Article by steve
Top 10 hotels converted from Historic Structures
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most creative hotel conversion projects, turning historical or disused structures into luxury hotels. From an abandoned prison in Boston to an old naval base in Portsmouth. The juxtaposition between old and new is amazing, all whilst retaining the features and the essence of the original architecture. Take a look for yourselves!
The Press Hotel – Portland, Maine USA
Original building – Newspaper printing plant, built in 1923.
Located in what used to be the Gannett Building, home of the Portland Press Herald’s offices and printing plant. When converting the building into a hotel they have retained much of the original architecture, including the vintage lettering on the side of the building. Many of the interior artefacts have been kept too, with typewriters and scales and many other character pieces on display.
The Ned – Central London, United Kingdom
Original building – Midland Bank building, built in 1924.
Formerly the headquarters of the Midland Bank (later HSBC), with many of the banks original features. ‘The Ned’ still contains the original (25-tonne) bank vault door, which was used as inspiration for the vault in the cult James Bond classic, Goldfinger. The Grade-I listed building also contains all of the original windows, pillars and tapestries.
Hotel im Wasserturm – Cologne, Germany
Original building – Once Europe’s biggest water tower, built approx 1872.
Located in a 140 year old water tower in the heart the cathedral city of Cologne, the Hotel im Wassurturm offers a unique 260 panorama view of the cities landmarks. Looking at the buildings cylindrical architecture you wouldn’t guess that a luxury hotel, conference room, restaurant and health spa are hidden within.
Monestera Santa Rosa – Amalfi Coast, Italy
Monastery, built in 1681.
The Santa Rosa is a luxury boutique hotel and spa housed in what was originally a 17-century monastery, located in solitude on a cliff edge of the Amalfi Coast. With outstanding panoramic views, the Monastery is full of it’s original character and historical heritage.
The Liberty Hotel – Boston, Massachusetts USA
Prison, built in 1851.
The Liberty Hotel has one of the most colourful histories of the hotels on this list, it was in fact originally home to some of Boston’s most notorious criminals… The Charles Street Jail. The hotels core is based around the jail’s central atrium and the restaurant is equipped with original aspects of the cells, and the windows still have the original wrought iron work on them. The hotel is far from a prison however, with luxury suites, restaurants and bars all on-site.
Alila Fort Bishangarh – Jaipur, India
Original building – Warrior fort, built approx 1787.
Fort Bishangarh is housed in a 230 year-old warrior fort on the crest of a dramatic hilltop in Northern India. Once home to royalty, with it’s towering turrets, arched windows and a dungeon that has been converted into a luxury spa. Much of the royal grandeur and history of the fort has been retained.
The Krane – Copenhagen, Denmark
Original building – Coal crane, built in 1944.
What can we say, the hotel is inside a crane. However don’t expect shabby interiors as this is the most stylishly decorated crane you have ever seen (we hope?). A truly unique exterior filled with all black Scandinavian interior design. “The Krane” is amidst the authentic industrial landscape of Copenhagen harbour, which means you can take it all in from a viewing point on top of the crane.
No Man’s Fort – Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Original building – Naval fort, built in 1860.
The No Man’s Fort is located on a former Naval fort in the Solent, built out of the fear of invasion by the French fleet led by Napoleon III. Although there’s multiple forts in the Solent, the ‘No Man’s Fort’ is by far the biggest, housing 23 spacious en suite bedrooms. Along with hot tubs, spa/sauna facilities, pool/snooker room, bars and much more. All whilst keeping an authentic nautical feel, with rivets and porthole windows in tact.
Alila Yangshou Hotel – Yangshou, China
Original building – Sugar mill, built in 1960.
Set in the picturesque Yangshou countryside, the Alila Yangshou was once a working sugar mill. Perfectly combining the future and the past, the hotel still has much of the original mills structure. The incredible combination of Chinese heritage, winding rivers and lush green mountains makes you feel like you’re inside a Chinese painting. Another bonus is that the rooms are all made with local stone and bamboo, giving a truly authentic experience.
Quanta Real Zacatecas – Zacatecas, Mexico
Original building – San Pedro bullfighting ring, built in 1866
Once the stage for one of the most controversial of sports, bullfighting. The Quinta Real Zacatecas has now been transformed into a beautiful luxury hotel. Framed by huge archways, you can dine in the centre of the amphitheatre and soak in the history. As hotel conversions go, this hotel is by far one of the most original and unique. Even winning an Architectural Award for it’s outstanding restoration. However you feel about bullfighting, the Quanta Real Zacatecas is truly a thing of beauty.
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