There’s something fascinating about buildings that should be full of people but instead are left completely empty. Here are some of the most enthralling abandoned hotels found all around the world.
Grand Hotel Regnier
True to its name, the Grand Hotel Regnier was once grand enough to cater to 80 guests at a time. We would have loved to see the hotel during its peak, as it was built and opened back in 1904! Tragically the abandoned building had to be demolished in 2020, and the last owner was interviewed by a visiting photographer.
The photographer, Yannick, recounted the story of the Regnier’s lonely fate. "He told me that it closed because it went bankrupt, that no one volunteered to take over the hotel and that he wasn't able to afford the cost of maintenance. He seemed very sad about it. This hotel must have been a big part of his life."
Igloo City Hotel
First the Haludovo and now the Igloo City Hotel - maybe building resorts wasn't the best business decision in the 1970s? The Igloo was built in the 70s and closed shortly after without accommodating a single member of the public. That’s right - the business shut down before it even started.
Though it failed as a hotel, Igloo found another kind of victory as a tourist attraction! In later decades many traveled to Cantwell, Alaska, to see this unusual igloo-shaped building. We have to wonder how successful the hotel would have been, as Anchorage Daily News reported as much as 5 inches of snow in this area in June!
Lee Plaza Hotel
This next hotel may not be in operating order, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable in the eyes of the US government! In fact, the building is on the United States National Register of Historic Places, and it was officially added to the registry for historic sites in the state of Michigan in 1981.
Here is the Lee Plaza Hotel, built in 1929, now coated in a film of dust and peeling, ancient wallpaper. The building was only a shadow of its former glory, and it’s hard to imagine it as a glamorous, high-class apartment-style hotel complex. The Lee Plaza was closed due to bankruptcy in 1997 and has remained that way ever since.
Ducor Palace Hotel
The Ducor Palace Hotel has its own place in history, as the first international-class hotel to operate in Liberia! The Ducor was opened in the city of Monrovia in 1960 and made a big impression with its 8 stories and 106 stately bedrooms. For years after, it was one of continental Africa’s few 5-star establishments.
This hotel was later named Ducor International after it was taken over by Intercontinental Hotels in 1962. By 2010, plans were put in place to put the impressive but abandoned hotel on the market. The Liberian Government began a campaign to clean out the building, but the project was simply never finished.
Puente del Inca
This formation in Argentina was one of the most fascinating hotel-like operations in the world! The Puenta del Inca, or “The Inca Bridge” as it is known in English, is 9,003 feet above sea level and was formed by hot springs and glaciers that produced this naturally occurring bridge over the Las Cuevas River.
At one point, visitors were able to stay the night in this bridge-turned-hotel. Unfortunately for all of us, the structure was found to be unstable. It was showing indications of deterioration that no longer made it safe as accommodation, according to the National Geology and Mining Service.
Sanzhi UFO Houses
The Sanzhi UFO Houses, built in Taiwan, are a fascinating prospect for those of us interested in both extraterrestrial life and unusual architecture. But the hotel complex never came to full fruition. Some have claimed that it was cursed after a sculpture of a Chinese Dragon was knocked off its pedestal during construction.
Originally this strange site had been built to house local military personnel, and construction began in 1978. However, the build was hampered considerably by numerous issues, including multiple deaths on-site. As a result, the site was closed and no one ever returned to finish it.
Maya Kankō Hotel
Mount Maya is a beloved lookout for locals and visitors in Kobe, Japan. And on the side of the mountain sits a former hotel, now in a state of disrepair. Despite its rusty and paint-chipped exterior, the Mayo Kankō Hotel has been through a lot. It even held defensive materials for soldiers during World War II!
After the war, Mayo Kankō Hotel was bought and sold numerous times with little success as a business, before it became the Maya Student Center in 1974. Things were looking optimistic for the old building until the Great Awaki Earthquake rolled through Kobe and rendered the building unusable. It has remained closed since then.
Hotel del Salto
There’s something a little spooky about most abandoned buildings, but this one really takes the cake! Hotel del Salto is believed to be the most haunted hotel in Colombia, and its reputation has spread throughout South America. It was originally built as a private mansion in 1923 next to the Tequendama Falls.
