Het Arresthuis hotel in a former prison
by Van der Valk hotels


Het Arresthuis prison now a hotel

A nineteenth century prison in the Netherlands has been converted into a boutique hotel where guests sleep in the former cells.

Het Arresthuis prison now a hotel

The Het Arresthuis jail in Roermond, which dates back to 1863, was in use for nearly 150 years before finally closing its doors in 2007. After a makeover from Dutch hotel group Van der Valk, a total of 105 prisoner cells are transformed into 40 rooms and suites that open out to a lounge in the old prison hallway.

Het Arresthuis prison now a hotel

The overhauled rooms have been filled with modern furnishings, yet each one retains its original door as to a nod to the history of the building. There are four luxury suites included, named The Jailer, The Lawyer, The Director and The Judge.

Het Arresthuis prison now a hotel

The courtyard now serves as a cafe and terrace surrounded by olive trees. Other facilities include a herb garden, a sauna and a number of hotel bars.

Het Arresthuis prison now a hotel

The Het Arresthuis hotel opened in spring 2011, but is not the first prison to be converted into a guesthouse. Others include the Malmaison Hotel in Oxford, England, and the Jailhotel Lowengraben in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Het Arresthuis prison now a hotel

Other prison conversions include a music school in France and a civic and cultural centre in Spain. Dezeen readers also think many new architecture projects look like prisons, from a windowless house in Japan to a student housing complex in Spain.

See more hotel interiors on Dezeen, including the Sleepbox Hotel in Moscow filled with portable sleeping capsules and a hotel room covered in QR codes that link to pornography.

    • I should have read to the end before posting that as Malmaison Oxford is mentioned! Lesson for the future. I stayed at the Oxford "prison" and although it's a great conversion, the rooms are still a little oppresive – perhaps that's the point?

  • Petrus Ningbaus

    I’ve booked for a two week stay in solitary confinement.

  • Boerkamp

    The name of the hotel company is Van der Valk.

    • Whoops! Thanks for pointing this out, I've corrected the story. Amy/Dezeen

  • HMF

    Very similar to the Liberty Hotel in Boston! http://www.libertyhotel.com/the_hotel/history.htm

  • mik

    In the future you will want to be in a prison to be safe from the freedom outside.

  • bob

    It was murder trying to get a booking for this place.

  • Sam

    I'm a sucker for those rolling brick ceilings.

  • Graham

    Same old, same old(?)

    Barn conversions for the neo-peasants, loft conversions for the pseudo factory workers and now boutique prison cells for the lovee inmates.

    Ah the dream of playing at being the gritty working class. They may have been skint, but at least they had good honest values.

    Next up: supermarket stacker eco-aisles (or Isles)? Logistics shed robo-lands? Or Jobcentre Plus cublicle chic?

    • Matt

      I tend to agree. As someone who’s known a few people to spend time in gaol (and had their lives destroyed) I find this in very poor taste. The appeal of the hotel seems to be being sold on the frisson of slumming it. Except with room service. Reminds me of Pulp’s Common People: “I want to live like common people. I want to do whatever common people do.”

  • Mery

    You forgot mention Långholmen Hostel STF/HI, Stockholm. I stayed there as a kid and I was really impressed. I wonder how it looks now.

  • scuffedshoes

    I think I'll wait till someone builds the Aushwitz Arms.

  • Very old prison for female delinquents:

  • Nice converted work! Now it is very tough to realize that this boutique hotel was a nineteenth century prison. Absolutely stunning!!

  • It’s not a new idea, but it looks interesting. Why not..?

  • Wright G Gregson

    Boston turned an 1850s jail (Charles Street Prison) into a very upscale Liberty Hotel.