Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

JUL-AUG 2017

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34 But above all, guests of the Washington School House come to be a part of history. Built in 1889, the property was a schoolhouse for miners' children until 1931, when it shuttered after the Great Depression laid waste to Summit County's labor jobs prospecting silver and lead ore. After a stint as a VFW hall, followed by decades of abandonment, the building was turned into a bed and breakfast during the late 1980s that served its patrons well for 26 years (wood panelling, floral drapes et al). But the Washington School House's most stylish incarnation was completed in 2011 by its current owners who enlisted Paul Allen Design for the four-story overhaul. e schoolhouse's solid bones were left intact, including its limestone facade and original bell tower, but the rest was a total gut job to make way for 16-foot-high ceilings, reclaimed barn- wood floors, Carrara marble-topped built-ins, a subterranean ski lounge, a heated pool, and rooms and suites that boast a balanced mix of Gustavian antiques, fine art and modern alpine touches like antler chandeliers dipped in glossy white lacquer. For the San Diego-based design firm's first foray into hotel design, they knocked it out of the park (pun intended), partly because they approached it like a residential project. e result? A cool and clean redesign that respects the building's historical integrity, garnering the hotel nods from Architectural Digest and Elle Decor. My king room faces west overlooking the 20-foot plunge pool that's terraced into the hillside, dappled with blue spruce and aspen trees and bearing as its crown jewel a torch from the 2002 Winter Olympics that has been fashioned into a fire pit. e window well, where I choose to enjoy my morning French press coffee (brought in from beloved local beanery Pink Elephant), is appointed with two Victorian-style armchairs and farmhouse sconces. The stately wrought iron bed's mattress boasts both a pillow top and a feather bed, all ensconced in Pratesi linens for maximum comfort. As for the en suite bath, it's a study in white porcelain and marble, the only pop of color being a mix of Molton Brown bath goods that fill the air with bergamot and orange while I wrestle into my ski gear. True, it's about a three-minute downhill walk to the Town Lift that whisks skiers and snowboarders to the base of Park City Mountain. But chauffeur privileges are part of the package at the Washington School House, an extension of the hotel's Ski Valet services. You can literally pick your starting point from two base villages and they'll shuttle you there in moments in a white SUV with lift ticket in tow so you can skip the lines, click in and go. Since Vail Resorts bought and combined Park City Mountain and Canyons Resort into a mega-resort in 2015, the mountain has been running like a well-oiled machine courtesy of a $50 million renovation and operating budget that has been put toward the addition of the Quicksilver Gondola (linking Park City Mountain to Canyons), the widening of multiple trails, the revamping of Miners Camp (a massive new mid-mountain bar and restaurant for brews and bites between runs) and more. Talk to anyone who skis Park City regularly and they'll tell you that the flow and connectivity from ridge to ridge has been significantly improved. After an afternoon of off-trail powder skiing spanning 5,000-plus acres, I can vouch that the diversity of terrain is divine. e heated Orange Bubble lift at Park City Mountain Resort

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