It started in Iceland, when a set designer and businessman bought a bikkie factory (Kex is the Icelandic word for biscuit) and transformed it into a cool hotel that’s as much for locals as travellers. Now, they’ve taken the concept to Oregon, making over a historic apartment building in the Central Eastside neighbourhood. Every design element is either vintage, handmade or has a story, which makes for a fantastically lived-in feel.
There are 29 rooms in all, both private and shared dorms. But it’s the little extras that are the big drawcard: Dóttir restaurant is a social hub, the library hosts music, and the sauna brings a touch of Reykjavik to Portland. This is Portland at its coolest, and just steps from Voodoo Doughnut.
Queen rooms from about US$165 a night; dorm beds from US$40.