We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Avoid”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 4 more sites!
Jailhotel Loewengraben
Ranked #64 of 66 Hotels in Lucerne
Reviewed 6 December 2012

Where do I begin....

I bought a special deal voucher which gave me a 50% discount on a "suite" room in the Jail Hotel. The idea of staying in a hotel that used to be a jail had its macabre appeal so I took the dive. The voucher gave a further 20% discount on a second night so I booked a cheaper "Unplugged" room for the second night. In all, I paid CHF120 for the suite and CHF80 for the "Unplugged" with shared showers. Needless to say, If I knew what this hotel was like I would not have bought the voucher - I would rather stay in a youth hostel. This place does not even deserve to be called a "hostel". I can imagine some people saying that you get the real experience of staying in a jail but when you pay this kind of money, it becomes an insult. I can stay in a hostel or a chain hotel for this price.

The most concerning issue for me was the room pricing: The website displays a list of room prices. But I have a photo showing the price list, inside each room, and they are not the same. Furthermore, I see a recent review stating "Perfect budget hotel" and it seems that there are "budget" prices offered depending where you book the room. I happened to speak to a fellow guest who told me that he was paying CHF55 per night for a basic "Unplugged" room. Neither the website nor the hotel price list mention anything cheaper than CHF80.

So onto the review...

We hit our first problem even before we stepped into the hotel - Parking. We were told that the hotel does not have any parking and we would have to find a parking space in the city. The website states that "parking lots and parking garages are available at short distance from the hotel". The nearest parking lot is 10 minutes walking distance and it really isn't fun nor practical when the weather is near freezing or snowing. Not to mention the inconvenience if you have luggage which you have to unload at the hotel and then having to go and park the car. The hotel offers a parking voucher for CHF5, which covers 18.00 to 11.00. Outside of these times (i.e. during the day) you will have to pay the CHF2 per hour city rates.

Problem 2: As numerous others have already pointed out there is no lift. So good luck to anyone who has a room on the 3rd floor with heavy luggage to carry or anyone who is not in good physical fitness.

Director's "Suite": (How they can call this a "suite" is beyond me...)
We spent our first night in the Director's "suite". All "suites" are on the 1st floor and I suppose the idea is that you don't have to climb any further if you have any luggage or if you are not very fit... Room standard fell way below my expectations.

Issues:
No proper cupboard to store clothes.
Insufficient lighting
No TV or radio or telephone or tea making facilities
Queensize bed turned out to be 2 single beds put together
No bedside lamps
Curtains... look at my photo
Toilet: Seat out of place, stains in toilet bowl (see photo)
Window very old fashioned but more importantly, it did not close properly. I was woken up by the cold draught that was seeping into the room.
Tiny wash basin. Tap water splashed onto the floor. Fixtures are outdated and needs replacing.
The doorkey sticks in the lock.
Shower cubicle has a leakage problem (see photo).
Heating is switched off during the night.
Because the window could not be closed, we could hear the outside noise like we were standing in the street itself. The hotel is right next to restaurants and the shopping street as well as a recycling depot. We could hear people walking, talking, singing and we were greeted in the morning by the sound of people dumping their glass into the recycling containers...
No noise insulation between floors. We could hear the creaking footsteps from our neighbours upstairs.
Beds were "ok" but not brilliant and certainly not "suite" standard.


"Unplugged" room 1:
Smelly
Horrible wash basin/toilet cubicle
1800's Wash basin only had cold water
Room is warm (i.e. No draught) but the window can not be opened so good luck in the summer.
No bedside lamps
Beds are not comfortable.

We asked to be given another "Unplugged" room because the hall light outside our first room was not working (see below). So we were given a better room than the first.


"Unplugged" room 2:
1800's Wash basin only had cold water
Toilet flush broken
Shower cubicle extremely basic
Room is warm (i.e. No draught) but the window can not be opened so good luck in the summer.
No bedside lamps
Beds are not comfortable.


Breakfast:
Breakfast is complimentary so don't expect anything hot. It is delivered daily from a catering company and consists of cold meat slices, cheese, bread, jam, muesli, milk, orange juice, cold boiled eggs, butter and fruit. Tea and coffee is dispensed from a machine so don't expect quality standards. It is the same offering every day.
Windows are old-fashioned and could not be closed!! Cold draughts came in and we could not do anything about it!!


