Back to School at a School House Hotel

With August and September the months of back to school, here’s a revisit of three former schools, now hotels where we’ve stayed.

School buildings close for a variety of reasons. In Regent, North Dakota, the town has lost 40% of its population since 1990. The high school closed as Regent consolidated its school district with the town of Mott.

Regent, ND: Where a school becomes a castle hotel.

Gary Geff, the artist and creator of the Enchanted Highway, a series of scrap metal sculptures along a 32-mile stretch of a state road west of Bismark recognized opportunity. He turned the former high school into a 19 room hotel with a medieval themed ambiance. The Enchanted Castle includes the original gym, a fitness room, and classrooms that have been turned into spacious guest rooms.

The Standard Suites and the Honeymoon Suite have in-room hot tubs. A microwave and a small refrigerator are in every room.

The Excalibur Steakhouse and the Tavern serve up American style fare. A continental breakfast is included in the room rates that range from $99 to $135 plus tax.

The trip down the Enchanted Highway to see “Teddy Rides Again”, “The Tin Family” and “Fisherman’s Dream,” three of the scrap metal sculptures is well worth it. The Enchanted Castle ensures there is an unusual place to stay.

In 1889, the Washington Schoolhouse opened in Park City, Utah.

Washington Schoolhouse

These days, this former school, a beauty of a building has twelve rooms/suites with luxury as an element. A blend of fine arts, antiques, custom furniture and modern chic makes this boutique hotel an aesthetically pleasing gem.

Splashes of vibrant, bold colors of abstract paintings are a perfect pairing with the color palate mix of white and linen of the walls and bedding. Also pleasing are the original floorboards and the window frames.

Close to the city ski lift and to the High West Distillery that is housed in a former livery stable and garage, the Washington School House is perfect for an anytime of year stay. The heated pool and hot tub are rest and relaxation producers.

Washington School House room rates currently range from $486.64 to $1,697. Room rates include a made-to-order breakfast.

In British Columbia, just minutes from the Canadian Rockies International Airport near Cranbook, St. Eugene Resort is a hotel, casino and golf course operated by three First Nation communities. From 1912 to 1970, this Spanish Colonial style building was a residential school for First Nation children.

Throughout the 125 guest room hotel and property there are displays about the history of the school and First Nation culture.

At the St. Eugene Resort’s Silver Water Spa, guests can enjoy a variety of facials, body wraps and massages. The resort’s hot tub, outdoor heated pool, sauna and steam room are also part of the rest and relaxation menu.

Dining options include Numa, a new restaurant with dishes inspired by indigenous cuisine and The 19th Hole,  a bar and grille featuring burgers, appetizers and cold pints of Fernie Brewing Co. beer.

This is a pet-friendly establishment. Pets can stay for a $25 per night fee.

Room rates at St. Eugene’s Resort currently start at $139 CND per person per night, but check out the package deals from romance to casino. These toss in extra amenities for a perfect time away.

You can search for cheaper rates for any of these hotels through the booking search engine on Trip Advisor.

Post courtesy of Jamie Rhein. Photos by Jamie Rhein, Tim Leffel, Carolyn B Heller and courtesy of the hotels.

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