We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Unforgettable experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of McMenamins Kennedy School

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Portland
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
McMenamins Kennedy School
Save
You added McMenamins Kennedy School to your Saves list
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   5736 N.E. 33rd Ave., Portland, OR 97211   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #29 of 133 Hotels in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Stollhof, Austria
Level Contributor
24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Unforgettable experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

This place was recommended by a friend of mine who lives in Portland. I was looking for a hotel which is not too expensive yet centrally located and comfortable. I went to their website and after 5 minutes of exploring it I have booked room the decision I have never regretted.

McMenamins operates small chain of hotels located in NW of USA, all of them used to be some historical buildings in the past, so the acquire them, refurbish with minimal changes to the interior and exterior and open them for general public. This one used to be an elementary school which operated from 1915 until 1975.

There was a proper blackboard in our room with chalk and piece of cloth - they did not put it there, it was there from the very beginning, so after refurbishment they just left it. Room was large with all modern amenities, yet with some features of the interior which reminded those not too distant school years.

There are several bars on site (the Boiler room was our favourite) with amazing locally brewed beer (microbrews), cinema and soaking pool with salt water outside which is opened for the guests for a little bit longer than for general public. Connection to the downtown is easy both by public transport and by car. Breakfast was not included in the room price, but we did not mind paying extra, so wonderful it was.

Accommodation cost is very competitive, we paid around USD 100 per night in the middle of July which is a busy season in North West.

So if you plan to visit Portland I recommend to stay in this hotel.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Write a Review

410 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    207
    147
    29
    18
    9
See reviews for
73
183
18
38
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (95)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sidney, Canada
Level Contributor
37 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We had heard about McMenamins, and decided to have lunch at Kennedy School. What a pleasant surprise. This facility, which also hosts a hotel, has a nice restaurant with a courtyard, a number of bars in the old school and a brewery. The staff was very friendly, particularly the brewman, who took a lot of time to explain his beer-making process to us. The lunch was quite good, but the casual, friendly atmosphere made it all the more enjoyable. The beers were as what we would expect from an in-house brewpub, and we were able to take a glass of beer with us while we visited the old classrooms, brewery, lobby, cigar-smoking room and boiler room pub.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Kailua, HI
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Nothing like spending a comfy night in a building that used to house a school and has been re-invented as a brewery, several bars and restaurants, a movie theatre and the largest salt-water jacuzzi soaking pool we've ever used. This was our first overnight visit at the Kennedy School. Our previous visit had been only for food, beverage and entertainment. The McMenamin brothers have a winner here. The decor is uniquely fun and you can pick up a printed "tour" of the art in the buildings. We overnighted in the English Wing - the newer rooms. As mentioned by another reviewer they are of adequate size unless you're traveling with lots of over-sized luggage. The rooms are very clean and they have entertaining decor. There are no TVs in the room, but who cares? There are lots of hallways to travel plus the bars and restaurants. The gift shop has been moved into a more commodious space since our last visit and we were enticed to take home a T-shirt for my husband and wine for the two of us. Since we were returning from Pullman to PDX for a flight out, it should be mentioned that the Kennedy School is VERY close to the rental car drop-offs and within less than two miles of gas stations needed for topping up the tank. Our room was the "Ramona" for the character from Beverly Cleary's books. All decor and artwork reflected the theme. Lots of history here as well as good food and drink - and the price is exceptionally reasonable. We were only a couple, but this is an excellent family stop. Food, beer and wine review will be created under the restaurant heading.

Room Tip: The "swimming pool" is the soaking pool - probably about 36" deep. For a fee the pool...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

We spent the last night of our Oregon vacation here, and it was a great choice. After a long drive in from Crater Lake and with a morning flight out, we wanted a place to relax but enjoy our last day of vacation. We enjoyed a brew and shuffleboard in the pub, a great dinner with outdoor seating, and the " classroom" we stayed in was big and comfortable. The atmosphere is fun and all of the staff was friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roseburg, Oregon
Level Contributor
75 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the Kennedy School recently and really enjoyed our experience. We stayed in one of their newer rooms. They aren't really big rooms but sufficient. The room was very clean and nice looking. My wife does like to watch TV at night and in the morning and there aren't any TVs in the rooms. Didn't really matter much to me though. The fact that you can walk around the facility and drink is super fun. Their different themed bars were great. We spent most of our time in the "Boiler Room" that had pool tables and shuffleboard. Their beers are great but I wasn't impressed with their signature cocktails. All in all it was great and we will be back.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
107 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

I'm so glad I chose the Kennedy School for my first night in Portland! The parking was ample, and the service was good. The hotel itself is unique and historical, really cool decor inside and comfy. The rooms are pretty big and private. I stayed in the ABC room. The decor was old-fashioned, just like it should be in a hotel made from a historic elementary school. The shower was a little small, but the bathroom was average size. Overall, I have no complaints about the room.

