It’s not the Hotel California, but it seems that the former Nazi and later Soviet prison of Karosta is now a fully dysfunctional prison-themed hotel, complete with lousy accommodations, bad food and classic prison abuse.
From May 1 to October 31 each year, guests can check into the Karosta Prison in Liepaja, Latvia, and be treated like —prisoners. Many of the prisoners at Karosta were executed in the prison or the prison yard with a gunshot to the head, but guests today seem to fare much better. The hotel not only offers tours of the facility complete with the prison’s full gruesome history, but people who wish to stay there can book actual cells and sign an agreement allowing themselves to be treated like Soviet-era prisoners. Accommodations are sparse; each cell boasts a small dresser, a toilet and an old mattress on wooden boards. Real prison food is served through the barred cell door, and guards are happy to verbally abuse even the best tippers. If the abuse gets boring, prisoners may be regaled by tales of ghosts and paranormal activity at the prison.
Failure to comply with guards’ demands leads to various punishments, such as physical exercise and cleaning chores, perhaps even cleaning a Soviet-era toilet with a soviet-era toothbrush. As the Karosta Prison website states, “But hey, if you think this is brutal, there is really no need for you to stay the full day to feel like you are in a real prison. Remember that this is your choice.”