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“a whimsical throwback to childhood”

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McMenamins Kennedy School
Ranked #33 of 139 Hotels in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Homewood, Alabama
Level Contributor
43 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“a whimsical throwback to childhood”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2009

My partner and I really enjoyed our stay at the Kennedy school. The school (yes, it really was an elementary school) has large comfortable rooms (including power strips for charging gadgets!), a movie theater, a brewery, a couple bars, a nice soaking pool, and a restaurant. Service at the theater was lax (we had to retrieve our mostly-cold pizza from the bar mid-movie), but everything else was wonderful. We saw a little of the neighborhood during our morning runs and it seemed nice. The only downside to this hotel is that it is a little far from downtown and/or other bars - but really it has everything you need on site for an enjoyable visit.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank meardynit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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565 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    43
    25
    12
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (129)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Washington State
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2009

What a fun place! My husband and I stayed for one night on May 2, 2009. We were just looking to get out of town and this place was about 2 hours away from our home, so it was perfect. The atmosphere there is different than any other place you could stay- it really is an old school- complete with old wood floors, class pictures on the walls, classrooms converted into guestrooms, etc. It wasn't too close to anything in Portland though, so just be aware of that.

Room:
Our room was very nice and clean and much bigger than I expected- we stayed in the cherry tree room and there was a cherry blossom tree outside. We could hear road noise a little, but it wasn't too bad. I also could occasionally hear people walking around, but it wasn't bad. I read some people's complaints about the shower not having any room to put your shampoo and stuff- that's pretty accurate, but if you have the minibottles, you can set them on top of the shower door. It really wasn't a big deal. The chalkboard in the room was very fun and I think we spent a good hour or so just drawing on it! There are no tvs in the rooms, but I liked that.

Amenities:
We took a soak in the soaking pool which was nice. It's pretty big, so it didn't feel crowded even with 10 other people in there. It had quite a bit of dirt on the bottom though, just because you have to walk outside before you get in. The gift shop was small, but had some fun things in it- a lot of barware, like glasses, coasters, bottle openers, etc. They had a lot of t-shirts too. The movie theater was great too. It was really fun to be able to sit on a couch and eat while watching the movie. There was plenty of room for everybody. We were sitting toward the back and our view was great. The theater was a lot bigger than I expected. It's also included with the price of the room so that was nice too.

Food/Beer:
The food was much better than I expected because we have a McMenamins restaurant in our hometown and the food there is just average. For dinner we at at the Courtyard. We had cajun tater tots for an appetizer- they give you a nice big portion- they were very hot and crispy. Yum! Then I had the cajun steak sandwich with fries and my husband had a calzone that was on special. Both were delicious. We also had the beer sampler- it was fun to try all the beers. At the movie we each had a slice of pizza which was pretty good. I think breakfast was the best- I had amaretto french toast and my husband had biscuits and gravy- both were very generous portions and really, really good.


Bars:
We went to the Boiler Room and played pool, which was fun. The waitress there was very nice and even gave us a "good attitude" discount! Pool was $5/hour. There was also shuffleboard. The bar itself was very cool to look at- there were all sorts of pipes as decoration. I wish we had tried the Honors Bar and Detention, but honestly we drank too much before we had a chance to!

Overall, if you like beer and a place with character, you'll like it!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank EllieLand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Concord, California
Level Contributor
75 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2009

We were in Oregon after New Year's to drop off a car and shuttle family back to the Bay Area after the holiday visit. We decided to take a break from family and do some sight seeing in Portland and were looking for an economical place to base our trip. Someone suggested McMenamins and told us to ask for the Hammerhead Package. What a deal! For a little more than the local Courtyard (like 10.00) we got a queen room, dinner, two pints of beer (Hammerhead), use of the heated pool, a movie and breakfast the next morning! Hands down it is one of the most enjoyable hotels I've ever stayed at.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DDDRW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, WA
Level Contributor
55 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2009

