Four Seasons Sultanahmet in Turkey
Once a Turkish prison, the Four Season Sultanahmet in Istanbul, at first glance, appears to be consistent with the lavish style of other locations within the high-end chain. But Sultanahment is different, once housing criminals within its now bright yellow walls. Touches here and there, such as the watchtowers which now serve as elevator shafts, remind visitors of the history that lies within. Situated close to landmarks including the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, the location is nothing short of perfection.
Långholmen in Sweden
Långholmen playfully incorporates the hotel’s history into its core design. For 250 years, the building and island housed prisoners – the lush, trademark greenery can be credited to inmates who planted thousands of trees while serving time. After the jail closed in 1975, it reopened as a luxury retreat in 1989. Contemporary cells are beautifully furnished and guests get to hold onto the key, unlike former prisoners.
Malmaison Oxford in England
Malmaison Oxford’s windows are still barred in many of the converted rooms, with the A-wing providing the most authentic feeling experience of what it was like to be an inmate back in the day. The hotel is gorgeous, towering over a trendy portion of Oxford with all its castle-like glory. Moody lighting and historical accents are reminiscent of a Dracula film, but there’s plenty of vibrant outdoor space to enjoy. Local dishes are served up at the Brasserie, in an industrial environment true to the prison vibe.