Where to stay in Portland: Governor Hotel review

We’ve reviewed a good number of hotels for families planning a Portland Oregon vacation. No matter which you pick, our recommendation is to stay downtown, within walking distance of the fun shops, restaurants, attractions (and easy-to-use MAX transportation line) that make Portland such a family-friendly city. Downtown hotels will often lack the cost-saving perks of suburb hotels (free parking, free breakfast, and the like) but make up for this in my personal favorite hotel amenities: location and ambiance. Our Governor Hotel review below shows ways in which this property excels in both.

Governor Hotel review

The Governor Hotel is located downtown on 11th Avenue in Portland, adjacent to the bustle of food trucks, shopping centers, and the MAX.  Valet parking is the way to go; pull up curbside at the historic hotel, and the parking hassle will be taken care of for you. We visited the same night as a major evening event hosted by the Governor, and still had no delay getting our car when we needed it.

The lobby is small but light and elegant, and looks larger due to beautiful high ceilings. The front desk staff is among the most friendly and helpful we’ve experienced anywhere: immediately upon arriving, you know you’re in a four star hotel, but are greeted like you’re friends. It’s the perfect combination. Adjacent to the lobby is Jake’s restaurant (award winning in Portland…and good news; your room service menu comes from this kitchen). Down the hall is a large, airy, and light exercise room filled with state-of-the-art equipment, and free wifi is available throughout all the common areas of the hotel.

Governor Hotel review


Room prices reflect the four-star status of the Governor, but this doesn’t make it inaccessible to families. Kids 12 and under stay free with adults, and package deals are always listed on the Governor Hotel site. During our visit, we experienced the Elementary, My Dear package that included tickets to the OMSI traveling exhibit on Sherlock Holmes. The package price included a luxury room, dining credit at Jake’s, and two tickets to the exhibit, plus fun extras like a Sherlock Holmes hat, chocolate bar, and detective notebook. Since we planned to buy tickets to the exhibit anyway, the value was there. Note that you will pay $35 for parking daily.

Governor Hotel

Room Amenities:

We stayed in one of the Governor’s Princeton rooms, which occupy the 5th and 6th floors, are newly remodeled, and more spacious than standard rooms. (Rollaways are complimentary.) We appreciated the added security of key card-only access to these floors, and loved the high ceilings, large windows, and window panes that opened to fresh Northwest air. In our room, we found a mini fridge (which contained mini bar items but had room for our own snacks as well), a nice coffee and tea service (you know some are not so nice!) and a large screen TV, plus new iPod dock. We had plenty of plugs (crucial to charging devices while we travel) and bathrobes to don after using the shower and tub. Northwest wines are featured in the mini bar offerings, and The Governor will even bring you a pint of famous Salt and Straw ice cream (for a whopping $12, but I hear it’s worth it).


Room service is available 24 hours a day, and Jake’s Grill and a Starbucks are located on site. Jake’s is fairly pricey (tip: stop here for a drink special before heading out for dinner), but the front desk staff can direct you to many casual restaurants within walking distance. We love the food trucks on Washington Street. We brought our own breakfast items (and easily stored them in our room) and ordered muffins and juice from Jake’s via room service to add a bit of comfort food to our meal.

Date last visited:

November 2013

Distance from the interstate:

A few minutes from I-5 and I-405.


The Governor is located at 614 SW 11th. From I-5 South, merge onto I-405 South. Take the Couch St./Burnside St. exit and stay on 15th Ave. for two blocks. Turn left onto Alder. Turn right onto 11th Ave. Hotel entrance is on the left side of the street.

As I disclose whenever applicable, our stay at The Governor with the Elementary, My Dear package was complimentary, for the purpose of review.