Darn Good Digs Review - Editors' Choice
Kennedy School, Portland, Oregon, USA
Nominated By: Allison and Michael, Brooklyn, New York, USA, August '08
Price Range: US$115-$145 # of Rooms: 57 Kid-Friendly: yes
What makes the Kennedy School so Darn Good? McMenamins Kennedy School is housed in a nearly 100 year old elementary school, and the classrooms have been converted into guestrooms, complete with chalkboards, large schoolhouse windows, and cloakrooms. Fascinating artwork, a lovely Turkish soaking pool, a movie theater, and an in-house brewery make this school house rock! Along with restoring the Kennedy School, the McMenamin brothers have given new life to several other historic properties in the Pacific Northwest, including a poor farm and a brothel.
Location: Less than a mile from the Alberta Arts
District, a funky and diverse neighborhood in northeast Portland, the Kennedy School is within walking distance to block after block of hip, locally owned shops and restaurants. The hotel is fifteen minutes from downtown, and the bus stops nearby if you don’t have a car.
Rooms: We stayed in the Blues Room with
Langston Hughes poetry stenciled on the blue-trimmed walls. Our son
loved the entryway lined with chalkboards, and we dug the
comfortable bed and huge windows.
Food: The Kennedy School is way more than just a hotel. The school cafeteria is now home to the Courtyard Restaurant, which serves up good comfort food and a wide selection of home-brewed beers. If you are still thirsty after dinner, you can head to one of the five other bars on site, such as the detention bar or the honors bar.
Vibe: The Kennedy School excels at being both cool and family-friendly. All three of us had an excellent time at the free, all ages, Freak Mountain Ramblers show in the old gym. Throughout or stay, we found the front desk staff to be both friendly and helpful.
Things to Keep in Mind: The hallways are dimly lit,
and you might run into a few bar-hoppers late at night.