There are many hotels around the world that were left abandoned. These are places where grandeur meets decay in an eerie symphony. Have you ever wondered what lies behind the empty walls of these once-lavish retreats? From the towering, ghostly facades of forgotten luxury resorts to the crumbling charm of historic inns, each abandoned hotel holds a treasure trove of stories, secrets, and mysteries just waiting to be uncovered.
In this article, we’re going to explore some of the most captivating and enigmatic abandoned hotels from around the globe. Whether you’re an urban explorer, a history enthusiast, or simply fascinated by the allure of deserted places, these abandoned hotels offer a unique glimpse into a world of faded elegance and lost stories. Join us as we unlock the doors to these forsaken havens, revealing the intriguing tales behind their decline and the mesmerizing beauty that remains.
Why Do Hotels Get Abandoned?
Why there are abandoned hotels in different places is quite intriguing. These once bustling hubs of activity and luxury often fall prey to a myriad of reasons. Economic downturns are a frequent culprit; a thriving hotel can quickly become a deserted relic if the local economy tanks or tourism dwindles. Sometimes, it’s the relentless march of progress – a newer, flashier hotel springs up, and the old one just can’t keep up.
In other cases, natural disasters can play a ruthless hand, leaving behind a shell of a building that’s too damaged or dangerous to restore. And then, there are those who are victims of political turmoil or conflict, standing as silent witnesses to history’s darker chapters.
Each abandoned hotel that travelers come across tells a story of change, a reminder of the impermanence in our fast-paced world. It’s a bittersweet realization that behind every deserted lobby and empty hallway, there are tales of days filled with life, now quietly fading into the chronicles of time.
Abandoned Hotels Around the World
Let us take a look at some of the most intriguing abandoned hotels the world has to offer. In this exploration, we’ll discover the grandeur of these architectural marvels, delve into the history behind their rise and fall, and uncover the reasons that led to their abandonment.
The Bokor Palace Hotel and Casino, Cambodia
The Bokor Palace Hotel and Casino in Cambodia truly is a place where history and mystery intertwine. Perched atop the lush, misty hills of Bokor National Park, this once-luxurious retreat now stands as an eerie, abandoned shell. Constructed in the 1920s by the French, it was the epitome of colonial extravagance, a getaway for the elite seeking escape and entertainment.
Walking through its silent hallways and spacious, ghostly ballrooms, you can almost hear the echoes of the past – the laughter, the music, the clinking of glasses. But the hotel’s glamorous past is tinged with tales of hauntings and a darker history, adding to its mystique.
After falling into disrepair, the Bokor Palace became a haunting symbol of Cambodia’s turbulent history, particularly during the Khmer Rouge regime. Today, it attracts curious travelers and history buffs alike, drawn to its decaying beauty and the captivating stories it holds.
Hotel Courbefy, France
Have you heard about Hotel Courbefy, nestled in the picturesque Limousin region of France? This hotel’s story is as enchanting as it is melancholic. Once a bustling hub of rural hospitality, offering a serene getaway in the heart of the French countryside, Hotel Courbefy has now succumbed to the quiet embrace of nature. It’s hard not to be captivated by the poetic charm of its overgrown gardens and the silent, empty pool that once echoed with laughter and splashes.
What’s particularly fascinating about Hotel Courbefy is its dramatic shift from a lively resort to a ghostly shell – a transition that speaks volumes about the transient nature of such enterprises. The hotel’s abandonment sparked interest globally, with tales of its auction and potential revival capturing the imaginations of many. Walking through its quiet grounds, one can almost feel the layers of stories and memories hidden within its walls.
Ryugyong Hotel, North Korea
Often referred to as the “Hotel of Doom,” this towering pyramid-shaped skyscraper in Pyongyang is as enigmatic as it is imposing. With its 105 stories, it was intended to be one of the world’s tallest hotels, a symbol of North Korea’s ambition and technological prowess.
Construction began in the late 1980s but was halted in the 1990s due to economic difficulties, leaving the Ryugyong an empty shell looming over the city’s skyline. What’s particularly intriguing about this hotel is the shroud of mystery that surrounds it. In a country known for its secrecy, the Ryugyong stands as a silent, unoccupied giant, its reflective glass façade and unlit windows adding to the sense of intrigue. Despite recent efforts to complete its exterior, the interior remains unfinished, and the hotel has never hosted a single guest.
Whenever you think of North Korea’s unique landscape, the image of this towering, ghostly hotel is sure to linger in your mind.
Hachijo Royal Hotel, Japan
The Hachiko Royal Hotel in Japan was once a luxurious getaway but is now reclaimed by nature on the mysterious Hachijojima Island. Back in its heyday, this hotel was a symbol of Japan’s rapid post-war economic growth, attracting tourists with its lavish design and tropical paradise setting. Opening in the 1960s, it was one of the largest hotels in Asia, famed for its exotic appeal and grandeur.
