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Historic Turku prison to be converted into hotel

The swankest suites at the renovated prison will feature amenities like balconies, but the hotel will also offer guests accommodation in solitary confinement cells.

File photo of Kakola prison. Image: Viivi Sihvonen / Yle

An unusual hotel is set to open in the south-western city of Turku in a couple of years. The city's historic and disused Kakola prison will be renovated and turned into a hotel, according to the project's organisers.

Property owners Kakola Yhtiöt have signed a deal with Helsinki-based firm Primehotels to convert the vintage prison into a hotel.

The centrally-located facility will have about 155 guest rooms and feature other hotel amenities and services.

Kakola Yhtiöt will reportedly remain part-owner of the property after the transition, and the hotel is expected to open in March 2020.

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File photo of Kakola prison. Image: Viivi Sihvonen / Yle

Apart from suites featuring balconies for customers looking for city views from their rooms and solitary confinement cells for more adventurous guests, the hotel will also feature facilities for conferences and events.

The prison chapel will be preserved, organisers say, and will be rented out for events such as weddings.

Primehotels operates several hotels across Finland, including a similar prison-turned-hotel in the Helsinki neighbourhood of Katajanokka.

The first parts of Kakola prison were first built in the 1840s and became somewhat of a tourist attraction after its role as a penitentiary ended in 2007, with guided tours of the facility offered as recently as last summer.

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