Part of having a great vacation is staying in a quality hotel. A fancy hotel with lots of amenities makes you feel like you’re making the most of your time away from home. If you’re a history buff, you may be interested in knowing some background information about the hotel.
Some of the most well-known hotels actually used to be prisons. So, the room you’re staying in could have very well been a prison cell years ago. This can be exciting, and even a little creepy when you think about it. It’s amazing how a building that was once used to house criminals could be converted into a resort-style location for upscale vacationers. It just goes to show you that a fresh coat of paint, a four-star restaurant and friendly staff can make a huge difference. There’s even been recent research that suggests that the deteriorating prisons in the UK should be torn down and replaced with luxurious hotels. A number of locations around the world have followed this model, so perhaps the UK can get a little design inspiration from these hotels in various parts of the world. Here are 10 beautiful hotels that used to be old prisons.
Celica is a youth hostel in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The location was previously a prison. The location is known for its affordable rooms and convenient location, and is especially for young travelers who want to see Slovenia without spending too much money. The hostel even has an art gallery, and much of the creative work displays the notion that Celica is a place where people of differing ideas and beliefs can work together to create something beautiful. The hostel was officially opened in 2003, after a decade of planning and artistic restoration. In the early 1990s, the Celica hostel was an abandoned building.
9 The Four Seasons (Turkey)
This breathtakingly beautiful hotel in Turkey actually used to be Ottoman Prison. The hotel features Neoclassical design and has impressive landscaping all around the property that will make you want to spend more time on the hotel grounds. The facility once housed communist leaders and novelists. Juveniles and women were also detained on the property, which was very rare. In 1992, the renovation process to convert the Ottoman Prison into a hotel began. In 1996, the conversion was complete and guests were able to enjoy all the luxurious amenities The Four Seasons has to offer, including four-star meals, room service and a top-notch bar.
8 Liberty Boston Hotel
This fancy hotel was previously Boston’s Charles Street Jail. The facility is known for its ambient lighting and expert decoration. The hotel features balconies with a lot of places to relax, and view the harbor. Amenities include 24-hour room service, valet parking and free Wi-Fi. There are also many places to shop near the hotel. The building was completed in 1851, but in the 1970s, the prisoners at the location revolted because of the unfit conditions. It was declared that the conditions were in violation of the prisoners’ constitutional rights, and the last of the prisoners were sent to Suffolk County Jail in 1990.
7 Canadian Youth Hostel
The hostel in Ottawa used to be the Carleton County jail. Now, the building is designed to give youth a place to stay as they travel the area, or need help getting on their feet. The facility is specifically designed for young people who want to “spend a night in jail” in a fascinating way. Guests can enjoy free breakfast during their stay, which includes coffee, bagels, fruit and eggs. There’s also free Wi-Fi, and guests can enjoy the bar on the property, which is the only jail bar in Canada. There’s even an open mic night at the bar every Wednesday.
6 Het Arresthuis
This location in The Netherlands used to be home to 105 prisoners. It has since been converted into a luxury hotel for those who are vacationing in Holland. Some design elements are still reminiscent of a prison, including the short balconies in front of the rows of doors at the top and bottom stories. Pops of bright colors like pink and green have been added to the décor, and there’s an ornate chandelier hanging in the center of the hotel’s main area. Comfortable sofas in the lobby are also there to add to the charm of the Netherlands hotel, and the floors have been re-done to give the place an industrial chic feel.
Langholmen in located in Stockholm, Sweden. The island of Langholmen used to be a women’s penal colony in the 1700s. These days, the island is the site of a chic hotel called--you guessed it--Langholmen. The rooms are fairly small but feature a comfy chair for reading, and cabinets that are decorated with old newspaper clippings. This is a stylish choice that is a nod to the history of the area. The facility features both a hotel and hostel and is an ideal location for large parties and weddings. You can even view artwork that depicts the fact that Langholmen used to be a women’s prison.
4 The Lloyd Hotel
The Lloyd Hotel used to be a juvenile prison. It is located in Amsterdam. The hotel is also a cultural embassy, and you’ll feel like you’re in a museum as you view the eye-catching artwork featured throughout the hotel. There are 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 star rooms available, and rooms are classified by their size. So, whether you’re traveling the world on your own and don’t want to spend a fortune on a hotel room, or you’re planning a romantic vacation, you can find a room to accommodate you. The hotel rooms are decorated in modern minimalist style and feature bright colors to contrast the crisp white bedding. The Lloyd Hotel also offers a quality restaurant and bar, as well as bike rentals, so you can travel the city of Amsterdam and do some exploring.
3 Katajanokka Prison Hotel
This hotel is located in Helsinki, Finland. Part of the charm and appeal of staying there is that the location used to be a prison. In fact, it is sometimes referred to as a prison hotel. Some of the doors to the hotel rooms still have bars in front of them. Katajanokka Prison Hotel has spacious and rustic rooms that are perfect for special events like an anniversary dinner or wedding reception. Each of the rooms features modern décor and designs, expansive windows and plush carpeted floors. The hotel is now part of the Best Western franchise, and was converted from a prison in 1837.
2 Malmaison Hotel
The Malmaison Hotel is in Oxford, and used to be Oxford Prison. The converted prison was located in a medieval castle, and you can see the antique architecture throughout the hotel. The boutique hotel has rooms and suites that feature refined wood furniture and décor in rich jewel tones. Each of the 95 rooms has Wi-Fi, along with relaxing drench showers and beds that are extremely comfortable. The Malmaison Hotel also features a brasserie and bar, and you can even work with a staff member to book a private dining event if you’re traveling to the hotel for a special occasion.
1 Lucerne’s Jailhotel
This location is called the jailhotel, and has a stylish yet slightly ominous feel. The hallways are long and slim, and the doors to each of the rooms still have lots of locks on them. While the look is vintage and trendy, it kind of makes you wonder why you need the extra security. Each of the rooms features a private bathroom and wooden floors. The Lucerne hotel is also part of the Lucerne hotel group, which includes four luxury hotels in Switzerland and Italy. Some of the rooms at the Lucerne jailhotel even look like original jail cells and include a sink and toilet.