You wake up in a prison cell with s pounding heart and a painful headache reminiscent of your yesterday's consumption. Distressed, you try to collect your last night's memories. And then it hits you, and you breathe a sigh of relief. You haven't done anything wrong. Actually, you have done just the opposite. You've booked the best hostel in New Zealand, which happens to be a former jailhouse.
The Gothic Revival style building of Jailhouse Accommodation was built in 1874 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Up until 1999, it hosted various naughty criminals. A visionary couple, Kirsty and Grant, bought up the place in 2006 and turned it into an award-winning jail-themed playground for budget travelers. Black and white stripes were never as much fun as at Jailhouse Accommodation.
You can dress up as a prisoner and pose for a photo with your inmate ID number. Then there is an authentic fingerprint station. Rumor has it that they send your fingerprints to the local police station if you forget to pay for your Mochaccino. Joking aside, the hostel's reception serves coffees, while the grand atrium has buffet-style breakfasts. What's more, there is a dedicated Netflix room with comfy bean bags, and if you want to play some games in the evening, you will find a pool table and a dartboard in the games room.
The atrium is flanked by communal cells on either side. By communal cells, I mean dorm, twin, and double rooms that were upgraded with comfy mattresses but retained much of their original looks. If you were unsatisfied with the comfort level and needed a reminder of the past, you could visit one of the original cells. You can even see some inmate art preserved on the walls.
The hostel's bikes parked in the atrium have a sign suggesting the "inmates on the run" to take one for a quick escape. So, grab a bicycle and explore the beautiful forests, beaches, and parklands of Christchurch – before they catch you!