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“Portland Vibe”

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McMenamins Kennedy School
Ranked #33 of 142 Hotels in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Zionsville, Indiana
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Portland Vibe”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We stayed recently on family trip to Oregon based on a Portlander's recommendation. Family of four, so had to go 2 rooms. Very cool place and very popular with the locals. I was a little scared that it mgiht be a tourist trap, but not at all. Placed is packed with activity and like no other place I have been. The bars distributed throughout the building were the highlight. Very helpful bartenders and staff. Loved the quotes on the wall - inspired me to buy a book by Wendell Berry. Outstanding water pressure in the shower. Any hotel that has literary quotes on the wall and great shower pressure gets high marks. Only downside is that the place isn't great for teenagers. Little kids seemed to enjoy pool and kid movies, but the teens are prohibited from a lot of areas because of the bars. My 17 yr old couldn't go to the 9:30 movie without an adult - c'mon, really?. So it was kind of hard on the teenagers.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank David A
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, 23 August 2014
Hi danderson20-

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We are sorry you were disappointed about the minor restrictions in the movie theater. This is regulated by the OLCC. Until recently minors were not allowed into showings after 7pm. Our company fought really hard to have minors allowed into movies after 7pm with a parent or guardian and we suceeded!

We hope to see you next time you are in town.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (134)
Date | Rating
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English first
Freehold, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014

Pros: Very interesting place. It's a recycled old school building restored while still hanging onto some fairly well worn attributes. This and the artsy decor gives the place lots of character with no downside. Clean & comfortable with a friendly helpful staff. Overall, a fun and interesting place to stay.

Cons: Not a particularly convenient location. The area is a bit funky. If you're driving, the staff at the front desk can show you a fairly quick and easy route into downtown Portland that allows you to avoid the thick traffic on the interstate. Your results may vary, but I would not have liked this location if I wasn't driving.

The hotel's restaurant: I'd rate the dinner we had as generally unsatisfactory. The food was not too great and delivered (let's just say) less than hot. However breakfast was much better. Wait staff for both dinner and breakfast was friendly and attentive.

If I ever go back to Portland, I might stay here again, especially if I can't find a competitively priced attractive hotel downtown. That being said, I'm not sorry I stayed here. It was overall a unique and fun place to stay.

Room Tip: Ask for quiet if that's what you want. We got a room tucked away in a very spot just by asking f...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Simple_Seeker_NJ
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, 23 August 2014
Hi StevenMaxx-

Thank you for taking the time to review us. We are happy that you had an overall positive experience. Thank you for your comments and feedback out the Courtyard Restuarant. We will be sharing your comments with our Executive Chef and Restuarant Manager. We are always looking for ways to improve our guests experience.

We hope you choose to stay with us in your future travels to Portland.
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Kansas City, Missouri
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Positives:
Beautiful large rooms - you can really spread out and feel comfortable (and they are each unique), large windows, great bed
Walking around the school is an experience - we love the bars and restaurants
The staff - so helpful, they held our bags for two nights while we were hiking in the Columbia river gorge
The pool is relaxing (when there aren't kids)

Negatives:
Kids in the pool (at Crystal Hotel there weren't any kids and it was much more relaxing)
No air in the room (granted it is Oregon and it's not usually needed - but on the hot day we were there - it would have been nice to have a fan or open windows or some kind of 'air' option)
Location - not near a transit line

Overall- awesome place and will stay again

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kassierunyan
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, 23 August 2014
Hi Kassierunyan-

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We are pleased to here you had a nice time. In the future let us know if you need a fan as we do have those availble for our guests. There central AC in the rooms in our main building but on hot days it can feel a little warm but luckliy those really hot days are few. The windows do open and are a little quirky, in the future if you need assistance please ring the front desk and our staff will be more than happy to assist! We look foward to your next visit.
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Alexandria, Virginia
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 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, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DOD56
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, 28 July 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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Asheville, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 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, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jo C
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, 24 July 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
Reviewed 21 July 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, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jgibson1006
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, 24 July 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
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 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, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BigE423
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, 19 July 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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Additional Information about McMenamins Kennedy School

Property: McMenamins Kennedy School
Address: 5736 NE 33rd Ave, Portland, OR 97211-7302
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 (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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