Over the years more rooms were added and it was used as an upmarket hotel for six decades. But the site had to be shut down in the early 90s as there weren’t enough customers to pay for maintenance and renovations. Since then, the hotel has become far more popular as a haunted destination.
Castello di Sammezzano
This incredible mosaic-covered room is part of the Castello di Sammezzano, a former hotel found in Reggello, Italy. The L'Archivio del Tempo Che Passa reports that the skeleton of the building dates back to 1605, but it was given this colorful Moorish-style reconstruction in the 19th century.
From that point on the Castello became a lauded hotel, and held exactly 365 rooms! Apparently, each room represented one day of the year. The hotel was open until World War II when it was shut down permanently. It has remained closed for business ever since.
The Ryugyong Hotel, also dubbed the “Hotel of Doom” by residents of the area, is a looming skyscraper that reportedly holds over 3,000 rooms. Located in North Korea, the Ryugyong has had a long and hampered life, to the point that it is recorded as the largest establishment in the world that remains unfinished.
It’s easy to see why when you learn that the Ryugyong’s opening date was scheduled all the way back in 1989! As is the case with many expensive buildings, economic difficulties made it impossible to finish the hotel, and today it remains the tallest unoccupied building in the world according to the Guinness World Records.
This Las Vegas strip hotel, known as the Riviera, lived a tumultuous life after its closure back in 2015. For a time after its doors closed, the site was intended for use to hold conventions for the Las Vegas Convention Center District project. It had been bought by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Despite having a new owner and a new purpose, these plans for the Riviera never came to fruition. Instead, the site was left completely defunct and abandoned. Eventually, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority had the 24-story building demolished, in order to make room for a new business district.
Buck Hill Inn
When you look at the laundry list of features at the Buck Hill Inn, it might be surprising to hear that its owners chose to close down the site. After all, this hotel in Pennsylvania had not just 400 guestrooms, but also included an indoor pool, tennis courts, horseback riding tracks, and a 27-hole golf course! So what happened?
Rumors spread that several fires had been started on the grounds, apparently by guests of the hotel. The site was shut in 1996 as a result. It took twenty years before the building was demolished, according to The Pocono Record, and today only the pillars in the photo above still remain.
Back in the 1960s, The Kozubnik Resort had everything a hotel could need. Aside from its guest rooms, it offered swimming pools, saunas, bars, and even had a bowling alley as extra entertainment for customers. And if that wasn’t enough, the building was flanked on all sides by lush forestry.
The hotel, nestled in the Mala Puszcza Valley in southern Poland, was a perfect scenic getaway for visitors who wanted a tranquil, somewhat isolated space. But these days the abandoned site is covered in rust and old paint, with all its windows knocked out. Unfortunately, the former hotel now looks anything but peaceful.
Penn Hills Resort
The aforementioned Buck Hill Inn has a spiritual sibling in this next hotel. Also situated in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, the Penn Hills Resort was a lavish honeymoon getaway with decor to match. Each suite in the building came with heart-shaped bathtubs and circular beds, the perfect setup for newlyweds.
But in 2009 one of the co-founders of the resort, Frances Paolillo, passed away. Within just two months of his passing, the hotel had to shut its doors. Soon after the site was formally abandoned when The Pocono Record reported significant damage caused by floods and looting.
Old Gagra Resort
The Old Gagra was located in Abkhazia, Georgia, originally built as a health retreat early in the 20th century. The retreat was elaborate enough to have a private train station and theatre for guests! It also had a few different uses before it became a hotel, including housing and rehabilitating wounded soldiers.
But this all came to an end some decades later, as the Abkhazian-Georgian war spread throughout the country. Between the late 1980s to early 1990s, the Old Gagra took significant damage and had to be formally closed and abandoned. Though it’s still a stunning sight, the building has remained untouched for some time.
