10 Cool Converted Schoolhouse Hotels

Dara Continenza, September 03, 2014
Fares from Washington DC:

    We're sad to report that summer is over and classes are back in session. No longer in school? No problem. We found some amazing schoolhouses around the world that have been transformed into unique hotels, perfect for a back-to-school break. Pack your best Trapper Keeper and Lisa Frank pencils: Here are 10 cool converted schoolhouse hotels you won't mind reporting to.

    (Photo: Tripadvisor, LLC)

    Miss Clara Hotel, Stockholm, Sweden

    In the center of Stockholm, find the refined Miss Clara. The boutique hotel, which made its debut in April, is a former girls' boarding school named after its first headmistress, Clara Stromberg. Within its art nouveau exterior are airy rooms with decidedly Scandinavian design details: dark parquet floors, fluffy white duvets, and ruler-straight lines. The modern lobby even features an original 1910 staircase. But its best feature? Enormous windows that look out onto the bustling street—perfect for daydreaming without the threat of detention.

    (Photo: Hillside Schoolhouse)

    Hillside Schoolhouse, Catskills, New York

    At this classic one-room schoolhouse just 90 minutes outside of Manhattan, you'll hardly be roughing it. The 1893 property and its two bedrooms are chicly renovated with salvaged antiques, plush king beds, and C.O. Bigelow bath amenities. The main floor contains a shared dining room and kitchen and two original coatrooms—perfect places to stash your coat and backpack after a day spent hiking the hills or canoeing the Upper Delaware. Of course, guests seeking solitude can just curl up in a vintage chair and enjoy a good book in true Catskills seclusion.

    (Photo: Tripadvisor, LLC)

    Whitley Hall Hotel, Sheffield, England

    The rolling countryside of Yorkshire, England, gives way to the hamlet of Whitley, where visitors can find luxurious Whitley Hall. The Tudor manse was once a private residence where, local legend has it, Mary, Queen of Scots, spent the night in the 1580s. In the late 18th century, the property was converted into a boys' boarding school before ultimately becoming a hotel and restaurant. Now it has 32 cozy en suite bedrooms with four-poster beds (no creaky bunks or bathroom stalls here).

    (Photo: Tripadvisor, LLC)

    Washington School House Hotel, Park City, Utah

    This chic ski town has plenty of hotel options, but the Washington School House is certainly its most unique. Now an elegant boutique hotel, this limestone building was one of the three original schools in Park City. Now, it's one of the area's top stays according to TripAdvisor reviewers, who love the 12 luxurious rooms, ski valet, fireplace, and heated year-round pool. And just minutes away by foot are all of downtown Park City's pleasures: museums, galleries, spas, restaurants, nightclubs, and, of course, skiing.

    (Photo: Tripadvisor, LLC)

    Wanderlust Hotel, Singapore

    This fantastical, almost dreamlike boutique hotel in Singapore embraces the weird. In the city's Little India neighborhood, the Wanderlust Hotel's rooms are a hodgepodge of styles, with candy-colored lighting, lofted bunk beds, and outré designer wallpapers. In one guest room, a giant typewriter doubles as a couch, while one floor features rooms rendered in different Pantone colors. (It's hard to imagine that this cheeky boutique was once a boring school.) Now if only all of your art projects were this good.

    (Photo: Tripadvisor, LLC)

    School House Inn, Bisbee, Arizona

    Bisbee, Arizona, is what remains of the true Wild West, some 90 minutes southeast of Tucson. Today, the town is filled with well-restored Victorian homes, former saloons, and inactive copper mines—and the quaint School House Inn. Originally built as an elementary school, the rectangular brick building now houses guest rooms with academic themes: the Art Room with oil paintings, the History Room with a letter by Abraham Lincoln, and even a two-bedroom suite called the Principal's Office.

    (Photo: Tripadvisor, LLC)

    Schoolhouse Hotel, Dublin, Ireland

    You'd never know this quiet and quaint hotel in Dublin's leafy Ballsbridge area was once a schoolhouse. The building began its life as St. Stephens Parochial School in 1861 but is now the aptly named Schoolhouse Hotel. It's something of a hidden gem among Dublin's hustle and bustle. Rooms are peaceful, decorated in a warm palette of gold and red. When you're well rested and ready to join the rest of the class, enjoy a drink in the Schoolhouse Bar's airy interior or in one of its cozy reading nooks.

    (Photo: Tripadvisor, LLC)

    Schoolhouse Studio, Taos, New Mexico

    This vacation rental via Airbnb is rich in history and local lore. Originally part of the St. Theresa's Mission, the mid-19th-century schoolhouse still retains its spare Southwestern charms: exposed beams, adobe walls, and small windows that face the sacred Taos Pueblo land. Restored with modern amenities, it's now included on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can paint or write in the open-air courtyard, soak in the hot tub, or take a quick five-minute walk to downtown Taos.

    (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)

    The Conservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam, Netherlands

    This property in the heart of Amsterdam, located just between Vondelpark and the Van Gogh Museum, is bursting with history. The building was once a music conservatory—hence the name—before being converted into a sleek, modern hotel. Now, The Conservatorium Hotel's 129 stylish rooms are frequented as often as the award-winning on-site spa, the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre, where cutting-edge fitness equipment and yoga and Pilates lessons are the very antithesis of gym class.

    (Photo: Liz Devine)

    McMenamins' Kennedy School, Portland, Oregon

    Since its opening bell in 1915, the Kennedy School in Northeast Portland has been a neighborhood fixture. More than just a hotel, this quirky inn contains a movie theater and a brewery (two of our favorite extracurricular activities). Guest rooms retain hints of their former lives, with original chalkboards and cloakrooms, while rooms in the English Wing, opened in 2012, have literary themes and hand-painted headboard murals. For those who hated gym class, an on-site ceramic soaking pool will wash bad memories away.

    You Might Also Like:

     10 Hotels with the Best Views in the U.S.

     America's 10 Coolest Hotel Conversions

     10 Charming Inn-to-Inn Trips

    This article was originally published by SmarterTravel under the title 10 Cool Converted Schoolhouse Hotels.

    Follow Dara Continenza on Google+ or email her at editor@smartertravel.com.

    (Lead Photo: Hillside Schoolhouse)