I ate dinner and breakfast there at the Courtyard restaurant, and the food was delicious and inexpensive, and service was good too. Their gift shop is so unique and fun, so make sure to go there too! The price for my overnight was quite reasonable compared to other Portland hotels. I plan to stay here again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
78 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

We stayed here on the last night of our trip to Portland, OR. The McMenamins compounds are basically the same across OR and WA, with the same food menus, same beers, and same drink menus. (McMenamins makes their own beer and spirits, and uses some of their alcoholic beverages in their mixed drinks.)

The Kennedy School was literally an elementary school back in its day, and the hotel rooms in the original wing are literally the classrooms! We stayed in the new wing, which is a recent addition that was so new it still smelled of fresh paint (not a complaint)! The Kennedy School compound is an artist's dream, as there is something to see everywhere you look. Artistic details range from mixed and matched antique lighting fixtures with amber bulbs, (the amber lighting is a blessing after a night of drinking at the compound), faux painted walls, hand painted scenery and borders, framed photos of the school back when it was actually a school, and art collages, among other creative details to the pubs and restaurants. You can spend an hour or more walking the halls and checking out the artwork, various pubs, and activity rooms. Within the compound are several pubs, a brewery, a main restaurant, a salt water soaking pool, a movie theatre, and places for live music.

Our favorite pub for design style was the Boiler Room, which looks like a steam punk fantasy, but it was very crowded, so we opted for the Honors Bar, which is tiny room, with a pot belly stove in the center, and only plays opera music. We also ate in the main restaurant by sitting at the bar, which is first come, first served. The wait for a table was over an hour, but we got a bar seat within 10 minutes by sheer luck. The food is basic pub food, and not at all greasy. Our favorite item was the Tater Tots, which are light and crispy, and can be ordered in any of the bars as an appetizer! The mixed drinks are fun to try, and they are not strong.

BRING YOUR SWIMSUIT for the soaking pool, and be prepared for it to be crowded. The salty water is therapeutic and worth braving the crowd. Don't worry about being seen in a swimsuit, as the lighting is dim, and all shapes, sizes, and ages are in the pool, and nobody cares what you look like so long as your "parts" are all covered! Also take the minimum amount of stuff with you to the pool, and wear flip flops. When we were there lockers were all full, so we hung our stuff on the fence, and some of it got wet.

We went through the compound in one night, and it was enough for us to get the full experience and have a lot of fun. If I lived locally I'd come here to use the pool, or to see a movie, or hear live music. The movie theater uses old couches strung together as the seating. There was not any live music playing the night we were there, but it would be fun to see a live show here. All in all, this place has a post college party scene feel, and young couples do bring their children with them to enjoy it.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the new side, especially it you are a reader. All of the new 22 rooms have literar...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Portland hotels
Jupiter Hotel
#60 of 133 in Portland
3.5 of 5 stars 409 reviews
Inn at Northrup Station
#8 of 133 in Portland
4.5 of 5 stars 732 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Downtown
Benson Hotel
Benson Hotel
#19 of 133 in Portland
4.0 of 5 stars 1,309 reviews
Downtown
The Mark Spencer
The Mark Spencer
#22 of 133 in Portland
4.0 of 5 stars 927 reviews
Downtown
Crystal Hotel
Crystal Hotel
#31 of 133 in Portland
4.0 of 5 stars 178 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to McMenamins Kennedy School? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about McMenamins Kennedy School

Address: 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave., Portland, OR 97211
Location: United States > Oregon > Portland
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#26 Romantic Hotel in Portland
#35 Family Hotel in Portland
#41 Business Hotel in Portland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — McMenamins Kennedy School 3*
Number of rooms: 57
Also Known As:
Mcmenamins Kennedy School Portland

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage McMenamins Kennedy School, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.