The Diplomat Hotel
Here we have another abandoned hotel with a ‘haunting’ legacy! The Diplomat Hotel, built in 1913 as a vacation home, is now considered one of the most haunted locations found in the Philippines. The site has a complicated history, as it was converted into a refugee camp for escapees from Japan during WWII.
By the 1970s the owners attempted to make it a hotel, but this effort only lasted ten years before the site was closed. Since then, there have been reports of "headless apparitions" and "screams, cries, banging on doors, and other desperate noises" occurring in the building. This might be one site that’s best left alone!
Bokor Palace Hotel
Found at the top of Bokor Mountain in Cambodia, this former hotel was caught up in the country's turbulent history, and it had a difficult time fulfilling its role as a luxury retreat. The huge building was originally constructed in 1925, influenced by the French architecture of the local colonial buildings.
It was abandoned in the 1940s, reopened some years later, and then re-abandoned in 1972. Since then, the only official use for the building was as a set for a battle scene in the 2002 film City of Ghosts. No other activity has taken place, and today the deteriorating building sits alone on Bokor Mountain.
If investors of the Sheraton Rarotonga had known they were building on supposedly “cursed” land, it’s possible this abandoned hotel wouldn’t be there today. Built on the South Pacific island of Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands, this graffitied lot was once a gorgeous property.
But it never saw a single customer. The hotel was unfinished, apparently due to some significant drama that occurred between the family who owned the land and hotel developers. Construction took place between 1987-1993, and locals believe it was halted permanently due to the “curse” that was placed on it by the landowners.
Chacaltaya Ski Resort
The Chacaltaya Ski Resort once held the record for the highest ski-lift accessible slope in the world. This Bolivian ski hotel was once popular, but the business was doomed when scientists reported that the mountain would be devoid of snow by 2015. And their predictions were 6 years late!
The snow stopped falling on Mt. Chacaltaya in 2009, and the resort was promptly abandoned. It’s a shame, as not only did they have the highest point of access for ski-lifts, but Guinness World Records also reported its restaurant as the highest in the world, sitting at 17,519 feet!
Divine Lorraine Hotel
This “divine” hotel was initially built as a set of luxury apartments before the owners chose to advertise it as a hotel. It opened in 1900 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and in 1948, a local Reverend named M. J. Divine purchased the building and chose to make it the first "racially integrated hotel" in the country.
After almost 100 years of business, the Divine Lorraine Hotel had to close in 1999, and the huge building was left to sit for some time. The Lorraine had been effectively gutted, with all windows, floors, and doors removed. Eventually, the space was taken over and turned into luxury apartments that are now on the market.
Hotel Monte Palace
After opening in 1989, the Hotel Monte Palace in São Miguel, Portugal, was slated to be one of the city’s most popular spots for tourist accommodation. But instead, the site was shut down after just one year of opening. To this day there is still no obvious answer as to why.
Three decades later and the Monte still remains untouched. The abandoned site is now known for its rusted sweeping staircases and crumbling interior. No surprise then that the hotel has become a magnet for urban explorers and photographers who want to observe the neglected space.
It’s clear that the developers of the Polissya Hotel had no idea what was in store for their hotel. Opened in the 1970s in Pripyat, Ukraine, the Polissya was apparently one of the tallest buildings in the city. It was originally built as accommodation for workers traveling to the Chernobyl Power Plant.
But after the nuclear disaster occurred in Chernobyl almost ten years later, the hotel and all surrounding areas were permanently abandoned. More recently the Polissya has gained attention for other reasons - as a setting for multiple video games, including Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl.
This enormous property couldn’t afford to maintain its whopping 232,000-square foot grounds and 460 guest rooms, as it was closed in 1972 due to its flagging business. Despite the end of the Baker Hotel, just 10 years later the building left behind was added to the National Register of Historic Places
Despite being a protected building, the site in Mineral Wells, Texas, was left abandoned for many years to come. In fact, it was only recently that the site was purchased by an investor named Laird Fairchild in collaboration with state developers, and plans are set for a renovated Baker Hotel to open in 2024!
