YOU’D never guess there was anything particularly unusual about these hotel rooms.
The truth, however, is that by staying in them, you’d be following the footsteps of some of Britain’s most feared criminals — these guesthouses are actually all converted prisons.
British police this week offered an eerie Halloween sleepover the former prison cell of serial killer Fred West at Steelhouse Lane lockup in Birmingham, designed to show well-behaved citizens what the “other side” looks like.
??? Calling all ghost-hunters, paranormal-investigators, psychics, sensitives, and those interested in getting a glimpse of the “other side”. We’re offering the opportunity to spend a night ghost hunting ? in the old lock-up. Want to know more > https://t.co/Szob7gFLxe pic.twitter.com/yf0SRVjULK
While the $136-a-night event may seem a bit ghoulish, there are plenty of places you can spend some time without falling foul of the law, according to The Sun.
READ MORE: Why are tourists obsessed with prisons?
MALMAISON HOTEL, OXFORD
Malmaison Hotel used to be Oxford Prison, but now its walkways have been turned into a sleek place to stay. Picture: Malmaison HotelSource:Supplied
The rooms are much more glamorous than they used to be. Picture: Malmaison HotelSource:Supplied
One of the rooms at the Malmaison Hotel.Source:Supplied
You can bet you won’t find a jail as luxurious as this.
The $327-a-night Malmaison hotel used to be Oxford Prison, which itself is located inside the high walls of a medieval castle. The prison was active for hundreds of years and used to house inmates as young as seven.
Since the prison closed in 1996, the Malmaison hotel chain took over, converting many of the cells into rooms and refurbishing the walkways with stylish glass panelling.
Meanwhile, rooms connected to capital punishment were converted into offices, so you can’t spend the night on death row … if that’s what you were hoping.
CLINK 78 HOSTEL, LONDON
Clink Hostel is set in the courthouse where The Clash once appeared. Picture: Clink 78 HostelSource:Supplied
Many of the old cells have been converted into one or two-person rooms. Picture: Clink 78 HostelSource:Supplied
Clink, in the Kings Cross area of London, used to be a courthouse, but now it’s a super-trendy hostel where guests are housed in refurbished cells.
Legendary punk rockers The Clash appeared at the courthouse in 1978 when they were charged for shooting racing pigeons with an air rifle.
If you want to follow in their footsteps then you can bunk up with a partner in crime from $98 or, if you’re travelling solo, you can book a room in solitary confinement for $82.
Meanwhile, a room in a shared dorm works out from $22 per night, attracting a lively backpacker crowd. But no matter how rowdy you get, you can guarantee you won’t be the worst person to have spent the night here.
THE COURTHOUSE HOTEL, LONDON
Today, many of the cells have been converted into private booths. Picture: Shoreditch Hotel FacebookSource:Facebook
Former residents at this swanky guesthouse include East London gangsters, brothers Ronnie and Reggie Kray. Picture: Courthouse Hotel ShoreditchSource:Facebook
The lavish interior of the Courthouse Hotel. Picture: Courthouse Hotel ShoreditchSource:Facebook
Formerly Old Street Magistrates Court and Police Station, this 128-room hotel is located in the heart of Shoreditch — once a gritty corner of London renowned for gangster activity.
It’s no surprise, then, that The Courthouse once played host to the infamous Kray twins in its past life.
Today, the cells have been refurbished into private booths, but the prison feel persists — and you can experience it starting at $290 per night.
THE BRIDEWELL PRISON HOTEL, LIVERPOOL
Bridewell, in Liverpool, is now a trendy hotel where anyone can stay. Picture: Stephen J MasonSource:Flickr
There’s no forgetting the hotel’s history as a prison. Picture: Bridewell Prison HotelSource:Supplied
The exercise yard has been converted into a light and airy lounge area. Picture: Bridewell Prison HotelSource:Supplied
Bridewell prison in Liverpool was used as the city’s main lockup for over 130 years, until it was shut in 1997.
Today, the 90-cell jail is now a boutique hotel, with the exercise yard converted into a glass-covered lounge and the former cells converted into comfortable bedrooms.
Rooms here are furnished with photos of former inmates, and the same thick prison doors still stand at the entrance to each cell.
Guests can spend the night for around $73, but they should take note of the old plaque which still hangs in reception: “Please do not ask for bail because a refusal often offends.”
PENNY ROPE, MARGATE
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Have you ever wondered what it's like to spend a night in prison, but don't fancy breaking the law to find out? Penny Rope is a prison-themed bedchamber built into the former cold store of a Grade II-listed Georgian property in Margate, where visitors take on the role of prisoners in this completely quirky, totally unique guesthouse experience, complete with bunk beds, bars on the window and an old-fashioned lock and key! Visit hostunusual.com and search property ref 102. #HostUnusual #experience #gooutstayout #goinstayin #prison #bedchamber #cell #margate #igerskent #holiday #stayhere #lonelyplanet #wandermore #quirky #travelinspo #travelingram #holidayinspo #accommodation #b&b #seaside #weekend #beachbreak #staycation #pennyrope #travel #travelgram #igtravel #instatravel #lockedup
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to spend a night in prison, but don’t fancy breaking the law to find out? Penny Rope is a prison-themed bedchamber built into the former cold store of a Grade II-listed Georgian property in Margate, where visitors take on the role of prisoners in this completely quirky, totally unique guesthouse experience, complete with bunk beds, bars on the window and an old-fashioned lock and key! Visit hostunusual.com and search property ref 102. #HostUnusual #experience #gooutstayout #goinstayin #prison #bedchamber #cell #margate #igerskent #holiday #stayhere #lonelyplanet #wandermore #quirky #travelinspo #travelingram #holidayinspo #accommodation #b&b #seaside #weekend #beachbreak #staycation #pennyrope #travel #travelgram #igtravel #instatravel #lockedup
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The whole hotel is designed to feel like the real deal.Source:Facebook
Guests at this prison-themed hotel are kept in their room with heavy metal doors and sleep in cell-like bunks.
Fortunately, they’re free to come and go as they please, but otherwise the Penny Rope Bed Chamber feels like the real deal.
Although it was never a real prison, you’d never guess by looking at it. There are no windows in the mock cells, and the bathroom and shower facilities are tucked away in an outbuilding to give the impression of a legitimate old-fashioned jail.
Willing inmates can get a taste of prison life at Penny Rope from $136 per night.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.
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