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“A Tale of Two Hotels” 2 of 5 stars
Review of McMenamins Grand Lodge

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McMenamins Grand Lodge
3505 Pacific Avenue, Forest Grove, OR 97116   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Forest Grove
West Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
“A Tale of Two Hotels”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

We recently stayed two nights at McMenamins Grand Lodge for a wedding that was held on the property. Not being from Oregon, we didn't know the first thing about McMenamins and their various properties. The building, though a bit of a trek from Portland, was beautiful, both inside and out, with colorful and bountiful landscaping and murals and portraits covering almost every inch of available space on the walls. The place is full of character and history, with each room being named after either an important person in the history of Oregon or the building (or just to the country itself) and the interior of that room telling the story of that person via a story painted on the walls. We could easily have spent a day just wandering the building and learning all about the history of the place and the state.

Our room was small, but well appointed-loads of towels in the well-sized closet as well as complimentary robes. As other reviewers have noted, both rooms share a communal bathroom which is where the robes comes in handy. Personally, I found the communal bathroom to be no big deal. Each floor has a few "public" ones that contain just toilets and then a few "womens private" and "mens private" which are only accessible through your hotel room key and have showers. A bathroom was only a short walk from our room in either direction and I never had a problem waiting for the use of a shower or toilet. Also, there was a sink in our room, which meant we didn't need to run to the bathroom to brush our teeth or attend to other small things.

The staff was friendly and we never tried the bar or restaurants on site, but it was nice to know they were there. Bands played both nights and there was a lot of outdoor recreation going on throughout the day, with people playing disc golf or walking or, on the day of the wedding, partying to the "Oktoberfest" event the lodge put on. From what I could tell, that went on most of the day, with various bands and food and beer, of course. Never a out-of-hand drunken bash, though, and since the wedding was on the other side of the building, we never heard or saw any thing after about 4 pm.

If this review were based solely on decor, character and charm, I would give the Grand Lodge 5 stars. However, I enjoy sleeping at the end of a long day and this is where the Grand Lodge failed miserably. We were sharing a room with another couple and we knew going into it that we would be a) sleeping on a rollaway bed and b) living in a cramped space for 2 days. That was fine. What we didn't know is that a) the hotel doesn't have AC. Didn't seem like a big problem given Oregon temps in late September but b) the room had 0 air circulation unless you opened the enormous window which c) had no screen. And, if you were lucky enough to have a room on the side of the hotel that featured the court yard, you could hear people enjoying their night, the band playing, smokers going out for a midnight smoke, that couple from down the hall who decided to take a bottle of wine out to the patio at 2am, cars driving by on their way to the parking lot...every little thing, all night and all early morning long. It boiled down to 2 choices: 1. Sleep with the window closed and risk death by heat stroke or 2. Sleep in relative comfort while listening to a chorus of night time partying and meeting some interesting little bugs in your suitcase in the morning. Not wanting to sleep in our own sweat we chose option 2. I'm guessing I got about 3 hours of sleep the first night and maybe 4 the nest night because I was just so tired my ears managed to block out the noise for an extra hour. And I had ear plugs, btw.

I'm not someone who enjoys predictable Motel 6-type places. I love character and history, I like a place that plays up unique angles. But the point of any place that essentially sells a bed for the night-be it a corporate chain, a small B&B or a great local legend-is that people want to sleep there. I can see where the Grand Lodge might be a great event venue, a good place to catch a bite to eat and good conversation on a lovely patio. But maybe they should call it quits when it comes to allowing people some sleep-almost every guest at the wedding that stayed at the lodge had the exact same complaints that we had and we all agreed that, while the place was lovely, it was a horrible place to catch a restful night of sleep.

