There is absolutely no shortage of hotels and resorts in this world. In fact, it’s pretty much hard to travel to any place without bumping into at least a few of them. Some resorts sell on the strength of their picturesque location; some beckon guests with a wide array of luxury amenities; some tempt you with an ample dose of stardust telling you of the who’s who that have walked into their lobby; and some simply work on the fact that there are no better option in that given location.
Well, the travel accommodations we are looking at in this article definitely don’t fall into the last category. However, these luxurious resorts and hotels capitalize on a very unique selling proposition – man’s desire to be spooked, to be thrilled by the macabre, to have shivers crawl up and down his spine, and to relive past horrors and tragedies.
All travel accommodations featured here are erstwhile prisons, and jails…some even the worst kind. Although, they’ve been renovated and turned into stunningly beautiful places to stay, people still flock to these places drawn by their curiosity of the building’s former identity. If you are looking for some up, close, and extreme action, these might be some places to head to.
The Alcatraz Hotel, Kaiserslautern, Germany
The 56 cells in this former German prison may have been converted into suites and rooms, but the management has decided to leave some of the old prison intact to satiate curious cats that come in for a dekko of what life would have been like for its inmates. You can opt between conventional rooms and cell-styled rooms. The latter gives you a taste of life in prison with original prison beds made by inmates, barred windows, and a toilet and washbasin in the room. For extra kicks, you can have your breakfast served through the hatch in the door of your cell. What fun, huh?
Karosta Prison, Liepaja, Latvia
Karosta prison served as a penitentiary for almost a hundred years (1900-1997) and was home to rebels, deserters, dissenters, and enemies of Stalin, KGB, and USSR. Today, people pay good money to get “arrested” outside the hotel, be shouted at rudely by hotel staff, eat sparse meals in the prison canteen, and be thrown into solitary confinement. It is said that prisoners in the jail could survive the torture for no more than three days before breaking down completely or dying. But for modern guests, the extent of stay is limited to just one night of real-time torture.
The Liberty Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts
The very popular liberty hotel in Boston was, at one point of time, a prison of the worst kind. So horrific were the tortures in here that this institution was actually condemned for being in violation of the constitutional rights of inmates. In 1973, a revolt by the prisoners brought an end to the cruel running of the jail and the property was left standing empty for a while before it was decided to convert it into a splendid hotel. The hotel still holds on to some of its ancient history in the form of preserved jail cells, trademark windows, and granite exteriors.
Jail Hotel, Lucerne, Switzerland
Hard to believe that a picturesque place like Switzerland could also have a prison that ran a tight ship, not to mention a strict and severe one, for more than 135 years. Today, a popular hotel in Lucerne, it offers its guest a trip back in time with its “unplugged rooms” that are designed to mimic the cold and sparse living condition of prison inmates. To continue the experience you could visit the library suite, which is stocked with books from the former prison or the Barabas suite, which functioned as the rec room in the erstwhile prison.