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“Weird but good, kinda”

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McMenamins Kennedy School
Ranked #31 of 144 Hotels in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 27, 2008

Stayed four nights 8/21-8/24. I knew from the reviews this would be an off-beat unique brew pub/restaurant/theater that just happened to have rooms, but even the low expectations did not quite prepare me.
On the positive side, the rooms are fairly large with high ceilings and clean.
On the negative side, the facility is very popular even on weekdays and weeknights such that there is traffic leaving and coming from the parking lot and foot traffic throughout the facility at all hours, only dieing down at 1:00 am or so. In addition to the brew pubs, theater, and restaurant, there are conference rooms used by churches, business groups, and wedding parties. This is some major operation. Our room (there aren't very many rooms-all on a single floor as facility only has one floor) was at the rear corner with windows facing the rear (main) parking lot. Now I know this sounds weird, but there was a loose manhole in the parking lot within twenty feet of our window and traffic went over this manhole about every ten seconds causing a very loud CLANK non-stop, 24-7. It was enough to drive you mad.
There was another, only slightly less obnoxious banging noise coming from the ceiling area that sounded similar to shutters banging in the wind.
In four days of staying there, I never saw a staff person other than one guy cleaning the hallways and the two staff people at the front desk. I tried to complain nicely about the manhole, but the young kid with big earings at the front desk only humored me while clearly conveying with his eyes that I was a lunatic for even thinking I might get moved to a different room; I never heard back from the staff after asking to be moved.
My wife and I returned to our room two nights, Friday and Saturday night, to a literal cloud of cigar smoke (the place has a cigar bar as well, evidently) in the hallway leading to our room. On Sat night the cigar smoke had pervaded into our room.
Would I stay again; probably not. There are no true deals in this world. The website showed $114 when I reserved our room but one week later we got a letter informing us that the rate had been increased to $125. Worth every penny of $100 IF you are staying only to sleep and you have one hell of a sense of humor (and ear plugs).

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank FSonicSmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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552 - 558 of 617 reviews

Reviewed August 27, 2008

As previews reviews said, this is not a traditional hotel, so avoid it if you are a chain hotel kind of person. It's also a bit far from the city centre. However if you feel excited about staying in a real school and sleeping in a real classroom, then you must try it.
We had the Francis room, which was big, with very high ceilings, a huge window, and of course the blackboard (I would expect all this also for the other rooms). There was a shower cubicle in the bathroom (no bath tub) and no TV (which would have nothing to do with an almost 100 year old school!).
The Courtyard restaurant seems quite popular also with external guests. It also has tables in the garden and is a good place to chill out.
We didn't go to the cinema, but that must be good fun too.
Overall we found it as comfortable as other hotels in the same price range, but with much more character!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank eurotourist75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2008

A great, great hotel ! Very original place to stay (a former school), beautiful decoration, very clean, great bath products, supercool soaking pool, nice staff...great location : a bargain !
The restaurant is not so good, but it's a very nice play to eat, so the atmosphere makes up for the "average" food.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Papouillax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2008

We stayed 4 nights at the Kennedy School. It was quaint. Clean and nice rooms. Once we got used to the kitsch we enjoyed it. The price was right though it is a little off the beaten path. We had hoped to take public transit but after a day of cabs and busses we decided to rent a car. Great staff.

  • Stayed: August 2008
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1  Thank BPinRI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2008

Who gives a hoot about chalkboards? This place has two big problems: 1. Lousy beer, and 2. Lousy food. It's the Disn*yland of brewpubs. I had a calzone and from the way it looked and tasted I would bet that its preparation consisted of opening a box that's delivered from McM's Central by the the gross and popped into the oven. No way it was made fresh at this establishment. The beer is weak and mostly tasteless. McBeer! Interestingly, there's a fabulous place for beer no more than about 200 yards from this joint; it's called the "Concordia Ale House." Rating: Avoid!

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Thank mizuhito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2008

I just spent two days here with friends. We loved it. It is such a pleasant alternative to the standard motel or hotel room. The rooms are spotlessly clean and charming.
I would give the food in the Courtyard a grade of B and the service and drinks in the Cypress Room an A. The movie theatre is delightful and the art in the halls adds to the fun atmosphere.
The staff is especially helpful.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank bkbkSanAntonio_Tx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2008

Loved, loved, loved Kennedy School!!

My boyfriend and I stayed there 2 nights in July and had a fantastic time. We arrived our first night at around 4:00pm and didn't leave the hotel until the next day because there was so much right there.

We had dinner in the Courtyard and the food was very tasty. Highly recommend the root beer - part of McMenamin's brews. We also ordered milkshakes to take with us as we watched the movie showing in the auditorium. Movies are free to hotel guests and the "theatre" has comfy couches to sit on. You can even order food and beer to enjoy during the show.

After the movie we headed to the soaking pool. We didn't realize soaking pool actually meant giant hot tub! It was awesome.

The room was large and the bed was comfortable. We never heard any noise either night we were there.

I would HIGHLY recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a unique place to stay. If you want a Marriott this is not the place for you. But if you want a memorable experience you can't get anywhere else this is one place that really does it right.

I can't wait to try another McMenamin's property.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank trippin76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about McMenamins Kennedy School

Address: 5736 NE 33rd Ave, Portland, OR 97211-7302
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:
#27 Romantic Hotel in Portland
#29 Family Hotel in Portland
Price Range: $178 - $259 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — McMenamins Kennedy School 3.5*
Number of rooms: 57
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Also Known As:
Mcmenamins Kennedy School Portland

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