As a birthday trip I took my husband to Kennedy School for a night away from home. It's a great place to go and enjoy some beers without worrying about driving home. There are several different bars onsite all with a different feel, great for those of us who don't always like it loud and crowded. There are no tv's in the room, which is clearly stated on the website. I see that others have complained but they make up for it with other activities. Watch all the movies you want, there were six on Sat while we were there. It is a old building built in 1912(?) so road noise and hallway noise can be heard. If this is bothersome for you, you might want to reconsider. The rooms are big and very, very clean. So for a great atmosphere, a little noise doesn't bother me.
It dose seem to be a local gathering place so it was pretty busy, especally in the dining room.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travelsmiles4us
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Level Contributor
46 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2009

This place is awesome! The rooms were fantastic! We played on the chalkboard like we were kids. The room was huge, too. I wished I'd brought my bathing suit for the soaking pool--it looked so warm and fun and relaxing. We played pool, made some friends, ate, and drank way too much.

My only complaint would be that we heard the water pipes throughout the night. But, I'd stay there again in a second, so it clearly is nothing too bad.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Desi F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2009

If you love good beer and adventure, this place is for you.

The location is a little sketchy, not the best neighborhood so lock your vehicle and don't risk getting broken into and leave in your room.

Check-in seems to be firm with 3pm, but they may give you an exception on slow days (like us). The hotel itself is an old school revamped with interesting paint and decor but leaves you intrigued with nostalgia. The old classrooms have been transformed to hotel rooms, expect a smaller than avg. room and bathroom but I overlooked this since we spent a majority of our time outside of our room. You get the sense they spent alot of time and energy into keeping the school's integrity without taking too much away to make this hotel. The bathroom shower is only big enough for 1 avg person. The fan is loud, and the hall sounds travel into your room... but what do you expect, it used to be a school. Throughout the halls there are stories of past classmates and teachers, very interesting. There are two main restaurants that offer great food- not just bar food either, at a reasonable price. About 5 bars, 2 cigar bars.

One of the best part was getting to watch a movie in the old auditorium (included for your stay, or $3.00 for others) picture a large movie screen in your old elementary school auditorium with couches and chairs to get comfortable on. They deliver food to you if you'd like to have dinner during movie. Have a beer, and watch a great movie.

There is also a soaking pool, continuously 102F, small but worth the soak in the evening under the stars. One 1/4 section has bubbles from the seat. It can get crowded, and not for the OCD germaphobe types as you can see floating debri in the light. Seemed to be chlorinated saltwater? However, well worth a relaxing soak otherwise. In our strange luck, it snowed in the morning and we sat in the pool while it snowed around us.

The main restaurant staff is very helpful and make sure everything is to your liking. Good beer, atmosphere, and if you get carried away with the beer, your room is a walk away.

Experience at least once, you'll probably fall in love with it and make it a tradition to go every year. I did.

  • Liked — Great nostalgic atmosphere, food, and beer
  • Disliked — Small room/bathroom, and noise
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank dmay16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coffs Harbour, Australia
Level Contributor
138 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2009

This used to be a real school but is now part of the McMenamins Chain. As such it is part of the neighbourhood, a funky brewpub with quirky accommodation.

I was tempted to be naughty and give it just one star ... so that I would be sent to the Detention Room, one of the great little bars. Was it my favourite ... or was it the Courtyard (great casual dining) ... or the old Gym that is now a great place to chill and watch a movie?

The whole Kennedy School experience is fun, fun, fun. You don't have to stay to experience it but I especially loved the blackboard in the bedroom and the pool in the old staffroom.

Oh ... and the beer is great too!

  • Liked — It was something different in "themed" accommodation; funky fun.
  • Disliked — It wasn't that close to the city centre
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank julnol
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

Property: 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:
#27 Romantic Hotel in Portland
#29 Family Hotel in Portland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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