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“My favourite hotel” 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 #33 of 133 Hotels in Portland
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“My favourite hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

I stayed here with my husband & daughter between 16th - 20th of June 2014. The 3 of us loved it. This was our first trip to Portland & I was really happy that we stayed here. Its different to any hotel we have ever stayed in. Food was good, beer & wine was excellent. Staff were really friendly & helpful. We stayed in room no:111 Broom & basket room, which nice & quiet even when there was a band playing the gym. Our room was located around the corner from the reception. My daughter was really happy with the blackboard & didn't care there was no TV. Room was nice & bright, king size bed was really comfortable & our daughter slept on a roll-away bed. The soaking pool was fabulous. The artwork all over the building was really beautiful. It was interesting to see that the school is 99years old.

We met various locals on our travels who all recommended the hotel & its amenities. The hotel is really popular with locals who use the soaking pool, movie theatre, eat lunch, dinner & drinks in one of the bars. As it popular, you may have to wait to get a table for dinner. I think it says a lot when the locals are really positive about the hotel place.

The only negative comment I would make is the public transport details getting to & from the hotel are not listed on the website, but should be! We used the bus service to get to & from Portland city centre. There is a bus stop, for bus route 73 directly outside & the 70 around the corner. I think we changed route to the number 15 in order to get to Downtown Portland. I think the cost of the ticket for an adult was roughly $2.50 which allows you to make transfers during a 2hr period.

Overall a really nice hotel. I would highly recommend it.

Room Tip: I recommend our room no:111 Broom & basket. In the main building
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Gloria M, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this review, July 19, 2014
Hi UBear666-

Thank you for your wonderful review. We are happy everyone in your party enjoyed their stay! We appreciate your feedback about the public transportation information being listed on our website. We will see what we can do about adding that information on there. We look forward to seeing you again.
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348 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 (78)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

Spent a couple of days in Portland with my wife, and McMenamins Kennedy School was our base. When we weren't out exploring the city and neighborhoods, we kept busy at the school. Take a soak in the heated speaking pool, catch a movie in the auditorium, or enjoy a cigar in the Detention Bar. There is plenty to do in this 100 year old elementary school!

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
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 9, 2014
Hi Marc B-

Thank you for spending your couples getaway with us, and taking the time to review us. There are a lot of great things to do on property and it looks like you were able to enjoy them. We look forward to seeing you again.
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Sydney, Australia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2014

I stayed here on my first trip to Portland and it lived up to my expectations of the city: quirky and cool.
Located out in the suburbs I was initially disappointed with its setting, but we soon found nearby Alberta Street with its plethora of bars, restaurants and shops and soon found ourselves at home. Downtown is only a $15-20 cab ride away, as is PDX.
We stayed in the newer (cheaper) English Wing. Being used to hotels in Europe and Asia, I personally did not find the room too small as other reviewers have. Our room was eclectically decorated, much like the rest of the hotel, and whilst it may be short on some creature comforts like a TV and mini-bar, it made up for it with a selection of books and a beer jar that can be filled at one of the three bars.
The king size bed was comfortable; the ensuite bathroom functional; the room quiet enough; the restaurant OK - but better food can be had a short walk away. Where the hotel excels is in its quirky charm and character. It won't be to everyone's taste but it certainly is to mine.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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 9, 2014
Hi thereichinger-

Thank you for your wonderful review. It delights us to here you enjoyed your stay along with everything we and the surrounding neighborhood have to offer. Although the room size may not be adequate for some guests comfort they are functional and amazing! For those guests who would like a larger room they have the option of reserving a room in the original school house if availble, but reservations sometimes need to be made months in advance. Our property has a lot to offer aside from the hotel rooms. We offer an experience while you stay with us. We look forward to seeing you again next time you are in town.
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Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2014

The Kennedy School Hotel is a converted elementary school in Portland housing guest rooms, several bars and a movie theatre. The educational theme is quirkily retained; one can drink in the “Detention Room”. A very tasteful and successful conversion. The 'craft' beers are far better than common swill.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Gloria M, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this review, July 9, 2014
Hi 56th2014-

Thank you for your kind review. We look foward to your future visits.
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Fairhope, AL
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2014

Just returned from a week's stay at the Kennedy School.
Pros: across the street from the bus stop; free parking.
Cons: Our room in the English Wing was unbelievably TINY -- hardly room to unpack our luggage. The café was terrible -- overpriced for food that was not high quality, indifferent service.
We have stayed at far better hotels in Portland for about the same price.

Room Tip: Avoid the "English Wing" at all costs.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, July 9, 2014
Hi Doctor007-

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. We are passing on your comments to the chef and the restuarant manager and using these as training tools. Our rooms in the English are smaller than the school house rooms but they are fabulous. These rooms have individual heating and cool systems, they are quieter, everything is new and they have beautiful art work and lighting fixtures. We do hope you reconsider and perhaps stay in a school house room in the future.
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Hemet
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

Upon arrival we found out we did not have a room in the school. We had a room in the "New Section" called the English Wing. The room was so small the bathroom sink was in the sleeping area. There was enough room to walk around the bed on three sides and that was it. There was straight back chair, one luggage rack and a closet with a curtain - no door. I guess because the room wasn't big enough to have a door open into it. We did request a room change and were moved to a room in the old school - for $12 more a night. The food in the restaurants was mediocre - the gin and tonic with the Edgefield Joe Penny's Gin was delicious. Breakfast in the Courtyard Restaurant was great and the waiters outstanding. We found one television in the whole place were my husband could get an update on the NBA finals scores. There were many functions happening in different areas of the school such as birthday parties, showers, graduation parties, etc. These people were not paying $150+ a night to stay here but when we returned from an outing all the parking places near the building were full and paying guests had to park in the outer edges of the lot. There was also so much activity in the halls around these special parties it was sometimes difficult to get through the crush. Would I stay there again? Probably not. It was attractive (in the old school part) and it was nice to see an old beautiful building put to use. But there was too much that wasn't right to make me spend a lot of money to return.

Room Tip: When you make a reservation be sure to request a room in the school with a blackboard. I guess it...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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 9, 2014
Hi Nangal2-

Thank you for taking the time to write a detailed review. We appreicate your feedback and will take all your comments into consideration. Your information is what allows us to become better. We are sorry we did not meet your expectations and we are sorry to here you wont be back. That make us sad. As we are unique compared to your every day hotel sometimes we are not the right fit, but do invite you back to give us another opportunity. I am pleased to see when your concerns were addressed with the front desk they were quick to respond meet your request. When making a reservation online the website does inform of the location of the room whether it will be in the school house or the English, but always feel free to call us if any clarification is needed. The English Wing was an addition added recently to meet customer demand and we are so happy that we were able to do so. We are very community and family oriented so it is typical to have a lot of guests on property having events who also stay with us! We also have other non hotel guests who also enjoy all the wonderful things we have to offer in one place and we welcome them as well. We do have desginated free parking for hotel guests, and though it may be first come first serve we are happy to be able to offer street parking at no extra cost to our guests, unlike other areas in Portland that do charge for parking and street parking. We hope you reconsider or perhaps visit one of our other locations like The Old St. Francis in Bend or The Gearhart Hotel in Gearhart which may be more suitable for your needs.
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Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

The Kennedy school is charming. I love that there are no TVs in the rooms, just a chalkboard with a few pieces of chalk so you can draw the night away.

I do however wish that more hotels used a "free and clear" type of laundry detergent as my husband has a medical condition and becomes ill when exposed to many common scented detergents. Upon checking out the front desk asked how our stay was, (just an overnight) I mentioned the stresses of the night due to the scented detergent used on the bedding and was pleasantly surprised.

The woman asked if in the future that we would call ahead and ask for special treatment of the bedding. I was blown away. My husband and I hardly travel because of his condition and the unknown it brings. I hate that he becomes physically ill due to the Febreeze era and the heavy scents used in almost everything. To have this establishment offer to unscent our accommodations prior to our arrival makes me want to go back and give them ten stars, not just five.

Thank you Kennedy School for understanding our needs and not making us feel crazy and needy for asking. I know there are many like us out there, know that this place will make you feel at home. Call ahead if you have special needs and they are happy to please you.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the restaurant as it is rather noisy.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
M J, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this review, June 24, 2014
Thank you so much for your kind review. Your comfort is important to us and we will do our best to accomodate special requests. We look forward to seeing you again in the future.
Cheers! Mel Jensen, Property Manager, McMenamins Kennedy School
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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:
#5 Best Value Hotel in Portland
#30 Romantic Hotel in Portland
#36 Business Hotel in Portland
#39 Family 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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