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“Welcoming and comfortable” 4 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 #35 of 132 Hotels in Portland
Alexandria, Virginia
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Welcoming and comfortable”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

This charming property housed in a former elementary school has so much going for it. The walls are covered with a ludicrously eclectic variety of vintage and new art, the rooms are airy, very comfortable, and immaculately clean, and there are at least half a dozen funky little bars, including an onsite brewery and a cigar bar, a movie theater, and a big soaking pool. The large full service restaurant has a very pleasant outdoor courtyard. About the only downsides: service in the restaurant is often more friendly than efficient, lighting in the halls and stairwells is very dim, and the hotel isn't really convenient to anything. There is a very self consciously hip commercial district about a 15 minute walk away, (Portlandia with a vengeance) but downtown Portland is about a 15 drive west. Portland airport is very near but no shuttle service is available.
This hotel is well suited for groups; we were here for a large wedding. Casual tourists might find it a bit too isolated from most of what you want to see in Portland.

Room Tip: Rooms in the new English Wing are probably a bit quieter and have a pedestal sink in the main room...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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, July 28, 2014
Hi DOD56-

Thank you for sharing your welcoming and comfortable experience. We strive to provide this experience with all of our guests. We hope next time you are in town you we are your go to hotel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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335 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 (70)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Asheville, North Carolina
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

We stumbled upon this colorful hotel after a recommendation from a garage mechanic (long story). The Kennedy School is conveniently located near the Arts District of Portland. It is within easy walking distance of nice restaurants, shops, and the famous Salt and Straw Ice Cream Shop.
We opted for a room with a bath; rooms with shared baths are also available at a slightly cheaper rate. The hotel has been eclectically renovated with interesting art. There's a movie theater on site, a nice restaurant and bar, and a soaking pool. I found the staff friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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, 2014
Hi Miguet-

It is nice to hear the mechanic recommended us to you! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. It is nice we are within walking distance of the Alberta Arts District; there are a lot of fun shops and restaurants to visit. At this location all of our rooms do have their own private bathrooms, but the European style rooms at our other locations are just as nice. It is always nice to hear our staff was friendly and helpful; this is what we strive for. We hope you do come visit us again next time you are in town.
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Phoenix, Arizona
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

A totally unique experience! I had heard that the McMenamins-sytle lodging was fun, but had to see it for ourselves.

There were multiple bars and places to eat spread across the entire school property. Little corners of the building, like Honors & Detention, where you would never expect to find a little place to grab a beer. My personal favorite was the Boiler Room pub. Very unique, 2 story pub where the top part overlooks the bar on the bottom. Outfitted with old, artistic/historic piping.

The folks at the front desk were super nice and helped us find our way around the large property.

Only underwhelming part was the food at the Boiler Room (I didn't try any where else). Great for a beer, but less than impressive food - just bland I suppose.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Gloria M, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this review, July 24, 2014
Hi jgibson1006-

Thank you for sharing your unique experience with us! We will be following up with the Excecutive chef about your food experience in the Boiler Room Bar. We look foward to seeing again next time you are in town.
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New York City, New York
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

We stayed at The Kennedy School this past weekend. We were in town for a wedding and this was close to our friends house. Overall it was an adequate hotel, comfy bed and nice bathroom. A few things fell short for me. We got there at about 12pm- I say "Hi we're checking in today" the desk agent replies "Oh we were sold out last night, you can check in til later". As i suspected this I was already ready to store my luggage but what ever happened to "Hi Welcome to The Kennedy School, my name is ____, checking in?" The welcome was less than welcoming. Other than that the people at the desk were nice, particularly 1 guy we met named Paul (I think was his name). In our room, the bed was comfy, nice linens and a big-ish bathroom. Where it needed attention was the lighting. There were 2 large ceiling fixtures and 2 large bedside lamps. With 4 large lighting sources in the room it was still very dark. The only way to get light int he room was to open the drapes but then being on the ground floor we were overlooking the parking lot. Getting dressed out from the shower proved to be a challenge without exposing our self to the parked cars. Also, in the room no mirror to get dressed in. We resorted to moving a chair into the bathroom to stand in front of the sink. An inexpensive mirror on the back of the closet would be a quick fix. The restaurant and bar was great, we really enjoyed that little small bar just off of the front desk. If it wasn't for the proximity to the wedding we would probably stay in the downtown Portland area - a really cool scene.

Room Tip: As for a room in the main building. We stayed in "The English Wing" which was a built on a...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 19, 2014
Hi BigE423-

Thank you for taking the time to review us and your great feedback. We will take all of your comments into consideration. Your feedback allows us to continue to improve our guests experiences. We will use your check-in experience as a training tool. We will also let Paul know what a wonderful job he did! He will be pleased to hear this. We hope you do come back and see us. Perhaps in the future a room in the main building may be more suitable for your needs.
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Avondale, Arizona
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

What a unique experience! There is so much to see and do on this property. It was a great place to stay on the day of our travel because everything you could want is right there on the property. There are restaurants, bars (plural), and a movie theater all on site! The hotel is so full of history and interesting. The Boiler Room Bar was a favorite place to hang out at the end of our day. There is a pool table, and the service is exceptional. We really enjoyed our stay on this property.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 19, 2014
Annette S-

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It sounds like you had a wonderful time here. Please come back and see us soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spokane Valley, Washington
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

First experience staying at a McMenamins property was a pleasure...restoration of the property was tastefully done taking us back in time. You could just sense all the history that has taken place here. The rooms in the old building are quite comfortable and relaxing; even though we were there on a 95+ degree day, it was comfortable without air conditioning, with just the ceiling fan going. The heated soaking pool in the evening was relaxing and if you're a guest, you can attend a free movie in the evening. We took our own art tour of the hallways to reflect on a time gone by! Would definitely recommend to others and stay again.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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 Pam D-

Thank you for sharing your unique experience with us! We absolutely love incorporating the history through our halls, rooms, and the entire building. The soaking pool is a fantastic way to start or end your day, and taking in a complimentary movie with your stay while having a beverage or a bite to eat is the Portland way to go. We look forwad to your next visit.
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Oslo
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

This felt like staying at an amusement park for adults (although it seemed like a kid-friendly place, too) - a homebrewed cherry beer here, a concert there, sleeping in a classroom with blackboards still on the wall, gift shops with hand made jewelry and tableware. We had lots of fun wandering the halls and just seeing what we'd stumble across, bars, restaurants, gardens, country music concerts. Really memorable!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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.
Gloria M, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this review, July 19, 2014
Hi Epipremnum A-

Thank you for reviewing us. It is fun place for adults. Where else can you wander the halls of a school with a home brewed beer in hand?! Come back and visit us soon.
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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Best Value Hotel in Portland
#26 Romantic Hotel in Portland
#35 Family Hotel in Portland
#43 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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