Odd inns: Not just a bed for the night, these European lodgings are places to bide a while
The Philadelphia Inquirer (MCT) - Some specialty hotels become the focal point of a vacation because of their unique qualities. Here are four odd European hideaways (including a former jail) that fit that description. What's more, they're perfect in springtime, when the weather's warming and tourists have yet to swarm to Europe.
Atop a hill in a 14th-century village named Torrita dedi Siena _ just a few minutes' ride from the charming town of Siena in Tuscany _ sits Residenza D'Arte. Once a splendid sprawl of a house, then abandoned, it's now an art gallery-hotel, rich with fireplaces, old stone walls, and rooms with panoramas.
The management hooks up with the community for everything from massage therapy to painting and cooking classes, cultural tours in Tuscany, wine tours, horseback riding, and mountain-bike trips. Or you can just relax _ and shop, if the feeling's right, 45 minutes away at an Italian outlet center that houses Gucci, Fendi and others for enough of a discount to make the euro bearable. Now, in low season, junior rooms at the hotel run about $190 per night; superior rooms are about $250 and a suite, $330.
Residenza D'Arte, Poggio Madonna dell'Olivo, 53049, Torrita di Siena, Italy, 011-39-338-481-4384, www.residenzadarte.com/borgo(underscore)eng.html.
In the harbor at the docks of Harlingen _ a town full of interesting hotels, about a 75-minute ride from Amsterdam _ sits Harlingen Lighthouse, last used to guide ships 11 years ago, when alterations to the harbor rendered it unnecessary. It's now a luxury hotel for two people at a time (staying together), an aerie about 80 steps up, where three floors of round-walled living space serve as accommodations.
The lantern room, on the highest level, opens onto a balcony; binoculars are provided, but guests say there's plenty to see without them. The folks who own the lighthouse also own hotels in a crane and a lifeboat. The lighthouse runs about $445 per night.
Harlingen Lighthouse, Havenweg 1, Harlingen, the Netherlands, 011-31-517-414-410, www.vuurtoren-harlingen.nl/eng/index1.html.
Once a Roman fortress carved from rock on a mountainside, Le Prince Noir in the south of France is now a rarefied B&B. In Les Baux-de-Provence, a tiny village of Provence about a half-hour drive from Arles, the converted fortress comprises three accommodations _ a double-bed room (about $125 per night), a family suite (about $285), and a small apartment with a private terrace (about $340). Guests like the breakfasts, panoramic views and general comfort. There's a two-night minimum stay.
Le Prince Noir, Rue de Lorme, 13520 Les Baux-de-Provence, France, 011-33-6-2007-8267, www.leprincenoir.com.
The last convict left Stockholm's Crown Prison in 1975, and 14 years later, the jail became Långholmen Hotel. The early-19th-century building, on the city's seventh-largest island, has 89 single and 13 double cells _ yes, cells (with private doors) _ each with its own shower.
It also has an atrium, a 24-hour cafeteria in the old prison entrance, an adjoining full restaurant and museum, free Internet, parking within the prison walls, and jogging paths outside for a little prison rec. "A captivating experience," says the management, which promises to give you your own key. Singles run about $135 per conviction _ er, night; doubles, $195.
Långholmen Hotel, Långholmsmuren 20, 10272, Stockholm, 011-468-720-8500, www.langholmen.com/En/Hotel/AboutHotel.aspx.
© 2009, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Travel News
- United Airlines crew refuses to protect teen girl exposed to sex act
- Lively, modern city of Amman has rich historical past
- Abbey of St. Foy is longtime medieval pilgrimage route
- Austere Abbaye de Fonteny filled only with light
- British man visits all of the world's 201 nations - without flying in a plane
- The Basilique Ste-Madeleine second only to Notre Dame in size
- Mont-St-Michel island abbey connected with natural land bridge
- Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire Abbey greets visitors near Orleans in central France
- The Abbey of Fontfroide was onetime center of orthodoxy
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
More Medjugorje & Central Europe
In March 2010, the Holy See announced that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was forming an investigative commission, composed of bishops, theologians, and other experts, under the leadership of Cardinal Camillo Ruini.
St. James Church in Medjugorje
The Apostle St. James the Greater, of whom the church of St. James in Medjugorje was dedicated, is the Patron Saint of Pilgrims. This is just one of ...
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 6/4/2013
A California teenager is suing United Airlines after she claims the company did nothing to stop the man from performing a sexual act on himself ...
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 5/28/2013
Amman, the largest city in Jordan, is one electric with all that is new and today. A bustling, cosmopolitan center, Amman also has a rich ...
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 1/17/2013
The Abbey of St. Foy, nestled in the hills of southern France is a beautiful Romanesque church perfectly aligned with its surroundings. The ...