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“Stayed several times, but 1 experience was truly frightening”

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McMenamins White Eagle Saloon and Rock & Roll Hotel
Ranked #69 of 141 Hotels in Portland
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Stayed several times, but 1 experience was truly frightening”
Reviewed 19 April 2014

I lived in Eugene, Oregon from 2011-2013, so I often used to drive to Portland and stay the night at the White Eagle. While the hotel is pretty bare bones, it was always clean and suited my needs.

A recent experience at the White Eagle was illuminating, and I have never felt more in danger than I did this night. This is the recap that I sent to hotel management:

I have stayed at the White Eagle several times in the past, and on this occasion, I stayed from 3/26-3/30 of this year (2014). I had such a positive experience the last times I stayed. In fact, I even recommended the hotel to a few friends, and they had another room at the same time. I was a guest in room 9 on Saturday evening, the 29th. At around 4:00 am, I heard incessant banging, which would continue for nearly an hour. The noise was absolutely terrifying, as it was clear that an intruder was attempting to break into any door possible. (Let me say here that I am fairly comfortable in dangerous situations and I have lived in some very tough neighborhoods in New York--in fact, I've even witnessed a homicide. Never before have I felt like my life was as threatened as I did this evening.) I called the Kennedy school and the person on the line said that they would call a manager to come investigate. However, the banging and reckless behavior only worsened. I was not comfortable waiting for a manager, as I knew it was likely that a manager would be asleep and it would take a longer time than desired to get a response. So, I proceeded to call 911.

When the police arrived, I heard them speaking to the man who claimed to have been a guest. He apparently was drunk, locked out of the hotel, and naked, so he broke several windows and tried to break down many hotel room doors attempting to get into his room.

Although my cell phone battery was low, I was able to make the 911 call, but I was trembling the whole time because I was afraid this person would hear me on the phone and come after me. Maybe my imagination was running wild, but the security and lighting was so limited, it was hard to know who was on the other side of the door.

I realize events like these are rare occurrences, but I hope that after this (and another similar event the repairman told me about) policies and procedures would be put into place to better ensure the safety of the guests. The cleaning staff told me that I could have used the phone in the hallway---clearly not a safe thing to do with someone who was belligerent and obscenely aggressive in the hallway.

I would suggest providing each room with better access to in-room phones, should an event like this happen again. Moreover, I think that clearer safety protocols should be outlined in the literature of the hotel room. I looked carefully in the room after this happened and I found none.

It is my sincere hope that future guests will not have such an entirely unpleasant and dangerous experience.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
8 Thank sweetabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MikeZ503, Manager at McMenamins White Eagle Saloon and Rock & Roll Hotel, responded to this review, 22 April 2014
This was indeed a rare occurrence. We value safety in our company for both our employees and our customers. Unfortunately, we can't control our guest's behavior all the time, but we can learn from it. Additional security information will soon be available and listed in our hotel rooms. Our apologies to all the other hotel guests staying the night of the March 29th.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Yakima, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2014

Popped in for dinner on Saturday night and got excellent service from our waiter. Food was great as well. It is in an interesting location and on a night with music would be a really good time. We will be back!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gopher_fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2014

I've always wanted to visit Portland and had an idea in my head of what to expect. The hotel totally encapsulated everything I thought it would. It definitely had so much character and quirkyness to it - which was exactly what I was looking for. It was in a great location where we could easily jump on a train to get to the centre. The only downfall was the lack of air con (it was really hot). Other than that, I would definitely recommend this hotel to fellow travellers. Oh and just a word of advice - in many ways this is like a hostel in the sense that you have to share showers and bathrooms. It doesn't bother me in the slightest but I know some people prefer the extra privacy.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank vxk831
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2013

At first I wasn't excited about staying here, but I was sold the moment I stepped into the room. The decorations are fun and whimsical. The environment is artsy and fun. The staff is so helpful and cheery. Would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank SoTravelHappy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leavenworth, Washington, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2013

I liked this hotel for its price and location. Room was small but exactly what I expected for the price. My only issue was the lack of air conditioning which was compounded by the lack of circulation because the window opened on a small, high walled atrium. Even with the fan on, it was muggy and stale. Would opt for a front facing room in warm weather

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 658TopCat658
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. George, Utah
Level 6 Contributor
301 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2013

After driving by the White Eagle a hundred times, finally had a date night with my wife for dinner and some Bluegrass music. What great character this old saloon has!!! The service and music
(Student Loan) were great. We both had burgers and enjoyed every yummy bite. Throw in a couple of micro brews and we had a great date night at reasonable pricing. Two thumbs up, we will be back.
We did not stay the night but will be looking at that down the road, for another special date.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TeamFlounder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eugene, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2013

