Want a tourism experience with a difference? Sri Lanka is converting a historic prison into a hotel so that visitors can enjoy the holiday of their lives -- presumably with time off for good behavior.
The Daily News reported Thursday that Galle prison -- built in a centuries-old fort that is now a United Nations world heritage site -- would be developed into a tourist site.
Quoting Southern Province governor Kingsley T. Wickremaratne, the state-owned paper said guests would have to abandon their holiday finery on check-in and would be issued with prison uniforms for the duration of their stay.
"Unlike the star class hotels, there won't be luxury rooms fitted with hot water taps ... the rooms are none other than the prison cells fitted with iron bars," the governor said.
But the news said a "jailor" would allow guests to keep the keys to their cells and they could move about at will.
Galle Fort dates back to 1663 during the Dutch settler era and contains some of the finest examples of colonial architecture in the region.
Property in Galle fort is among the most expensive in Sri Lanka, and a number of grand old buildings -- which used to house the colonial Dutch and later British administrations, have already been converted into luxury hotels or museums.
A Sri Lankan company converted an old tea factory in the hill district of Nuwara Eliya into a hotel some years ago in its bid to offer tourism with a difference. Source