4 Must-Stay Dark Tourist Hotels in Europe
Some people like to go on holiday to relax beside a pool, taking in the warm sun and enjoying sandy beaches and boat trips. Other people like to go on holiday to satisfy their morbid fascinations with all things gruesome and terrifying. They are called dark tourists, and the industry of dark tourism has seen extended growth in recent years due to an explosion in the interest of true crime.
If you have an unsatiable curiosity about some of the worst atrocities and events the world has seen, you’ll likely be looking for somewhere to lay your head in between tours. Knowing where to stay can be tricky, but we’ve found four hotels that sit in extreme proximity to some of the darkest locations in all of Europe.
Cable Street Inn – Whitechapel, London
Cable Street in Whitechapel is thought to be where Polish serial killer, Seweryn Klosowski (known more commonly as George Chapman) resided in the late 1880’s, and it is the location of the Cable Street Inn. Considered by some as the most likely Jack the Ripper suspect, Chapman was hanged in 1903 after being found guilty of poisoning three women unrelated to the infamous Ripper crimes. He was known to be very violent and misogynistic to his many common-law wives and mistresses, and that’s why some regard him as the most credible Jack the Ripper suspect of all. Whether you believe Chapman is the Ripper or not, the Cable Street Inn’s proximity to the haunted streets of Whitechapel make it a must-stay location.
Hotel Pripyat – Chernobyl, Ukraine
At the top of most dark tourists’ lists sits Chernobyl, the site of the devastating 1986 nuclear reactor disaster. The city of Pripyat and the areas surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant remain unoccupied to this day because of dangerously high radiation levels, but the last few years have seen tourists welcomed to the heart of the disaster – if only for a limited time. The area was abandoned following the explosion and except for the installation of a concrete sarcophagus that encases the blast site, the exclusion zone has remained untouched. It’s still a highly unsafe area and tourists are only allowed for a short amount of time, but just long enough for a stay in Hotel Pripyat which is located in the heart of Chernobyl. The facilities are basic, but how many people can say they’ve stayed in a desolate nuclear wasteland for a night?
Villa Montparnasse – Paris, France
It’s nearly impossible to get closer to the Catacombs of Paris than the four-star Villa Montparnasse hotel. A common destination for dark tourists in Europe, the Catacombs hold the remains of millions of Parisians who were transferred there to tackle the city’s ever-growing cemetery problem in the 1700’s. The network of tunnels lies beneath the streets of the French capital and showcases artistic displays of skulls and skeletons. The walls and decorations are so creatively displayed that it’s easy to forget these are the remains of real people who once roamed the streets of the most romantic city in the world.
Hotel del Sole – Pompei, Italy
In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted and released up to 20 feet of volcanic ash and pumice, much of which buried and eternally interred the town of Pompeii. The city had a population of around 20,000 people, most of whom escaped before the ash came down. Those who didn’t were almost perfectly preserved in their final moments of panic, resulting in rather gruesome moulds that show exact emotions and movements of the Roman inhabitants. As sad as it is, this is a big draw for dark tourists who want to see what life was like in that exact moment in time, and there’s no better place to stay whilst checking out the ruins than Hotel del Sole. Located directly in front of the Pompeii archaeological site, the four star hotel is right at the heart of the action.
Will you be checking in to any of these hotels any time soon?