5 great converted hotels

Date Posted: 06/07/2012

Pictured: The Conservatorium in Amsterdam

Converted hotels are a growing trend as they can incorporate a sense of history and local culture into a stay. The buildings often have interesting architectural aspects, and such hotels are regularly found in the up-and-coming districts of towns and cities.

Here are five of the best:

The Conservatorium Hotel
, The Netherlands

Compared to other hotels on our list, the Conservatorium Hotel has been open the shortest amount of time, but its building has been in use much longer.

The hotel has kept the historic glass façade of Amsterdam’s former music conservatory; and its construction is said to have instigated an urban regeneration of the Museumplein –the area once known as the Museum Quarter.

The hotel is perfectly situated for a morning spent wandering the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum, followed by an afternoon of shopping on nearby P.C. Hooftstraat.

Mandarin Oriental
, Czech Republic

Though many of the most famous sites in Prague are located in the Staré Mesto and Nové M?sto; the Prague Castle and many of the city’s most atmospheric places are found on the other side of the River Vltava in the Malá Strana district.

One of these is the Mandarin Oriental Prague building, housed in a converted Dominican monastery from the 14th century.

Even the hotel’s spa experience is set in an area of architectural heritage; and entry to the spa, which is through a glass walkway, both displays and preserves the remnants of a Gothic church found during the hotel’s renovation. A stroll around the Malá Strana also gives groups ample opportunity to indulge in the city’s famous brews and hear some classical tunes.

The Liberty Hotel
Boston, USA

The looming grey-stone façade of the Liberty Hotel in Boston is the former home to both law-breakers and enforcers of the Charles Street Jail.

The architecture of the former jail has been cleverly reconceived as an urban one-stop shop: the nightclub is in the former ‘drunk tank’, cocktail areas occupy the surviving catwalks, and two different eateries can be found in rooms with original jail cell details.

The location, once ideal for preventing prisoner escapes, is now very convenient for exploring Boston. Stroll around Beacon Hill, take a cab to Newbury Street, or take the T’s Red Line to Cambridge.

Hotel Hospes Palacio del Bailio
, Spain

Groups visiting the Adalucianarea of southern Spain often just stay in Seville, and make a quick trek to Cordoba to see the famous Mezquita - the former mosque that was then converted into a Christian Cathedral.

However, the Hospes Palacio del Bailio hotel - housed in a 16th century palace – is worth an overnight stay. Its architecture provides an immersion into Moorish influence and architecture usually only afforded in Morocco.

Beautifully decorated with modern fixtures and a soothing colourscheme of neutrals, the hotel embraces its architecture and history while providing guests with all the modern amenities that we’ve grown accustomed to.

Four Seasons Hotel at Sultanahmet
, Turkey

The Four Seasons Hotel at Sultanahmet - a former Turkish prison - is a striking neoclassical structure, conveniently located between the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque, two of Istanbul’s greatest treasures.

The hotel has elements that hark back to the 1918 structure, such as reused tiles from the building’s former incarnation, and the landscaped courtyard, which once served as the prison’s exercise yard. Another great benefit to this spot: guests are allowed to use all the amenities at the hotel's sister property, the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus.

These hotels were sourced by Virtual Tourist which is a resource for travellers seeking an insider’s perspective, including tips, reviews and photos.

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