We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve taken our successful hybrid historic hotel/hostel model to the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. This sister property is located at the site of the 80-year-old Bingen School in Bingen, Washington, and welcomes adventurous travelers exploring the surrounding Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Renovations began in the Fall 2017, and the hotel is slated to open in May 2019.
Old Meets New
Like the original Society Hotel, our team has restored, renovated and revitalized the Bingen School, melding modern comfort with historical preservation. The historic schoolhouse has retained some original features during its conversion into the lobby, café, and guest rooms. The original multipurpose gym has also been restored and upgraded, keeping the original gym floor and bleachers intact.
Also similar to the Chinatown location, the new property bridges 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 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 water sports, 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 features numerous group gathering places. The lobby provides 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 has been restored and continues to serve as a multipurpose room for everything from shooting hoops to corporate meetings. The 20 private cabins encircle a community building with a soaking pool, sauna, hot tub, cold plunge, massage rooms, as well as a café. The team has also constructed a round community building for classes, retreats and workshops – The Sanctuary.
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 continues to offer some special Society-Only Services (SOS) and perks. Just like at the original hotel, guests at the new location are able to text the front desk any time of day to ask questions. We’ll also soon offer 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.