Ever imagined spending a night in a prison cell, but without the crime? Now, you can experience this unique stay in various converted luxury prison hotels around the world.
These establishments, once formidable jailhouses, have undergone remarkable transformations. They merge the intriguing architectural elements of old jail cells with the indulgences of modern hospitality. These jail hotels provide a one-of-a-kind experience, where the thrill of sleeping in a historic jail cell is complemented by the comfort and luxury of contemporary amenities.
1. Het Arresthuis, Roermond, Netherlands
In the tranquil Dutch town of Roermond, close to the German border, you’ll find Het Arresthuis, a former state prison that was transformed into a hotel in 2011. The original prison cells have been converted into ‘comfort cells’ for guests, offering a unique lodging experience. The hotel also repurposed the former recreation rooms into deluxe suites. While maintaining its historical prison structure, Het Arresthuis ensures guests enjoy the luxury of modern amenities like flat-screen TVs, tea and coffee facilities, and rain showers.
Additionally, guests staying at Het Arresthuis can enjoy the convenience of being near the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Roermond, a popular shopping destination offering a range of high-end brands, making it an ideal choice for those looking to combine a unique stay with a premium shopping experience.
Roermond is conveniently located within an hour’s drive from major cities like Maastricht and Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and Düsseldorf in Germany. Cologne, another major German city, is approximately an hour and 15 minutes away by car.
2. Malmaison Oxford, England
The captivating Malmaison Oxford is a luxury hotel that offers a playful escape from the ordinary. This unique hotel is a masterful conversion of a former prison, standing just a whisper away from Oxford’s historic jewels. From the prestigious Oxford University colleges to the splendid Christ Church Cathedral and the treasures of the Ashmolean Museum, the hotel’s location promises an enchanting exploration of the city.
At Malmaison Oxford, you’re promised a sentence of sheer indulgence. Each former cell has been cleverly transformed into a luxurious room, where plush bedding and contemporary comforts like a flat-screen TV and complimentary Wi-Fi await. The experience is a harmonious blend of history and modernity, ensuring a stay that is as comfortable as it is memorable.
The hotel’s 24-hour reception desk, humorously referred to as the “bail service,” offers round-the-clock assistance, ensuring your every need is catered to. For those who prefer the quietude of their cell, room service is readily available to make your stay even more enjoyable.
Dining at Malmaison Oxford is an experience in itself. The stylish Bar & Grill serves as a perfect hideout, offering delectable cuisine and an array of craft cocktails. It’s an ideal spot for casual meetings or simply unwinding after a day of city exploration.
For events and gatherings, Malmaison Oxford is fully equipped. Its function rooms, complete with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, are perfect for anything from a strategic meeting to a celebratory event, ensuring every plan is executed flawlessly.
Whether you’re in Oxford for business, leisure, or just seeking an extraordinary stay, Malmaison Oxford provides a luxurious and comfortable experience that’s delightfully hard to leave. It’s a place where history and luxury intertwine, creating an unforgettable stay. So, why not surrender to its charm? Book your stay and find out why escaping from Malmaison Oxford is the last thing you’ll want to do.
3. Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, Turkey
Once a prison from 1919 to 1969, the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet now stands as a luxurious five-star hotel in Istanbul’s Old City. The hotel is located just steps away from Istanbul’s most beautiful historical attractions, has offered unique guest experiences since 1996. The Hotel, which reopened in 2022 after an extensive two-year renovation, continues its journey as the only five-star luxury property on the historical area.
As part of the renovation, the interiors of Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet were redesigned based on its preexisting Turkish neoclassical architecture, unique location and successful track record in luxury hospitality. All rooms were renovated with the same design language and approach applied to the common areas. A hidden gem at the heart of Istanbul, the Hotel offers a unique and memorable stay in an environment that blends the best of local culture and values.
The Hotel also features excellent dining outlets, each offering unique menus. Avlu Restaurant in the Hotel’s courtyard surrounds guests in a lush garden setting for a taste of modern Anatolian cuisine, and the energizing Süreyya Teras Lounge enhances its artisanal cocktails and Turkish wines with mesmerizing views of the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque on the historical district below.