Room Tip: Ask what your room faces! Any of the rooms that face the front of the property will also face the co...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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139 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Oregon
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

We headed to the Grand Lodge after spending a night at the McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale. I was first underwhelmed because I was comparing it to the huge open property at Edgefield. But upon our arrival the gentleman that checked us was funny and efficient. We got the last room available so it wasn't the best. It was a single queen with the bathroom down the hall. There was one bathroom for women whereas there were about 5-6 on our floor at Edgefield. The room was one tight fit for two people but we only slept in there so it was ok. We had dinner in the basement bar while some excellent music was being performed. We met so many nice people and had a great time! The wine is a bit week but you can't find better beer! Their saltwater soaking pool was not nearly as nice as Edgefield's but we had a good time in it and all the people were so much fun! The next day we got a massage in the spa. The Ruby Spa was also nicer at Edgefield but the massages were EXCELLENT! One of the best I've had. I would highly recommend the Grand Lodge and am looking forward to going to all the McMenamins properties.

Room Tip: Call ahead to get a room with a bathroom.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salem, Oregon, United States
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I stayed on a Tuesday in September..it was 75 degrees hot,Nice day but our room was hot! No AC and no screen on window to leave open at night. We killed a couples spiders when we were in room. They did have a floor fan thank God! Overall the room was very cute and the decore felt cozy.

We played Frisbee golf out front during the day(free with your stay) that was fun and beautiful front yard!

during the afternoon we had appitizers out back. The food is average but ots,the atmosphere that makes it nice.

During the evening we took a swim in the outdoor pool and that Nice about 80 degrees hot water. Since we were staying on a Tuesday we had the place to our selfs.

The spa has very Nice skin care called eminance. I was stoked on a retro swim wear that I purchased in the spa , made in Portland!!!



For dinner we watched a movie in the theatre..free also with your stay! You can order food,beer,dessert..

so there is a lot to do! I would like to try out the other locations : )

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Otter Rock
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

Being a long time habitue of McMenamin's I was surprised to see the negative reviews on tripadvisor. It is clear that this very successful formula is not for everyone. Yes there are places where you can get better and more rapidly delivered beer and food and a bathroom in your room. The point here is the total package and the uniquely Oregon environment.

Our recent stay at the Grand Lodge is a good example of what to expect. We came in early and Myron at the front desk took our luggage up to our room for us while we went outside for an appetizer, drinks and a round of Frisbee golf. Yes service was slow at the outside restaurant and they looked understaffed so I warmed up on the Frisbee golf course while my wife people watched and enjoyed the beautiful landscaping. The humus was good and different and the raspberry beer "Ruby" perfect for a hot afternoon. That evening at the early movie they were having trouble with the projection. They refunded the price for those who had paid (the movies are free for those staying on premises). Instead of complaining we went out to play a round of Frisbee golf and by the time we got back a local bluegrass band "The Columbians" was playing downstairs. No cover of course. We ordered pizza and listened to the music through the first set. Then it was off to the soaking tub located right outside our window. Afterwards my wife read and I watched the late movie on a comfortable couch with a beer by my side. The next morning we grabbed coffee in the lobby and read the complimentary newspaper. Then it was off to breakfast.The service was a little slow but I was catching up on the news still so I can't say that I noticed. Our waiter, Odie was late with our orange juice so he didn't charge us. Yes this is pub food but my jam was excellent, the ketchup local and organic, the sausage very good, my wild mushroom and feta omelet tasty and the portions enough to last us well past lunch.

Sooo if you are looking for a place that is quintessentially Oregon where there is beautiful landscaping, whimsical interesting artwork, lots to see and do including soaking tubs, music, movies, Frisbee golf, and a variety of bars and restaurants on uniquely restored historical premises this is for you. In short a place that has soul. Unfortunately this formula doesn't fit very well into the tripadvisor ratings. I take exception to those who say the price is high. We got the hammerhead package which included dinner and breakfast and paid less than we have for many hotels that offer only a room. They have a two long happy hours for those who want to sample the many options. Yes things can get noisy at night. There is a lot going on here. Our room was over the soaking tub and my wife is an early sleeper so I was a little concerned but they closed it at 11:00 sharp as promised and she had no trouble sleeping.

