This Beautiful City in West Virginia Now Has a Fully Accessible Boutique Hotel — With Vintage Décor and a Rooftop Bar 

The boutique property is located in White Sulphur Springs and features an elegant restaurant and the town’s only rooftop lounge.

Schoolhouse Hotel in West Virginia
Photo: Courtesy of The Schoolhouse Hotel

"It began with my uncle, Dr. Burton Blatt, a pioneering advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, who, 50 years ago, helped initiate community living programs and family support services," Charlie Hammerman, president and CEO of The Disability Opportunity Fund (DOF), told Travel + Leisure.

"Inspired by his example and my experiences as a parent of a child with a disability, I've continued the mission," added Hammerman, noting that the DOF team is determined to "push society to live beyond ADA compliance."

As a result, the town of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, is now home to the first fully accessible boutique hotel, The Schoolhouse Hotel, where every room and amenity is fully ADA-compliant. The property is located in a former high school building that DOF purchased in 2019 and converted into a boutique hotel that features 30 stylish rooms and suites, an upscale restaurant, and a rooftop bar, among other things.

Schoolhouse Hotel in West Virginia
Courtesy of The Schoolhouse Hotel

Inspired by the building's past, the property's décor incorporates vintage school memorabilia, and the name of each room — as well as its design — is based on a school subject, such as art or math.

"It's a fun feature for people being able to see the little ways that we're preserving the historic school building as a hotel," said Genny Freiman, project manager at DOF and chief operating officer of The Schoolhouse Hotel, who explained that going beyond ADA compliance was important because there is a "huge underserved market of individuals and families who want to travel and spend money."

"The hotel was planned with accessibility in mind from sensory design, including lighting and sound, counter height, and automated services. We had the privilege of speaking with people with various disabilities to hear about their experiences when they travel. In turn, we were able to put as much of that back into our design," Freiman added.

Schoolhouse Hotel in West Virginia
Courtesy of The Schoolhouse Hotel

The spacious rooms were designed with limited obstructions so that guests in wheelchairs or scooters could easily navigate them. In the bathrooms, touch pads allow for touch-control for flushing and cleaning, while the sinks have low counters and the bathtubs use hydronic body lifts. Lighting fixtures and controls were carefully chosen to provide maximum visual aid, and sound insulation was installed in the walls between the rooms, floors, and ceilings to reduce noise.

"Our bar is three-sided, and two of the sides are at ADA compliant height. The best part? We lowered the floor where the bartender stands, so they are eye level to every single person sitting at the bar," Freiman explained.

The property also features several event spaces, including a formal ballroom for 300 people that used to be the school's gym and a front lawn that can fit up to 150 guests. A fully equipped conference room caters to those traveling for business.

To learn more about the newly opened Schoolhouse Hotel and book your stay, click here.

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