The scent of hot buttered lobster rolls fills the salty sea air surrounding the Old Port district in Portland, Maine, where cobblestone streets lead through a series of wooden fishing piers and 19th-century buildings like the Portland Regency Hotel and Spa.
On the outside, not much has changed about this idyllic fishing port, where the old armory building still stands next to red-brick warehouses and buildings as it did when it was built in 1895. At the time, the State of Maine Armory building was renowned as the finest and best-equipped armory in New England, and the National Guard proudly used the space until 1941.
During World War II, the building became a refuge for soldiers, marines and sailors, and over the course of the war, more than 4,000 men spent the night there during their transient time in Portland. It wasn’t until 1984 that the building began its internal transformation into a fully operational hotel. In 1987, the Portland Regency Hotel and Spa opened with 95 rooms, and today it is a member of Historic Hotels of America.
The hotel underwent a five-month renovation for its 25th anniversary in 2012, during which the guest rooms were updated with modern furnishings and state-of-the-art technology while preserving charming architectural touches such as detailed fireplaces and turret windows. The only structural change over the years occurred during that renovation when the hotel replaced the skylights on the fourth floor with outdoor decks to offer guests a breathtaking view of the city and harbor.
Today, the hotel is the prime meeting point for small groups looking to get the full essence of Portland’s maritime heritage without compromising on modern amenities or features. It has become a hot location for corporate meetings, conferences, retreats, weddings, receptions, pre-wedding brunches and more. The hotel can host groups of five to 200 in its more than 6,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes six variable meeting rooms, the most meeting space in Portland’s Old Port, and the event staff takes care of all the details from start to finish.
The Portland Regency offers six event spaces that make it easy to host anything from small seminars to grand banquets. The Atlantic Room is the largest of the spaces and features Art Deco lighting throughout the versatile ballroom space, which holds up to 200 guests. The other spaces are the Regency Room, with its intimate and dimmable lighting, for up to 150 guests; the Portland Room, with its domed ceiling and mahogany walls, for up to 100 guests; the Armory Room, with its elegant settee area, for up to 100 guests; the Longfellow Room, with its natural lighting, for up to 20 guests; and the Boardroom, with its cherry conference table, for up to 14 guests.
All food service is handled on-site through the Portland Regency’s team of culinary professionals, who have created a series of menus from which guests can choose for events and meetings. Homemade granola and smoothie shooters are favorite healthy choices on the breakfast buffets, and the fresh Regency bakeshop cookies offer a sweet indulgence for meeting breaks. The staff also packs boxed lunches, serves plated luncheons or sets up luncheon buffets for afternoon events, and organizes passed hors d’oeuvres, plated dinners or dinner buffets to satisfy evening-event guests. Alcohol is allowed with cash bar, open bar and punch bowl options.
Each meeting package can be personalized at the Portland Regency Hotel and Spa, where complimentary wireless high-speed internet connection is always available, as is complete audio and visual equipment during events. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service to and from the Portland International Jetport as well as nearby train and bus stations. The events staff can arrange other local shuttle services for groups and will work with event and meeting planners to arrange off-site team-building events in the Portland area. Guests also have access to the hotel’s fitness studio, day spa and on-site dining options at Twenty Milk Street or the Armory Lounge.
The hotel’s central location to all of downtown Portland’s most iconic activities and sites makes it an attractive choice for guests. In their downtime, guests can try their hand at lobster fishing aboard the Lucky Catch Lobster Cruise, shop the sales at Maine’s largest shopping mall, or peruse Monets and Picassos at the Portland Museum of Art. A visit to the Regency isn’t complete without a ferry ride on the Casco Bay Lines to explore the stunning Casco Bay Islands. The ferry offers sunrise trips, moonlight excursions and daytime scenic cruises.
Portland Regency Hotel and Spa
Location: Portland, Maine
Size: 95 rooms
Meeting Space: 6,000 square feet of flexible space
Access: Located 15 minutes from the Portland International Jetport