Unusual & Unique Hotels of the World

Unusual & Unique Hotels of the World

Liberty Hotel, Boston

You don’t have to commit a crime anymore to earn acceptance into Boston’s famous Liberty Hotel, which used to be home to the Charles Street jail—inmates once included Malcolm X and shamed Boston mayor James Curley. Built in 1851, the jail, which resides in the heart of Boston’s Beacon Hill, sealed its doors due to overcrowding in 1990. In 2007 it was brilliantly converted into a 298-room high-end dwelling, which still showcases parts of the original structure. Dine inside remnants of original jail cells at the hotel’s restaurant, Clink, and enjoy a drink at Alibi, the bar that once doubled as the jail’s drunk tank. The Catwalk, a walkway once patrolled by prison guards, and part of the 16-floor tower structure, now houses the Liberty’s newest bar. Even the “Do not disturb” signs say “Solitary.” If you want the real lockup experience, ask to stay in one of the 18 rooms that feature parts of the real jail. Investigate local architecture by taking a guided tour of historic homes like the Harrison Gray Otis houses and the Nichols House Museum. Shop Charles Street, which offers terrifically unique shops. Or get wet at the community boat dock, which is just a seven-minute walk from the hotel. Kayaks are free to rent when you show your room key.

215 Charles St., Boston, Mass.; libertyhotel.com

Strahov Monastery, Prague

Though you may not see any nuns or monks in the hallways, staying at the Monastery Hotel might make you feel one step closer to a higher power. Built in 1142, the national historic monastery landmark–turned–dwelling is located in the peaceful garden of Strahov Monastery, part of the city center of Prague’s Mala Strana neighborhood. The four-star standard boutique property offers 12 rooms and suites in an ancient-meets-modern 17th-century building. Each has been given a true upgrade, featuring polished-wood floors, plain white walls showcasing photos of Prague and all the comforts of the millennium: flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, mini-bars, high-speed Internet. A huge draw are the exquisite views of Prague Castle, the Lesser Town and the Old Town, embroidered by Vltava River. Enjoy a quiet stroll to Clementinum-Prague National Library, Prague City Hall, Prague Castle and Charles Bridge.

Strahovske nadvori 1/132, 118 00 Prague 1, Mala Strana; hotelmonastery.cz

Aydinli Cave House Hotel, Göreme, Turkey

Explorers looking to quell their inner speleologist can stay at the Aydinli Cave House Hotel, which opened in 2008. Located high above the old village center in the heart of old Göreme, Turkey, the 14-room family-run hotel is carved from natural rock and the traditional stone of Cappadocia, where parts of the cave’s structure date back 750 years. Rooms are decorated in natural, earthy decor and are named after their origins. The former pigeon nests and food storage room, referred to as Divanhorne, or the Living Room, offers original carvings and a private terrace with the best view. The Sirahane, or Wine Place, comprises two large rooms connected by a mini stairwell. One was used to squash grapes for the production of wine and pekmez, a Turkish grape molasses, and the other, Cardark, is where bread was baked. Before exploring Cappadocia, experience a traditional Turkish buffet breakfast or take in the panoramic views of Göreme and Rose Valley from the hotel’s rooftop terrace. Visit the Göreme Open-Air Museum or hike through Pigeon or Rose Valley. There are also Turkish cooking classes, a kilim-weaving tour and belly dancing for those wishing to connect with Turkish culture.

Aydinli Mahallesi, Aydinli Sokak No. 12, Göreme, 50180 Nevsehir, Turkey; thecavehotel.com

Nichole Chan

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