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One of Portland’s most revered landmarks, and one of its prettiest buildings, has now been re-branded as Sentinel Hotel (No "THE" needed.)
Formerly the Governor Hotel, Sentinel retains its predecessor’s legacy and provides a great example of repositioning a historic property into a 21st century hotel.
The hotel takes its new name affectionately from a design detail that is repeated along the roof parapet. The consensus is that these robot-looking, terra cotta carvings represent sentinels--protectors or guardians--looking out over the city.
The building, robot sculptures and all, opened in 1909 as the Seward Hotel and in 1932, was renamed the Governor Hotel. Following a rather sizeable stint as a carpet store post WWII, the "Governor" was re-elected, so to speak, as a luxury hotel in 1992. This incorporated a circa 1923 building next door, which is now a National Landmark and provides the beauteous historic backdrop for the hotel’s main public areas and event spaces.
Provenance Hotels purchased the Governor in April 2012 in partnership with Woodbine Development Corporation. Together, they dropped $6 million on renovations for the hotel that included the guest rooms, four floors of meeting space and the lobby along with new F&B--Jake's Restaurant and the Jackknife bar.
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We've already had a busy morning as far as new hotels news goes. But there's even more. Here's a short list of new hotels coming to a city near you:
· Hotel Van Zandt, Austin: Kimpton Hotels will open a new hotel in Austin in 2015 in the city's historic Rainey Street District. The 16-story hotel will feature 322 guest rooms, over 12,000 square feet total event and meeting space, achef-driven restaurant, lobby cafe and pool deck and bar. Interior designer Mark Zeff will oversee the interior design of the Hotel Van Zandt and its restaurant. Kimpton has also made announcements for new properties in Savannah, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Palm Springs, Sedona and Grand Cayman so there will be lots more Kimptons to choose from in the coming years.
· Fairmont Austin: Speaking of Austin, construction should begin on the new Fairmont Hotel at 101.Red River Street later this fall, according to this report. The 1,000-room hotel will cost nearly half a billion to build and should open sometime in 2016.
· The Archer Napa: The Archer in New York City hasn't opened yet (that's happening early next year) but already they've announced a second Archer Hotel for Napa Valley. The Archer Napa will be a new-build luxury hotel at the First Street site of the former Merrill’s building, adjacent to The Shops at Napa Center. LogdeWorks and Zapolski Real Estate have partnered up on the seven-story property which will reflect "a casual elegance, organic to the Napa aesthetic. " No opening date has been set yet.
Even though Southern California has plenty of beaches, beachfront hotels are a rarity with most hotels located across the street from the surf and sand action but not actually on the sand. Yet the indie hotel collection, Provenance Hotels, based in Portland, Ore., has snapped up some prime beachfront real estate in Hermosa Beach along the Strand.
The hotel will be built in partnership with Bolour Associates, Inc. and will have a 104 rooms that overlook Hermosa's legendary beach volleyball courts. The hotel's address will also include the space formerly occupied by the Mermaid Restaurant, a well-known Hermosa Beach landmark. No word if the Mermaid restaurant will be revived but it's a possibility. The joint is expected to open in 2016 with a project schedule to be released soon.
You know that "Street View" button on Googlemaps that lets you walk around a street and see what buildings are there? And once in a while you just find pictures of people doing funny things to pose for the Street View car camera?
Well, Google has now introduced a feature that allows you to walk right into a hotel and poke around inside. Yup! Provenance Hotels in Portland, Seattle, and Tacoma are some of the first to test out the service (that works out well for them, since their hotels are so often chock-full of cool art and other knick knacks).
Of course, this could easily work against other hotels that don't have flashy lobbies or well-lit hallways. But then again, why would we want to be staying in those places anyway?
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We already know that Hotel Max in downtown Seattle likes to express itself. Artistically, that is. The 350 original paintings and photographs scattered around the hotel ought to tell you so—least of all the funky guest room doors, which each showcase one of 39 different designs by local artists.
Now, with two new promotions—"Shoot From The Hip" and "Fifty Shades of Seattle"—guests at the hotel will be able to be part of that creative process, though in two very different ways.
