We’re thrilled to announce that we are taking our successful hybrid historic hotel/hostel model to the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. This sister property will be located at the 80-year-old Bingen School in Bingen, Washington, and will welcome adventurous travelers exploring the surrounding Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Renovations will begin in the Fall 2017, and the hotel is slated to open in Summer 2019.
Old Meets New
Like the original Society Hotel, our team will restore, renovate and revitalize the Bingen School, melding modern comfort with historical preservation. The historic schoolhouse will retain some original features while being converted into the lobby, café, and guest rooms. The original multipurpose gym will also be both restored and upgraded keeping the stage and bleachers.
Also similar to the Chinatown location, the new property will bridge the gap between hotel and hostel by offering both private rooms and bunkhouse accommodations in the main schoolhouse building, along with new stand-alone cabins. The three options for accommodation will appeal to a variety of travelers who are drawn to the Gorge for its incredible diversity of activities in a stunning setting – from hiking, cycling and white water rafting and other watersports, to wine, beer and cider tasting, to exploring the famous Hood River County Fruit Loop and nearby Mount Hood and Mount Adams.
Warm and welcoming community spaces are also a signature of The Society Hotel, and the new property will feature numerous group gathering places. The lobby will provide a bright and airy space with ample seating and a café/bar serving regional coffees, teas and pastries, as well as cocktails, beer and wine. The hallowed, original school gym will be restored and continue to serve as a multipurpose room for everything from shooting hoops to corporate meetings. The 20 private cabins will be built encircling a community building with a soaking pool, sauna, hot tub, cold plunge, massage rooms, as well as a juice bar. The team will also construct a round community building to serve groups of travelers.
School Lessons in History
The Bingen School complex was designed by Pacific Northwest architect Donald J. Stewart and built in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 for unemployed, unmarried men as part of the New Deal. The 7500-square-foot schoolhouse served as the school for Bingen and White Salmon, Washington, from 1938 until the 1970s. In 1988, it was converted into a hostel, which offered private rooms and dormitory style accommodations. Most recently, it operated as the Bingen School Inn for nearly 30 years.
The Society Hotel will continue to offer some special Society-Only Services (SOS) and perks. Just like at the original hotel, guests at the new location will be able to text the front desk any time of day to ask questions. Also, hotel guests who have stayed at the Portland location and enrolled in SOS will be the first to know about the opening of the new location and receive special promotions to book a stay at the school. There will also be a shuttle running from the two properties to allow visitors to the region the chance to experience downtown Portland and the Columbia River Gorge during their visit to the Pacific Northwest.