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Jails, medieval monasteries and quarries: Past lives of iconic luxury hotels

Some of the world's finest rooms have an intriguing former life.

From jails to former coal cranes, some of the world’s most iconic, luxury hotels have incredible former lives. If only walls could talk.

10 venues with an interesting past

The Liberty Hotel, Boston

It may be known for its ornate architecture but the prestigious 300-room venue was once the former Charles Street Jail. (pictured above)

No Mans Fort, Portsmouth

This is a luxe hotel set offshore in a historic 19th century fort on a remote man-made island.

THEKRANE, Copenhagen

If you’re looking for unconventional luxury THEKRANE is the place to be. This one-bedroom two person hotel is built inside the old engine room of a former coal crane.

Belmond Villa San Michele, Florence

Now synonymous with utter elegance, this retreat was once a 15th century Italian medieval monastery.

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland

Built into the side of an abandoned quarry that reaches 88 metres below sea level, InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland is a remarkable example of architecture born out of nature.

The Henry Jones Art Hotel, Hobart

Hobart’s oldest waterfront warehouse was transformed into Australia’s first dedicated art hotel offering industrial-chic rooms for guests to enjoy.

The Wellesley, Knightsbridge

Known as one of London’s finest boutique hotels, the intriguing venue wasn’t always home to suites of opulent accomodation. The Hyde Park Corner Tube Station has been transformed into a glamorous hotel boasting a 1920’s-style bar, jazz lounge with live performances and cigar terrace.

Hotel Magna Pars Suite, Milan

For any hotel located in the fashion city of the world, it is only fitting that the stylish suites were built on the foundations of an old perfume factory.

B2 Boutique Hotel and Spa, Zürich

Once the location of 19th century brewery houses, this artful accommodation has been restored into a quirky city hotel complete with a wine library.

The Warehouse Hotel, Singapore

From spice trading hub to illegal distillery, the boutique venue sits along the old Straits of Malacca trade route, and hints at its illicit past.

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