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Melbourne’s former Pentridge Prison looks incredible now as an urban retreat

You’ll never be so happy to be locked up for the night, especially knowing you’ll be released in the morning…

The Chapter Place events venue inside Pentridge.

TFE Hotels has formally opened its new 106-room Adina Hotel and hospitality experiences inside the cold bluestone walls of the neighbouring Pentridge Prison on the 26th anniversary of the site’s closure.

Set alongside the hotel, the former HM Prison Pentridge has been completely restyled and now features the Olivine Wine Bar, North & Common Restaurant, Chapter Place events venue and an experiential urban retreat known as The Interlude.

The Interlude takes guests inside the former cells of Pentridge Prison

The precinct’s transformation into what will undoubtedly become one of Melbourne’s most enticing hospitality spaces came following a private event held beforehand where Wurundjeri Elder, Uncle Bill Nicholson, conducted a cleansing ceremony, removing “sad and negative energy” which permeated the site.

“In our eyes, the transformation of Pentridge has now come full circle, and can officially begin a new chapter as Melbourne’s newest dining and entertainment precinct,” said TFE Hotels’ Regional General Manager for Victoria, Stephen Moore.

General Manager Jesse Kornoff (left) and Anthony Cianflone MP cut the ribbon to B-Division’s heritage wing.

The 19-room overnight retreat known as The Interlude will allow guests to spend the night inside one of the prison’s former cells, albeit one which has been significantly renovated and modernised with premium hotel amenities.

During their stay, guests can spend their waking hours exploring Melbourne’s eclectic creative arts through curated programs or take self-guided visits to an on-site art gallery to wander among works from the minds of emerging and established local artists.

Check out this video for a preview of what awaits at The Interlude:

Guests can also see the prison’s old exercise yards, where legendary bushranger Ned Kelly once roamed during his incarcerated days, and an ‘X’ on the prison walls where prisoners Ronald Ryan and Peter Walker climbed the wall to escape Pentridge in 1965.

“We’ve had people coming in and staying because they’re genuinely interested in seeing what’s been hiding behind the bluestone walls,” said General Manager, Jesse Kornoff.

Next door is Adina's newest Melbourne hotel, which overlooks the Pentridge yard.

“Others were part of conferences or held events in our unique event spaces; and others still were simply attracted to the sheer convenience of our brand-new hotel being located half-way between Melbourne’s CBD and the airport.”

Local Pascoe Vale MP Anthony Cianflone said the Pentridge Visitor and Entertainment Precinct was a game changer for Coburg.

“While it’s hard to describe the exceptional experience this new destination in the heart of Melbourne’s north has to offer, it’s not as hard as a real night in the original B Division,” he said.

You can bet Pentridge inmates never had facilities this nice...

For visitors looking to take their prison stay up a notch, there’s also the Pentridge Prison Tours experience, where interactive audio tours take guests on a trip through time to what life was like for prisoners who met their fate within its walls.

Incorporating AV technology and audio recordings, guests meet one of the prison’s most famous inmates, Uncle Jack Charles, who shares some uncomfortable truths of what took place inside during the prison’s active life from 1851 to 1997.

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 2 May 2023

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