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“Quintessential Portland”

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McMenamins Kennedy School
Ranked #34 of 139 Hotels in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
east coast
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Quintessential Portland”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2011

I've never had accommodations anywhere that so perfectly complemented its locale. Portand is a charming city that is at once quirky, rebellious, and friendly; it's old school and progressive at the same time and in the right way. And what could be more old school & progressive than an old elementary school converted into a hotel?

This is not a downtown hotel. It's in a northeastern Portland neighborhood that the school once served. However, though it caters to visitors, it is as much a part of the community as ever. It hosts civic events, art shows, community awareness talks, and even City of Portland meetings. It has a community garden in the back for nearby residents. The soaking tub attracts many locals, including families (hotel guest have exclusive use at night from 8-10pm. There are no staff uniforms here; the employees almost seem like local volunteers. They have always been friendly and helpful. This is true in the bars and restaurant as well, though the service there can seem slow. They aren't trying to turn tables; they're happy for you to occupy a table with friends all night. This is not a place to come if you like a sense of urgency.

This was my third stay here. It's my Portland home and I wouldn't consider staying anywhere else.

Room Tip: rooms in the rear aren't subject to street noise.
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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3 Thank lyle47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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562 reviews from our community

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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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (128)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
scotland
Level Contributor
61 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 November 2011

tried to get here on my last trip but managed this time. Stayed in the art room, loved the blackboards, artwork kinda funky but fun, bars in hotel diverse, staff friendly. Would like changing/shower area at heated pool area. Food pretty darn good and loved the pool and table top curling!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank korkybuz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knoxville, TN
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2011

We just got back from a one night stay at the Kennedy School; it's definitely quite the playground for adults. The beer is great, you can smoke a cigar in Detention, and there's even a soaking pool to relax in at the end of the day. The rooms are converted classrooms, each one with their own personality. The ceilings are incredibly high and the natural light that comes in from the windows makes the rooms even more appealing. At night large curtains can be drawn over them effectively blocking out all the light. There's lots to do, whether it be watch a movie at the theater, participate in events like Greek Trivia Night, or just relax in the courtyard with a nice brew. The art and landscaping of the School is INCREDIBLE.

We found our room to be comfortable and relaxing. There's not a television--frankly, you don't need one here since there's so much to do, anyway. The rooms feature chalkboards for doodling. Since the building is old, the central heat/air can be a bit difficult. Our room was equipped with a space heater that I turned on immediately within walking in, but once it had been on for a few hours the temperature was quite comfortable. The bathrooms aren't really that special, but compared to the rest of the building and the room, who cares? Bring your own hairdryer, though ;). The restaurant is excellent; I highly recommend checking out the dessert sampler if you've been ah...indulging in Dentention. Breakfast in the morning was also quite tasty.

FYI: the building is well maintained, but it is an older one. You will hear foot traffic in the halls and street traffic. Request a quiet room on the end if you think this may be problematic. Our room had an outside door that unlocked into an inner hall before unlocking to our room; this did provide a buffer to some noise, but our room was directly across from the main dining area and consequently we could hear some foot traffic through the night.


The School is located down the street from a funky little neighborhood with art galleries, coffee shops, eateries and clothing stores. It's also about a ten minute drive from PDX.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WhereIsMyMnd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
119 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2011

Sleeping in a converted school building is great fun! McMenamins has done a great job with the Kennedy School. In addition to the accommodations, it serves the community through a restaurant, bar, regular movies, and lots of activities. It's a real plus for the local area. The accommodations are satisfactory, though we've found rooms can be somewhat uncomfortable when it's either very hot or cold outside. In the former case, the ceiling fans don't quite do enough to keep the rooms cooled down, and leaving windows open in many rooms means you hear a lot of street noise. In the winter, the heating is turned up a lot higher than we like (there's a central thermostat that controls heat in the entire wing, and can't be changed for individual rooms). This was mildly annoying. Overall, we'd probably rather visit than stay at the Kennedy School. But fun and worth trying at least once. A warning; Plan in advance. Availability is limited and rooms tend to fill up very early.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank ZenTraveler8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oak Harbor, Washington
Level Contributor
76 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2011

My husband and I loved the time we spent at the McMenamins Kennedy School. The hotel is so different from any other "run of the mill" hotel with its brewery, movie theater, and old school atmosphere. The decoration, photos, and pictures throughout the hotel add to its charm. My husband (a former teacher) loved the blackboard in our room - it took him back to his early teaching days! There was no air conditioning, however. The hotel is off the beaten track, but we had dinner and breakfast there so we had no need to leave. If you want to stay at a unique hotel, stay at a McMenmins!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank HappyTravelers071
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
Region: 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 (per night): ₹ 9,983 - ₹ 14,456
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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