My family and I visit Portland many times a year as we have family who live in the Hawthorne district. In happily shopping for lodging for an upcoming summer visit, I was excited to see your business. I clicked over to “details” and read with dismay your “children under 4 years old are not allowed” policy.
My kids are 6 and 8 so meet your age minimum but I am not interested in supporting yet another ageist and un-family friendly business, a sadly all-too-common trope I see in mainstream American society these days.
Please don’t even bother writing back with a defense of your policy being about the “noise” of young children. I’ve heard it all before.*
On a reparative note, if you change your policy I would love an email so we could bring our business and our friends’ business to your B&B. Problematic policy aside, it looks lovely and is right where we want to stay regularly!
Cc: Karen and Shelly of Patterns by Figgy’s, re: businesses to recommend to clients etc. for photo shoots.
PO Box 205
On another note! Anyone know a SE PDX hospitality edifice we can give our repeat business to?
* Chances I will in fact get an email with a pseudo-apology followed by quick blurb about the “noise” of young children? One hundred to YES. I don’t mean to sound like a jerk (hey, personal blog, remember?) but seriously, as a family advocate I have heard the same tiny and pinched arguments ad nauseam and I honestly, honestly feel like I need a break sometimes.
Wow. We’d been thinking about a trip up to Portland this summer and were it not for that messed up policy that place would be perfect. I also noticed the “Parties of 4 would need to reserve 2 rooms” policy which is similarly lame. But in some ways I’d rather places like that broadcast their “we hate kids” message so I know not to waste my time taking my family to some place where we’ll be seen as a nuisance instead of, you know, humans, members of society, individuals at various life stages, etc.
I also have no child 4 or under, but can’t stand that shit.
recently we’ve run into restaurants that don’t serve children. I didn’t even know that could be a policy, and in portland we got turned away from five hotels before we found one that just didn’t care if a five year old was staying there. I hadn’t run into the issue before, but lately it seems like I do. Are businesses stepping up their child-hating? or am I ending up in the wrong places?
Another time I found out after we ate somewhere that they don’t allow children but they thought Boots “seemed like a quiet person” so they let us stay, and I was probably more upset to find out after we’d eaten there than I would have been if they’d told us we couldn’t eat there in the first place. Because yeah, he is usually “well behaved” by public standards, but so what? It’s crap.
We’ve also been told we’d have to be charged $40 for a “cot” in a hotel room and when we said we didn’t need one they told us they’d have to switch us from a one queen bed room to a two queen bed room because they can’t allow 3 guests to share a bed (which we would even if we had two beds – they can’t really stop us from sleeping in there) or was told that I had to get a room with two beds when it was just me and Boots because they don’t allow guest to share beds (what the fuck is a hotel room for anyway? bed sharing, that’s the main purpose I think, but since people seem to think bed sharing = sex and since they don’t want me to mistakenly fuck my five year old son just because we’re sharing a bed they try to make me pay extra for two beds so I can sleep away from him so I won’t experience any traumatic late night confusion).
Oh shelley. I am always so happy for your comments. I’m just hoping you said the “mistakenly fuck my five year old son” loudly and in the lobby. Ha!
You and JJ make so many good points. Since you asked I do think businesses are getting crappier about this sort of thing – a general breeder-hate creep if you will. Just my observations from being out and around, reading this kind of thing and talking to other parents (and note my blog post today where I mention my mom couldn’t get my kids FED in a tourist town after 9 PM).
Imagine my B&B I’m starting up here in HQX with a “No Jews” placard (or perhaps my restaurant with “no one older than 45 served). That will go over well.
Not exactly the same thing, but it reminds me of a discussion I had with a manager at a pizza buffet recently.
We go to this buffet a lot with Kylie. We get 2 adult buffets, 1 child buffet, then 2 drinks and a child drink. My wife always pays for the one child drink and two adult drinks because it’s cheaper. Well, Kylie doesn’t understand why she gets a smaller cup. I thought it was reasonable to ask the manager for a regular sized cup for Kylie, but the manager refused. I did my best to explain that although there are free refills, Kylie won’t drink more simply because she has a larger cup. She will drink the same amount regardless (unless they want to count the initial 1 or 2 ounce difference in cups because she won’t refill the cup anyway). The manager just didn’t get it. I explained that we weren’t trying to get something for nothing, Kylie just wanted to have the larger red cup instead of the smaller green one. To me, it makes sense to pay less for a smaller person that will drink less…the size of the cup has nothing to do with it. It’s a buffet. We can’t take the drinks with us when we leave anyway.
