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“Quirky pub/hotel with good staff, beer and location”

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McMenamins White Eagle Saloon and Rock & Roll Hotel
Ranked #67 of 139 Hotels in Portland
Driffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Quirky pub/hotel with good staff, beer and location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

Looking for a "cheaper" option for somewhere to stay while in PDX visiting from the UK we stumbled across the McMenamins chain of pubs and hotels. What looked like a complete bargain (we would rather spend money on beer than a bed) was the bunk option at the White Eagle.
I booked this online with no trouble although I accidently booked for one person rather than two. I only mention this as I then e-mailed the central e-mail address to tell them of the mistake. I didn’t actually hear anything back (weeks) so just before travelling e-mailed the White Eagle directly instead. I got a prompt response within hours which was good just to confirm no issues with that and it was changed and also an apology from central reservations so all good there.

On arrival the lady (sorry forgot name) who checked us in was very helpful not only with checking in but advice on local nightlife and the sampling of a couple of early drinks behind the bar. In our 4 nights staying we came across various staff and all where pleasant and helpful.

The pub/hotel itself is both quirky and full of character. Yes we stayed in a small bunk room but for me that was better than some hotel chain that would look the same if you where in Portland or Pittsburgh. Location wise its not downtown but you are a 2 minute walk from a MAX stop. There is a joint that services breakfast near the stop (not available at the Eagle) that also does take away coffee. A couple of local pubs are nearby and pubs/shops/food of the up and coming Mississippi area a 15 minute walk under a nondescript freeway flyover area. Its quite a surprise to suddenly stumble across that area.

The beer in the pub was good and we ate just once. A decent burger and no complaints there.

So the negatives. Well none really for us. The room was small. And nowhere to hang your gear. You have to share bath rooms and toilets. Bands play pretty much every night until 10 or 11 I guess and if you are above them its boom boom boom. However all of this is mentioned on the site. We knew what to expect so it was no problem. We drank in the bar until the bands had finished at the very least. So the only reason to complain would be if you didn’t expect any of the above I would say.

The only concern I ever had was with the warning about no staff on site after pub closing. So IF you manage to wipe your key card by leaving them next to your phone for instance you would have to ring one of the managed hotels. Never happened but worth knowing.

Overall good price, good location and friendly staff. And very good beer. We certainly couldn’t complain!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JarvJarv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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81 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    2
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4
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Corvallis, Oregon
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

This place is defintely an experience. The rooms are upstairs from the bar and restaurant. Not the best if you are a light sleeper but we didnt mind it at all. This is not as elaborate as the other Mcmenamins but Im glad we stayed here. We went during the Polish festival and it was super fun!!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Phrrt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany
Level Contributor
66 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014

I had previously stayed at the McMenamins Grand Lodge and had a great time, so when I decided to go to Portland on a quick impulse, I decided to stay at another McMenamins property. I chose the White Eagle Saloon, which was offering a room for only $70 on a Saturday night. The location is very close to the heart of downtown and the train station, which was another factor in my decision to stay at the White Eagle. The White Eagle is a very old saloon and hotel with a spooky past. There is a bar/restaurant on the first floor and the hotel rooms are on the second floor.

The check in experience was simple - you simply stop by the bar and you are given a room key. The rooms are minimally furnished and have a sink, though there is neither air conditioning nor a private bathroom; toilets and showers are shared with the other rooms on the floor. Obviously there are no modern luxuries such as televisions.

Although the White Eagle is reportedly the "most haunted bar" in Portland, we were not disturbed by the undead. Instead, we were kept awake for most of the night by a Grateful Dead cover band. To be fair, the hotel's website openly warns its patrons that there is loud live music at the bar downstairs, and states the rooms are for "crashing" after a hard night of partying and sleeping in until late the next morning. Unfortunately, the band played until approximately 2:00 am and the check out time was still 11:00 am as it is in most hotels..if the White Eagle was designed for sleeping in late, perhaps it would be wise to push out the check out time until later.

Sadly, hotel guests are still required to pay cover individually when there is live music in the bar. That means guests cannot visit the bar or grab a bite to eat without paying the cover during these times. The restaurant does not open in the morning, so you cannot easily grab breakfast after a night out on the town. In addition, there is no hotel staff overnight; if there is an emergency, you have to call another McMenamins hotel in Portland.

Overall, I would stay at the White Eagle again if no other options were available. The price is definitely hard to beat. Just be aware that you will have a truly spartan experience.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fallout50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 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
Yakima, Washington
Level Contributor
110 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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 Contributor
127 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank vxk831
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
26 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SoTravelHappy
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:
Ranked #67 of 139 Hotels in Portland
Number of rooms: 11
Also Known As:
Mcmenamins White Eagle Saloon And Rock And Roll Hotel

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