10 classic college-town hotels for visiting students and returning alumni

Whether you’re visiting a college campus to catch a football game or for a student tour, there’s no need to check into a cookie-cutter hotel, says Rob Franek, editor-in-chief at the educational services company The Princeton Review, and author of the book, The Best 384 Colleges (Penguin/Random House, $24.99). “Some hotels have such a genuine pride of place. They’re very much connected to the university or college in that town or city.” Franek, who visits at least 50 campuses a year, shares some favorites.

The Statler Hotel, Ithaca, New York

With a prestigious hotel management school, it’s no surprise that Cornell University has an outstanding campus inn. The seven-floor teaching hotel recently renovated its public spaces and guest bathrooms. “It seems that it’s nearly 100 percent student-run,” Franek says. “You get that flavor of Cornell, and also Ithaca College.” statlerhotel.cornell.edu/

Inn at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

This striking university-run hotel and conference center is located on the school’s grounds. “I always choose to stay here,” Franek says. “Virginia Tech has this contagious school spirit that’s palpable when you step foot on campus. If you’re a prospective student, you only want to stay on campus. You really want to be steeped in it.” innatvirginiatech.com

The Graduate, Berkeley, California

This playful hotel chain focuses on college towns, paying tribute to its hometown school with kitschy-cool designs, including felt pennants, school blankets and blackboards covered with mathematical equations. True to its hippie roots, rooms at the University of California, Berkeley hotel even have bong-shaped lamps. And the men’s bathroom has a urinal decorated with the Stanford logo, proving that the football rivalry with the Bay Area school is alive and well. Other Graduate locations include Tempe, Ariz.; Athens, Ga.; Bloomington, Ind.; Iowa City, Iowa; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Oxford, Miss.; Lincoln, Neb.; Charlottesville and Richmond, Va.; Madison, Wisc., and Seattle. graduatehotels.com/berkeley/

Hotel Northampton, Northampton, Massachusetts

With a central location in Western Massachusetts, this lodge serves five local schools: University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Amherst, Smith, Mount Holyoke and Hampshire colleges. “It’s a physically striking presence in the wonderful town of Northampton. The rooms are cozy, lovely, bright and clean, and there’s a fabulous restaurant on property,” Franek says. hotelnorthampton.com

Morris Inn, South Bend, Indiana

Franek particularly likes the common areas at this hotel run by the University of Notre Dame. “They’re grand. There’s kind of a library, and lounges and a great restaurant,” he says. In addition, the school’s vibrancy is hard to ignore. “Whether you graduated last year or 50 years ago, you have that school spirit that’s still intact.” morrisinn.nd.edu/

Arizona Inn, Tucson, Arizona

University of Arizona visitors find the region’s Southwest flavor on display in this historic hotel with casita-style rooms, some with fireplaces. “There’s a swimming pool, beautiful common areas, great restaurant and dining. It’s just a charmer,” Franek says, “a beautiful school and a beautiful campus.”  arizonainn.com

Terrace Hotel, Lakeland, Florida

This art deco hotel offers an appropriate sense of style for visitors to nearby Florida Southern College, the only campus designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. “There are so many people that go and see Florida Southern. They get a lot of architectural tourists.” Franek says. The hotel makes a comfortable base. “There’s a large patio on the outside, nothing less than a grand dining room, and great rooms to stretch out in.” terracehotel.com/

Source: Read Full Article