We’ve just spent the night in a fabulously renovated 18th century jail thats become the luxurious Bodmin jail hotel. It’s located on the mysterious Bodmin Moor in Cornwall and It’s way up there in one of the coolest and quirkiest places we’ve ever stayed.
I wanted a really unique hotel for James’ birthday weekend (I’m pretty confident a Grade II listed 18th century renovated prison, that once housed hundreds of criminals ticked that box!) The hotel looked absolutely stunning too, so I booked it. Keeping the whole weekend, along with all the plans a complete surprise. He had no idea where we were staying until we drove in through the towering jail walls.
We parked up, registered our car numberplate for the parking and checked in with the lovely receptionist who gave us directions on how to find our cell, or room if you’d rather!
As soon as you enter the hotel, theres no hiding the fact that you’re stood inside a prison. Rows of cells line the cold bare stone walls, with internal balustrades and skeleton staircases taking you up the remaining 3 stories. It’s just like what you see on TV, that same traditional prison layout – only a whole lot nicer!
In this article...
What are the rooms like in the Bodmin jail?
We stayed in room 124 on the Naval Wing of the prison. Inside each room you’ll see a plaque with information on a former prisoner who once stayed in your exact room many moons ago.
Ours was a man named Nicholas Guard who was sent to jail for knifing 20 year old James Hoskin. He was later held in our cell prior to his execution on the 10th September 1821.
We enjoyed reading about him, and thought it was a fun way of adding an extra touch of history to our room.
They have created the new hotel rooms by merging 3 former jail cells together. Two of the cells have been opened up to create an open plan bedroom and living area. Step through the door to the 3rd cell, you’ll find the gorgeous bathroom with rainfall shower and a deep free standing bathtub. A huge mirror, complete with soft ambient back lighting spans the entire width of the room.
We loved all the rustic stone work, the slit cell windows with original iron bars, and the heavy duty cell doors. Anything historic that could be saved, has been blended seamlessly with modern day luxuries and high quality soft furnishings.
Although the rooms are now uber luxurious and entirely spruced up from the cold dank cells they once were. You can still appreciate this was once a prison and feel its gruesome history thats held within its haunted walls. Bodmin Jail Hotel has achieved the perfect balance between old and new, renovating the former prison to a superior standard.
Do they provide anything in the rooms?
The hotel provided us with single use slippers, and lovely thick white robes to use whilst there. Rolled up on the bed were two Bodmin jail t-shirt’s plus a little note saying they’re ours to keep. We thought that made a fun souvenir to bring home.
The jail hotel room had a hairdryer and a large wardrobe, perfect on a longer stay. There’s also a mini bar which had a couple bottles of Bodmin jail branded water. Finally, over by the TV they had a selection of tea and coffee sachets. All displayed in a cute wooden box for your choosing.
A selection of luxe mini Noble Isle toiletries were provided in the bathroom, using their ‘Summer Rising – Cornish Hedgerow’s’ collection. Noble Isle actually source their organic elderflower and gooseberry from the victorian gardens at The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Another fantastic place to visit in Cornwall.
I thought this was a really lovely touch, and showed great attention to detail.
Food & drink options at Bodmin Jail Hotel
For evening drinks, the hotel has a Champagne Bar where you can enjoy a broad wine & cocktail menu. Including all the classics, or you could try something unusual with one of the fun Bodmin Jail cocktail creations.
As for food, they have two restaurants on site. The Chapel Restaurant offers contemporary fine dining in the former prison chapel. This looks very swanky on their website photos, and would make for a special dining experience.
If fine dining isn’t your jam, they have another restaurant called The Courtyard Restaurant. This one is bistro-styled and offers all day dining from mediterranean dishes like crispy calamari to slow-braised pork belly. They also offer a selection of family pleasing pizzas, or, on Sunday’s, you can devour a delicious hearty roast.
Breakfast is served in The Chapel from 7-11am and was included in our stay. We arrived around 8:30 and it was pretty quiet at that time in the morning. A buffet table was in the middle of the room where you could help yourself to fresh fruit, cereals and heavenly pain-au chocolates. There was a selection of fruit juices in dispensers on the side too.
Breakfast didn’t stop there, you could also order something from the main menu. We both chose a full Cornish fry up, which was really tasty. If I had to pick fault, the only thing i’d say, is the toast was more like limp warm bread. But apart from that, all the food was really tasty and we very much enjoyed our breakfast in The Chapel.
Is the Bodmin Jail Attraction included in your stay?
Attached to the Bodmin Jail Hotel is the Bodmin Jail Attraction. Here you can dive deep into the dark, dreary history of the prison, whilst learning about he mixed-bag of people who once lived there.
The Bodmin Jail Attraction is one of the best attractions I’ve been to in a long time. Tickets aren’t included in your hotel stay, but I recommend you pay visit whilst you’re in the area. You begin with ‘the dark walk’ which must have cost thousands to create. It uses the most amazing holograms to tell and guide you through the story. In order to keep this attraction a surprise to future guests there is no photography rule whilst inside that part. Self guided tickets were only £12.50 each and it was honestly so good.
Tip: If you have booked the attraction whilst staying at Bodmin Jail Hotel, let reception know. You can enter your car’s registration again which will give you free parking whilst you explore the jail attraction.
Final thoughts on Bodmin Jail Hotel
We really enjoyed our stay at the luxurious Bodmin Jail Hotel. You don’t get much more unique than sleeping inside an 18th century renovated prison, plus it makes for great memories. The whole place is fabulous and I honestly couldn’t fault it. I also highly recommend doing the Bodmin Jail Attraction whilst you’re here.
Would you like to sleep inside the same walls as past criminals? If so, book a reservation here!
If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, and you’d like to show some love & support. You can now treat me to a cuppa on the link below, thanks so much if you do!