The Jail Hill Inn in Galena, Illinois has been named the top U.S. bed-and-breakfast, and #2 in the world in the Trip Advisor Travelers' Choice Hotel Awards. The worldwide top choice was the 25 Boutique B&B in Torquay, England.
Owner Matthew Carroll told the Chicago Tribune that “It’s kind of a juxtaposition, going from being a place nobody wanted to be, to being a place everybody wants to be.” The four-story red brick building served as a local jail from 1879 until 1977; Carroll bought it in a foreclosure auction in 2015.
It's unlikely that anyone who served time there would recognize it today; it's been fixed up to luxury level with pleasant public spaces and luxury rooms with built-in sound systems and minibars, as well as a daily 3-course breakfast menu. And yet, in a few windowsills, it's still possible to see inmate's names etched into a third-floor windowsill, just outside a luxury suite.