KEX Portland, the first US location of the Iceland-born social hotel, has now opened in Portland, Oregon.
KEX Portland offers design-forward and budget-conscious hotel accommodations, an all-day ground floor restaurant and bar, and a flexible performance space for visiting artists and community events. A rooftop bar, Dóttir, will open in spring 2020.
A new hotel by KEX Iceland, ChefStable, and Greenlight Development, KEX Portland is centrally located in the city’s dynamic Central Eastside neighborhood. The hotel sleeps 152 guests in all, with 14 private and 15 shared rooms available. Accommodations emphasise comfort and functionality, catering to families, groups, and solo travelers alike.
“We are a concept born in Iceland, but we are very much a local hotel,” explains KEX Founder Kristinn (Kiddi) Vilbergsson, who opened the first KEX in an abandoned Reykjavík biscuit factory in 2012. “We've created a space and an experience in Portland where locals feel like travelers and travelers feel like locals.”
KEX Portland is housed in a fully restored 1912 building on the National Register of Historic Places. The décor marries the old and the new, bringing a worldly, eclectic flare to the space, while also harnessing the character of the original construction. Inviting and aesthetically pleasing, the space reflects the complimentary Nordic mindsets of comfort and sustainability.
The interior is designed by Hálfdan (Dáni) Pedersen. With a singular approach to interior design, 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 Hotel.
“Regardless of style and era, this is about giving new life to objects that were built to last,” says Pedersen. “We’ve incorporating them throughout a space that looks and feels timeless, that is warm and inviting.”