My husband and I stayed here for two nights because we saw a concert one night at Mississippi Studios and The Wonder Ballroom the next. It was right in the middle and was a short walk to either or cheap cab ride depending on what we were feeling. We took one of the larger queen rooms at the front with the windows above the bar facing the street. It gave us a little more room, with two nightstands with lamps, a little table with an alarm clock and Queen Bed and sink/mirror. In the drawer were earplugs. We stayed in "Uncle Bill's Room". The room was exactly as advertised. Clean and sparse and a place to crash after a show. Two towels and a bar of soap each are folded waiting on the bed, hooks on the back of the door for your clothes and Kleenex ,another soap and handtowels next to the sink. There is no hair dryer, iron etc., This place is meant for crashing late and sleeping deep, getting up and getting on your way. The hotel is really quaint in that Mcmenamin's way, with interesting art and sayings on the walls. Fun little touches everywhere like the shower is tiled with a guitar pattern and pictures of the bar in the different decades. If you are weird about such things the motel is totally unmanned, you get your key when you check in and you are on your own... drop your key in the box when you go. Although the restaurant bar is open 11a - 2a , so you aren't really alone. You do check in at the bar as there is no hotel " front desk" and it was fine. The guy who checked me in was fast and efficient. As far as the weekend music, if you desire to go down and see the band your cover is included because you are staying at the hotel. We didn't get in before 1 am either night, and those rooms are further from the music anyway - so it didn't bother us at all.The communal bathrooms and showers were very clean. I was worried when I reserved, but they were totally fine and I used them without any concerns at all.My husband would have liked the shower to get a little hotter, he is right, it didn't heat up to steaming - but it was warm enough. The bed was comfy enough with decent pillows and covers and the little wall heater kept us warm . The blackout curtains were nice and we got a solid 8 hrs of sleep each night. There was a little street and train noise in the a.m. but not until 9 or so. We kept a few bottled waters in the room... there is no vending machine, so if you get thirsty in the night it is nice to have bottled water. We didn't get bothered by other guests coming and going even though all the rooms were full both nights. It was really nice to be able to roll in after the show at 1 am, go down to the bar, fill up our little jar for beer from the room for a night cap and get some fresh made Dragonfries to go (spicy little french fry dish with sweet peppers, cilantro and siracha mayo) YUM. We brought it up to room and they told us the cleaning staff would pick it up when they cleaned in the morning which they did. They went out of their way when they couldn't find the spices for the fries one night , so the chef came up with a little idea of how to blend the spices they had on hand and they were just as good.Good Service! The bar staff downstairs was really nice and the happy hour included a little bluegrass band which was a nice diversion before heading out to dinner. Saturday morning there was a pot of coffee out on the little table at the top of the stairs but Sunday there was not.I had just a fine experience here and it was all it claimed to be. I would certainly stay again and reccommend it to others going to see a show in the area. The bar itself was a Mcmenamin's, which if you don't know of already has some of their own OK, if not stellar,beers and a variety of their own liquors and wines as well as the usual mixers. The little outdoor patio was nice since it was a warm day. Now onto my experiences with the ghosts. Overall no eerie or creepy feelings the whole time - Felt totally comfortable even a few times I ran upstairs to get things and was all alone in the upstairs part. I did have a few isolated incidents, though. On night 1, going down the hall to the bathroom around 1 am - nothing, in the bathroom - nothing, walking back - strange sense something was coming up behind me and the sound of a womans heels walking down the hall behind me on a wood floor. The halls are now carpeted so it was kind of the impression of a sound is how I would explain it. I double timed it back into the room. Night 2 - this is harder to explain. Sort of woke up in the middle of the night must have been 3 or 4? I realized I was awake in a haunted hotel and thought I should listen a bit.... I wasnt scared or anything. Heard some very strange things kind of sounded like an out of tune violin and some strange creaking and knocking sounds the sounds were coming from all around and somewhat faint. Didnt sound like other people or rooms , but kind of from the building itself ~ overhead and around. I was still slightly drunk and I giggled to myself that must be what " water pipes" sound like in old buildings when you hear that said. I scooted down the covers as I was warm, and went right to sleep face down. Well right after that I had the most intense scary dream about being in that room and being attacked by something unseen from behind. Mostly my shoulder and neck area like I was being bludgeoned/ choked/ pushed? I know! Scary right?? The energy of whatever it was seemed very negative, it kind of felt I was reliving something that had happened to someone not that it was happening TO me ... it was more energy than pain ... strange !! I was fine in the morning and I had this vague memory of the nightmare, but I was sure it was very intense even though I didn't remember the details. And so ends my ghost story. I also caught an orb next to my husband in a photo. Final verdict, regardless of that little bit of scary - which I found thrilling kind of ... I would go back again for sure.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TeriS372
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about McMenamins White Eagle Saloon and Rock & Roll Hotel

Property: McMenamins White Eagle Saloon and Rock & Roll Hotel
Address: 836 N Russell St, Portland, OR 97227-1732
Region: United States > Oregon > Portland
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Portland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 11
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Mcmenamins White Eagle Saloon And Rock And Roll Hotel

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