WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WEST VIRGINIA – The start of summer brings a new opportunity for travelers to experience the beauty of the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. It’s the opening of The Schoolhouse Hotel, a new boutique address arrayed within a refashioned historic schoolhouse in downtown White Sulphur Springs. Conceived to showcase the best of local lodging and hospitality traditions in an admirably inclusive atmosphere, The Schoolhouse Hotel is the city’s first full-service boutique hotel, the world’s first all-ADA compliant hotel, and a welcoming setting for travelers to relax, unwind, and dine on leisure or business.
“The Schoolhouse Hotel is a celebration of contemporary hospitality in a unique space that has been thoughtfully designed and considered to meet the needs of every traveler,” said Charlie Hammerman, President and CEO of the Disability Opportunity Fund, a non-profit dedicated to serving the disability market that purchased the school building in 2019 and began its conversion in 2020. “With roots that go back more than a century, our goal is to embrace the charm of White Sulphur Springs and to bring the city and the mountainous region around it alive for all guests.”
Accessible Hospitality for All
Within the historic White Sulphur District High School – home of the “Green Devils,” and one of the first high schools to open in Greenbrier County in 1912 – The Schoolhouse Hotel invites travelers to the heart of White Sulphur Springs. Key to the hotel experience are the great strides that were taken by ownership to implement ADA-compliant features and ensure accessibility for all guests and visitors. These range from synthetic grass for guide animals in the hotel’s entry to horn and strobe devices for fire alarms, touchpad-control toilets in all bathrooms to wheelchair and scooter storage space in the lobby, restaurants, and ballroom.
The Schoolhouse Hotel offers accommodations in 30 guest rooms including two suites. The former are available in nine configurations ranging from Standard Double and Standard King (200 sq. ft.) to Deluxe King and Deluxe Junior Suite (400+ sq. ft.), the last styled for four guests with a separate living area with sofa bed. The spacious Queen Queen Suite (800 sq. ft.) is a roomy, family-friendly setting with two queens, sofa bed, and sitting area. Next door, the King Suite (700 sq. ft.) is similarly furnished; both suites can be booked together and adjoined to host family and friends up to 10 people comfortably.
All rooms pay homage to the building’s former life as a schoolhouse and are decorated in a range of earth tones, mauves, blues and accent plaids, with plush bedding, comfortable furniture and large multi-pane windows with city and mountain views. Each room is themed to a different school subject like art, history, literature, math, and woodshop. Interactive high-definition televisions and Google Nests are wired for communication with the Front Desk. Spacious bathrooms are stylishly designed with modern features, and sink, shower, tub, and toilet and equipped for accessibility.
Southern Classics and Rooftop Ambiance
The Schoolhouse Hotel’s signature dining experience is The Varsity Club. With seating for 118, the restaurant serves an upscale menu of southern culinary classics conceived by Executive Chef Adeyemi Allen, whose experience includes four years as Lead Chef of The Greenbrier. Highlights fashioned from fresh seasonal, local, and regional ingredients include Crab cakes with lobster corn chowder, Bourbon-glaze pork chops, and everyone’s favorite Shrimp and grits. The restaurant’s full bar is a destination all its own, with expansive views and comfortable seating. Creative cocktails concocted by Josh Coleman include the signature Red Rover Martini made with apple-infused vodka. There is also a selection of local brews on tap and an exciting wine list featuring labels from California to Italy.
Chef Allen and his team which includes his son and Sous Chef Corte Allen also crafted the small plates menu of The Rooftop, a hip, hooky-worthy dining spot and the only rooftop setting of its kind in White Sulphur Springs with incredible 360 degree views. Spanning 1,700 sq. ft., The Rooftop invites guests and locals with comfortable outdoor sofas, and tables and chairs shaded by expansive umbrellas and surrounded by plantings and beautiful mountain views. Among picks on the menu are White fish crudo, Charcuterie board, Oysters on the half shell, Pizza and wings,as well as handcrafted cocktails including the Butterfly Pea & Lavender Lemonade and a great selection of wine and local beer. It’s a spectacular spot for grabbing a bite with friends, a round of drinks after work, or just to chill out in sunshine or the clear starry sky and watch the seasons change on the mountains beyond.
Meetings and Matrimony
The Schoolhouse Hotel is a unique and memorable setting for group clientele with event space in the ballroom for weddings, small business meetings, company retreats, and social gatherings of all types. The Schoolhouse Ballroom(4,500 sq. ft.) occupies the high school’s former gym, now elegantly restyled with a modern look, refurbished original gym floor, four gold chandeliers, stage lighting, and six projectors for 360-degree viewing, and space for 300 guests. Cutting-edge presentation and communication technologies and planning by professional event staff are part of the package to ensure every occasion is a success.
The Schoolhouse Hotel is especially welcoming for weddings, with nuptial packages with all the trimmings for dining receptions, cocktail parties, and ceremonies themselves. Along with the Varsity Club, The Rooftop, and Schoolhouse Ballroom, the hotel’s Front Lawn is a premier spot for tying knots with the iconic school façade as a unique backdrop. Across the street is the Emmanuel Methodist Church, established in 1871, and is an intimate setting for nuptials, with space for 85 attendees, an entrance framed with tall white columns, a rooftop spire, and proximity just steps from the hotel.
Location, Location, Location
A small city in Greenbrier County in the southeastern region of West Virginia, White Sulphur Springs counts some 3,000 residents as well as two nicknames: “Spa City” and “Home of the Greenbrier Resort”. Downtown is dotted with restaurants, shops, and markets, and the city is close to a number of impressive sites and scenes. New River Gorge, America’s newest National Park and Preserve, is a fun day trip with 70,000 acres along the New River, cultural and natural history programming, and adventure activities including rock climbing and whitewater rafting. Over 60 hiking trails crisscross the park, including the short-but-strenuous Bridge Trail with views of the New River Gorge Bridge, once the longest single-span arch bridge in the world.
Also not far from White Sulphur Springs is the ADA compliant Greenbrier River Trail, the “longest trail of its kind” in the state, passing small towns and crossing 35 bridges; Lost World Caverns, a National Natural Landmark busy with stunning stalagmites, flowstone, curtains, rimstone, domepits, and waterfalls 120 feet underground; and Blue Bend Recreation Center for picnicking, camping, fishing, swimming, and outdoor fun from late March to late November.