TripAdvisor(R), the world's largest travel community, today announced its list of the top ten converted hotels in Europe, as determined by TripAdvisor travelers and editors. These unconventional buildings have been wonderfully converted into hotels, retaining the spirit of the original structure, while offering luxurious accommodations and modern amenities.
1. Watershed Moment: Hotel Im Wasserturm, Cologne, Germany - Average Nightly Rate: $341
A former aquatic hub, the unique Hotel Im Wasserturm was the largest water tower in Europe before its conversion to a hotel in 1990. Enjoy the hotel's beautiful and chic interior design and continue the liquid tradition by sipping a drink at La Vision, located on the circular brick tower's roof terrace. As one TripAdvisor traveler said, "This is a designer's dream of a hotel, well thought out and very cleverly built from a water tower with lots of design touches from the bottom to the top!"
2. Palace Props: Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest, Hungary - Average Nightly Rate: $437
Sleep like a king at the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, a former Art Nouveau palace restored to its original magnificence in 2004 and adorned with exquisite gold mosaic tiles. Sashay down the grandiose stairwells, peer at the stained-glass windows or have a drink below the cupola, all while taking in the stunning panoramic views of the Danube. As one TripAdvisor traveler described, "The Four Seasons Gresham Palace is truly a palace. From the grand foyer, to the luxurious rooms and personalized service, this hotel is by far the best hotel I've ever stayed at."
3. Curtain Call: K+K Hotel Central, Prague, Czech Republic - Average Nightly Rate: $233
Steal the limelight by staying at K+K Hotel Central, an historic Art Nouveau building and cabaret before its conversion in 2004. Enjoy the hotel's theatrical elements, including glass elevators, ornate staircase and show-stopping breakfast room, converted from a theater, with a high ceiling and views of the old balconies. As one TripAdvisor traveler said, "The building has been restored to its former glory. As soon as you enter reception you know it's a high quality hotel."
4. Medieval Times: Chateau de Trigance, Trigance, France - Average Nightly Rate: $168
Step back in time at Chateau de Trigance, a former XI medieval fortress (converted in 1961) perched on a rock, towering over the village of Trigance in the South of France. Dine at the candle-lit restaurant, with ancient arched artillery-filled rooms before returning to your stone-walled accommodation, decked with antique furniture and medieval tapestry. As one TripAdvisor traveler said, "This is an extraordinary place - an atmospheric little restored castle ringed by stunning mountains. Sip kir on the terrace or have breakfast on the battlements."
5. Guiding Light: The Lighthouse, Llandudno, North Wales - Average Nightly Rate: $150 (per person)
Follow the glow to The Lighthouse, built of Canadian pine and limestone, once a beacon for mariners until 1985. The Victorian dining room, facing the north, overlooks a 100 meter vertical drop and serves a renowned traditional Welsh breakfast. As one TripAdvisor traveler said, "It was a unique experience amidst dramatic scenery with the most welcoming hosts you can imagine. This was more of a dream than reality."
6. Bank On It: Old Bank Hotel, Oxford, England - Average Nightly Rate: $466
Invest in the Old Bank Hotel, converted in 1999 from what was Oxford's first bank. In contrast to the traditional 18th century facade, the interior favors a modern style with a chic lobby, 20th century British art and bedrooms with silk linens, chenille headboards and suede sofas. As one TripAdvisor traveler said, "The Old Bank is a small and intimate delight in a stunning location. We were very well treated by the staff and enjoyed the lively sense of humor of the head porter."
7. Pulitzer Prize: Hotel Pulitzer, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Average Nightly Rate: $440
Cruise up to the jetty at the Hotel Pulitzer, comprised of 25 adjoining 17th and 18th century canal houses, renovated in 2000 and located on the Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht canals. The hotel features unique Dutch-influenced rooms, a cigar lounge, and for art lovers, its own modern art gallery. As one TripAdvisor traveler said, "The hotel lies along a grand canal in a beautiful and historic Amsterdam neighborhood. Everything about it is five stars; especially the service, elegant and comfortable rooms, and food."
8. The Big Krolewski: Krolewski Hotel, Gdansk, Poland - Average Nightly Rate: $132
Once producing a staple of Gdansk's economy, the Krolewski is located in one of 30 former granaries, opening as a hotel in 2000. On the edge of the Motlawa River in northern Poland, the Krolewski is a stunning building with 30 rooms that seamlessly integrate the granary's architectural features into elegant suites. As one TripAdvisor traveler described, "An excellent hotel, beautifully converted from an old granary building, with amazing attention to detail, a friendly staff, and top notch restaurant."
9. Lock Me Up: Langholmen Hotel and Hostel, Stockholm, Sweden - Average Nightly Rate: $179
Serve a voluntary sentence at the Langholmen Hotel and Hostel, once Sweden's biggest prison before its conversion in 1989. Stay in one of the former "cells," now furnished, eat in the cafeteria, offering 24-hour service, and grab your room key, which will make you feel like a guest rather than an inmate. As one TripAdvisor traveler said, "This hotel is an absolute delight! The old prison has just barely been transformed into a hotel. At the front desk we didn't check in we were 'sentenced.'"
10. Monastery Mojo: Mandarin Oriental, Prague, Prague, Czech Republic - Average Nightly Rate: $426
Find inner peace at the Mandarin Oriental, Prague, a 14th century Dominican monastery before its conversion in 2006. Dine at the five-room Essentia restaurant below vaulted ceilings or appreciate the view of the city's historical buildings and rooftops, featured in many of the rooms. As one TripAdvisor traveler said, "Built in a renovated monastery, the hotel keeps a lot of the old and impressive design in the common areas. However, you still feel you are in a top-of-the-line modern hotel."
"With such a deep and rich history of architecture, Europe is a natural breeding ground for elegantly converted hotels," said Michele Perry, director of communications for TripAdvisor. "From former lighthouses to theatres to water towers, these conversions offer something unique for every kind of traveler, but are consistent in that they all receive high marks from TripAdvisor travelers."
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