In addition to the lodgings listed below, there are tons of chain hotels and motels in and around the city. Check around the Maine Mall (in South Portland) for the largest agglomeration; you’ll find all the usual names there, in various price ranges.
If you’re looking for something more central (and you should), Portland proper has options, but you’ll pay for the privilege during high season. The city has a seasonal quandary on its hands when it comes to hotel rooms: Many rooms sit empty in the winter and spring, and you can score some great deals then, but during Portland’s busy summers, reservations can be hard to come by and pricey, even after a spate of new hotel construction. Across the street from the main ferry dock in the Old Port neighborhood, the Hilton Garden Inn (65 Commercial St.; www.hilton.com, tel. 207/780-0780) is convenient to restaurants, bakeries, and pubs—not to mention the islands of Casco Bay.
You’ll pay for the privilege of being in the heart of the waterfront, though: Double rooms mostly run from about $169 up to $449 per night. A couple of blocks inland, the Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring St. (tel. 800/345-5050 or 207/775-2311; www.innbythebay.com), offers great views of the harbor from about half the rooms, along with the usual chain-hotel creature comforts. Peak-season rates are approximately $210 for a double.
Portland is awash in Airbnb rentals at the moment, with everything available from couches to crash on to stately properties in the tony West End. As of this writing, however, the city is trying to crack down on seasonal rentals with new regulations, since rental properties (many owned by out-of-staters and seasonal residents) are pricing out locals and turning whole neighborhoods into patchwork ghost towns in the winter. So the thriving online rental market may take some hits in the near future.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.