Relaying the details of the transformation of Great Scotland Yard’s 19th century Listed Building into a luxury 5-star hotel whetted our appetite for more – and boy did we unearth some architectural masterpieces! It seems it’s not just UK developers that are blessed with a vision knowing no bounds, these sumptuous hotels can be found all over the world! From ancient monasteries to sprawling plantations and even abandoned prisons, these creative and ambitious renovations are famous for more than their 5-star ratings.
Our top 5 of converted hotels:
- Mandarin Oriental, Prague: This 14th century Dominican monastery has been renovated into a luxury hotel with a contemporary design with architectural features and remains a beautifully preserved piece of history. It also boasts the only spa in the world, set in a Renaissance chapel.
- The Liberty Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts: What was once the Charles Street jail, has been innovatively transformed into a hotel, where some of the original features have been cleverly woven into the hotels’ amenities. The hotel’s nightclub is situated in the former ‘drunk tank’, some of the cocktail areas occupy the surviving ‘catwalks’, and two of the restaurants can be found in rooms with original jail cell details.
- Wanderlust Hotel – Singapore: This old schoolhouse building isn’t just a renovation, it’s a renovation with a completely different vibe. The hotel advertises it as a ‘left-field and totally experimental boutique hotel’. Each of the four floors of the original building was given over to a designer, resulting in four very different themes, with hopefully something for everyone
- Hotel Hospes Palacio del Bailío – Cordoba, Spain: Although this 16th century palace, (which was declared a Cultural Heritage Monument in 1982), is steeped in history, it has been given the modern touch, without removing the elegance and majesty of the original features.
- Montpelier Plantation – Nevis, Caribbean: Lord Nelson married Frances “Fanny” Nisbet in the grounds of the then sprawling sugar plantation in 1789, but after the loss of trade on the island, the vast building fell to rack and ruin. Luckily in 1960 it was bought by a property developer who had the vision to make it into a luxury retreat. It has retained its reputation for being home to the rich and famous, no more so than the fact that Princess Diana visited there soon after her divorce, with the two princes.
Of course, like any conversion of a Listed Building or an unusual building there is often more pitfalls than you would normally find in ordinary renovation projects. Turning a building into a hotel of any size takes expert planning, refurbishment and therefore it’s essential that the renovation project is fully insured.
Next time we will take a look at some of the more unusual hotels that are springing up all over the UK, including a star shaped castle!
Trip Advisor has revealed that:
“Travellers tell us that the best conversions are those that retain the theme and atmosphere of the building’s original use and seamlessly integrate it with amenities and services expected of a contemporary hotel.”