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“Classy and unique” 5 of 5 stars
Review of McMenamins Kennedy School

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McMenamins Kennedy School
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   5736 N.E. 33rd Ave., Portland, OR 97211   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #32 of 133 Hotels in Portland
Marysville, Washington
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Classy and unique”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

This is the fifth McMenamin's we have stayed in and, as usual, we were impressed with the remodeling done to the old building as it was turned into a very classy place to stay. As retired educators, it was a bit disconcerting to stay where there were still blackboards, chalk trays and sponge erasers in the room, but we loved it just the same! Too bad our room didn't have portraits of Washington and Lincoln on the wall!!! The Boiler Room Pub is now a favorite place to have a refreshment. The Courtyard Restaurant served great food and the outside dining was a treat. We really appreciated the pamphlet that led us on a self-guided tour of the artwork throughout the building. We hope to return very soon!

Room Tip: Anything in the old building.
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  • Stayed July 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.
Gloria M, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this review, August 6, 2013
Thank you for the feeback! We appreciate your continued support and patronage. We look forward to seeing again in the future.
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344 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (75)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

I would certainly say the Kennedy School is UNIQUE. I loved the ambiance..... a very nostalgic
feel to walk the halls of this former elementary school, built in the early 1900's and closed in the 1970's. Much of the time I just enjoyed wandering the building looking at old student photos and school artifacts. Also many neat art pieces. They have managed to keep the original feel of the large, one level school but provided many nice hotel amenities. The rooms in the original structure are definitely the coolest.... even have old chalkboards. But if it is hot (like it was when we were there) you might want to consider a room in the addition. They have much better air conditioning. Only problem is these rooms are way smaller and they are more of a walk to things. The hotel has a nice indoor/outdoor restaurant, quite a few bars, an interesting gift shop, an auditorium where they show first run movies and a small pool. Be aware there are no TVs in the rooms if this bothers you. We were staying there for a party so we didn't care and it was nice to have the party down the hall from our room. The one thing we did not like was that the pool is open to the public part of the day. Unfortunately, every time we went to use it, it was crowded with people, especially young children. This is a fun and interesting place to stay and I am so glad we did but I wouldn't go there for a relaxing, adult, lay by the pool kind of vacation. Would be a fun place to take kids, tho, for an overnight get away.

Room Tip: Older rooms are larger and have more ambiance. Newer rooms are much smaller but better air conditio...
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Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloria M, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this review, August 6, 2013
Thank you for your review and comments. The pool can be busy since we do allow the public to use the pool for a fee. As a courtesy to our guests we have the pool open from 8am-10am and 8pm-10pm for hotel guests only. The individual AC units in our new building are fabulous. Since the AC in the main building is centralized I can understand the difference you felt. Luckily in Portland we do not need AC all the time! Such great weather. Thank you for coming out and spending time with us. I hope the event you attended was fun. Please come back and visit with the family!
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Okinawa, Japan
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

We rode to this hotel on our motorcycle and immediately saw the school, but could not find the entrance along the street. A sign prompted us to ride to the back and we were surprised that so many cars were parked in the lot on a weekday -- seemed popular. We scanned for the entrance and saw double doors that opened to a long hallway to the check-in counter. (Note: if you have motorcycle gear/heavy luggage without wheels, the walk to the counter is cumbersome.) ...Our room was in the new wing, which required more hauling of luggage, going outside and up a flight of stairs. The room was very cute, headboard was painted like a children's book cover. The only weird thing was the sink inside the room (not inside the bathroom). Whatever -- it worked. My hubby and I had a great time entertaining ourselves in the Detention Room, inhaling our own cigar smoke and drinking the night away. We peeked into the other bar rooms and loved the themes. We wandered the school halls, viewed the art and weirdness of it, had dinner outside in front of a humungous fire (and the happy hour menu was surprisingly good and inexpensive). Overall, we loved this hotel and we could definitely come here again or any other McMenamins properties! There were minor hiccups, but they did not take anything away from the "cool" factor at this hotel.

Room Tip: Check-in before you lug your luggage. Get a map to your room.
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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.
Gloria M, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this review, August 6, 2013
Thank you for your review and comments. We are glad you enjoyed your stay. On your next visit I recommend staying in one of our rooms in the origial school house building. They are fun! We are always striving to improve our customers experience and would like to discuss with you the small hiccups you encountered during your stay so we can eliminate them for your future stays and our other guests as well. I will private message you.
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Vancouver, BC
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

We had a great three nights here this past week. Our two little boys loved sleeping in a classroom. We weren't certain how it would work out with just a queen bed and two rollway's, but there was plenty of room for everyone.
The restaurant was great, especially during happy hour. We enjoyed a movie in the on-site theatre and the added bonus was the pitcher of beer my husband and I shared while watching the kid's movie.
Other reviewers stated the pool was always over crowded, we were lucky and enjoyed 3 days with very few people. It has also been stated the service in the restaurant lacked, but we had no issues at all.
Overall, a fun place to stay with a lot of character. I hope to return without my kids one day so we can enjoy all the hidden bars throughout the place!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloria M, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are so happy your whole family enjoyed their stay. Please be sure to visit us again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spokane, WA. USA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

The hotel is a converted school and one of the most delightfu I have experienced. Guest rooms are made from converted classrooms and include a blackboard and other classroom features. The hotel h a good restaurant, a theater, soaking pool and other features, all conistent with the school setting. This is. First class experience, inluding the playfulness of staying in a former school.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloria M, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Thank you for your feedback and comments. We expect to see you again to join us in the school house fun!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, TX
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

The Kennedy School is where the cool kids stay in Portland ... and we loved it! Sure there are nicer and plusher hotels out there ... But this is a school! An old timey school! That's been turned into a hotel/restaurant/bar/movie theater!! Boing! So creative - we loved the artwork on the walls everywhere. They also brew their own beer and liquors ... oh, my.

It's kind of hard to add a whole lot of extra info about such a great place that hasn't already been written. What can I say? It's such an unique and creative place to stay. Our room made us feel like we were in an old school. The movie theater ... bars ... restaurants ... all just so fun to hang out in and chill out for awhile.

This is the place to stay for the Portland experience. McMenamins rules. Period.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Gloria M, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
We are so happy you enjoyed your stay and the McMenamins experience. We look forward to seeing you again in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

We've stayed at almost all McMenamins properties and had always wanted to stay here. We learned one night was sufficient. Summer = families staying with kids, and a hot pool open during the day to all neighborhood kids. Nice, but not for those of us expecting a more mature environment, despite being kids at heart.

The school is within walking distance of the fun and funky Alberta arts district; definintely worth a stroll. Ample parking, which became full by early evening. If you love chalkboards, request a room with one - such can bring the artist out of anyone.

And similar to all Mcmenamins properties of late? Extremely SLOW service in the dining establishment. 45 minutes for breakfast for two, with only 1 waiter (pleasant man), and approx 10 tables of guests, was a bit much. They definitely need some kitchen help!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloria M, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Thank you for your feedback and comments. We strive to continously improve our guests experiences and have passed on your comments to the restaurant manager. We hope you do come back and stay with us.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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:
#9 Best Value Hotel in Portland
#25 Romantic Hotel in Portland
#39 Family Hotel in Portland
#42 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

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