Washington School House Hotel

543 Park Ave, Park City, UT 84060, USA

Located just off Main Street, the Washington School House Hotel eschews Park City’s typical rustic style for a pared-down, flea-market–chic aesthetic. Before being reimagined as a design-oriented inn in 2011, the 1889 building served as a schoolhouse for miners’ children and a dancehall for the local outpost of Veterans of Foreign Wars. Today, the interior is anything but traditional, from the whitewashed living room with 16-foot ceilings to the antique mirror and the white, lacquered antler chandelier. Outside, a heated pool sits on the hillside surrounded by aspens and boulders. There’s also a fire pit, fashioned from a steel Olympic torch from the 2002 Winter Games.

Each of the guestrooms and suites is unique, though all feature reclaimed wood floors, crystal chandeliers, and tall windows. An artful collection of European antiques and vintage paintings adds a bohemian vibe, while white marble bathrooms offer heated floors, walk-in showers, clawfoot tubs, and period fixtures. Guests can also look forward to plush hooded robes and top-notch toiletries from Molton Brown.

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Park City Summers & The Washington School House Hotel

For many, Park City, Utah is known either for skiing and winter sports, or the bustle of the Sundance Film Festival. For vacationers, cyclist, shoppers, hikers and families, it is a popular summer getaway. The crisp mountain air, scenic views, upscale shopping, weekend festivals and moderate climate attract thousands. At night, they take their time on hilly Main Street, amid the beauty of it all. Storefronts maintain their vintage mining town facades, but Park City is very now. A great stay from which to experience this all, is Washington School House hotel. An intimate former grade school facility with loft suites, attentive desk staff, and meals worthy of the finest B & B, Washington School House is private comfort, awash in white walls and accents, an interior dreamscape. It’s the only thing white about a Park City or Deer Valley summer vacation. Breakfast here is as special as any in the U.S.- a quiet affair of healthy grain oatmeal or perfect pancakes, enjoyed with a national morning paper, served to order. Dinner options include newer establishments on Main, such as tupelo (order the ranch lamp chops with cherry BBQ, creamed corn & farm greens, side of buttermilk biscuits, but save space for Maine Blueberry Pot Pie), the hipster rustic decor of Handle. Riverhorse is also excellent, and at Firewood, Chef John Murcko, famed from previous establishments, prepares fine fare via a variety of wood smokes. Wild salmon, Kobe ribeye or smoked pork chop, for example. Downstairs, Nickel Bar is an ode to the mining heritage, including vintage photography, 19th century tools, and its glass topped bar covered with nickels. The lunch crowd will grab a brew and burger at High West Distillery & Saloon, or if biking, hiking, or taking a scenic chairlift ride nearby at Deer Valley Resort, at Royal Street Cafe at the top of the mountain. Later sample some wine at Old Town Cellars in Park City, or gourmet chocolate sourced from fair trade growers at Ritual Chocolate on Iron Horse Drive. Back in your suite at The School House, bask in a treatment by a therapist from Aura Spa- ask for Erica McGuire. Now you’re refreshed for night life on Main- live music, a play at Egyptian Theatre, cocktails & conversation at OP Rockwell. You’ll stroll the main drag each night, the sky a canopy of stars. There are galleries, boutiques and sports shops for every taste. Park City, Consult the desk staff at Washington School for further ideas. Utah has as much fun and sun as anywhere, from dawn, through the wee small hours of this magical mountain village.

One Luxe Night in Park City

One of the biggest misconceptions of being a budget traveler is that you have to lower your expectations when it comes to flights and hotels. Sure, that’s true to some degree but over the years, I’ve begun “hacking” the system and you should too. On my recent trip to Utah, I used Skyscanner to find my flights, which by the way were super affordable considering the last-minute booking. Skyscanner is also a great resource for locking down chic hotels for less, no matter how over-the-top or down-key your preferences. Even though I was prepping for a rugged road trip through south Utah, I had one night in Park City and was determined to make the most of it. Enter: Washington School House boutique hotel. This humble but high-fashion hotel made me want to curl up into my covers and ignore my 6am wake-up call. As its name suggests, this building was once a schoolhouse, thus making it an iconic historic landmark in the heart of Park City. Besides an outdoor pool/spa area, each room is stocked with Molton Brown toiletries. Each room and suite has a similar decor theme, like glistening chandeliers, plush furnishings and high ceilings. That said, they are all unique in minor details. I stayed in their “16ft Ceiling King Room,” and despite not always a fan of ground level rooms, it was love at first sight for me. As easy as it is to stay inside, sipping champagne at Washington Schoolhouse, make sure you explore Park City before leaving. Boutiques, restaurants, bars and cafes line the streets, making it easy to explore the town without a car. Come dinner time, there’s no better spot for local grub than High West Distillery & Saloon, serving classic comfort foods with a twist.

Washington School House

Located a block off Park City’s main strip, Washington School House was built as a school in 1889 and reopened as a hotel in 2011 with 12 rooms and suites. Guests gravitate toward the main living room and the din- ing room, where they enjoy one of the best breakfasts in town (buttermilk pancakes and a seasonal market scramble) in front of a giant wood-burning fireplace and beneath a chandelier made of antlers and crystals. During the winter, Washington School House staff can arrange snowshoe hikes to Homestead Crater, where the water remains 90 degrees year-round. Once there, travelers can either soak or try stand-up paddleboarding.

This School House Rocks

Last year, a school building that dates to 1889 reopened as the Washington School House, an intimate 12-room hotel just steps from the town’s main ski lift. Chalkboards and desks have been replaced with antiques, including a 10- foot mirror from a French opera house.

Park City's Most Hospitable B&B

There are many reasons to say at Washington School House. For starters, the setting, in an 1880s school house that you can ski home to is pretty hard to beat. Then there is the breakfast, which is served in a dining room warmed by a roaring fire and lite by the glow of an enormous crystal-decorated chandelier. If you like to ski through the day without stopping this is the breakfast to fuel you to last chair. In addition to menu items like steel-cut oatmeal and eggs any-style, there are also daily specials that might include tropical pancakes topped with bananas, strawberries, and coconut or the market scramble with avocado, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, and Swiss cheese. The staff though are what really make a stay here special. You feel like a kid again when they bring you over a fresh-from the oven honey-bran muffin insisting you need the energy if you’re going to be out in the cold all day.

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