The Big Picture (2): Sleeping Behind Bars in ‘Prison Hotel’ Het Arresthuis

Nowadays, it seems everything can be turned into a hotel: schools, boats, lighthouses, railway cabooses. And prisons. Two years ago, Het Arresthuis opened its doors in Roermond. Spending the night behind bars never seemed so tempting.

The former prison of Roermond was opened in 1863. A lot of the original elements have been preserved. After many years of vacancy, the building once again served as a prison, for drug traffickers, from 2002 until 2007. Since 2011, the nineteenth century prison houses a boutique hotel where guests sleep in the former cells.

Het Arresthuis isn’t the only former prison turned into a hotel. Hotel Huis van Bewaring (House of Detention), located in the Dutch city of Almelo, is another one. For seventy years, people who were convicted at the nearby court house, did their time here. In 1995, prisoners and personnel moved to another location. The Huis van Bewaring is officially a hotel since 2004.

In Helsinki, the Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka served as a county prison and pre-trial detention centre until 2002. The oldest part of the buiding dates back to 1837. A lot of original elements are protected by the National Board of Antiquities: the open central corridor, red brick outer walls and the high perimeter wall around the park. Hotel Katajanokka opened its doors in 2007.

Want more? Take your pick.

'Prison Hotel' Het Arresthuis in Roermond, the Netherlands

'Prison Hotel' Het Arresthuis in Roermond, the Netherlands

'Prison Hotel' Het Arresthuis in Roermond, the Netherlands

'Prison Hotel' Het Arresthuis in Roermond, the Netherlands

'Prison Hotel' Het Arresthuis in Roermond, the Netherlands

'Prison Hotel' Het Arresthuis in Roermond, the Netherlands

'Prison Hotel' Het Arresthuis in Roermond, the Netherlands

'Prison Hotel' Het Arresthuis in Roermond, the Netherlands

All photographs courtesy of Hotel Het Arresthuis

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