The country of stroopwafels, cheese, windmills and glow in the dark highways has seen a significant drop in crime over recent years. Twenty-five per cent to be exact. The god news comes as no surprise as we continue to see the Netherlands pop up on quality of life rankings each year and the country’s approach to criminal rehabilitation has proven benefits.
However, this drop in crime has meant that there’s a whole lot of prisons closing down. What’s the logical answer? Turn them into hotels.
One of the Netherland’s fanciest hotels is a converted prison from 1666. It’s named Het Arresthuis — which translates to Judgement House — and is located in the historic town of Roermond. But Het Arresthuis is not somewhere you would have liked to stay 150 years ago.
A wave of old prisons have followed the same pattern around Europe, the US and even Australia. With 19 abandoned hotels around the country, the Netherlands is renting them out to places like Norway and Belgium, or even using them to house refugees.
At Het Arresthuis, you can stay in a ‘Comfort Cell’, which comprises three cells converted into a large room, or the ‘Deluxe Cachot’ which is quite a bit larger and located in the recreation rooms of the old prison. Otherwise known as ‘deluxe dungeons’. Intriguing. You can even rent out a whole cell block to throw a party with your friends.
Expect to see a lot more hotels like these in the coming years, with plans to convert a few more of the old prisons into hotels. It’s a brilliant idea, especially since it makes use of up-cycling and provides such a rich sense of history to the guests. No word on whether these old prisons are haunted though.
Either way, we ain’t afraid of no ghosts.
(All images: Het Arresthius)[qantas_widget code=AMS]Check out Qantas flights to The Netherlands.[/qantas_widget]
Josephine is a staff writer at Junkee Media. You can find her words on AWOL, The Cusp, food she bagsed in the fridge.