McMenamins Anderson School (Bothell, WA)

Posted on May 10, 2016

When we first wrote about the McMenamin brothers and their historic hotels throughout Oregon & Washington State, we were hopeful that the rumours of them opening a hotel in Bothell, Washington were true. If you’ve never heard of Bothell, it’s a 20 minute drive north of downtown Seattle, and also happens to sit right next door to Woodinville, home to many of Washington’s best winery tasting rooms. As a result of the growing demand for Washington wine, there is also a great need in the area for decent accommodation to support its burgeoning popularity.

In October 2015, the doors finally opened at McMenamins Anderson School, the former Bothell Junior High School built in 1931. As is typical with their properties, the school features an art-deco style and all free-standing buildings either house accommodations or a pub.

McMenaminsThe Tavern on the Square is the former school cafeteria but with local celebrity Chef Mike Davis behind the menu, you won’t find the mystery meat of your high school days but rather northwest inspired farm to table dishes featuring plenty of seafood and fresh ingredients.

McMenaminsAnd what would a high school be without a Woodshop? At Anderson School the site is now home to the same name but features a pub and games room. An extensive selection of ales on tap combined with big screen televisions, pinball machines, shuffle board and pool tables makes this room the ultimate man cave!

McMenaminsThe Shed pub? Well, that was the groundskeeper shed. With an indoor and outdoor fireplace, it provides a perfectly intimate place to enjoy one of their specialty whiskeys and cocktails.

If you start to twitch at the thought of being sent to the Principal’s Office, here in the world of McMenamins it’s…you guessed it…a pub. Similar to other properties, Anderson School also features a small theater with multiple showings daily of the latest movies.

McMenaminsOf course, it also comes with a bar so you can order up a pre-show drink and put your order in for a burger or popcorn, all of which will be delivered to your seat so no need to worry about missing the start of the movie.

McMenaminsNot even the gym is exempt from being transformed into a bar and in this building you’ll find the local favourite North Shore Lagoon, a South Seas Tiki bar complete with full-sized pool.

If you plan to stay the night, the rooms themselves include king or queen beds, private bathrooms and free Wi-Fi. And, consistent with other McMenamin hotels, they are named after people connected to the property, thus paying homage to their particular history. How about a stay in Room 117 aka “James P. Egawa”? You’ll learn that he taught art and photography at the school in the early 1960’s then dedicated his life to reforming Indian education being the son of a Lummi Indian mother and Japanese father. Or, maybe you’ll be inspired to stay in Room 214, a tribute to “Patty Johns Murray”, daughter of a local merchant who in 1993 became the first female U.S. Senator from Washington State.

McMenaminsWhile we didn’t get the chance to stay overnight this time around, we’ll definitely be back to stay and ‘meet’ one of the rooms. But from our experience staying at several other properties, we can tell you that McMenamins always provides a unique and fun experience filled with great gathering spaces, live music, delicious food and great brews. Who knew going back to school could be so much fun?


    • You have to go Lori! The Edgefield property just outside of Portland is our favourite. Such a great concept!

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