What happens to a "millionaire's playground," when all the millionaires leave? Well, just take a look at Varosha, a former resort town on the island of Cyprus. Over a shockingly brief period, the area went from a thriving population of 40,000 to no residents at all!
And a fleet of hotels in Varosha was left behind too. All because the region of Cyprus it was located in had been taken over by Turkish forces in 1974, causing all residents to flee in a matter of weeks. These days the abandoned town is still accessible for those who wish to visit it.
Hôtel Belvédère du Rayon Vert
This narrow hotel, the Belvédère du Rayon Vert, took almost four years to build in the French village of Cerbere, Languedoc-Rousillon. The reason for its unusual structure lies with the architect, who designed the hotel to look like a ship! Sadly, the peculiar hotel was officially closed in 1983.
It was built alongside a train station, making it a convenient stopping point for travelers who wanted to stay near public transport. But the Belvédère du Rayon Vert was more than just a train station stop-off - on the roof of the building residents could even find a tennis court and movie theatre for their recreational needs!
Prora Holiday Resort
This next building was constructed during a difficult period in history - from 1936 to 1939 on Rügen island, Germany. It was part of a state project known as Strength Through Joy, but the Prora Holiday Resort never came to fruition. Instead, it was used as a refuge for German and Soviet soldiers through WWII and the Cold War.
The complex was made up of 8 separate buildings, and was so huge that it is still known by some as the “Colossus of Prora.” After decades of sitting empty on the island, the site was sold off to investors who have decided to renovate and convert it to a luxury resort. At least it’ll be a magnet for history buffs!
Coco Palms Resort
This next abandoned hotel sparked years of debate after it was built on Wailuā, Kauaʻi, an island of Hawaii. The Coco Palms Resort was a controversial property built on land that had been owned by the Hawaiian royal family for centuries. However, the debate between locals and investors was disrupted in 1992 by Hurricane Iniki.
The natural disaster destroyed the hotel, leaving it an uninhabitable mess. Over two decades later in 2016, Coco Palms Hui LLC and GreeneWaters LLC collaborated to restore the site as part of "Hyatt's Unbound Collection." But the project failed and the site was abandoned once again in 2019.
As you can see, the Palms Motel got its name for a reason. Flanked by dozens of swaying palm trees, the abandoned business is far from operational these days. But the property used to be a popular and rather stunning stayover for tourists and visitors to the Salton Sea, California.
Many people traveled from all over to see the Salton Sea, and the Palms Motel was a common stopping-off point. Think of it as a shallow lake, but full of seawater! Unfortunately, the Salton Sea became so polluted that it lost its popularity as a tourist site, and the Palms Motel went under shortly after.
Dixie Walesbilt Hotel
This 1920s structure still retains some of its art deco glory, despite having been abandoned for decades now. The Dixie Walesbilt Hotel was built in Lake Wales, Florida, during the Florida land boom of the 1920s. It was passed through the hands of many owners including a former state Governor!
Plenty of money and effort was put into the construction of the building, with its Italian-imported ceiling and expensive marble floors. Despite being abandoned due to economic decline, the property was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
It’s rare to see a building as ornate and well preserved as the Renakse Hotel, which is also completely devoid of activity. The formerly glorious lodge is now cloistered in trees and overgrown grass, a shocking contrast to the impeccable Royal Palace just across the street from it.
This once-popular hotel may be officially closed to the public, but many still remember it as a linchpin of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city. "The Renakse Hotel was a hub for those of us jump-starting the return of the free press into Indochina back in 1991," journalist Nate Thayer admitted.
San Rafael Hotel
If you’ve ever planned to visit Uruguay, you may have added the thriving beach city Punta del Este to your list. The city is essentially a giant beach resort, and the now-abandoned San Rafael Hotel used to be one of the most popular hotels in the area!
Virtually anyone of high social standing would stay at the San Rafael white visiting Punta del Este. Today, the impressive building has deteriorated from the inside after years of neglect. In 2018 it was purchased by the Cipriani Group, an Italian chain that is currently planning to renovate and reopen the former icon.
