of the original construction. Functional and aesthetically pleasing, the space will reflect the complimentary Nordic mindsets of comfort and sustainability.

The hotel’s common spaces will include Vivian, an all-day restaurant and modular event space for music, art and performance on KEX’s ground floor, and Dóttir, a green-tiled rooftop bar on the fourth floor. An outdoor courtyard on the ground level will also be available for additional seating and private events. 

Culinary Director Ólafur (Oli) Ágústsson will guide KEX’s food and on-site catering program. Ágústsson is largely considered one of the top chefs in Iceland, having led the kitchen at KEX in Reykjavik and the group’s lauded restaurant DILL, the first restaurant in Iceland to receive a Michelin star. 

Working together with Executive Chef Alex Jackson, who was most recently Chef de Cuisine at the Michelin-starred Sons & Daughters in San Francisco, Ágústsson and Jackson will create an approachable and accessible menu that highlights local ingredients at the peak of their seasons. 

The hotel will also offer a 850-square-foot meeting and event space available for public and private events. KEX Hotel guests will have access to a sauna with adjoining shower and changing room, as well as a communal kitchen.