Washington School House

courtesy of WSH

Washington School House

One of the countries last remaining school houses built in 1889, and located in Park City, Utah, has graduated into the unexpected: a luxury boutique hotel.  The Washington School House hotel is a pint-sized structure, that has achieved such status after almost going up in flames in Park City’s Great Fire of 1898, and then being sold in 1936 to Veterans of Foreign Wars because enrollment declined.  Soon after it was used for dances and social events until the 1950s.  But it was not until December of 2011 that the Washington School House turned into the striking hotel it is today.

Paul Allen Design and architect Trip Bennett have given the structure a new life aside Utah’s alluring spruce and aspen trees.  Named for George Washington, the boutique hotel exudes chicness with its original quarried limestone exterior, and the well appointed twelve rooms/suites.  Enter into the historic living space with 16ft ceilings and a roaring fire, surrounded by original antiques and art.  The 10-foot tall antique mirror came from an opera house in the south of France, and is starkly juxtapose a one-of-a-kind white antler chandelier covered in crystal.  The guest rooms also feature a curated collection of art and antiques, and they boast original reclaimed oak barn wood repurposed as flooring.  The bathrooms are exquisit with ice-white marble heated flooring and walk-in showers.  But none of the rooms quite live up to the incredible Penthouse Suite with a 270-degree view of the town of Park City, and a backdrop of the Uinta Mountains.  This suite comes with its own elevator entrance, kitchen, full living-room with an antique fireplace, private den, and king size bed.

However, the National Historic Registry landmark has maintained its historic integrity well-beyond beautiful accommodations.  The service is as carefully crafted as the decor.  The hotel concierge gladly recommended local restaurants and activities suited for the summer season.  In the winter the ski lift is just a few yards from your front door, and after a long day of testing your endurance relax in the heated outdoor pool.  The staff was a delight to be weighted by, and even served up an iPad when I felt like watching a movie outdoors.  It was effortless to relax in the wonderfully private, and beautifully adorned, Washington School House hotel.


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