Now that I think about it…maybe we’ll order three child drinks next time and see what happens. Using their logic, we should all drink less with smaller cups, even with free refills.
If there are free refills someone will have to use small words to explain to me why they’re giving you such a hard time about any of this, at all.
1 – 2 ounces of pop probably equates to $0.01 for the restaurant. But I guess it’s easier for them to see you as using your 5 year old to chisel them out of something than to try in any way to confirm they are a family-friendly business.
We have a Chinese American diner here and the proprietress is so kind to my kids. She gives my son the bali maki flaming mini-“grill” for him to grill his BBQ pork on. So: 6 yr old boy with open flame, at the counter. At our Mexican-American restaurant a few blocks away, last time we were there the proprietress split the burger in half, on two separate plates, for my kids. She even put cheese on one half of the burger for my child who wanted it. These considerations make it so easy for our entire family to love going there – instead of feeling like we aren’t wanted!
I have never stayed there, but depending on how fancy (or not) you would like your accommodations to be, you might check out the HI hostel in the Hawthorne: http://www.hiusa.org/hostels/usa_hostels/oregon/portland/60111
My partner and I stayed at the same organization’s Northwest District hostel about three years ago when we visited Portland (we’re from the East Coast) and really enjoyed our stay. Hostels tend to be more family-friendly than a lot of hotels and B&Bs, in my experience (although to be honest, the only hostels I have stayed in with a kid or as a kid are in Scandinavia). If you’re interested, you might want to call instead of booking online, so they can try to put you in a room that works best for your family.
I realize this is beside the point, and that it isn’t up to small humans to prove themselves worthy of a hotel stay or restaurant visit, but the loudest I’ve ever been in a hotel room was a few months ago, when four 22-23-year-olds shared a room. There were alcohol and snacks and late-night TV and cackling late into the night. Last I heard kids don’t do that.
Have you gotten to the episode of Reno 911 where an apartment dweller calls the police to complain about the noisy kids down the hall who apparently never shut up, but all you can hear is her dogs (including one in a Baby Bjorn) yapping the entire time? Yeah.
P.S. it would appear that the Hawthorne District hostel has its own website: http://www.portlandhostel.org
They do seem to have A Family Room, although I don’t quite understand the “children under 7 not allowed in the dorms” thing. I guess they assume that folks with kids probably wouldn’t want to stay in the dorms anyway? Hm. Well, there’s that. Hope you find a place you all like, one way or another.
I love those scenes with the apartment dweller (and I swear she was played by ZoÃ« Wanamaker but I can’t find the evidence to back that up so I’m probably wrong). She is so viscous and hateful to the kids doing their “reading” or “playing” or “whatever it is they do”. & then of course the cops backed her up and Junior shot into the apartment with the kids. I found it very funny which is odd because IRL I find attitudes like the dog owner’s really horrid and oppressive!
We did stay at hostels twice in the last year, including that very Hawthorne hostel. Both hostels were near equivalent to hotel prices. We enjoyed the Portland hostel and (despite what you read in their policy) they did allow children in the dorms. All night long some old gent in his underwear kept getting up and going pee and I was huddled with Nels in a tiny, narrow bed. That said it was mostly a positive experience and the (mostly young) people there were so friendly and nice (although some of them seemed poignant and lonely) – my husband went to a concert with a few of them that night. DEFINITELY nicer people-experience than the experience at a hotel or B&B!
But like I said it was almost the same cost as a hotel and also the shower was covered with hair clots which I kind of wasn’t in the mood for and which wasn’t super-fun to bathe my kiddo in. It was a mixed bag!
I don’t get businesses who have policies like this, particularly since demographics show that people are having more children these days. Kind of like biting the hand that feeds you. On a happier note, there was a recent article in the NY Times about kid-friendly/kid-positive restaurants in Manhattan, something that is fairly rare:
Makes me want to go to Manhattan just to eat there and have a great experience in a restaurant with my kids. I’m glad that you let these people know that their policy is BS.
Ah, you did strike me as someone who may have tried the Portland hostel before. I, too, have had the hostel hair clot experience (albeit sans kiddo). It is not much of a selling point. But the people are always nice!