School house hotels: The Big Six

From Doc Martin's school in Cornwall to the former Ateneum girls' school in Stockholm

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The Independent Travel

The Washington School House Park City, Utah

Built in 1889, this elegant limestone building sits in downtown Park City, home of the renowned Sundance Film Festival (22 January to 1 February). When it's not full of film professionals and A-listers, it welcomes guests to its dozen rooms – all soaring ceilings, chandeliers, antique French furniture and muted tones. Outside you'll find a heated pool and fire pit; inside there's a ski valet and ski lounge, an interesting boutique and private dining room complete with antler chandelier and crackling log fire.

543 Park Avenue, Park City, Utah, US (001 435 649 3800; washingtonschoolhouse.com). Doubles from $295 (£184), room only.

Hillside Schoolhouse, Catskills, New York

This boutique inn, 90 miles from New York City, was built in 1893 as a one-room school. It has been restored to combine historic charm with contemporary design: inside you will find original hardwood floors, slate chalkboards and 16-foot ceilings. The school's original cloakrooms have been turned into a kitchen and a bathroom. Furniture is a mix of the new, the salvaged and the antique.

259 Van Tuyl Road, Barryville, New York, US (001 845 557 8565; hillsideschoolhouse.com). Doubles from £160 ($250), room only.

The College Hotel, Amsterdam

This four-star Dutch hotel first opened as a secondary school back in 1895, making its current role as an on-the-job training ground for youngsters learning about the hospitality industry all the more fitting. It has 40 boutique rooms, all individually designed, and you can even stay the night in the old chemistry lab. There's also a terrace, plus a restaurant in what was once the school's gymnasium.

Roelof Hartstraat 1, Amsterdam, Netherlands (00 31 20 571 1511; thecollegehotel.com). Doubles from £152 (€189), B&B.

Kennedy School Portland, Oregon

This former elementary school is now owned by McMenamin, a chain of pubs and breweries, which means naughty guests can enjoy a tipple in the Dentention Bar, while A-grade visitors can listen to classical music in the Honors Bar. The bedrooms retain some original features, including chalkboards and cloakrooms. Movie fans can also watch a film in the school's former auditorium, which is now a fully-decked out cinema.

5736 NE 33rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon, US (001 503 249 3983; mcmenamins.com). Doubles from $124 (£155), room only.

Miss Clara Hotel, Stockholm

Originally the Ateneum girls' school, this stylishly simple hotel in the Swedish capital is named after its distinguished former headmistress, Clara Stromberg. The century-old Art Nouveau building has retained its high ceilings, big arched windows and original staircase, but guest rooms have been refitted in a neutral colour palette and with wooden furniture designed by some of Sweden's top crafts people.

Sveavagen 48, Stockholm, Sweden (00 46 8 440 67 00; missclarahotel.com). Doubles from £110 (SEK 1272), room only.

The Old School Hotel, Port Isaac, Cornwall

You might recognise this Cornish property as the school in ITV comedy-drama series Doc Martin. Situated in pretty Port Isaac, the building is Grade II-listed and was first converted from a school to a hotel in the 1980s. Each of the 13 rooms has been named after a subject on the school curriculum. Guests can ponder Religious Studies in a single room; spend double French in a double; or master Biology in a king size.

Fore Street, Port Isaac, Cornwall (01208 880721; theoldschoolhotel.co.uk). Doubles from £83, including breakfast.

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