McMenamins Kennedy School
Sleeping in class will get you an "A" at this renovated schoolhouse.
Portland loves the McMenamins brothers, a couple of creative entrepreneurs who refurbish historic buildings and turn them into entertainment hubs. In this case their restoration of choice is the Kennedy School, built in 1915 to educate the neighborhood elementary school kids. It now attracts devotees with its restaurant, movie theater, bars, brewery, gymnasium and pool. The walls are adorned with amazing art, from historical photos to mosaics to Indonesian wood panels. And the building retains an atmosphere recognizable from childhood memories, since the guest rooms are converted classrooms that feature the school's original chalkboards and cloakroom. All accommodations have queen beds, phones and modems, and private baths. Staying here earns you privileges such as free access to the movie theater and pool, as well as a full breakfast in the morning. There are three bars on the premises, including the Detention Bar for smoking cigars and watching TV, and the smoke-free Honor Bar that features classical music and fine wine. The location is smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood, so car-less ones will have to hop a bus to get downtown. But this amazing place is so self-contained, there's really no need to go anywhere else. Who knew school could be so fun?