Sometimes you have to decide whether to stay in a great hotel but away from where everything is happening versus a hotel that is close to everything but not much to write home about.
With the gay-friendly Washington School House Hotel in Park City, Utah, you can have it both ways. It is in a perfect location, a block from Main Street and the hotel is first rate from the bedding to the furnishings to the beautiful (and heated) outdoor pool.
Like the name implies, the hotel was once a school house. A very old school house. It was built in 1889 and is designated historical landmark. (There are a lot of those in Park City.)
The building hasn’t been a school since 1936. It has gone through a couple of incarnations since then. But the hotel's latest face lift was a total transformation. New owners took the hotel down to the studs and built it into a luxury 12-room boutique hotel that opened in December 2011.
The room sizes range from standard sized rooms to two-bedroom suites.
The hotel’s three main social areas are a spacious lobby where the staff serves a complementary breakfast, a downstairs lounge, a spa and a pool that is kept very warm in the winter so you can comfortably swim in the snow. In the late afternoon and early evening, the hotel hosts a complementary cocktail hour with appetizer-type food and sweets.
On the downside, it's sometimes tough to get a room there during the busy ski season, and you will pay upwards of $750 per night. But visit the hotel's Web site for special package deals. and if you can travel during the slower spring and fall months, you will see more availability all over Park City and lower prices.
The San Francisco Gay Travel Examiner is delighted to give the Washington School House Hotel its highest five star review.