When you think “luxury” I’ll bet the first thing that pops into your head is “prison.” The complimentary jumpsuit, three-inch mattress over concrete, gourmet slop (that’s a highly technical term, by the way) ... Sometimes you even get free shower shoes! That’s only at the really chi-chi joints though.
If that doesn’t appeal to you, well … I just don’t know what’s wrong with you. But maybe this will: all over the world, prisons are being converted into luxe hotels – the kind where you don’t have to wear a lunch tray under your suit for protection.
Here are a few of the coolest crowbar hotels around.
The Liberty Hotel, Boston
Ironic name, is it not? My favorite part, besides the “balconies” is the bar, called Clink. Once the Charles Street Jail, The Liberty Hotel boasts vestiges of jail cells within the hotel bar, though a new16-story tower houses the majority of guestrooms.
The Courthouse, London
Mick Jagger, Johnny Rotten, John Lennon and Keith Richards have all spent time here -- in court. This former magistrate's court not only held these celebs, but tried them as well. All would be pleased with the conversion of the courtroom into a bar, I think.
Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
Created from a 100 year old Turkish prison in the center of Sultanahmet, it was the first prison built in Istanbul. The prison was home to many intellectual dissidents, artists and writers who opposed Ottoman rule. Several of the old prison features remain, including a large marble pillar with the etchings of a former inmate.
Hotel Katajanokka, Finland
The oldest part of this hotel dates back to 1837. The building originally served as a county prison and pre trial detention centre. One of the best new features? The restaurant Jailbird.
Leave it to the Swedes to turn what was once a Alcatraz twin into a lush, family-friendly haven. The island of Langholmen was once rocky and barren, making its prison a near-twin to Alcatraz..When the prison was closed in 1975, the island became a destination spot thanks to its gorgeous coastline and (former) prison gardens.
With solitary confinement cells intact (turned them into a high-end restaurant Brasserie) this Victorian prison seems made to be a hotel. Three tiers of cells in the central galley are illuminated by massive windows and during the transformation, the architects were ordered to maintain the integrity of the historic structure.