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Cornwall’s Bodmin Jail transformed into luxury holiday destination

By Phoebe Hughes on 24th January 2021

Have you ever wandered what it would be like to stay in jail? Deep in the heart of Cornwall, The Bodmin Jail Hotel, which is set to open once current restrictions are lifted, can provide you with just this experience. But fear not as the jail has undergone a £50 million renovation project to be transformed from an 18th century prison into a four-star boutique hotel, so you can be sure that your stay will be something of a luxury experience.

The building, which is just moments from both coasts, is steeped in 160 years of history, with the hotel’s 70 bedrooms, all made by combining three former cells, retaining their authentic features. Behind original cell doors, guests will discover free-standing baths, walk-in showers and indulgent bedding, all set to the backdrop of weathered stone walls. The hotel carefully blends the old and new, giving Cornish heritage a luxurious twist.

The Bodmin Jail Hotel will also be the home to the Chapel Restaurant, where gothic elegance combines with a unique sense of history to offer diners an exquisite dining experience. As well as this you can also indulge in a more relaxed dining experience in The Jolly Hangman Tavern, which offers light bites, hand-made pastries and specialty coffees.

The bedrooms are made up of three former cells and retain some original features

The Chapel Bar – once the governor’s office – complete with 100 plus varieties of gin, offers the perfect spot for a pre-dinner tipple or a late-night cocktail. There is also a dedicated space for up to 300 people offering the biggest wedding, conference, meeting and events venue in Cornwall.

Rajesh Joshi, resort CEO for The Bodmin Jail Hotel, comments: “Steeped in romance, mystery and history, The Bodmin Jail Hotel is a new type of luxury. There is nowhere else quite like it. A celebration of Cornwall’s past and a sumptuous destination for couples, families and friends, this is a Cornish holiday reimagined – a chance to be inspired, relax and soak up the culture.”

Guests can also take a tour of the jail’s unique history and learn about its significance to Cornwall. Bodmin Jail, on the edge of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, was originally built during the reign of King George III in 1779 as part of the Prison Reform. It was one of the first modern prisons in the UK with individual cells, segregated male and female areas, hot water and light and airy areas for prisoners to live and work.

The Chapel Bar complete with 100 plus varieties of gin, offers the perfect spot for a pre-dinner tipple or a late-night cocktail

The female prison was closed in 1911 with remaining inmates being transferred to Plymouth. The numbers of prisoners declined dramatically with the outbreak of the war, and the last male prisoner left Bodmin Jail in July 1916. The Jail was finally closed and officially decommissioned in 1927, and 1929 saw its sale to the demolition men.

There has been an £8.5 million investment into the Bodmin jail attraction on the same site, but this is operated separately. This features a dark wall experience which combines the latest technology and theatrical effect.

In July 2021 a 75-pod glamping site and an onsite spa, featuring a swimming pool, sauna and hot tubs, will further enhance the luxury offering. To complement the leisure facilities, a Hospitality Academy to train tourism professionals of the future and support Cornwall’s tourism industry is also in the pipeline.

Reservations are now available. Room rates start from £130 (subject to availability). For more information, visit bodminjailhotel.com.