14:49 PM

Head Back to School With an Overnight Stay in a Former School

With a new academic year on the horizon, we are here to remind travelers that spending some extra time at school can actually translate into an inspiring, often luxurious travel experience. With 41%* of global travelers planning to pick a destination for their next trip based on the unique accommodation options available, we have delved our over 28 million listings across more than 155,000 destinations around the world to present six stunning stays in former schools that have found a new life, away from all the exams and lectures. From a magnificent 15th-century English country estate to a stunning Renaissance villa, there’s no need to sharpen any pencils or complete any homework before walking through the doors of  these fabulous former schools.

McMenamins Kennedy School, Portland, Oregon

Located in Northeast Portland, 3 miles  (5 km) from Oregon Convention Center, the historic McMenamins Kennedy School opened its doors to students in 1915 and served as a public elementary school until 1975. Today, the building is now a unique hotel with some rooms featuring original classroom details like chalkboards and cloakrooms. Guests can watch a movie in the old auditorium, sleep in the classroom or enjoy a glass of whiskey in the former-detention area. Beyond the hotel, travelers can spend the day on the beautiful city of Portland and enjoy a great variety of activities like a Portland Bike and Food Cart Tour where they can get another kind of education while discovering the city’s culinary history and listening to interesting stories about the city's food cart scene or a Self-guided Weird and Wonderful Portland Tour to explore the weird and wonderful Portland at their own pace.

Miss Clara by Nobis, Stockholm, a Member of Design Hotels, Stockholm, Sweden 

Set just a short walk from Drottninggatan shopping street in central Stockholm, this Travel Sustainable property is a former all-girls school. The 1910 Art Deco building was turned into a luxury hotel in 2013. Featuring Art Nouveau-inspired furnishings and limestone bathrooms, this building was designed by the Swedish architects Hagström & Ekman and completed in 1910. Today the former famous educational institution offers an urban feeling that’s combined with timeless elegance. This hotel is also the perfect base to explore some of the main attractions in Stockholm including the Old Town. Travelers who are looking for the perfect shot should not miss the Highlights of Stockholm Photography Tour, a photography session in scenic Stockholm led by a photographer guide who will provide tips on how to properly set the camera to take amazing photos.

Schoolhouse Hotel, Dublin, Ireland

Located in Ballsbridge beside a peaceful canal and a short walk from the center of Dublin,  Schoolhouse Hotel was an actual school between 1859 and 1969. In 1997, the building was transformed into a unique boutique hotel with a beautiful outdoor garden and a relaxed gastro bar. With the heart of Dublin just steps away, guests can book a self-guided audio tour of Dublin and get to explore the highlights of the city at their own pace. For those who love scavenger hunts, The Exploration Game to Visit Dublin Landmarks is a self-guided tour combining a scavenger hunt with an outdoor escape game, providing a fun lesson in interesting facts and lesser-known stories of the city's most iconic landmarks by solving puzzles and locating clues along the way. 

Il Salviatino, Tuscany, Italy

Nestled in the rolling Tuscan hills, less than 2 miles  (3 km) from Fiesole, this luxury hotel offers panoramic views of Florence's historic center. The completely converted Renaissance villa from the 15th century was Stanford University’s headquarters in Italy during the 1970’s and ’80s with classrooms, offices, library, dining facilities, and students' rooms. With the center of Florence just a short drive away from the property, guests can book a Sightseeing City Walking Tour to discover Florence's top sights and some hidden gems or reserve a ticket to visit one of the city’s many museums to brush up on their history lessons. 

Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham, UK

Set in the Cotswolds, Ellenborough Park is a magnificent 15th-century English country estate with a luxury spa and fine dining. Offering a mix of architecture and colorful history, the beautiful estate was once home to the Oriel Private School for Girls for 25 years starting in 1947. Featuring an Indian-themed spa with mood showers, this former school stay is perfect for those looking for a relaxing escape to indulge both mind and body, so guests will be delighted that school is back in session.

Feung Nakorn Balcony Rooms and Cafe, Bangkok, Thailand

Situated in a peaceful heritage district on Fuang Nakhon Road, one of Thailand’s first roads,  Feung Nakorn offers vintage-style accommodation in a refurbished former elementary school. Retaining much of its classic structure and design, this beautiful hotel serves local delicacies at its open-air restaurant, set within a landscaped garden. Thanks to its location in the middle of the Old Bangkok neighborhood, the property is an ideal base to explore some of the city’s best attractions. For those travelers whose favorite subject in school was history, don’t miss the Self-guided Audio Tour of The Grand Palace, where stories will be told about the temple’s past, the Emerald Buddha statue and legendary battles between kings.


*Research commissioned by and independently conducted among a sample of 48,413 respondents across 31 markets (2,000 from USA, 1,864 from Canada, 1,999 from Mexico, 2,003 from Colombia, 2,005 from Brazil, 2,002 from Argentina, 1,020 from Chile, 1,777 from Australia, 818 from New Zealand, 1,999 from Spain, 2,002 from Italy, 1,998 from France, 1,990 from UK, 2,005 from Germany, 2,003 from Netherlands, 985 from Denmark, 999 from Sweden, 910 from Croatia, 918 from Switzerland, 1,986 from Belgium, 998 from Russia, 953 from Israel, 1,999 from India, 1,990 from China, 901 from Hong Kong, 1,775 from Thailand, 1,001 from Singapore, 975 from Taiwan, 1,800 from Vietnam, 1,757 from South Korea, 1,001 from Japan). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and planning to travel in 2022 and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in January 2022.