If you’re a wellness guru, or simply someone who likes to keep up with their exercise and eat healthy food when traveling, EVEN Hotels might be for you. The new “lifestyle” hotel brand comes from IHG, the hotel group that also includes Holiday Inn, InterContinental, Kimpton, and more than a dozen other brands. And it’s fast-growing: EVEN Hotels so far has 11 locations throughout the U.S., with 24 more in the pipeline.
And it’s a comfortable mid-range choice even if you aren’t into fitness. I tried the brand at the EVEN Hotel Eugene, Oregon, location—which fully exemplifies the new IHG line’s concept. Travelers on TripAdvisor (SmarterTravel’s parent company) have so far rated this EVEN Hotel as the fourth-best hotel in Eugene. Here’s why.
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The Eugene EVEN Hotel is located near the center of the city, in a quiet neighborhood surrounded mainly by office buildings. It’s one of only three hotels within a 15-minute walk to Autzen Stadium and PK Park, where the University of Oregon Ducks play football and baseball. It’s also about a 10-minute walk from the Cuthbert Amphitheater, Eugene’s center for outdoor summer concerts and other events. And it’s quite close to other Eugene visitor highlights, including the university, Amtrak Station, and the Hult Center for the Performing Arts. Getting here is easy, with quick access from the highway.
This EVEN Hotel has large rooms, at about 400 square feet, with a mix of full-size, king, and two-bed sleeping options. The rooms are modern and provide all that you’d expect, with free and fast Wi-Fi. Bathrooms offer a choice of tub-shower and walk-in shower designs.
What makes EVEN Hotels unique is that each room includes some free, basic fitness equipment, including a roll-out mat, an exercise ball, and resistance bands. EVEN Hotel Eugene is part of a small pilot program that ups the ante on exercise even further: Some rooms have an in-room Mirror fitness system, a full-body mirror with a holographic image display in the center that presents one of several selectable workout regimens taught by trainers. It’s impossible to see it accurately in a photograph of the display, but the in-person image is high-quality.
The Cork & Kale bar and dining area that’s standard at EVEN Hotels features a menu listing mainly healthy food options—heavy on salads and other vegetables-centric dishes as well as burgers and flatbreads. Breakfast is buffet-style, again with lots of healthy options. Cold infused drinking waters at the lobby are also ideal for filling a travel water bottle at any time. The bar serves the usual gamut of choices, including healthy drinks, plus a full bar with the local draft IPAs that are virtually mandatory now in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, the hotel lobby provides healthy packaged grab-and-go snacks for purchase.
The dinner menu—which seems to be the same at all locations—isn’t going to attract many foodies. Fitness enthusiasts who travel often seem to be the hotel’s main focus; if you’re hoping to stay at a property with a unique dining option, you’re probably better off staying elsewhere or planning on eating dinners around Eugene (more on that below).
Amenities and Things to Do
The fitness center is the main amenity for EVEN Hotels. It’s large with far more devices and facilities than most exercise options in comparable hotels. The Eugene property’s fitness center also includes a Mirror work-out system, in case your room doesn’t. A pool and hot tub cater to just about every traveler, and there’s also an all-purpose lounge with a ping pong table. Parking is free—some is covered, some is open, with no reservations required. The Eugene EVEN Hotel also offers a free airport shuttle service. And while the hotel even emphasizes using the stairs for fitness, there is an elevator for those who prefer or need it. The property also has an outdoor patio with a fire pit.
The hotel concierge can arrange just about any local activity for you: During my visit, I took a tour of the burgeoning local wine industry, courtesy of Eugene Wine Tours, featuring tasting rooms that could rival Napa or Sonoma’s. Included on the tour is The King Estate, a huge complex that includes an excellent full-service restaurant. Oregon is an esteemed wine destination with special focus on varietals like pinot gris and pinot noir. Other outstanding local wineries include Sweet Cheeks and Iris.
Price and How to Book
Regular flexible rates start at around $124 per night, and IHG member rates start as low as $106 but are nonrefundable. Package options including breakfast are available. On football weekends, expect to pay more than the starting rate—but only next year, as the hotel is already sold out for this football season.
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SmarterTravel’s Ed Perkins stayed at the EVEN Hotel Eugene as a guest of the property.
A consumer advocate, Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.