There is nothing better than a relaxing vacation, but it is even better, if you can enjoy it in an unusual and original location. Surely, the human imagination is never going to stop surprising us and a good example of that are these unique hotels that mix good service and comfort with exclusivity and design. Today, a large number of prisons have been converted into hotels around the world and many of them have used their ample space to become ultimate luxury accommodation and places with raw tranquility, elegance and comfort.
In Istanbul, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, you can find The Four Seasons Sultanahmet, located in the commercial area and just a few meters from the Blue Mosque, Agia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. This charming hotel, which was formerly the first prison to the Turkish community in 1917, is one of the most luxurious accommodations in the capital. Today there is not too much left of the prison, just its four walls surrounding the building, the guard towers, and the marble staircase of its courtyard are some examples of what it has been in the past. Everything else has become pure luxury. It has 54 double rooms and 11 suites, many of them offering spectacular views of the mosques. The Health Club, restaurant and gardens are some of the attractions that will not leave you indifferent and will make you enjoy an excellent and unforgettable experience.The Four Seasons Sultanahmet
The Het Arresthuis Hotel located in Netherlands, was one of the worst prisons in the nineteenth century and during the last ten years it has become a hotel that exudes luxury and glamour. The rooms are full of history, charm and elegance and combine a modern design with the original structure of that time. In addition, guests can find numerous details like inscriptions and numerous histories that show the obscure past where thousands of prisoners lived. It is definitely a unique and spectacular experience where you can combine luxury while feeling the dark past arising from its origins. The 150 cells were transformed into 36 luxury rooms, with each one having a different theme and style. It also has 7 suites, among which are the known called “Director”, “Guard”, “Lawyer” and “Judge”. Among the facilities that comprise the hotel, there is a relaxing sauna, a gym and a luxurious gourmet restaurant with international cuisine. It would be interesting to mention that the doors to their bathrooms are old gates deprived of freedom for the prisoners and the playground is converted into a luxurious terrace where you can enjoy a tea or coffee.
In 2007, the Charles Street jail in the heart of Beacon Hill neighbourhood in Boston, also transformed its dungeons to 300 rooms and 10 luxury suites overlooking the Charles River. Now known as The Liberty Hotel, the stone façade is retained, as is the Victorian style and building like a cross -shaped structure, but its interior is equipped with all the modern conveniences, mahogany timber, maroon cushions and carpets in grey and pink colour. The former court of the prison has become a cosy garden room along with an elegant lobby and reception areas. The beautiful hotel that has emerged boasts a ballroom and boardrooms, a fully equipped gym where you can book yoga classes, and you and even rent bicycles to explore the city. The Clink, Alibi and Scampo are the restaurants that you can enjoy at The Liberty Hotel. Furthermore its good location allows its guests to experience leisure outdoor activities, shopping and cultural visits such as the science museum, located a few minutes’ walk away.
I’m sure these will not be the only prisons converted to luxurious spaces. On the 8th of last April, the President Rafael Correa of Ecuador went to Boston to visit this extravagance hotel and consider the possibility of making a replica in the old prison García Moreno located in the historic centre of Quito and built in 1868.