Restored Jailhouses Rock as Trendy Hotel Destinations

Old schools, factories get facelifts too as hoteliers aim to attract upscale crowd
By Michael Roston,  Newser User
Posted Oct 30, 2008 11:26 AM CDT
Visitors to the Liberty Hotel in Boston, formerly the Charles Street Jail, move up an escalator from the street to the lobby as a hotel employee descends on Monday, Oct. 22, 2007.    (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
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(Newser) – Taking aim at travelers who want more than just Wi-Fi or a pool, hoteliers are converting former prisons, schools, factories, and other odd sites into luxury hotels, Portfolio reports. Younger guests who travel for leisure are demanding distinctive experiences, and the unusual locations help hotels market their rooms in a way Conrad Hilton never imagined.

The Charles Street Jail, built as a "model prison", is now a model of such transformation. Developers renamed it the Liberty Hotel, added a restaurant named Clink, and joke it’s “Boston's most captivating address.” And at the Kennedy School hotel in Portland, Ore., you can smoke in the Detention bar, but put those stubs out before you head to the Honors lounge.