Thailand expects to welcome almost 35 million foreign tourists – nearly half the country’s population – in 2017. Many of them visit or transit through Bangkok, a regional travel hub. And this new addition to their hotel venture is something that everyone can be excited for.
With its narrow rooms, metal bars and bunk beds, Bangkok’s first prison-themed hotel promises the look and feel of a real jail in the bustling Thai capital. The Sook Station hotel in Bangkok’s Udom Suk neighborhood offers guests pin-striped pajamas for 700 baht ($21) and a wall with a height chart where they can have their mug shots taken.
The nine-room hotel is the first venture into the hospitality industry for Sittichai Chaivoraprug, 55, and his wife, 49-year-old Piyanat Teekavanich, after careers in the technology sector. They were inspired by a shared love of travel and the 1994 prison escape film “The Shawshank Redemption,” starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins.
The hotel’s design includes black-out doors and windows in two rooms to create the feeling of being in solitary confinement. Showers are located on a caged-in rooftop. For guests who may feel a sense of claustrophobia, seven rooms have a small balcony. Sook Station charges between 790 to 1,630 baht per night for the prison-themed experience.
Some guests like Yui, a 42-year-old hotel worker, are repeat customers.”I feel it’s a real prison because when I arrived it was dark,” Yui said. Now on her third stay, she said the hotel’s style and friendly staff “feels like home.”