Overnighting in a prison…isn’t that what we all try not to do? You might change your mind when you read about these former prisons turned luxury accommodations. There’s a cell waiting for you!
Charles Street Jail = The Liberty Hotel
Once upon a time, Boston’s Charles Street Jail held prisoners for nearly 140 years. Today, The Liberty Hotel offers luxury accommodations, although the outer appearance remains unchanged. The exposed brick walls and historic catwalks in the hotel’s modern atrium remind guests of the origins of the building. Tile mosaics of people once imprisoned at the jail embellish the escalators. At the bar, Alibi, have a cocktail and check out the preserved jail cells, barred windows, original stonework and an outdoor patio. Do some time in CLINK, the restaurant, which provides an upscale seasonal menu.
Oxford Castle Prison = Malmaison Oxford
In the United Kingdom, in the town of Oxford, the high-life hoodlums hang out at the Malmaison Oxford formerly the Oxford Castle Prison. You can stay in a double-cell in the A-Wing, the original prison block of the castle prison. The core of Oxford Castle is nearly 1,000 years old. Today, the Oxford Mal (as it’s called) complex has overnight rooms, apartments, restaurants and bars. Much of the prison infrastructure has been upgraded, remodeled and refurbished. It’s vibrant and modern without losing the mystery of the building’s beginnings.
German Resistance Prison = Juvi = The Lloyd Hotel
The Lloyd Hotel opened its doors in 1920 as an emigrant hotel. As the Germans occupied the Netherlands in World War II, they converted the building into a prison to keep members of the resistance movement, and it remained a prison until the 1960s when it became the first juvenile detention center. Restore and refined, the building is now a 117-room designer hotel, with quirky features such as swings dangling from wooden beams, spiral staircases and beds that sleep up to eight people. Unlike the building’s past, the service at this fine Netherlands establishment is top-notch. The Lloyd Hotel is the first 1-to-5 star hotel in the world. The hotel’s Cultural Embassy specializes in arranging showings and presentations of Dutch culture and the culture of guests.
Helsinki County Prison = Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka
Commissioned by Czar Nicholas I in 1832 the Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka used to be Helsinki County Prison. Three more wings were added onto the prison over subsequent years, and it was only in 2002 that it was finally put out of commission due to overcrowding. The Katajanokka County prison building was a pioneer in many ways; it was one of the first to have central heating with wood burning stoves and to have electric light in all rooms. More than 40% of all prisoners in Finland passed through this prison turned hotel. You can relax, those days are long gone and now a stay at this Finland hotel sentences you to complimentary breakfast and a superb night’s sleep.
San Clemente Palace Hotel and Resort
Just a short boat ride from St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy is the San Clemente Palace Hotel and Resort, a private island retreat off the famed canals. The island once hosted a hospital for pilgrims returning from the Middle East and later a convent was built to house a quarantine station. Soon after, it was turned into Europe’s first all-female mental hospital, which operated until 1992. Today, it’s transformed into a luxurious hotel that boasts high Venetian ceilings, three sumptuous restaurants, two Old World style bars, a glistening pool, and spa treatments to make you feel like you’re living la dolce vita!