My home base for exploring Oregon’s Washington County was McMenamins Grand Lodge, a former Masonic & Eastern Star Home built in 1922, converted into 77 guest rooms, restaurants, bars, and grounds for relaxation.
Once settled into my colourful guest room on the second floor emblazoned with flourishing text describing the life and times of former resident Sam Hughes, I unpacked and headed straight down the hall for a rejuvenating shower.
All rooms contain porcelain sinks, a mirror, and a place to hang your towel; the bathrooms are marble-finished with tiny checkerboard tiles. Throw on a bathrobe and enjoy an Old World bathing experience.
The year-round outdoor heated Japanese-style soaking pool is available for guests ($5 for non-guests per use). Nice and steamy in the evenings!
There’s also a few King suites with ensuite bathroom, sitting room, and fireplace at the Grand, if you’re looking for more privacy. As busy as the hotel gets, I found myself having the bathroom all to myself every time I swiped my room card there.
It’s hard to tell what surprises lurk behind the doors of some of these rooms, particularly when they’re titled Bob Marley, Jerry Garcia, and Bob Dylan.
I enjoyed wandering the halls, admiring the artistic touches that have come to define the McMenamins family of lodging, pubs, and restaurants in the area.
Check out the vaulted ceiling indoors filled with Mike and Brian McMenamin’s vintage album cover collection! There’s also live music on weekends and special events (e.g. specialized tours, holiday parties).
If you’re into craft beer, this is the place to be: McMenamins is considered one of Oregon’s beer pioneers. In fact, nearly 29 years ago to the day, the first brew was tapped at Oregon’s first brew pub, the Hillsdale Brewery & Public House. McMenamins’ first brewer Ron Wolf produced the beer, together with brothers Mike and Brian McMenamin.
Little did they know on that fateful day that Ruby, Hammerhead, and Terminator Stout would soon follow. They’ve now well over 60 brewpubs around the state. The inaugural brew’s ingredients are proudly displayed on Hillsdale’s pub wall today.
A visit to one of Grand Lodge’s several bars currently features Black Widow Porter, a smooth drinker brewed annually since 1991 using black and roast malts with hints of caramel and licorice. It pairs great with a veggie burger or a steak.
A 10-hole disc golf course, Ruby’s Spa, and a gift shop complete the picture.
If you’re travelling with pets, the Grand Lodge will allow them to stay in the room for an added $15 per day, per pet. Read the pet policy here.
McMenamins Grand Lodge is located at 3505 Pacific Avenue in Forest Grove, Oregon. I was a guest of the hotel during my recent visit.