For a trip to Portland, my wife and I wanted to spend a few days outside of the city to relax and recharge our batteries. About 30 miles from downtown Portland, we found Tualatin Valley. In working with the local visitors association, we settled on McMenamins Grand Lodge Hotel in Forest Grove. The hotel is a 45-minute drive from Portland International Airport or a two-hour transit using TriMet. From downtown Portland, the lodge is a 30-minute drive or about 90 minutes on TriMet.
Original king with private bath
My wife and I opted for a king room with a private bath. There is plenty of space for two suitcases and pair of backpacks. The room lacks a designated workspace, but has a small dining table. The bed is comfortable, but not remarkable.
The hotel opened in 1922 as a Masonic and Eastern Star home. In 1999, McMenamins took over the property and reopened the facility a year later as a hotel. Each room at McMenamins Grand Lodge Hotel has unique decor that honors either musicians or local connections. My wife and I stayed in the Martin and Forbes room, which was a local florist company that began in 1911.
The lodge opened as a facility for the elderly, so many rooms lack the modern conveniences guests expect at a hotel. Therefore, the bathroom setup in a king room has a small shower stall with a sink separating it from the toilet.
McMenamins Grand Lodge Hotel has complimentary on-site parking for guests.
The hotel has an outdoor soaking pool that is open year-round. It is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day. The ultimate amenity at McMenamins Grand Lodge Hotel is Ruby’s Spa. It offers a variety of treatments from facials and massages to pedicures and body waxing. Notably the spa offers packages for male and female guests.
There are multiple restaurants and bars on site at the lodge. Ironwork Grill, which is in the main building, is the primary restaurant for the facility. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with the McMenamins brand of beers. Additionally, there are five other facilities that serve food and drinks (see complete list here). Food and drink menus vary slightly at each restaurant or bar, so guests should check out the menus in advance.
Visit Tualatin Valley booked the Beer 101 package for my wife and I. It includes lodging for two people plus two brewery taster trays with six beer samples and a growler filled with your choice of McMenamins beer. After checking in, we chose to dine at Ironwork Grill and paired our meals with the taster trays. I ordered the Captain Neon burger with a side of Cajun tater tots. Both were delicious and paired nicely with the complete selection of beers and ciders my wife and I shared on the taster trays.
McMenamins has some staples on draft at each location, but also a mix of new releases. The three year-round beers available during my visit were Ruby (a wheat ale with raspberry puree), Hammerhead (a Northwest pale ale), Terminator Stout (a classic American stout). The brew we enjoyed the most and put in our growler was Jitter Juice Coffee Stout.
Recapping the experience
For all kinds of travelers McMenamins Grand Lodge Hotel is a great spot for a getaway from the busy city life. It may be akin to beervana for craft beer drinkers, but it offers plenty to please other travelers. The rooms are spacious, although the bathrooms lack the modern amenities guests expect. The dining and beverage options on site should please even the pickiest eater. Additionally, the hotel is a great spot for jumping off to explore wineries in Tualatin Valley or the great outdoors of Hagg Lake or Tillamook State Forest.
Disclosure: Washington County Visitors Association hosted my two-night stay at McMenamins Grand Lodge Hotel with the Beer 101 package. As usual, all words and opinions are my own.