A few months ago, we were invited to Portland, Maine to check out a new concept hotel by Hilton, Tru by Hilton. A unique concept to offer affordable and stylish places to stay, work and eat while traveling. We had never been to Portland which is just a couple hours from Boston, so I obviously jumped at the idea of taking the trip. Also, the fact that the hotel is gravitated towards business and family travelers – it just was the perfect trip to take Zoe on her first little road trip.
One of the things that caught my attention the moment we stepped inside the hotel,was how vibrant the lobby area was. Usually hotels typically meant for business travelers are very monotone ( cough…dull ) – but not this one. A colorful and curated mural of local highlights, colorful seats, lounge couches … even some swinging wicker chairs! They have pool, foosball and table tennis tables – which I am sure are a hit if you are traveling with kids.
Although the rooms are on the cozy side, they are well streamlined and I was happy that the bathrooms were quite roomy. One thing I need is … counterspace! Another thing that doesn’t go unnoticed is – brightness in the bathroom. So important!
As a parent, what I found very useful was the mini-fridge in the room. Traveling with an infant, we had to have provisions for storing milk. Such details sometimes are not available in this category of hotels, so this was a huge plus for us!
Since this was the first time we were traveling with Zoe, I had pretty much figured that working inside the hotel room would be impossible. Therefore, semi-private business pods in the lobby were quite a well thought offering – especially if the hotel’s mission is to provide all the essentials for a business or family travel.
The breakfast in the morning has the usual breakfast options of oatmeal, bagels, toast – but then there’s a donut bar with almost every topping that catches your fancy – candies, sprinkles, nutella… who needs fruit anyway. That is also available, in case you are Amit. #eyeroll. There is also a gym if you want to burn out those calories.
The Live TRU-Ly Local feature was another cool concept giving recommendations for local dining, sightseeing, coffee shops – it is like a mini local Yelp guide filled with suggestions from the staff as well as hotel guests.
If you visit Portland, you must grab a meal at Evo Kitchen – one of the best meals I’ve had in a very long time. Central Provisions was a popular recommendation I received from readers on Instagram – the old-fashioned classic drip coffee there did not disappoint. It was a surprisingly warm January weekend, atypical of New England – so we strolled by the pier with Zoe. There’s a Starbucks and also the Portland Mall right next to the hotel and other popular areas of the city are within 10-15 minutes driving distance, so Tru checks quite well on the location checkbox as well. Other restaurants that we dined in andI’d recommend are Bull Feeney’s, The Egg and I and Hi, Bombay!
I loved the local charm and bustling restaurant scene in Portland. I am sure, summers here are glorious. I’d have to say another stay at Tru is definitely on the charts.