But here’s the twist: as overseas travel became more accessible, the allure of this remote island retreat faded, leading to its closure in the 2000s. Today, the Hachijo Royal Hotel stands as a hauntingly beautiful relic of a bygone era. Its empty halls and overgrown gardens tell a story of forgotten luxury. What’s truly captivating is how nature is slowly taking over, with greenery creeping up the walls and wildflowers blooming in the once bustling corridors. It’s a photographer’s and urban explorer’s dream, a surreal comparison of opulence and decay.
Hotel Belvédère du Rayon Vert, France
Hotel Belvédère du Rayon Vert in France is a true gem for anyone fascinated by history and architecture. Nestled in the small town of Cerbère, near the French-Spanish border, this art deco marvel was built in the 1920s and quickly became a symbol of luxury and modernity.
Its unique design, featuring a ship-like structure with a striking green pyramid at the top, made it stand out in the landscape of the Pyrenees. Can you imagine the glamour of the roaring twenties echoed in its halls and terraces? However, as travel trends shifted and newer destinations emerged, the hotel’s sparkle faded, leading to its closure in the 1980s.
Today, walking through the Hotel Belvédère du Rayon Vert is like stepping into a different era. Its grand staircase, once bustling with elegantly dressed guests, and the now-silent cinema hall, where the latest films of the time were screened, speak of a time of opulence and artistry. Although it no longer hosts guests, the building has been preserved as a historical monument, capturing the imagination of visitors with its unique architecture and the enchanting stories of its past.
Diplomat Hotel, Philippines
The Diplomat Hotel in the Philippines is a place shrouded in as much mystery as its history. Perched atop Dominican Hill in Baguio City, this massive, imposing structure was originally a retreat house for Dominican friars before being converted into a hotel. But what really catches the attention of visitors and locals alike are the tales that swirl around it.
This hotel is infamous for being one of the most haunted places in the country, with stories of headless apparitions and eerie, unexplained noises echoing through its abandoned corridors. It is believed to be haunted for several reasons. One is that it became a haven for refugees but was later bombed, leading to numerous deaths. After the war, it was rebuilt as a hotel but retained its eerie Gothic architecture.
After its closure in the 1980s, the abandoned and deteriorating structure became the perfect setting for ghost stories and urban legends. Whether these tales are rooted in fact or fiction, the Diplomat Hotel remains a popular destination for those intrigued by the paranormal and serves as a fascinating, if unsettling, piece of Baguio City’s history.
Ducor Hotel, Liberia
Have you ever come across the story of the Ducor Hotel in Monrovia, Liberia? This hotel used to be the epitome of luxury in West Africa, a five-star establishment perched atop a hill with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the vibrant city below. In its glory days, the Ducor Hotel was a buzzing hotspot, attracting celebrities, politicians, and affluent travelers from all corners of the globe. But here’s where it takes a turn – with the onset of civil unrest and war in Liberia, the Ducor Hotel’s lights dimmed, and it was eventually abandoned.
Now, as you wander through its once-grand halls and guest rooms, there’s a profound sense of what was lost. The empty swimming pool, the silent, echoing lobby, and the graffiti-covered walls tell a story of a forgotten jewel in the heart of Monrovia. Despite its current state of disrepair, the Ducor Hotel remains a poignant landmark, a reminder of both the past splendor and the resilience of Liberia.
Haludovo Palace Hotel, Croatia
Haludovo Palace Hotel in Croatia is a fascinating example of the rise and fall of luxury tourism during the Cold War era. Located on the idyllic island of Krk, this hotel was the epitome of opulence when it opened its doors in 1972.
Funded by Penthouse magazine founder Bob Guccione, the Haludovo Palace Hotel was a lavish retreat designed to attract a wealthy Western clientele. It featured extravagant amenities, including a casino, private beach, and decadent parties, epitomizing the glamour and excess of the time. The hotel’s design, characterized by modernist architecture with a touch of Mediterranean flair, was envisioned to offer a slice of the high life behind the Iron Curtain.
However, the Haludovo Palace Hotel’s fortune took a dramatic turn in the 1990s. With the breakup of Yugoslavia and the ensuing regional conflicts, tourism plummeted. The hotel, once a symbol of luxury and an international jet-set destination, began to lose its luster and clientele. By the early 2000s, it had fallen into disrepair and was eventually abandoned. Today, the once-glistening pools and opulent halls are replaced by graffiti and decay, standing as a ghostly relic of its former glory.
These once-bustling establishments, from the glamour of Haludovo Palace Hotel in Croatia to the historic charm of the Ducor Hotel in Monrovia, now stand in silent testimony to the ever-changing tides of time and fortune. Each empty corridor and overgrown garden tell a story, not just of decline, but of the memories and moments that once filled these spaces.
These ghostly hotels, with their faded walls and echoes of the past, invite us to reflect on the stories they hold and the lessons they teach. So, the next time you pass by an abandoned hotel, take a moment to ponder its story – the rise, the fall, and the enduring intrigue that these silent giants continue to hold.
While abandoned hotels have a mysterious charm, some hotels have been welcoming guests for centuries. Which Are the Oldest Operating Hotels? takes you to the places where history and hospitality meet, showing the hotels that have stood the test of time.