Luxurious Prisons Better Than Any Hotel You've Ever Stayed In

When most of us think of prison, we feel an unsettling clench of dread, like it's Hell, but with worse food. But some prisons are so nice, luxurious, and downright comfy, it almost makes us want to commit a crime, just to stay there. (Please don't commit a crime. We are honestly not urging you to do that, despite how resort-like these prisons are.)

Halden Prison, Norway

Norway is best known for not being Sweden. Its only real claim to fame seems to be that its pavilion in Disney's EPCOT hosts the Frozen ride. But it should be known for something else: having the coolest prisons in the entire world.

Yes, the prisons in Norway are sweeter than almost any five-star hotel, such as Halden Prison, which The Guardian called "the most humane prison in the world." Each room has a small TV, en-suite shower, and a window with a view. Basically, the only thing separating a prisoner's cell from a hotel room is the lock on the outside of the door. There are game areas for when you get bored, you can exercise outside, and there's even a rock-climbing wall, which already makes it nicer than any place we've ever stayed. Plus, as you might expect, there have been almost no fights in the prison's history.

So you're thinking Halden must be devoted to minimum-security offenders — people who illegally downloaded movies or jaywalked. No, this place actually holds some of Norway's worst offenders, such as rapists, serial killers, and pedophiles. The idea of such a lovely place for such nasty people is prisoner reform. Instead of sticking rotting souls in a dank dungeon, this place attempts to actually help the people inside its walls become better so that, when the time comes and they're released, they don't commit those crimes anymore. Although, to be honest, we're pretty sure there are at least some repeat offenders who only break the law so they can end up in such a ritzy place. We know we would.

Aranjuez Prison, Spain

One of the worst things about going to prison, for some, is leaving behind your family — imagining your children growing up without ever holding your hand, only seeing you from the other side of a glass window. Well, Aranjuez Prison decided to fix that. See, at Aranjuez, the families don't visit, they live there.

Take Victor Manuel Lopez, for instance. Both of his parents are criminals and were sent to jail, so instead of forcing the child into the foster system, or making the kid with live with family, the courts put the kid in prison with the parents. Now, normally, that would seem like some dictator-level horribleness, but this prison is actually pretty nice. There's a room big enough for the whole family, with a crib, and kids characters on the wall. There's a playground, a nursery, and the kids can even go to school there.

Some people do disagree with this prison's system, because despite how nice it is, or how many awesome kid-friendly places it boasts, it's still an actual prison. Either way, though, it's pretty nice for the parents!

Justice Center Leoben, Austria

On the outskirts of Leoben, a small town in Austria, there's a prison, the name of which paints a dark scene, the likes of which you'd see in an R-rated Academy Award winner: The Justice and Detention Center. Of course, since we're talking about it, the center is actually a lot nicer than the name sounds.

When you walk in, it appears more like a courthouse, or maybe a college. That's fitting since, aside from the whole not-being-able-to-leave part, it basically is a college — there's a gym, a dining room, shared kitchens, and you can even wear your own clothes, which makes it at least one step above most boarding schools.

Unlike some other comfy prisons, JCL wasn't designed to help rehabilitate prisoners. The reason behind this, according to its creator, was to preserve the prisoners' dignity, while everything else is secondary. Of course, not everyone agrees that prisoners have the right to, well, anything, and so such an opulent place has received tons of criticism from the global community. The Justice Center's response is, more or less, *blebphhhh*

The Butner Federal Correctional Complex

And now, we've hit the good ol' US of A. With Fuhrer Trump coming into power, there's a good chance a lot more of us will wind up in prison at some point or another. Hopefully, we get to go somewhere nice, at least, like the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in Durham, North Carolina.

Butner is a minimum-security prison with great medical facilities, television, classes, and even a good behavior policy where every four hours of work completed equals two days (per month) taken off your sentence. So why does this prison exist? Same reason anything in this country exists: rich, entitled, old white dudes. That's right, this pseudo-spa prison is where the cream of the white-collar criminal crop chill, like your Enron CEOS and your Bernie Madoffs. That's not a random example, this is where Madoff was sentenced. So ... probably you won't get to go there, unless you're super-rich and super-connected. Get working on that.

Qincheng Prison, China

Qincheng Prison is just outside of Beijing, and its where most of their former political leaders reside. Instead of being vindictive and putting all of them in a cell roughly the size of a shoebox and infested with rats, these prisoners — including the widow of former Chairman Mao Zedong — get to live the life of luxury. Or, you know, what passes for luxury when you're locked inside a prison for political reasons.

