Well, we have the perfect vacation planned out for you! grand and grotesque, these prison hotels are some of the most interesting and informative places you can check out this holiday season. We have a list of the top 10 resorts and hotels that were formerly prisons constructed to house criminals.
The Liberty Hotel, Boston, USA [ book here ]
Formerly known as the Charles Street Jail, the Liberty Hotel is said to have held captive some pretty dangerous criminals in recent history. The hotel is a curious combination of both old and contemporary elements that give the building an added charm.
Much of the old décor is retained, for instance; the iron catwalks through which the prisoners had to pass, still surround the lobby. The suites are small, dingy yet very comfortable. Also, the in-house restaurant called Alibi serves great food and alcoholic beverages that you can freely indulge in.
Het Arresthuis, Netherlands [ book here ]
Het Arresthuis situated in Roermond is luxurious, elegant and very comfortable. Strategically located in the southern part of the country, the hotel boasts of a huge atrium, authentic prison cell suites, a huge cell door, and chandeliers which connect the place to its past.
The interiors are also peppered with modern décor pieces that merge wonderfully with the original set pieces, thereby adding more oomph to the hotel. Check out the gourmet restaurant, spa, and plush fitness center as well while you are here.
Alcatraz Hotel, Germany [ book here ]
Alcatraz was among the most isolated prisons in Germany that housed dangerous criminals and prisoners. Today the building serves as a boutique hotel with over 56 suites and conference centers.
Guests can either opt for the authentic jail rooms complete with their tiny iron beds, washbasins, and attached toilets or choose to stay in the luxury suites. Plus, you get all the modern-day facilities here such as free Wi-Fi connectivity, parking space and an in-house restaurant that serves the best of local and international flavors.
Ottawa Jail Hostel, Canada [ book here ]
Hi Ottawa Jail Hostel in Ontario Canada takes the theme of haunted hotels a notch higher. Constructed in 1862, the prison was infamous for the inhumane treatment and torture doled out to the prisoners. The building with its huge wrought iron gates, tall stone columns and overbearing white walls look very intimidating for a first-time visitor.
The insides are no less fascinating, and guests often have the spooky feeling of actually being held captive in a cell. The rooms are small, sparsely furnished, offering travelers a unique authentic prison experience. Some even say that the spirit of the former prisoners still dwells within these walls, so choose the solitary confinement cells at your risk!
Malmaison Oxford, UK [ book here ]
Malmaison Oxford, built in 1870 is the perfect vacationing spot for history buffs who want an authentic experience and some first-hand information of how prisoners lived back in the day. Most of the rooms in the A wing of the hotel are still furnished with prison beds, barred windows, small tables and stools. Also, the suites are very compact but very light and airy.
The three tiers of cells, the huge central gallery, and the massive windows are kept intact giving the place a very sophisticated yet spooky look. Malmaison Oxford is also flanked by picturesque castles, green countryside landscape and plenty of other tourist attractions that will keep you occupied here.
Q Station, Sydney [ book here ]
Sydney’s former Quarantine Station has now become one of the finest luxury resorts in the area which boasts of a private beach and some top-notch services. The building though not technically a prison still held people captive, migrants specifically who were suffering from ship-borne diseases.
Back then medical science was not developed enough to figure out a cure for these ailments so patients had to stay in the Q Station until they were safe enough to come out and interact with other people. Much of the interior décor is retained albeit with some modern-day changes. Also, the hotel offers ghost tours if you are interested in making your experience here even more spooky.
Four Seasons Sultanahmet, Turkey [ book here ]
Four Seasons Sultanahmet in Turkey is a prison-turned five-star resort that offers guests a comfortable and luxurious stay as well as an authentic oriental experience. At a glance, the hotel looks like a huge grand palace carved out of stone and marble. A closer look and some research would reveal how years ago Sultanahmet housed criminals within its bright yellow walls.
The building has since then been renovated to suit the contemporary purpose, however, you might stumble upon some relics of its former days. The watchtowers, for instance, that now serve as elevator shafts are kept untouched. Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque are some local landmarks you can check out during your stay here.
Langholmen, Sweden [ book here ]
The Langholmen hotel in Sweden is a seamless and fun mix of its dark past and vibrant present. The architecture retains much of its original design while also incorporating some modern elements that make the hotel a unique experience for the guests.
The building is surrounded by lush green trees which were planted by the inmates of the cells during their serving time. The suites are also very authentic in their décor keeping with the core theme of the hotel. However, unlike the former occupants, the present guests would love to be confined in this space!
Karasota Prison, Lavita [ book here ]
Karasota Prison in Lavita is for the hard-hearted adventurous traveler who wants more than just the aesthetics of a prison. Yes, here you get the real deal. The Karasota Prison is said to house criminals and death-row prisoners from the Second World War and was a pretty traumatic and torturous place for the inhabitants.
Now, at a price, one can actually curate a customized prison package and decide how you want to be punished. You can choose to be yelled at, endure physical exercises, sleep on concrete floors after signing a consent form.
The Jailhouse Inn, Rhode Island [ book here ]
The Jailhouse Inn in Rhode Island was built in 1722 to house criminals who were awaiting their trail in New England. The building has since then been renovated to look at the elegant and sophisticated hotel it is today.
And while the former prison was not very effective in keeping its prisoners (as there have been instances of breakouts), you can rest assured that the guests would not want to run away from this place anytime soon. The colonial architecture, plush rooms, and luxurious interiors make the place more of a holiday inn and less of a prison hotel.
Sleeping in prison cells might not be everyone’s cup of tea but if you are someone who is bored with the generic hill stations and beachside resorts, then this might be an adventurous experience. So, indulge in your love for the macabre and explore these amazing prison hotels the next time you plan a vacation to any of these countries.