Back to school has never sounded more tempting. Located in a former Catholic schoolhouse in Bend, Oregon, McMenamins Old St. Francis School is a hotel with a twist. The original suites are housed in old classrooms, and the recent extensions stay very much on theme with namesakes such as Donna Lutzky, the school's first art teacher. Whichever room you stay in, there will be plenty of quirky artwork and playful hints to the property’s past.
The food and drink options don’t disappoint, either. There are four pubs here, including in the old school theatre and – wait for it – in the broom closet. The O’Kanes restaurant is housed in a schoolhouse garage and decorated with church doors and stained glass windows. All bars serve beers brewed in McMenamins’ very own onsite brewery, so make sure to give those a try. You can also go on a guided tour of the brewery and admire their one-of-a-kind painted kegs featuring fantastical creatures. Who knows, maybe you’ll like them so much, you’ll end up buying one!
Last but not least, pay a visit to the historic soaking pool decorated with turquoise tilework and hand-painted images of St. Francis and monks harvesting grapes (not what you expect at the baths, but it was a Catholic school after all). This pool is a true architectural gem and can’t be missed!