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jail hotels Liberty Hotel

LIBERTY HOTEL, Boston:  Malcolm X and the infamous anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti stayed more than a few nights when this Starwood Luxury Collection hotel was the Charles Street Jail (aka the Suffolk County Jail). Built in the mid-19th century in cruciform style, in accordance with humanitarian values of the time (to fill the building with natural light), the Liberty is probably more comfortable today. It’s still a pretty formidable place, with its heavy Romanesque and Renaissance influences, but now its 298 rooms come outfitted with Molton Brown bath products, martini sets and four-fixture bathrooms. The property offers jailhouse tours, where helpful guides will point out the preserved jail cells in the restaurant and the original ironwork on the windows.  (Photo: courtesy of Liberty Hotel)

In pictures: hotels that used to be prisons

To varying degrees, these hotels preserve their jailhouse origins. Some go ultra-luxurious; others opt for the bare-bones backpacker route. All capture the imagination. | By Drew Limsky