Look Inside The Former Jail House That’s Now A Hotel

Believe me when I tell you I never want to go to jail. Never. But, after taking a look inside the Liberty Hotel in Boston, I might have changed my mind!

The Liberty Hotel is a luxurious place to stay in Boston, and was formerly the Charles Street Jail. It’s a historic national landmark built in 1851, and now it’s home to 300 rooms and suites with a view of the river.

In 1973, the jail was declared unfit due to the violation of the inmates’ constitutional rights, leaving them in poor living conditions. It took decades for all the inmates to be transferred out of the prison, and then even longer for it be converted into something new. Now, however, the former jail house is a high-demand hotel, and looking inside you would never know it used to house some of Boston’s most notorious criminals!

First off, let’s take a look at that view. It’s better than most places would offer, and that balcony looks pretty spacious. I’d be willing to be inmates didn’t get to see anything like that when they were in there!

The interior of the hotel is actually breathtaking, as you can see the catwalks where guards would monitor the inmates. Now, guests can walk the catwalks to get a full view o the space.

The Liberty Hotel

The rooms are pretty spacious and modern, which isn’t something you’d think when hearing “former jail.” You could definitely do some reading, relaxing, or work in one of these suites.

The hotel is also dog friendly, and has a lot of subtle nods to its past as a jail. See the pillows on the couch?

I’d say this bed is more comfortable than the cots that inmates had to sleep on! Note the keys on the wall…another nod.

This kitchenette is nicer than the one in my first apartment!

As for the restaurant, it’s called “Clink.” This hotel really didn’t miss any opportunities for callbacks.

This is my favorite part of the whole hotel. The exposed brick and bars really add to the atmosphere.

Alright, now I know inmates weren’t getting meals like this back in the day.

You can also hold receptions and events at The Liberty Hotel, and you won’t even have to sign in with the front desk officer.

As for the former exercise space for the inmates, it’s now a beautiful outdoor venue for guests to rent or tour around.

This cobblestone walk is a blast from the past.

I think I would love to stay at The Liberty Hotel. Just make sure you get a checkout date!

Would you stay in a hotel like this?

Man Charged $6,200 For One-Night Hotel Room Stay Thanks To “Small Print”

Last month, I used one of those popular online travel services to book a hotel for a weekend getaway. I was a little skeptical about booking online, but I was lucky that everything worked out – and I got a good deal! Unfortunately for Justin Smerchanski, things didn’t go as planned…and it cost him $6,200.

Smerchanski was traveling for work from Manitoba, Canada to Willmar, Minnesota, and used the booking site Expedia.ca to book his hotel room. He was in a bit of a rush, and booked a room at the Holiday Inn & Suites, which was listed at $207 for the night. It was a next-night reservation, so the price was a little higher, which Smerchanski anticipated. What he didn’t anticipate was the literal thousands of dollars in fees and taxes that were about to come his way.

Smerchanski printed his receipt, then saw there were $3,143.93 in “taxes and fees” and an additional $2,828.66 in “property fees.” His credit card was billed for $6,180.54.

“Obviously I thought it was a mistake, and right away I called Expedia,” Smerchanski said. “I ended up talking with them, trying to make my way up to someone who could tell me exactly what was wrong. I was kind of assured right away that this was obviously a mistake and they were going to have it cleared up.”

That didn’t happen, though. Instead, the Canadian man was tossed from department to department and given the runaround for days by the travel site.

“It just didn’t seem like they thought anything was wrong,” he said. “I go like, ‘Hey hold on a second here. Don’t you think something is off? This is a $6,200-a-night room in Willmar, Minn. This is out of this world.”

Smerchanski was getting frustrated. After talking to at least 12 different people, he’s starting to wonder if the issue will ever be solved.

“No one can give me a clear answer,” he said. “I basically just kept getting the same runaround, that they weren’t able to authorize a credit for that amount [for a refund]. I kept saying, ‘Why am I talking to them? Get me up to someone that can.’ It’s just one hold after another and one manager after another who can’t help you with anything. I’m starting to get the indication that they aren’t going to be clearing it up.”

Instead of trying to deal with Expedia, Smerchanski shifted his efforts to the credit card company. They’ve been trying to get in touch with the travel company on his behalf in order to get answers and a refund.

“I was told from the credit card company that they’ve never ever seen anything like this,” Smerchanski said.

Though they were silent about the controversy at first, Expedia did release a statement on Smerchanski’s case. They provided a full refund for his charge, as well as a $200 voucher.

“Our team has reviewed this case, and we have gone ahead and processed a refund for this customer in full. We are very sorry this issue occurred, and deeply regret this experience,” Expedia spokesperson Mary Zajac wrote in an email to CBC News. “In this particular instance, we do feel we could have resolved this issue in a quicker manner.”

Holiday Inn had some advice for customers who are looking to book hotel stays in the future.

“We encourage guests to book directly through our channels for greater control over their reservations,” wrote a spokesperson from InterContinental Hotels Group, which owns the Holiday Inn brand.

Smerchanski also has some advice for future travellers.

“It’s just insane,” he said. “Just to basically be given the runaround multiple times, without knowing for sure the answer, is very frustrating. Don’t be in a rush and make sure you read all the small print.”

In the end, Smerchanski didn’t even stay at the hotel room he booked because he was so upset about the charges. He made alternate accommodations.

“It was a Best Western. It was $155.”

[H/T: CBC News]

Have you ever had a bad experience with travel sites?