Visitors to the lobby instantly spot the 12 century cobblestone archways. Visitors to the lobby instantly spot the 12 century cobblestone archways. Visitors to the lobby instantly spot the 12 century cobblestone archways. (Photo: Assaf Pinchuk / Setai Hotel)

Look inside a 12th-century prison transformed into a magnificent hotel

We're pretty sure the inmates never had access to a spa and an infinity pool.

Spending the night in prison may not seem like your top choice for luxury accommodations. But you may want to reassess that.

A 12th-century Ottoman prison has just been reincarnated as a new hotel in Tel Aviv. The building has been meticulously restored during a 20-year preservation process spearheaded by the Israel Antiquities Authority, which included extensive archeological digs that unearthed artifacts dating back hundreds of years. And it's now transformed into a five-star destination. No shackles or warrant required. And bathrobes, not orange jumpsuits, come with each room.

Its eye-popping design and architecture is on par with other hotels around the world that are packed with pizzazz and personality and is part of a larger trend of decommissioned prisons being turned into luxury hotels from Boston to Helsinki.

Take a photo tour of the new digs and, we promise, you'll be pardoned and released in the morning. (Unless you decide to stay an extra night!)

An infinity pool overlooks the nearby Mediterranean Sea. An infinity pool overlooks the nearby Mediterranean Sea. (Photo: Assaf Pinchuk/Setai Hotel)

Diners at the hotel restaurant are treated to food grown in the nearby courtyard, which is brimming with olive and citrus trees. Diners at the hotel restaurant are treated to food grown in the nearby courtyard, which is brimming with olive and citrus trees. (Photo: Assaf Pinchuk / Setai Hotel)

Lonely Planet called the new hotel 'stunning.' Lonely Planet called the new hotel 'stunning.' (Photo: Assaf Pinchuk / Setai Hotel)

Original design details and stonework harmoniously compliment modern accents in the Ottoman-era building. Original design details and stonework harmoniously compliment modern accents in the Ottoman-era building. (Photo: Assaf Pinchuk / Setai Hotel)

Those grates on the window remind you of the building's original purpose. Those grates on the window remind you of the building's original purpose. (Photo: Assaf Pinchuk / Setai Hotel)

This deluxe room mixes modern and medieval. This deluxe room mixes modern and medieval. (Photo: Assaf Pinchuk / Setai Hotel)

The steam room is part of a fully functional Turkish spa on the premises. The steam room is part of a fully functional Turkish spa on the premises. (Photo: Assaf Pinchuk / Setai Hotel)

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Look inside a 12th-century prison transformed into a magnificent hotel
We're pretty sure the inmates never had access to a spa and an infinity pool at this new hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel.