Edition:
United States
Pictures | Fri Sep 22, 2017 | 12:40pm EDT

Former Dutch prison now offers refuge as hotel

The Movement Hotel, which opened this month in one tower of the Bijlmerbajes, once the Netherlands' most notorious prison, offers both a unique experience for its guests and a glimpse of a more hopeful future for its employees. The hotel is staffed and run by asylum-seekers, selected from a group of 600, mostly Syrians, who are being temporarily housed by the Dutch government - not under lock and key - in other parts of the complex.

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

The Movement Hotel, which opened this month in one tower of the Bijlmerbajes, once the Netherlands' most notorious prison, offers both a unique experience for its guests and a glimpse of a more hopeful future for its employees. The hotel is staffed...more

The Movement Hotel, which opened this month in one tower of the Bijlmerbajes, once the Netherlands' most notorious prison, offers both a unique experience for its guests and a glimpse of a more hopeful future for its employees. The hotel is staffed and run by asylum-seekers, selected from a group of 600, mostly Syrians, who are being temporarily housed by the Dutch government - not under lock and key - in other parts of the complex. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
Close
1 / 13
A visitor takes photos inside the former The Bijlmerbajes prison turned Movement Hotel. The staff know their residence status is uncertain, but all hope to gain experience and build up their resumes as they dream of future employment in a more normal life. "We heard from the (Dutch) government that if the situation in Syria is safe, we must go back," said the hotel manager, Hachem, who like other staff asked that his surname not be used because of the potential danger to his family in Syria. Once he has been in the Netherlands five years, however, he hopes to get permission to remain long-term.

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

A visitor takes photos inside the former The Bijlmerbajes prison turned Movement Hotel. The staff know their residence status is uncertain, but all hope to gain experience and build up their resumes as they dream of future employment in a more normal...more

A visitor takes photos inside the former The Bijlmerbajes prison turned Movement Hotel. The staff know their residence status is uncertain, but all hope to gain experience and build up their resumes as they dream of future employment in a more normal life. "We heard from the (Dutch) government that if the situation in Syria is safe, we must go back," said the hotel manager, Hachem, who like other staff asked that his surname not be used because of the potential danger to his family in Syria. Once he has been in the Netherlands five years, however, he hopes to get permission to remain long-term. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
Close
2 / 13
View of a cell. For guests, the hotel offers an experience of a bit of Amsterdam history, complete with observation cameras in the elevators and barbed wire on some of the outer walls. The prison was shut in June 2016.

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

View of a cell. For guests, the hotel offers an experience of a bit of Amsterdam history, complete with observation cameras in the elevators and barbed wire on some of the outer walls. The prison was shut in June 2016. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

View of a cell. For guests, the hotel offers an experience of a bit of Amsterdam history, complete with observation cameras in the elevators and barbed wire on some of the outer walls. The prison was shut in June 2016. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
Close
3 / 13
Housekeeping Manager Ella Delsanto and Monjid, an asylum seeker from Syria, are seen inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. The Bijlmerbajes once housed notorious criminals, including the group that kidnapped beer magnate Freddy Heineken in 1983 for a 17 million euro ransom. The prison's name comes from the Bijlmer neighborhood to the southeast and "bajes", a Yiddish slang term for jail that entered Dutch via Amsterdam's Jewish population.

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Housekeeping Manager Ella Delsanto and Monjid, an asylum seeker from Syria, are seen inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. The Bijlmerbajes once housed notorious criminals, including the group that kidnapped beer magnate Freddy Heineken in 1983 for...more

Housekeeping Manager Ella Delsanto and Monjid, an asylum seeker from Syria, are seen inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. The Bijlmerbajes once housed notorious criminals, including the group that kidnapped beer magnate Freddy Heineken in 1983 for a 17 million euro ransom. The prison's name comes from the Bijlmer neighborhood to the southeast and "bajes", a Yiddish slang term for jail that entered Dutch via Amsterdam's Jewish population. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
Close
4 / 13
Asylum seekers, Monjid from Syria (L) and Bassit from Egypt, welcome a visitor. Rob Hoogerwerf, the Dutchman who organised the project with donations and the help of various authorities, says the staff are working toward a certificate that would let them work in the hospitality industry in the Netherlands - or wherever they end up. "We are helping them, or at least we would like to help them, to find their way."

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Asylum seekers, Monjid from Syria (L) and Bassit from Egypt, welcome a visitor. Rob Hoogerwerf, the Dutchman who organised the project with donations and the help of various authorities, says the staff are working toward a certificate that would let...more

Asylum seekers, Monjid from Syria (L) and Bassit from Egypt, welcome a visitor. Rob Hoogerwerf, the Dutchman who organised the project with donations and the help of various authorities, says the staff are working toward a certificate that would let them work in the hospitality industry in the Netherlands - or wherever they end up. "We are helping them, or at least we would like to help them, to find their way." REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
Close
5 / 13
Asylum seeker Monjid from Syria brings food to visitors. Rooms cost 99-140 euros ($119-$168) a night. Each is decorated with a single word on the wall intended to invoke the many contradictions of the place: "Freedom?"

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Asylum seeker Monjid from Syria brings food to visitors. Rooms cost 99-140 euros ($119-$168) a night. Each is decorated with a single word on the wall intended to invoke the many contradictions of the place: "Freedom?" REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Asylum seeker Monjid from Syria brings food to visitors. Rooms cost 99-140 euros ($119-$168) a night. Each is decorated with a single word on the wall intended to invoke the many contradictions of the place: "Freedom?" REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
Close
6 / 13
View of a control room inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. "We were looking for something different ... and at the last moment, we saw this place," said Andrea Legaspi, a Spanish law student attracted by the chance to get some kind of feel of prison life. Sure enough, she found a name carved into her cell, and had a view through the bars down into the prison exercise yard - as well as a comfortable bed and wifi.

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

View of a control room inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. "We were looking for something different ... and at the last moment, we saw this place," said Andrea Legaspi, a Spanish law student attracted by the chance to get some kind of feel of...more

View of a control room inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. "We were looking for something different ... and at the last moment, we saw this place," said Andrea Legaspi, a Spanish law student attracted by the chance to get some kind of feel of prison life. Sure enough, she found a name carved into her cell, and had a view through the bars down into the prison exercise yard - as well as a comfortable bed and wifi. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
Close
7 / 13
Project leader Rob Hoogerwerf poses inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Project leader Rob Hoogerwerf poses inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Project leader Rob Hoogerwerf poses inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
Close
8 / 13
An unidentified asylum seeker prays inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

An unidentified asylum seeker prays inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

An unidentified asylum seeker prays inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
Close
9 / 13
View through a window of the former Bijlmerbajes prison. Last week the city announced that next year it will start redeveloping the whole area into a new "Bajes" neighborhood designed by the architecture firm OMA. That means the hotel will probably have to close on Jan. 2, though Hoogerwerf is hoping for an extension. 

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

View through a window of the former Bijlmerbajes prison. Last week the city announced that next year it will start redeveloping the whole area into a new "Bajes" neighborhood designed by the architecture firm OMA. That means the hotel will probably...more

View through a window of the former Bijlmerbajes prison. Last week the city announced that next year it will start redeveloping the whole area into a new "Bajes" neighborhood designed by the architecture firm OMA. That means the hotel will probably have to close on Jan. 2, though Hoogerwerf is hoping for an extension. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
Close
10 / 13
Housekeeping manager Ella Delsanto talks with an unidentified asylum-seeker. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Housekeeping manager Ella Delsanto talks with an unidentified asylum-seeker. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Housekeeping manager Ella Delsanto talks with an unidentified asylum-seeker. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
Close
11 / 13
An unidentified asylum seeker stands inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

An unidentified asylum seeker stands inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

An unidentified asylum seeker stands inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
Close
12 / 13
View of the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

View of the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

View of the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
Close
13 / 13

Next Slideshows

Air show over Athens

Aerobatic displays during the Athens Flying Week aviation event at Tanagra air base in Greece.

Sep 18 2017

Cassini's close-up of Saturn

Images from Cassini, the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn.

Sep 15 2017

Battle for Marawi

Images from over three months of fighting in the southern Philippines city besieged by Islamic State-linked militants.

Sep 14 2017

Oil spill off Greek island

Oil that leaked from a sinking oil tanker on Sunday washes up on the beach of Greece's Salamina island.

Sep 13 2017

MORE IN PICTURES

March of the mariachis

March of the mariachis

Mariachis take part in a procession to celebrate Santa Cecilia, patron of musicians, in Mexico City.

Home for Thanksgiving

Home for Thanksgiving

Millions of Americans embark on their annual Thanksgiving travels.

Trump pardons Thanksgiving turkey

Trump pardons Thanksgiving turkey

President Donald Trump pardons his first National Thanksgiving turkey.

Faces of the Rohingya

Faces of the Rohingya

More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since a Myanmar military crackdown began in late August.

Zimbabwe celebrates

Zimbabwe celebrates

People dance and car horns blare on the streets of Harare after Robert Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwe's president.

The rule of Mugabe

The rule of Mugabe

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe resigns, ending four decades of rule.

Bill Clinton visits Puerto Rico

Bill Clinton visits Puerto Rico

The former president visits the U.S. territory two months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Today in Sports

Today in Sports

Our top sports photography of the day.

Inside the Rohingya refugee camps

Inside the Rohingya refugee camps

Some 800,000 Rohingya refugees who fled violence in Myanmar are now living in makeshift settlements in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, according to the United Nations.

Trending Collections

Pictures

Podcast