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Spend the Night in a Fab Former Public Service Building

Every building has a story to tell, and historic public service buildings often have the best. In the past, these buildings served their communities and had a very specific function. Today, many of these well-built structures have been transformed into luxurious stays, where travellers can enjoy a whole new type of experience.

We searched through our listings in destinations all over the globe to come up with six unique stays in repurposed public service buildings, including everything from a former library to a rennovated post office. Take a break in one of these former public service buildings and enjoy your journey back in time...


Former Post Office, Ghent Belgium

Designed by Louis Cloquet and Stéphane Mortier for the 1913 World Exhibition, the Central Post Office of Ghent closed its doors as a post office in 2001. It has since been converted into a beautiful boutique hotel. Its stunning clock tower is 52 metres tall and guests can enjoy uninterrupted views from the hotel’s grand window.

The 1898 The Post is a unique property in an iconic historical building in the heart of Ghent, near the Graslei Canal. This Neo-Gothic and Neo-Renaissance building has 38 rooms and suites elegantly decorated with antique furniture and high, sloped ceilings.


Former Prison, Horsens, Denmark

Opened in 1853, Horsens Statsfængsel was built to house prisoners serving long prison sentences but stopped serving as a working prison in 2006. Today, guests can learn about the prison's history in the on-site museum, which also includes a look into the lives of the former staff and the inmates.

Situated in the former Horsens State Prison, SleepIn Fængslet is a hostel that offers prison cell rooms with bars over the windows and original graffiti on the walls from inmates. The hostel’s shared bathroom facilities are located in the halls. Luckily, you don’t have be a convicted criminal to spend the night here (and the doors lock from the inside only), so you actually won’t mind being ‘locked up’ for the night.


Former Fire Department, Detroit, USA

The former Fire Department Headquarters of Detroit is a steel-frame, five-story Neoclassical building rich in history, designed by the architect Hans Gehrke. The Fire Department was the first in Michigan and opened its doors in 1929.

Today its home to the Detroit Foundation Hotel. The hotel’s modern restaurant with the historic touches serves modern American dishes and refreshing cocktails made by experienced mixologists. Guests can also admire the beautiful art pieces from local artists throughout the hotel.


Former Library, Amsterdam, Netherlands

In 1974, the architectural office of Gerard de Klerk designed an elegant building with a natural stone façade in the centre of Amsterdam, which hosted the city’s main public library. The library relocated in 2007 to another part of the city and gave birth to a new, beautiful 5-star hotel.

Located in the heart the canal belt, Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht - A Hyatt Hotel offers elegant rooms designed by Marcel Wanders. Travellers can relax in the stunning lobby or discover a great number of video art pieces throughout the property created by young artists. 


Former School, Hamburg, Germany

Located in a former school building, the Volkschule offers comfortable rooms in central Hamburg that are designed in a modern style. The school was built in 1888 in the Hamm district and converted to this family-run hotel in 2013. The breakfast room will remind you the school’s history, while the original brick walls in combination with the contemporary décor give guests a feeling of tranquility. 


Former Monastery, Cusco, Peru

A true historical landmark, the Belmond Hotel Monasterio is situated in Cusco's lively historical city centre and two blocks away from Plaza de Armas Square. The former monastery dates from 1592 and offers luxurious colonial-style accommodation around a stunning courtyard with a 300-year-old cedar tree.

The hotel’s walls are covered with religious art dating all the way back to the 18th century and guests can enjoy an unforgettable dinner, serenaded by opera singers amidst the candlelit arches.