So don't stay here if you are in a hurry, have a singular agenda, don't want a unique environment, don't like locally sourced pub food and music. I hear there are lots of Motel 6s and that other Mc out there.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pullman, WA
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

My husband loved this place, I had mixed feelings. The front desk staff was very nice and allowed us to check-in about 90 minutes early, which we really appreciated as we had been up early traveling all day and needed a rest before a meeting in the afternoon.

Our room was on the first floor and it was decent. We had a king room with a bathroom. The shower had good pressure and was very clean. The sink was in a cramped spot between shower and toilet and lighting poor. At least toilet was in it's own room with a door. The king bed was fairly comfortable but the sheets so cheap they felt crunchy.

We had a big window which was necessary to keep open because it was hot and there was no AC. However, there was no screen and upon wandering around the property we didn't see screens on windows except for just a few rooms. We thought that odd. Thankfully there is not a big mosquito problem but the flies were kind of annoying. When packing up to go we always check under the bed to see if something fell or slid under, and we found the screen. Weird place for a screen.

They had a band until 9 ish on the lawn and a movie that followed until a bit after 11 pm. Both very loud. We had a hard time falling asleep to the loud noise. But we read reviews and knew that going in. I think if we were the partying type it would be ok or tolerable. But one night was about all I think I could handle.

We did enjoy the soaking pool. That was the highlight and I would recommend it. You are able to use the soaking pool for a fee even if you aren't a hotel guest.

We had a beer (very average beers) at the outside bar while listening to the band around 8 pm. Service very slow but the atmosphere nice.

The grounds are pretty and lots of people out enjoying it.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the 2nd floor and on the back side to minimize the noise.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Creswell, Oregon
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

My husband just LOVES the McMenamin's experience and would give all of their properties 5 stars. I, on the other hand, am not so pleased.

Like all of their hotels, the room at Grand Lodge is moderately comfortable, with a sink in the room and the bathrooms nearby. Bring your own reading light. You don't go to McMenamin's for the quality of sleep so much as for the all around experience. We very much enjoyed having beers on the lawn and watching the lawn frisbee. The live music was quite good and not overpoweringly loud. The grounds were lovely - kudos to the gardeners. The first run movies (with popcorn) were free and the soaking pool was great fun.

Food and service were a serious weakness. The dinner we had was overpriced and disappointing, and we went away hungry after waiting most of the evening to get it. Breakfast was very little better, but at least we could amuse ourselves by sipping tepid coffee...when the wait staff remembered us.

McMenamin's take note: you could do SO much better with very little effort.

Room Tip: Watch out for rooms near the movie theater.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

another great McMenamins venue. rooms are small, comfortable and quiet. shared bath was clean. salt water pool was excellent after a few rounds of disc golf. a disc and a 22oz beer upon check-in is awesome.
very nice outdoor bar / grill; the doctors office bar in the basement; good restaurant; movie theater.

Room Tip: 226(?) - it's basically the tenth tee, which no one uses, it'll be your own private balcony.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about McMenamins Grand Lodge

Address: 3505 Pacific Avenue, Forest Grove, OR 97116
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Oregon > Forest Grove
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Forest Grove
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Make a grand escape to McMenamins Grand Lodge! It's all in the details here, with the stately columns and winding drive, wide green lawn, 77 European-style guestrooms, restaurants and small bars and some of the most fantastic artwork to ever grace these walls.Built in 1922 as a Masonic & Eastern Star home, the Grand Lodge has stories to tell. Renovated and opened by McMenamins in 2000, what was once tranquil and serene is now vibrant and colorful. Here the walls do speak... as do the doorways, the hallways, and even the overhead pipes. (Look up...)Inspired by the history of the city of Forest Grove and the building itself, McMenamins' artists have infused the Grand Lodge with original artwork and historical photographs – all tributes to the cast of characters who left their mark before us. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mcmenamins Grand Hotel Forest Grove
Mcmenamins Grand Forest Grove

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