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  • 5 hotels with a weird history from around the world

    Shrigley Hall Hotel, photo by Ian Capper on

    Few travelers can avoid visiting at least a few hotels in the course of their travels. And staying at a hotel is not always the most exciting alternative, especially since some hotels look like they are making efforts to be as ordinary as possible.

    But there are other hotels, which might seem like your run of the mill building with regular rooms, but which have a few skeletons in the closet, sometimes literally. Hotels that are set up in older buildings that used to serve another purpose sometimes end with with a baggage, and maybe not looking like hotels at all. Here are 5 hotels with a weird history from around the world, which are just too unusual to pass up.

    Old Mount Gambier Gaol, Mount Gambier, Australia

    Old Mount Gambier Gaol, photo by avlxyz on Flickr

    Few people dream of spending a night in the jail, and paying for their bed too. But if you want an unforgettable (if somewhat claustrophobic) travel experience, then you should spend a night in the Old Mount Gambier Gaol, a former jail that was converted into a hotel in 1995.

    You can stay in cells or regular rooms, and you get free access to the kitchen and common areas stocked with tea and coffee (so you’ll be much better off than the former inmates).

    Wanderlust Hotel, Singapore

    This quaint hotel used to be the Hong Wen School, a primary school where many children sighed and agonized over their grammar and maths assignments, most likely. The place is now much cheerier, since it was bought by an unconventional hotelier who turned it into a quirky and colorful hotel with three levels designed by different decorator. It’s an eccentric place to be sure, but one where a seasoned traveler will fit right in.

    Shrigley Hall Hotel, Cheshire, UK

    Swimming in a church sounds like one of the craziest, most improbable ideas ever, but in Shrigley Hall Hotel, it is happening every day. The impressive and rather dour looking Shrigley Hall was a boarding school for boys, with its own chapel. So the church adjoining the main building houses today the hotel’s swimming pool – it’s guaranteed to be one of the most solemn pools you’ll see in your life.

    Null Stern Hotel, Sevelen, Switzerland

    Null Stern Hotel has an endearing motto: “The only star is you”. Well, that’s because guests receive a warm welcome, but mostly because the hotel has no starts at all. The hotel used to be a subterranean nuclear bunker, converted into a experimental hotel opened in 2009, whose nearly empty rooms (with pipes sticking out) were furnished with Biedermeier beds became hugely popular. The original hotel is now a museum, but more Null Stern Hotels are planned to open in various locations in Switzerland.

    The Depot, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

    The Depot, photo by Kelly Cookson on Flickr

    The Depot started out as the Old Milwaukee Road Depot, a scenic renaissance revival building that witnessed the golden days of rail travel. The last train left the depot in the 70s, and in 2001, the Depot Hotel was opened. The building’s historical significance was respected as much as possible, and the interior still has much of the charm of the bygone Victorian era.

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