Too Cool For School: Washington School House Hotel, Park City

It’s only been a few weeks since I was last in Park City, Utah for our annual family ski trip.  Last year, we stayed at the Montage, which was going through some growing pains in its first season (all fixed now, I’m happy to report). Now, there is no shortage of wonderful luxury hotels in the area for a family ski trip – especially with the Stein Eriksen, Montage, St. Regis and Waldorf-Astoria to choose from. Not to mention ski in/ski out condos full of all the amenities you could possibly need.

While skiing with the kids is an incredible experience, any mom can attest it is anything but relaxing. The morning ritual of getting kids out of bed, fed, dressed, and ski equipment organized (only for them to then tell you they have to go to the bathroom!) can leave you exhausted before you even get to the mountain.  It left me wondering if there was a way to experience a kinder skiing experience. A place to go with your husband, partner or friends and slow up the pace a little, have a lingering breakfast, spend a few hours skiing on the mountain, then dip into the hot tub to end the day with a nice quiet meal?  Not a whine to be heard…just for a few days? Are you with me?

I found the place.

A lovely 12-room boutique hotel located in the heart of Park City (on Park Avenue – how ironic!), The Washington School House Hotel is a gem housed in a historic landmark building. The original limestone building was built in 1889 as a school. After a painstaking renovation, the owners opened this chic but quaint hotel in December, 2011 with exquisite results.

Like what you ask? Reclaimed oak barn wood floors throughout. A chic ski lounge. Outdoor heated pool (luxurious hooded robes are provided in your room). Even an apothecary boutique! And custom furniture and antiques (including a 10-foot mirror from an opera house in France and a lacquered white antler chandelier in the public rooms) in rooms of crisp and muted tones.

All the rooms and suites come with their own white marble baths, Pratesi linens on down-feathered beds, flat screen TVs (WiFi is included of course). IPads and IPods can be provided on request.

You won’t want to leave. But if you do, there is a ski valet on hand to help you to the Park City lifts, which are only a few steps away.

Suites to Get: The Lofted King Suite with 16-foot ceilings or if you are having a discreet romance and want privacy opt for the Penthouse Suite with incredible views of the town, private elevator entrance and your own kitchen.

Check out the website for amusingly-named and worthwhile specials like “School Girls’ Antics” and “Manly Man Adventure”. Then spend some more time surfing through the site – the style and tone of this site makes it really fun and enjoyable to read.

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