Qincheng features huge rooms, with desks, sofas, and even individual showers. Unfortunately, due to the high profile of the prisoners, we don't really have any pictures of the inside, so just think of the hotel room Macauley Culkin stays at in Home Alone 2, except with more Chinese people. In addition, the prisoners don't have to wear uniforms, and they enjoy relative freedom to relax, play games, and do other things that people with nine-to-five jobs wish they could do, including pseudo-gourmet meals. If you've grocery-shopped at a 7-Eleven lately, these prisoners' lives are probably better than yours.

Ila Prison, Norway

Back to Norway, the best place to be arrested in the world! Even if you murder somewhere here, you get the Hilton treatment (reminder: don't). This one, Ila Prison, is home to notorious mass murderers, such as Anders Behring Breivik, who has access to three cells. One is for exercise, one has his laptop, and the other is his sleeping quarters. Raise your hand real quick if you can afford a three-bedroom apartment? That's ... not many hands.

Of course, the only reason he has those three is because his security level is so high he can't interact with the other prisoners as much, but don't worry — it's not like their lives suck or anything. There's a library, everyone has a TV, and some of the prisoners can even request video games. Also, none of the guards there have guns, which makes it statistically safer than almost anywhere in America.

Otisville Federal Correctional Center

America has the highest amount of prisoners in the entire world, so it only makes sense that at least a few of them would be nicer than excrement-filled holes in the ground. Well, here's another: the Otisville Correctional Federal Center in upstate New York. One former prisoner asked about his experience in what has been called a "castle behind bars" said, "You could do about anything you wanted there ... It's not just good. It's sweet. That's why you request to go there."

Yep, a prison that you ask to be taken to. No wonder, either, since it has dozens of sports fields and the cafeteria offers food like ribeye steak and salmon. Unlike your house, this prison also has HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax (which is colloquially known as Skinemax, for all the soft-core porn shown on it, by which we're trying to say this prison also has porn). There's even cookouts and other such fun for the whole family. The only way it's not like a fairy tale from the 1950s is that minorities are allowed there!

San Pedro Prison

San Pedro isn't super-luxurious, but it earns a spot based on exactly how open it is. We don't mean that it's a prison with lenient guards or open-door policies. No, we mean that it's literally open. Inside are restaurants, hotels, and even children running around. It's not so much an actual prison as it is a walled-off section of the town, with only one rule — don't leave. If you think this sounds a little familiar, that might be because the concept of a small area of a city cordoned off, guardless, with free reign inside, is also the exact plot of the Batman: Arkham City video game. So that means there's somewhere on Earth that's just as weird as a Batman game. Congratulations, Universe.

There used to even be tours of the place, but because of the large amount of narcotics being created there, the tours ceased. Despite its openness, there's still a lot of violence, but we think we have a solution to both the tours being stopped and the violence: hire someone to dress as Batman and patrol. Call the place Gotham and start the tours again. You know that would make mad money.

That's a good thing too, because the prisoners don't stay there for free; that's right, this is one of the only prisons where you have to pay for your own room. It's not cheap, either. No matter where you stay you need to either rent or buy your cell — at this point, we gotta ask, are we sure this isn't just an actual city and everyone got confused and thought it was a prison? If so, y'all can admit it. We won't make fun of you.

Suomenlinna Prison

Now, for the most open prison of all. Off the coast of Finland, on a small island, is the Suomenlinna prison. There are dozens of small huts across the island, with shared kitchens thrown about. There's barbecues, ponds, and flatscreen TVs. More than that, however: this prison even allows prisoners to visit their family on the mainland, basically all the time.

The only downside we've seen is that, like with San Pedro, you do have to pay some to be here. But honestly, it's so nice, who would mind? There's no uniforms, no locks, no gates, you get cell phones, can go grocery shopping, study for university, and do basically whatever you would do in your normal everyday life.

A convicted smuggler spending time there said of the place, "It's quite relaxing to be here ... We have bunnies." Wait ... does your landlord let you have pets? Ours doesn't ... okay, that settles it. We're moving to Finland. If their prisons are like this, can you imagine the rest of the place? Although, this actually does make us think: is Hell actually where it's at? Seriously, if all these prisons are this wonderful, doesn't it seem that chances are high Heaven is a dilapidated theme park, while Hell is, ya know, a Hilton?