Customer profile: The Society Hotel

You’ll take a trip back in time when you visit this historic 1881 sailor’s hotel that has been lovingly restored as The Society Hotel. In the heart of Portland’s Old-Town/ Chinatown, this brand new hotel includes a ground-floor bar and café and a rooftop deck that provides views of downtown Portland, the West Hills, Willamette River bridges and Memorial Coliseum.

Former boarding rooms have been updated with modern amenities, including complementary ultra high-speed Wi-Fi, reading light and charging outlet, in-room sink and 7-foot windows. And they’ve also upgraded their electricity use with renewable energy.

The Society Hotel purchases Green SourceSM power, replacing 100 percent of the energy needs of the hotel with renewable energy. Renewable Report recently spoke with proprietor Jonathan Cohen about Society Hotel’s sustainability efforts.

Q: Why did The Society Hotel decide to purchase renewable energy?

A: This project has been all about transformation — from a crumbling structure to a modern but historic gem. We wanted to change the idea that historic structures couldn’t have a low-carbon footprint, so we integrated the latest in energy-saving technology. We reduced consumption with LEDs, airtight construction, double-paned glazing and the latest in HVAC, but we could only fit a modest solar PV system. To make up the difference, we wanted to be sure that the rest of our electricity came from renewable sources.

Q: What are some of your other sustainability initiatives?

A: The building will be LEED-silver certified, which brings a lot of other commitments to sustainability and livability, including aggressive paper reduction (electronic receipts). 

Check out the coupon from The Society Hotel in this newsletter. For more information, visit