Four Seasons operates two properties in Istanbul, each with a distinct style that complements the other aesthetically and both offering the best of the city. Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet welcomes its guests in a historical building built in 1918-1919, while Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus offers a luxury hospitality experience in an elegant, restored 19th century palace by the Bosphorus.
4. The Liberty, Boston, USA
The Liberty Hotel in Boston, a splendid transformation of the historic Charles Street Jail dating back to 1851, now stands as a beacon of luxury and history in the heart of Beacon Hill. This architectural marvel, once a correctional facility housing notable figures like Malcolm X and WWII prisoners of war, has been meticulously repurposed into a luxury hotel, merging its rich past with contemporary sophistication.
The Liberty, a Luxury Collection Hotel, is not just a stay but an experience steeped in history. Located centrally and steps away from an array of shopping, dining, and iconic Boston Common, the hotel offers much more than just a place to rest. It’s an ideal destination for those seeking a “Quintessentially Boston” experience, combining high-style luxury with a warm, inviting atmosphere.
Perched at the foot of Beacon Hill, The Liberty Hotel is celebrated as an imaginative transformation of the Charles Street Jail, a national historic landmark. The hotel’s 298 rooms and suites have been re-imagined to offer stunning views of Boston’s city skyline and the Charles River. Each room is a blend of advanced technology, rich mahogany woods, and stainless steel accents, offering a unique juxtaposition of old and new.
Guests can indulge in culinary delights at one of the hotel’s five distinct restaurants and bars, including the CLINK restaurant. Here, diners can savor modern American cuisine while surrounded by original elements of the former jail cells, preserved to honor the building’s history.
The Liberty Hotel is also a hub for events and business meetings, offering approximately 6,000 square feet of versatile meeting and event space. This space, rich in character and history, provides an unparalleled backdrop for any gathering.
Adding to the immersive experience, The Liberty Hotel offers a fascinating 30-minute historical tour led by the knowledgeable concierge team. This tour delves into the intriguing past of the property, concluding with a complimentary glass of Champagne, symbolizing the transformation from a place of incarceration to one of celebration and luxury.
For guests and visitors alike, The Liberty Hotel is not just a place to stay but a journey through time, where history is intertwined with modern luxury, making each visit a memorable chapter in the storied legacy of this unique and iconic Boston landmark.
5. Hoshinoya Nara Prison, Nara, Japan
Up to this point, I shared operating hotels. But this hotel is expected to open in the Spring of 2026. A historic prison in Japan’s Nara city will turn into an opulent prison hotel. Hoshino Resorts, a distinguished resort operator, is spearheading this ambitious project, aiming to offer guests an “extraordinary stay” at the “Hoshinoya Nara Prison.
This exceptional hotel will breathe new life into an iconic red brick building that harks back to the early 20th century. The transformation will see 48 rooms come to life, each artfully created by merging multiple cells. These rooms will feature refurbished interiors that thoughtfully preserve certain period characteristics, including high windows originally designed to prevent jailbreaks. Initially, the opening of the hotel was planned for the summer of 2024, but the project encountered delays due to the necessary completion of an earthquake resistance survey.
In a move that blends luxury with historical education, Hoshino Resorts plans to incorporate a museum within the hotel premises. This museum will be open to day visitors, offering an enriching experience that delves into the facility’s compelling history. The combination of luxurious accommodation and the opportunity to explore the rich narrative of the former prison promises to make Hoshinoya Nara Prison a unique and culturally significant destination in Japan’s hospitality landscape. Read more details about Japan’s first prison hotel here.
In conclusion, these five luxury prison hotels offer a remarkable fusion of history and opulence, providing guests with an experience that is as rich in story as it is in comfort. From the transformative elegance of Het Arresthuis in the Netherlands to the iconic Liberty Hotel in Boston, each of these establishments tells a unique tale of reinvention and luxury. The upcoming Hoshinoya Nara Prison in Japan promises to extend this legacy, further blending the allure of history with the comforts of modern hospitality. These hotels are not just places to stay; they are destinations that invite guests to step into the past while indulging in the luxuries of the present. They represent a creative and respectful preservation of history, offering a glimpse into a bygone era with the comforts and conveniences of today’s world. For those seeking an unconventional yet luxurious travel experience, these former prisons turned hotels are a captivating choice, offering a stay that is both memorable and steeped in history.