Amazing Places

When You Have Too Many Prisons, Turn Them Into Hotels

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There's a hotel in the Netherlands, just outside of Amsterdam, where you can upgrade your room to a suite like "The Jailer" and "The Judge." No, this isn't just a quirky theme—these rooms were once detention cells and the hotel itself was a prison. It's called Het Arresthuis, Dutch for "house arrest," and it's one of the Netherlands' answers to their big prison problem.

Rooms where the cells were located.

Not Enough Crime?

In a stark contrast to the United States' issue of overcrowded prisons, the Netherlands have too many prisons and too few criminals to fill them. Yes, seriously—they've even accepted prisoners from Norway and Belgium. Due to a decade-long drop in the incarceration rate, more than 19 prisons have closed in the past few years. While the Netherlands' crime rate has dropped 25 percent over the past eight years, Travel + Leisure notes that "some argue that the main reason behind the drop is the closings of police stations across the country."

Either way, the Netherlands has a bunch of empty prisons available for rent, and some entrepreneurs are getting pretty creative—some have been transformed into asylums, others have become housing for Syrian refugees. They also have the luxury hotel option. Het Arresthuis in Roermond is so swanky that you might forget you're staying at a former prison...that is, until you reach your room—they kept the original jail cell doors. (So on theme.)

The Cell Block
Exterior of Het Arresthuis.

Prison Posh

Once you go inside your room, you're locked in! Just kidding. You actually get the works: free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, etc. etc. The hotel says it offers a "surprising 'turn down' service," so we're not sure if that means they show up and flip your mattress for contraband or something. If you were to check in today, you can get a room for €216, or about $246 before tax.

If you don't live in the Netherlands, the prison-turned-hotel trend is making waves—Helsinki, Stockholm, and Oxford, England have jumped on board.

Watch And Learn: Our Favorite Content About The Netherlands

Netherland Prison Becomes Luxury Hotel

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Written by Curiosity Staff July 1, 2017