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Check in at Washington School House hotel and you may rethink your plans to spend every waking hour on the slopes. Loaded with plush amenities, this Utah ski chalet is set in a historic 19th century school that’s been transformed with Park City-meets-Paris decor. The 12 rooms feature antique French furnishings, chandeliers dripping with crystal and icy-white marble bathrooms. There’s also an all-season outdoor heated pool, which is tempting whether you’ve enjoyed on-piste action or not.
Washington School House
543 Park Avenue Park City, Utah 84060United States
Compliments of the House
A fruit plate on arrival and daily breakfast; in winter, free ski shuttle, valet and aprés-ski service; in summer, a hiking guide and picnic basket
View Your Escape
At the Hotel
CHECK-OUT: 11am; check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, depending on availability.
Rates include breakfast, afternoon snacks and a 24-hour beverage service. Order tea, coffee, soda, juice, wine, beer or cocktails anytime.
Heated outdoor pool and spa, outdoor fire pit, onsite parking, free valet, laundry, packing and unpacking service, and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: a flatscreen TV, DVD player (on request), Tivoli clock/radio with iPod dock, air conditioning, Pratesi bed linens, hooded bathrobes, slippers and Molton Brown bath products.
Leave iPads and iPods at home. The School House has both (loaded with movies and music, respectively) for you to borrow. Anyway, you’ll need the extra space in your carry-on for ski goggles and mittens.
The heated outdoor pool, which cuts into the hillside below towering blue spruce and aspen trees, is open year-round. There’s also a hot tub to soothe weary muscles after a day spent snowshoeing in the winter or mountain biking in the summer. But what alpine aficionados might appreciate most is the nearby fire pit, which is actually a steel Olympic torch from the 2002 games in Park City.
No need to lace up your boots and trudge to a spa. Guests staying in one of the suites can book an in-room massage. With so much more than run-of-the-mill sundries, the on-site shop next to the ski lounge stocks exclusive goods, like silk scarves by New York designer Jonathan Cohen. Pick up a mini oil painting of Mr Washington himself, or grab an organic cotton tee with the hotel’s favourite saying: ‘Old School is the New Cool.’
Ever lived in Switzerland? Have you called the French Alps home? No bother. Staying in the School House’s apartment-style Lofted One-Bedroom Suite – with its first-floor seating area and upstairs boudoir – will give you a taste for residing near a posh piste, if only for a few days.
Lofted One Bedroom Suite bathroom
Food & Drink
Lounge and dining area
There’s no restaurant, but the School House serves up a hearty mountain breakfast in its living room each morning. Pancakes, omelettes, bacon, granola and more should provide ample fuel for the start of the day. As for lunch and dinner, there is a private chef for hire. Create a custom menu and incorporate fresh-from-the-market fare.
Reserved for guests only, there’s a lower-level ski lounge with a roaring fireplace, cosy couches, a TV and a regal portrait of America’s most famous founding father (plus the hotel’s namesake). Order up hot buttered rum, white Russians and Irish coffees to your liking. After all, cocktails are included in the hotel’s 24-hour beverage service.
Experience the Extraordinary
A one-time silver boomtown, Park City is no longer in the mining business but it still draws adventure-seeking crowds west for its rich natural beauty. Best known as a winter wonderland, Park City in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains is home to one the world’s premier ski retreats and the training centre for the US Ski Team. The town lift for Park City Mountain is just two blocks from the hotel, so grab your skis or snowboards and pound the powder on 50 groomed trails or travel off-piste for a heli-skiing excursion. Explore the snow-flocked surroundings on cross-country skis, snowshoes or in a dog-led or horse-drawn sleigh. Zip down the mountain at high speeds on a bobsled ride at Utah Olympic Park or glide through aspen glades on the Alpine Coaster, a two-person toboggan on an elevated track. In both summer and winter, embark on guided mountain tours to learn about the town’s silver-plated past, cast lines for fish in area rivers and streams and hike the limestone Homestead Crater for a soak in a natural hot spring. Once the snow has melted, swap skis for rock climbing gear, mountain bike area trails or paddle down a river in a kayak or raft over mild rapids. There are also several golf courses all with jaw-dropping mountain views.
Set in the centre of Park City, Washington School House is a charming stroll to restaurants, bar, boutiques, galleries on Main Street and two blocks from the town ski lift.
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) is a 45-minute drive from the hotel. There are direct flights from major US cities and connecting flights from international destinations. Private jets fly into Herber City Municipal Airport (36U) just a 25-minute drive from the hotel.
If planning to explore beyond town, having wheels to get around these wide open spaces is essential. There are several car-hire desks at the airport and valet is free at the hotel. Be sure to check the hotel’s website before plugging coordinates in the GPS: directions to the hotel differ slightly in summer and winter.
543 Park Avenue Park City, Utah 84060United States
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