Lonely Planet Writer

Former London police station and court house where Kray twins appeared becomes hotel

Most people try to avoid spending a day in court or a night in a police station, but now you may want to experience a luxurious stay or a drink in the same place that famed East End gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray were detained as a former court and police station in London has been converted into a hotel.

The main restaurant was formerly the courtroom where the Kray's were trialed.
The main restaurant was formerly the courtroom where the Kray’s appeared. Image by Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch

The Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch will officially open on 1 June. The hotel is located in the Old Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station, which has undergone a £40 million renovation, changing from a holding place for felons to a hotel for fancy guests.

Courtroom bar.
Courtroom bar. Image by Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch

The building served as the court and police station from 1903 until 1996 and the hotel has retained and restored some period features, while adding new additions. There are 86 guest rooms and 42 suites, along with two sky terrace suites that offer panoramic views of London, a private bar and a mini-cinema lounge. Guests at the hotel will be able to visit a 196-seat cinema, a two-lane bowling alley with a private bar, or the luxury spar.

A room at the Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch.
A room at the Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch. Image by Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch

For a meal, you can head to what was once Courtroom Number 1 for casual fine dining, while Courtroom Number 2 is an exclusive member’s bar. The main bar features five refurbished cells themed around famous former ‘visitors’ such as the Krays, who were well known gangsters in the 1950s and 60s.

According to the hotel, “it was in the Magistrates’ Court that writer Joe Orton stood accused of stealing books from Islington library and the Kray twins of demanding ‘money with menaces’.”