Study Hotels: The New Kid on Campus!

The bespoke experience we live for- a hotel that delivers it. 

In the Spring of 2003, Paul McGowan hit the college circuit with his daughter, Lauren, a then high school junior with college aspirations in the North East. How could he have known that the effort of preparing for his daughter’s future would give rise to the next chapter in his life as well?

You see, with each campus visit, as his daughter began closing in on her top schools, Paul felt himself opening up to a new idea, an endeavor intended to provide an answer to the question that he couldn’t seem to push from his mind: why, amidst all of these gorgeous campuses and lively college towns, was he so hard-pressed to find an inspired place to stay?

Cue the birth of Study Hotels, founded by Paul’s own Hospitality3 group in 2008, with the mission of providing sophisticated, yet comfortable, accommodations to college visitors, dedicated to the belief that the lodging near campus can, and should, feel like a natural extension of the school.

Paul puts it best when he explains that a Study Hotel is more than just a hotel, “it’s a cultural platform where the richness of the surroundings is integrated into the design and service philosophy to create a strong sense of place.”

Signature Leather Chair and Ottoman,  The Study at University City

Signature Leather Chair and Ottoman, The Study at University City

As such, no two Study Hotels are the same, and while a certain standard of design permeates all of the properties, each location is unique, with the intention of celebrating and capturing all aspects of the community surrounding it.

Each Study Hotel partners with local nonprofits and community organizations, theatres, and cultural centers to provide guests with access to daily activations and tickets to events, encouraging them to truly engage with, and feel an immediate connection to the community. It can be difficult to truly imagine oneself attending a school, or living in a certain college town, but with the help of a Study Hotel, students have the unique opportunity to get their feet wet and experience a new scene that might have previously might have felt daunting, or inaccessible.

Living Room - Museum Case,  The Study at University City

Living Room - Museum Case, The Study at University City

Exterior - Iconic Reading Glasses,  The Study at University City

Exterior - Iconic Reading Glasses, The Study at University City

There’s nothing more valuable, in our opinion, than the ability to travel like a local, to tap into the hidden gems of a city that  reveal the true nature of a town. Whether this be achieved by attending a live concert, chatting with a local yoga instructor, or simply spending a few hours at a coffee shop down the block, genuine experiences such as these, heralded by Study Hotels, are invaluable to a vacation, and more importantly, to a college visit.


“Intellectual, stylish, and restful,” are words that Paul uses to describe Study Hotels. What stands out most to us though, is his final description, “not too serious,” which we couldn’t consider more apt. When it comes to college visits, we should approach the process responsibly, but at the end of the day, we’d all do best to let our guard down, dive right into the place, talk to people, have some fun, and keep a state of mind that’s not too serious.


Be sure to check out Study Hotels properties, The Study at Yale in New Haven, CT, and The Study at University City in Philadelphia, PA plus The Study at the University of Chicago opening in 2019.  Stay tuned for more exciting growth in the future, as this unique hotel group expands to bring a bit of heart and soul (and plush bedding…) to more college towns across the country.