McMenamins Old St. Francis School Hotel Review

Located in Bend, Oregon, McMenamins Old St. Francis School hotel is like no other historic hotel in Central Oregon. The McMenamins brand currently offers 12 hotel properties in the Pacific Northwest. As I review hotels for a living, I hope to visit all of their historic hotels in Oregon and Washington. If you are considering a trip to Bend, please read my candid McMenamins Old St. Francis School hotel review.

McMenamins hotels and restaurants follow Instagram and YouTube’s marketing philosophy. They want to keep you on their properties, spending money, while being entertained, as long as possible. Their marketing is genius and fun. As both a travel writer and hotel guest, the company has won me over. In fact, all four adults in our group enjoyed our stay at McMenamins Old St. Francis School hotel. Each of us would recommend this historic Bend hotel to our friends and family.

McMenamins Old St. Francis School hotel in Bend, Oregon

McMenamins Old St. Francis Soaking Pool

Why stay at Old St. Francis School?

McMenamins Old St. Francis School hotel is ideally situated within walking distance of downtown Bend, Oregon, the Deschutes River Trail and Drake Park. If you enjoy staying at a hip hotel with an outdoor firepit or sitting around a campfire, this hotel is for you. If you like traveling with your dog, Old St. Francis School hotel and their outdoor restaurant patios are perfect. If you are traveling with children, or adults with childlike tendencies, the secret rooms within the historic hotel are delightful. If you like to drink beer, whiskey or smoke cigars, this boutique hotel has got you covered, as well. Finally, if you like to soak in a saltwater pool, while drinking beer, water or cocktails McMenamins Old St. Francis School hotel just might be your cup of tea.

What makes this McMenamins Bend hotel unique?

The renovated former 1936 Catholic school house was purchased by McMenamins who reopened the landmark property as the Old St. Francis School hotel in 2004. The 60-room boutique hotel also includes a 5-bedroom cottage. Several hotel buildings were added to the historic McMenamins Old St. Francis School hotel in 2016, complete with a hidden Broom Closet bar and secret rooms.

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McMenamins Old St. Francis School House king room

With classrooms turned into hotel rooms, each Old St. Francis School room is unique. Our king room, the Klondike Kate room #15, was wood paneled with a table, comfortable chair, several benches, dresser with flat-screen television and armoire. The walk-in shower, with white subway tiles, included a waterfall shower head. McMenamins mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner were in the bathroom, as well as lotion. A hairdryer was in the armoire and white cotton robes were waiting on the bench in our room. I do recommend bringing slippers, especially if you plan on using the Turkish soaking pool.

Our king hotel room, situated in the main building, rented for $200 during our stay. Hotel rates range from $150 – $400 depending on the time of year. The Parish House Cottage sleeps 6-10 people and rents from $350 – $700 nightly. Ideal for families or couples, the 2-story cottage offers 5 bedrooms.

King bed with headboard and nightstands at McMenamins Old St. Francis School.
Old St. Francis School Pub

Does McMenamins Old St. Francis School have a restaurant and bar?

Not only does McMenamins Old St. Francis School hotel have a restaurant and bar, they have several libation stations. We had a wonderful dinner at Old St. Francis Pub, good breakfast, as well. They have a wide-ranging cocktail list, in addition to wine, cider, kombucha and beer on tap.

Play shuffle board at Fireside Bar at McMenamins Old St. Francis School hotel in Bend, Oregon.
Play Shuffleboard at Fireside Bar in Bend, Oregon

Fireside Bar serves food and wine, along side fun and games, until midnight. We enjoyed a round of shuffleboard at Fireside Bar with drinks and a bite of pub fare. Note that you must be 21 and older to enjoy this cozy pub.

Pub food, beer and cocktails are served at Fireside Bar while people wait for their drinks at McMenamins Old St. Francis School hotel in Bend, Oregon.
Pub food, beer and cocktails are served in cozy wood booths at Fireside Bar

Is McMenamins Old St. Francis School pet-friendly?

This historic hotel is pet-friendly. There is a $20 nightly pet fee per dog. If you like dining with your doggy, or you want to consume alcohol while you are dining with your children, there are several outdoor options. Outside Old St. Francis Pub is a pet and kid-friendly patio with a crackling firepit.

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Another outdoor drinking and dining choice is O’Kanes, a cigar and whiskey bar. If you enjoy the smell of cigars, you’ll want to step inside the former garage of the school house. As is typical of McMenamins, the interior of O’Kanes is an eclectic mix of church doors, stained glass windows and antiques such as the 1896 Round Oak stove.

O'Kanes cigar and whiskey bar has an antique wood-burning stove and large selection of beer and cocktails at McMenamins Old St. Francis School.
O’Kanes cigar and whiskey bar is filled with antiques and stained glass windows

If, like me, you are not fond of cigar smoke, pull up a chair by the outdoor fire pit, one of several that are stoked year-round.

Does McMenamins Old St. Francis School hotel have a pool?

Some Old St. Francis School reviews list this historic hotel as having a swimming pool. These are hotel reviews written by people who have not actually stayed at the hotel. If they had, they would know that McMenamins Old St. Francis includes a unique saltwater soaking pool. More like a Turkish bath, the handcrafted tilework, fountains and stained glass, gives hotel guests the feeling they are in a foreign land.

We happened to be staying at the hotel in early May where we were met with sunshine and snowflakes. Best part of my stay was soaking in the year-round pool as snow drifted down from the open window above.

Does the historic hotel have secret rooms?

One of the delights of staying overnight at McMenamins Old St. Francis School hotel are the secret rooms. Located in the Art House, the hidden Broom Closet bar is Harry Potter crossed with the Freak Mountain Ramblers. You’ll have to find it for yourself to see what I mean. Don’t forget to bring your McMenamins Passport along for the ride, as you’ll be rewarded with a stamp in your passport for being an adventurous explorer.

Old St. Francis School theater with cozy couches, dinner and drink service inside the McMenamins historic hotel in Bend, Oregon.
Popcorn, dinner and drinks are served at McMenamins Old St. Francis School Theater

Is there a movie theater at Old St. Francis School?

There is yet another bar inside McMenamins Old St. Francis School hotel. It’s called the Old St. Francis School Theater Bar and it serves up pizza, popcorn, ales wines and spirits. Amazingly enough, this Bend movie theater offers first-run movies. Offering better prices than a chain theater, you get to sit on cozy couches while the McMenamins staff brings you food and drink. Does life get better than that? I think not.

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You may purchase movie tickets in advance online, or at the Old St. Francis School House Theater.

What is there to see and do in Bend, Oregon?

While this McMenamins hotel doesn’t have a Bend golf course, there are plenty of things to see and do in Bend, Oregon. Many activities are within walking distance of the hotel, including the Old Mill District and the 13 acre Drake Park. The Bend Farmers Market takes place starting in May, rain or shine, at Brooks Alley.

Brick exterior of McMenamins Pub & Brewery in McMenamins Old St. Francis School, a historic hotel in Bend, Oregon.
Entrance to McMenamins Pub and Brewery in downtown Bend, Oregon

McMenamins Old St. Francis School (541) 382-5174

700 NW Bond Street, Bend, Oregon 97703

McMenamins Old St. Francis School hotel review, You Tube video and all photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. I received a media rate for review purposes; however all opinions are my own.