Other issues:

No air-conditioning in any rooms. OK in the winter but in the summer....??
No dispensing machines and no option to buy any drinks from reception!!! What year are we living in??
Not all the hall lights were working and this was a big problem when we had to enter a code to get into the "Unplugged" room. We had to use our iPhone to illuminate the door....
Basic mechanical code locks on the "Unplugged" rooms. Even the keys for the "suites" did not inspire any confidence from me.
All rooms in which we stayed had only 1 power outlet.
Bunk beds look like the original models used in the jail. Don't expect an easy climb up/down...
Wi-fi is available on the ground floor only. It means they have a weak wireless router.



Good points:

To be fair, there were a few good points. One and a half to be precise:

Reception staff were friendly and tried to be helpful. I noticed that they were all young guys who did not seem to be qualified in working as hotel reception staff. I suspect that they are actually students or apprentices. I do not expect any self-respecting qualified staff to want to work here.
Location: 5-10 mins walking distance to the town center.



Summary: Do yourself a favour and pay a bit more if you have to. This place is really not worth the risk. I suppose the positive comments came from backpackers who just need a place to crash.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank fargone2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (446)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

172 - 176 of 446 reviews

Reviewed 25 November 2012

I booked this and then afterwards read some of the reviews which made me wonder what I had done! I have no idea where some of these negative reviewers stayed but it cannot have been in the same place as I did. The hotel is budget, yes. The rooms are fairly small. Yes. But the place is clean, characterful, with really friendly staff and so central you could not find a more convenient spot. The breakfast is fresh and plentiful with unlimited juices, coffee etc.Wi-fi worked well for me and isn't the limited service one reviewer said. Little additions such as a glass in the room so you can have water and a shelf above the sink would be good.

The fact it is still very much like a jail so is a bit weird in a way ... did these people not get that from the name? But at least that sets it apart from the me-too type accommodation found most places. There is no lift so that is worth bearing in mind and no tv etc in the room. But to make that a reason to say not good for families is a bit odd ... you are in Switzerland by a beautiful lake why would you want a huge room with a tv? My son would love it.

Anyway, this is a characterful budget hotel with what you would expect and the price is unbeatable for Luzern. Ignore the negative reviews.

Room Tip: Themed rooms are available for the doubles I think.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank DP P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2012 via mobile

Prison cells are coverted to rooms so you can expect them to be tiny. Bathrooms are equally tiny. The room are bare minimum, you can consider this hotel for a night or two, not for long. Breakfast is available every morning which was decent. No lifts inside the hotel so do not get heavy luggages. Wifi is available only in the lobby.
During the later part of the night, it became noisy. Probaby, the hotel guests were partying downstairs.
Besides, towels provided are pretty small. Carry your own.
Convenient location. Close to restaurants and the Old Town.
Average reception service.

  • Stayed: November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank KBora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2012

It really was a jail :) indeed an opportunity to get the feeling of staying in one...
Great location in the center. Not expensive. Value for money when staying in expensive Switzerland for sure...
Room is small and very basic. Did not enjoy the breakfast.
Should they put a little effort in design for tourist, the place will be very unique.
No one really wants to spend his holiday in a prison cell, especially if for more than one night.
Design and decoration should be more gentle and tourist oriented while keeping some "jail motives" like the window.
Wall under the window full of shoe steps, probably one of many who tried to look out the window or close it. Why don't they just put a nice ledder so hotel guests don't step on the wall?
No wifi at reception. Receptionist ok.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Shurki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2012

This hotel is really cool! I found it completely by accident at 2AM looking for anywhere that I could find a bed. When I went to my room and realized the place was an old prison I was very happy - such a cool, unique experience. It's no luxury hotel, but if your looking for a cool unique place I highly recommend it - it's very cheap! . To top it off, the hotel is right in the middle of old town - it's a great deal.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Todd M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Lucerne hotels
0.5 km away
Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern
3.2 km away
ibis Luzern Kriens
ibis Luzern Kriens
#2 of 6 in Kriens
599 reviews
0.4 km away
Ameron Hotel Flora Luzern
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.3 km away
Hotel des Alpes
Hotel des Alpes
#10 of 66 in Lucerne
1,062 reviews
0.1 km away
Hotel des Balances
Hotel des Balances
#4 of 66 in Lucerne
1,187 reviews
0.5 km away
Renaissance Lucerne Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Jailhotel Loewengraben? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Jailhotel Loewengraben

Address: Loewengraben 18, Lucerne 6004, Switzerland
Region: Switzerland > Canton of Lucerne > Lucerne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #64 of 66 Hotels in Lucerne
Price Range: $209 - $339 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Jailhotel Loewengraben 2*
Number of rooms: 66
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly so you can book your Jailhotel Loewengraben reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Jailhotel Loewengraben Lucerne
Jailhotel Loewengraben Hotel Lucerne

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing