It’s not hard to take a dilapidated, old grande dame and revitalize it, to bring it into the 21st century. Slap an impressive-sounding, forward-looking name on it and do a paint-by-numbers renovation to turn it into yet another vaguely charming boutique hotel. But that’s not what the team at Portland-based Provenance Hotels did with the Sentinel, when it took over the former Governor Hotel (which, before that, was two buildings: the 1909 Seward Hotel and the 1923 Elks Temple). No, the Sentinel is a carefully written love letter to both Portland’s past and its future. Its earth-toned decor (done mostly by local West End design firm Boys Fort) is sufficiently grand and vintage-seeming enough to complement the ornate original architecture, with everything sourced from local purveyors like Pendleton and Schoolhouse Electric; it’s also, however, entirely modern, with touches like personally curated Spotify playlists and a Salt & Straw ice cream delivery service. The main restaurant is a Portland icon, an Old World steakhouse, while the lobby bar is a trendy affair run by the team behind some of the city’s coolest nightlife spots. It would seem that the landmark hotel is back at the top of her game.
By Kate Thorman, AFAR Contributor
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