Portland, Ore.’s Governor Hotel emerged from a $6-million makeover this month with a fresh new name, attitude and design. Dubbed Sentinel, after the robotic architectural sculptures that look out across the city from the top of the historic building, the hotel will serve as a luxurious urban retreat and meeting place for the visionary thinkers, makers and doers who flock to this Pacific Northwest city for entrepreneurial and artistic inspiration.
Woodbine Development and Provenance Hotels, the Portland-based hotel company that owns and operates the city’s critically acclaimed Hotel Lucia and Hotel deLuxe, purchased the 100-room Governor Hotel in April 2012. The renovation included the reinvigoration of all guest rooms, four floors of meeting space and the lobby. Jackknife, a new destination for craft cocktails, wine and beer, is slated to open in Sentinel’s lobby this spring.
The Sentinel project is the first collaboration between Provenance Hotels and Woodbine. “Transforming historic properties has been one of our specialties, and this hotel afforded us a great opportunity to apply our skills,” said Woodbine’s Managing Director Dupree Scovell. “The physical transformation called for a new name that tied back to the buildings’ architecture and origins.”
Bashar Wali, president of Provenance Hotels, agreed. “Sentinels look around, look out and look back if it helps them look forward,” he said. “We felt, as we returned the two historic buildings that make up Sentinel to their original grandeur, it was appropriate to name the hotel in their honor.”
Sentinel’s guest rooms, painted a saturated emerald tone that calls to mind the Oregon forests, boast whimsical touches like linen pillows screen-printed with antique bicycles, glittering silver owl statues, vintage lunch boxes and colorful metal globes that add a touch of Portland style. Working fireplaces incorporate a cozy element in select rooms and, on the sixth floor of the West Wing, six City Terrace Studio Suites feature outdoor rooftop balcony patios.
Across the hall, six Bridgetown Parlor Suites designed for Sentinel by Portland’s Boy’s Fort, a retail store and design studio, feature original pastel drawings of Portland’s iconic bridges, framed Oregon botanicals, light fixtures from Portland’s Schoolhouse Electric and objects d’art handcrafted in or inspired by the city of Portland.
Approximately 23,000 square feet of meeting space that once was the playground of the Elks and today serves as the nucleus of Portland civic life, welcomes visiting luminaries from around the world for conferences and events. This treasure trove of 13 rooms in Sentinel’s West Wing have been lovingly returned to their original grandeur with the addition of plush vintage-inspired carpeting, jewel-toned paint that complements the original plaster and gold leaf gilt ceilings, sparkling crystal light fixtures and elegant leather armchairs in the hallways.
Aimed at reinventing the property for the future, the Sentinel’s new name, look and feel balance the old with the new, and invite travelers to participate in writing the hotel’s next chapter.