When our Contiki group arrived in Lucerne, Switzerland, I was surprised when our coach driver stopped on a street and our tour guide told us to grab all our belongings as we were going to make our way to our hotel by walking. Our tour guide said our coach is not allowed to drop us off right in front of the hotel’s entrance.
We gathered our bags and other belongings and walked for approximately 20 minutes to reach the Jailhotel Loewengraben Hotel. On our way to the hotel, we were able to see Lucerne’s most famous attractions including the 158-kilometre long River Reuss and Kapellbrücke or the Chapel Bridge.
When we arrived at the hotel, check in was easy as everything was already arranged for us by Contiki. We were all given codes to be able to unlock our doors. There was only one main door to enter the hotel and it was a bit narrow. When you enter the main door, reception is on your left and the dining area is on your right. The stairs is also on the right pass the dining area. Wi-fi is only available in the reception area and is really slow.
My roommate Evelyn and I went to our room and tried to figure out how to put in the code to be able to open our door to our room. At first impression, the hotel and room itself is better than what I expected. It was not as creepy, gross, and dirty as I expected it to be. Our room also has its own toilet and shower. There were three beds in our room and super tiny window.
After unpacking my stuff, I went to check out the rooms given to my other tour mates. Other rooms have six beds in it but no private bathroom but there was a bathroom just across their rooms.
We were given about half an hour to explore before heading to Lake Lucerne for a cruise. Three of my tour mates and I took a walk on nearby shops but unfortunately, most of them were closed on a Friday at around 6 p.m.
We finally found a pharmacy open and I bought postcards and a Movenpick ice cream and this was when I discovered how expensive Switzerland is! A tiny cup of ice cream cost € 3.80 and the postcard I bought was € 2.40 (I may have bought two but I don’t remember).
Anyways, we went back to the hotel to meet up with the rest of our group and went on a Lake Cruise and dinner at some other hotel. After dinner, some of my tour mates and I checked out a game room and pub just next door from our hotel. It was alright. We decided to go back to Loewengraben and hang out at one of our tour mate’s room to play card games.
When we all decided to go to bed, I went back to my room but my roommate was still out so I was alone. I decided to take a shower but was not successful. When I turned on the shower, the water won’t drain and decided to skip showering even if there was a public bathroom in another corridor.
I tried to go to sleep but there was noise (the noise came from other guests of the hotel and not ghosts!) coming from the hallways. I couldn’t sleep, not just because of the noise, but I finally felt creeped out staying in this jail hotel room all by myself. I felt like a presence is in the room with me or something. I think I have fallen asleep for a bit but I was having nightmares. I was finally awoken when someone opened the door to our room. I thought it was my roommate but it was another one of my tour mates.
We were both confused and surprised that she was able to open my door which could mean that we have the same codes? Anyways, I asked her if she could stay in our room since we have an extra bed and since I was super scared being alone in that room, but my roommate came half an hour later and everything was okay! I finally was able to sleep.
The next day, everyone went to the dining area for breakfast before leaving for France. The breakfast was, for me, unsatisfactory. There were not a lot of options and the bread was hard.
Overall, the hotel was not as dirty as I thought it would be but it was definitely creepier than what I expected it to be. It was an experience I’m glad I had but would never want to experience again. Thank God we only stayed there for one night!
Facts: The Jailhotel is located in the historical Old Town of Lucerne. The address is Loewengraben 18, Lucerne, Switzerland. The prison was built in 1862 and was rebuilt as a hotel in 1999. It is the first jail hotel in Switzerland.
Pros and cons of staying at Jailhotel Loewengraben:
-Walking distance to shops, restaurants, Lake Lucerne, Chapel Bridge, and River Reuss
-It is cheap
-It is clean
-You can brag to your family and friends that you stayed in a jail hotel
-Most guests are young like teens to early 30s, probably backpackers, and can be noisy late at night
-A lot of people crowds the reception area and entrance of the hotel to hang out and use Wi-fi
-It can be creepy
-Rooms are small but that is expected
-Water may not drain when using the bathroom but you can inform the hotel’s staff