Travel

Luxury in an old jail

Built in 1851 (and run until 1990) as the Charles Street Jail, this massive granite- and brick-structure situated off the Charles River at the foot of Beacon Hill now boasts 298 guest rooms, an "I'm totally staying in a prison" historical vibe, and five different spots where you can dine and imbibe.This is the front of the aforementioned jail before color photography was developed.And this is it now, in all of its CMYK-RGB glory.Where prisoners once walked in circles to get their daily exercise, attractive women in variously colored low-cut dresses now frolic over champagne coolies.After making polite small talk with the clerk in the expansive atrium-like lobby, head up to your room for plush robes, four-fixture bathrooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows decked with ornate ironwork.Or perhaps you'd prefer the fresh air and Charles River view from the balcony of the Presidential Suite?Time for a drink? Why not start with a cocktail at Alibi, a lounge set in the jail's old “drunk tank” that still boasts original bluestone floors and brick cell walls. One down, four spots to go. Next up, CLINK., a Mod-American eatery where butcher block tables sit in original jail cell nooks and get piled with Spanish octopus w/ fried yucca, and pork belly w/ pickled mustard seeds. Speaking of the lobby, this is what the joint looks like on a Saturday night.Fireworks over the Charles, just for you.