Looking for a unique experience? Spend the night in a former jail in Boston. The Liberty Hotel still holds some of it’s original architectural details but never fear- your stay will be luxurious. Modern amenities, high-end details and attentive service makes this a prison you’ll want to check into.
The Liberty Hotel: Sleep in a Former Jail
The Liberty Hotel has a long and storied past. Before opening in September of 2007, the Boston historical site served as a jail from 1851-1991. Housing notorious prisoners in its imposing granite facade, the Charles Street Jail was built in a “modern” style with large windows and soaring ceilings to provide prisoners with light and ventilation. These features remained in the jail’s makeover to luxury hotel. The Liberty Hotel is now a Marriott brand Luxury Collection Hotel and its location makes it an ideal spot to stay in Boston.
Next door to Mass General Hospital it’s conveniently across the street from the Esplanade and the Charles Street MBTA stop on the Red Line. That T line will take you into Harvard Square in just a few minutes. You can walk from the Liberty Hotel to Boston Commons, Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market Place in about 20 minutes, and for sturdier legs all the way to the Aquarium. A large Whole Foods is located down the street providing the perfect stopping spot for snacks to bring back to your room.
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A Unique Honeymoon Destination
My husband and I honeymooned at the Liberty Hotel in 2008 and were in awe of the spacious suite that we chose and the views. We returned for our 1st (4th) anniversary since we got married on Leap Year Day. On this stay we had a Grand Deluxe City View room for one night. We had a great (if drizzly) view of Boston and once again enjoyed the comfortable bed and great water pressure. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a powerful shower? It’s weird to stay that staying in a former jail was romantic but it’s a very sexy hotel.
What You Need to Know When Booking a Room at the Liberty Hotel
It’s central city location and amenities, unfortunately, don’t come cheap. Superior rooms which are the basic level rooms are located on floors 2-6 and run close to $500 and up a night. Room rates can drop into the $370 range if you’re looking a few months out. You can book rooms up to a year in advance but be aware that will result in one of the highest standard room rates of $800+ a night. This is one hotel where I recommend looking at all room levels. On some nights the regular room rates are so close to the suite rates that it’s worth springing for the bigger, better deal.
An even better bet? Use points on this hotel. At 60,000 points per night for off peak and 70,000 points per night during peak times you’re looking at roughly $480 to $560 in value and I guarantee the room will cost more than that. (I use The Points Guy for my points valuations, you can learn more about how they value points here.)
All rooms have floor to ceiling windows, Moulton Brown bath products, and a 55″ flat screen TV. Small details pay homage to the hotels past as a jail. For example instead of standard “Do Not Disturb” signs there are skeleton keys with fabric that says “Solitary” that you hang out if you want to refuse service.
Be aware of additional costs and fees at this hotel. There is a $25 “destination charge” per night that includes “various amenities and hotel events, WiFi, etc”. There is no self-parking. Valet parking runs a whopping $65 a night so we recommend going car-free at this walkable hotel or checking ParkWhiz for other nearby parking options.
Food Options at the Liberty Hotel
The Liberty Hotel has multiple food options on site. One of my favorite things about the eateries is that they’ve worked the old jail cells and bars into their decor. The clever names (Clink, Alibi) don’t hurt either! Even if you aren’t staying at the Liberty Hotel, swing by for a drink and check out the architectural details.
Alibi Bar and Lounge
Enter the Liberty Hotel’s first floor to find this lounge and you’ll be surrounded by old brick work and original flooring. In the summer, you can spill out onto the patio. You know they have a sense of humor here. The bar is located in the jails old drunk tank! The bar has photos everywhere of celebrity mugshots along with what their alibi was. A fun spot for a drink and the food is also top notch. Lydia Shire is the chef here and the Northern Italian menu will leave you satisfied.
Located off of the lobby rotunda, Clink operates for all meals. On Saturdays and Sundays they serve brunch which I recommend because that menu includes their corned beef hash. In the evening Clink is open as a bar and serves a full bar menu including platters to share, flatbreads and some great seafood appetizers.
Bottom line, if you’ve got a good budget and love food, drink and history the Liberty Hotel is the perfect lodging for you.
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