But whether you end up enjoying Seattle from behind the lens of a tricked-out analog camera, or gazing at it from above during a 30-minute "helitour," we don't think you'll be struggling for any inspiration.
Yesterday, we told San Franciscans about 3 Portland hotels worth checking out on their next SFO-->PDX jaunt. But another hotel popped up in the scene earlier this month, and it's part of the small but fun Northwestern group known as Provenance Hotels.
Provenance's other hotels are pretty much all uniformly modern, somewhat arty, and all distinguished by subtle themes. There's Seattle's local artist-supporting The Max, Portland's Hollywood-adoring Hotel deLuxe, Tacoma's glassed-out Hotel Murano.
And now, Portland gets its third Provenance with the historic Governor Hotel, originally built in 1909 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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And, just because we can't include an item about fitness without balancing it out with some yummy hotel dessert porn, here's a new promotion being launched by Provenance Hotels, which owns Hotel Lucia and Hotel deLuxe in Portland, Hotel Murano in Tacoma, and Hotel Preston in Nashville.
For every slice of chocolate cake sold through room service, fifty percent of the profits will go straight to Share Our Strength, a group that fights childhood hunger in the US. A pretty worthy cause, say we.
Though the whole combat-hunger-by-stuffing-your-face-with-chocolate-cake concept is a little questionable, we get what they're doing—and with a cake as appetizing as the one above (which will be served by The deLuxe starting today), we'd have a hard time saying no to "charity."
How often do you see a hotel flagrantly bragging about their employees? Almost never, because the job of a hotel is to focus on the guests and brag about them, right? Wrong, if you're Portland, Oregon's Hotel Lucia, because they have it written right on their exterior:
Through these doors walk the most outstanding Employees anyone could ask for
We were just walking by this side, employee-entrance door when the bright green words attracted our attention. You don't even need to be a guest at the Lucia to smile about their employees, because this cute little gesture from the management says it all. We wonder if the workers even look at it anymore, or if employees of other hotels walk past and get a little sour. Regardless, this is something we've never seen before at a hotel, and good on them for showing a little public appreciation for their staff.
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If you've never heard of them before, Provenance Hotels is a small boutique chain based out of Portland, Ore., with just five hotels in Oregon, Washington, and Tennessee (not to mention a new location in San Francisco at the Hotel Frank).
Located blocks from each other in Portland's steadily growing downtown area, both hotels are housed in converted buildings from the 1900s, and both offer clean, artsy rooms with incredible service. In fact, if it weren't for the added glitziness and brighter colors of the deLuxe, we might have had a hard time telling them apart.
Read below to get the full scoop, and find out what tipped the scales!
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As far as we could see, things seemed to be A-OK. Free WiFi was still in place and Provenance was working hard to get the renovations back on track at both the Hotel Vertigo and the Hotel Frank. Yet things were not as copacetic as we thought.
Provenance has been tussling with employees of the three hotels (including Hotel Metropolis) over increased workloads and slashed employee benefits. A longtime hotel bellman at Hotel Frank, who's also Unite-Here Local 2 union activist, was fired last week after a "boisterous picket line" convened in front of the hotel to protest these changes.
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The new-look Hotel Vertigo.
It’s been a few months since San Francisco's Personality Hotels got a brand new identity. So while we were up in the Bay Area last week, we decided to swing by Hotel Vertigo and Hotel Frank to see how they were faring under the Oregon-based Provenance Hotels boutique chain. (Which is also now managing the Hotel Metropolis.)
Our most pressing question, of course, was had the hotels retained any of their personality? Har har har.
When we checked in with Personality in late May, hotelier Yvonne Lembi-Detert told us that there was no new manager/operator for The Hotel Metropolis, Hotel Vertigo and Hotel Frank. But a month later, we have learned that Provenance Hotels, an Oregon-based company with four hotels in the Northwest and one in Nashville, have assumed management of the former Personality Hotels.
We love Provenance Hotels because they understand that a boutique hotel stay can be affordable and fun--a philosophy that's very similar to Personality Hotels. Remember the contest we did with Provenance's Hotel Preston? We also love Provenance for their Foursquare savvy.
All in all, this is good news for the orphaned Personality Hotels. We just hope that Provenance keeps the free WiFi (they said they would.)