OMG, I ended up in jail on my birthday!

November 3, 2007 | By | Reply More
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Growing up just outside of Boston, my Mother would caution my older brothers, “You’d better behave yourself or you’ll end up in the Charles Street Jail”. This brought to mind the worst horrors of being incarcerated in a dungeonous jail cell in a dilapidated penal facility – think Alcatraz style cat walks over crumbling cell blocks. She would never imagine in her wildest dreams that her sweat little daughter would be the one to spend time in the infamous jail house.

The Liberty Hotel, BostonNot only did I intentionally go to jail, I loved it, and will be going back again. You see the notorious Charles Street Jail is now Boston’s newest luxury lodging, The Liberty Hotel, promising a “captivating stay”. A five year, $150 million dollar historic redevelopment, has turned the once foreboding property into a dramatic, gleaming 4 star hotel overlooking some of the best views in Boston.

What I like most about this hotel is that they have kept their tongue firmly in cheek while redesigning the space. Great personality and pizazz has been added to what you might well imagine was a dreary foreboding building, without turning it into a beige, marbled, ‘I could be anywhere’ property.

Entering through the towering jail house doors, the “Alibi” cocktail lounge greets you on the right in the space that was once the ‘drunk tank’. Aprepos or what? The lounge decor includes restored cell blocks, original iron-bar doors and blue stone floor.

Continuing upstairs to the lobby by escalator you travel past a wonderful original piece of mosaic tile artwork depicting historic Boston scenes and storied personalities from the Jail. Soaring 3 story arched windows greet you under a 90-foot central beamed rotunda and cupola. Exposed red brick, granite archways, preserved black cat walk railings, magnificent huge tiered wrought iron chandeliers and bold red accents give an overall masculine feel to the hotel lobby.

The Clink Restaurant MenuOn to ‘The Clink’, the hotel’s signature restaurant which occupies a former cell block, where you’ll find the wait staff wearing uniforms stenciled with “prison” numbers representing the origin in 1851 and redevelopment in 2007. Tables are scattered among preserved wrought iron cell doors and the restaurant has a deceptively cheerful atmosphere thanks to floor to ceiling grand windows. I found the menu to be fairly limited, but interesting. The “Remember Buzzy’s” beef sandwich I ordered was completely delicious and Linda enjoyed Maine Diver Scallops (which were self-cooked on a Hot Japanese Cooking stone at the table). If there is one area that could be improved, I would say it’s the menu offerings. Check the dinner and lunch menu in advance at the Liberty I understand through the grapevine that the Chef may be leaving, so there could be changes to the food offerings coming.

All in all, the Liberty Hotel is an impressive property, that has come out of the shadows to show off it’s unique and impressive architecture.

Planning a great escape has a whole new meaning at the Charles Street Jail in Boston. You’ll be plotting of ways to get in instead of out.

Category: Boston, Hotels, Inns, B&Bs, New England