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Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips.

Holy hotels! With American churchgoing on the decline, the number of beautiful, abandoned religious buildings grows. Rather than meet their fate with a wrecking ball, a growing number of former churches, synagogues, and seminaries are finding a second life as hotels. Vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, vintage pews, and bell towers are just some of the aesthetic touches guests can find while staying at one of these  creatively repurposed settings. If you’re seeking some divine inspiration on your next trip, consider taking refuge in one of these hotels with a holy past.

RELATED:  10 hotels whose super lush plant environments will make you dream in green

The Russell Nashville: Nashville

Photo courtesy of the Russell

The Russell Nashville is a 23-room boutique hotel in East Nashville, which Vogue has called “Nashville’s coolest neighborhood.” Constructed within the bones of a former Presbyterian church originally built in 1904, the hotel blends original elements from the building’s past into a vibrant, modern environment. Authentic church features include original stained glass and pews as headboards in most rooms; 40-foot ceilings and exposed brick; and a bell tower. Another nod to the building’s legacy: Room numbers are styled as bible verses. You can feel good about staying here, too, as a portion of each night’s stay supports local nonprofits that serve the homeless. It’s a Good Samaritan hotel that lives up to its motto: “Stay here. Change lives.”

 

The LINE Hotel DC: Washington, D.C.

Photo courtesy of the LINE Hotel DC

In a city where there’s a fine line between saint and sinner, all are welcome at The LINE Hotel DC. Repurposed from a 110-year-old neoclassical church, the luxury hotel resides in the trendy Adam Morgan neighborhood. The transformation retained the 60-foot vaulted ceilings, grand copper entry doors, intricate millwork and ornate brass detailing. The church’s original pipe organ is the lobby chandelier, and original pews provide seating. There are 220 guest rooms from which to choose, all of which reside behind the original church. Before tucking into your room, grab a meal at the onsite restaurant and all-day café, helmed by James Beard-nominated chef Erik Bruner-Yang. A cocktail called “A Dastardly Past Won’t Stop Me Now” might put you in the spirit of the place.

 

The High Line Hotel: New York City, NY

Photo courtesy of the High Line Hotel

Located across the street from New York’s elevated High Line urban park, The High Line Hotel is a piece of classic, Old World elegance within a rapidly gentrifying area of the city, West Chelsea. The hotel resides within a 19th-century Gothic building that is a still-working seminary. The red-brick, collegiate-style maze of buildings is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has a cool bit of history for literature buffs: It’s said to be the former estate of the poet Clement Clarke Moore, author of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Guest rooms are housed in what was the dormitory for Episcopalian priests, today repurposed and refurnished with an eclectic, vintage style for trendsetter hotel guests and elite business travelers. The hotel boasts 60 rooms and suites, and attached to it are the gorgeous gardens and buildings of a working theological seminary and private chapel. Perhaps you’ll find yourself seated next to a seminary student while enjoying the food trucks, Intelligentsia coffee, Shinola bikes and other on-trend amenities.

ALSO: Be sure to earn rewards on your hotel stay, then use them on  your next booking–only with Orbitz Rewards!

Hotel Peter & Paul: New Orleans, LA 

Photo courtesy of Hotel Peter and Paul

Breathing new life into a long-vacant Catholic church dating back to the 1860s, Hotel Peter & Paul is located in New Orleans’ Marigny neighborhood, just a few blocks away from the live music venues of Frenchman Street. The church, along with its school house, rectory, and convent, were reborn into a 71-room boutique hotel after a four-year renovation. No two rooms are exactly alike. Expect a blend of antique and bespoke details such as canopy beds, lanterns, and clawfoot tubs. Splurge on the Mother Superior Room, located in the former home of the Marianite nuns who taught at the church school.

 

Hotel Skyler Syracuse Tapestry Collection by Hilton: Syracuse, NY

Photo courtesy of Hotel Skyler

Hotel Skyler Syracuse Tapestry Collection by Hilton, the first in Hilton’s Tapestry Collection, has helped transform a once-vacant synagogue originally built in 1922. Upon arriving at this LEED Platinum-certified hotel—which essentially stamps it as one of the most eco-conscious in the world—you’re greeted by the building’s original soaring pillars. At check in, admire the beautiful stained glass, salvaged from a nearby church. Tuck into the King Bed Junior Suite, with white-washed, arched windows that evoke the temple’s architecture, or the Treehouse Loft Suite, a two-level loft with plenty of room to spread out.

 

The Clement: Tarentum, PA

Photo courtesy of the Clement

Experience “champing” (a.k.a. camping in a church) in a 100-year-old former parish just outside of Pittsburgh. With a stay at The Clement, you’ll have one of the most unique “hotel” stays of your life. It’s an adventurous option for groups and families, as you’ll have access to more than 3,000 square feet of space, including the main sanctuary of the church and its balcony. Bedding, hot showers, a kitchen and pet-friendly spaces are all included in the stay. (Yes, you can bring Fido to this church!) The caretaker, Phillip, gets high marks from former guests, who consistently praise the experience as a memorable—and Instagram-able—one.

Tagged: Nashville, New Orleans, New York

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Erica Bray

Erica Bray

Erica is a practical free spirit who loves travel, yoga and ice cream. A Northwestern University-trained journalist with more than 15 years of experience straddling digital and broadcast media, Erica can be found doing handstands everywhere she travels -- even risking arrest in some cases. Learn about her at www.erica.media.

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