Fort Wayne Hotel
In the first half of the twentieth century, Detroit, Michigan was the hub of the automobile industry. As the decades passed the industry began to die, with many companies moving their operations elsewhere. Because of this, there are thousands of empty and decaying buildings across the city, including the Fort Wayne Hotel.
This once rather lavish building used to be bustling with guests and workers, particularly from the 1920s to the 1950s. As business declined in Detroit, so did the influx of visitors to the Fort Wayne. It was later named the American Hotel before it officially closed its doors in the early 2000s.
Juniper Lodge Motel
In Macdoel, California lies the remains of the Juniper Lodge Motel, which once consisted of thirty rooms and a large courtyard. Like so many entries on this list, the Juniper was abandoned by owners and investors and was eventually colonized by local flora and local squatters.
Though the hotel had been vacant for some time, we’re sure it still came as a shock to locals when the old building was engulfed in flames during the Tennant fire in July 2021. Much of the area had been affected by rising temperatures and bush fires, and other old properties and boats nearby were also destroyed.
Swan Lake Resort
On the edge of Swan Lake, in the Catskills south of New York, lies the aptly named Swan Lake Resort. At one point this former hotel was an enviable holiday location for American’s all over, and there were endless activities for visitors. But if you know anything about the Catskills, you probably know what happened next.
This particular region of New York was one of the most desirable tourist hotspots from the 1920s to the 1950s. But soon commercial airlines began to open, and fast air travel between states and overseas soon became the norm. Swan Lake, as well as 500 other resorts in the area, were forced to close as visitor numbers plummeted.
Hotel de France
Back when Grand-Bassam was still the capital of the Ivory Coast, the town was one of the most popular resort areas in all of Africa! It attracted visitors from across the continent, as well as people from Europe and the Mediterranean. As the economic stronghold of the Ivory Coast, it was a lucrative place to be.
This resulted in the construction of the Hotel de France, which now stands as a decaying tribute to the golden age of Grand-Bassam. Since then the town has experienced considerable difficulties, and though the hotel is registered as a UNESCO world heritage site, there is not much that can be done with the decaying property.
Holiday Inn Hotel
The Holiday Inn hotel chain has built properties all over the world, including in some very unexpected locations. Here we have the Holiday Inn Sarajevo, located in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The hotel oversaw the conflict that tore the region apart, leaving it and nearby buildings derelict and/or destroyed.
The Bosnian War was waged from 1992 to 1996, and swelling violence roared through the city. But these days Sarajevo is a much more peaceful place and is developing at a rapid pace. And even the Holiday Inn Sarajevo is being redeveloped! We just hope it has better luck this time around.
Route 66 Motel
If you had to name the most famous roads in America, there’s no doubt route 66 would sit near the top of the list! This iconic highway was first opened back in 1926, and it saw more than its fair share of travelers during the early 1930s as countless people traveled to the West Coast to find work during the Great Depression.
As the economy was rebuilt, route 66 became a mainstay for travelers and holidaymakers wanting to see more of the country. This soon changed when the highway was officially decommissioned in 1985, leaving such iconic features as the Route 66 Motel utterly abandoned.
Winter Olympic Village Hotel
Looking at this abandoned building, it might be hard to believe it was ever capable of housing people. But that's exactly what the massive structure was built for. And it didn't accommodate just anyone: the vacant shell below once hosted some of the world's best athletes.
Back in 1983 Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was chosen to host the Winter Olympics of that year, and they needed appropriate accommodation. That’s where this looming concrete complex came in. It was the Olympic Village first, then became a temporary prison, and was finally left abandoned as it is today.
Xenia Palace Hotel
Located in the coastal town of Nafplio, Greece sits some of the most beautiful resorts in the world, surrounded by unbeatable ocean scenery. And nestled amongst those stunning views is the lonely Xenia Palace Hotel, a former luxury resort that was constructed back in 1961.
During the 1950s, the Greek National Tourism Organization was leading a country-wide initiative to boost tourism. This gave birth to the Xenia Palace Hotel, which was in operation until 2000. Since then the hotel has been left entirely abandoned, slowly joining the crumbling archaeological sites that surround it.
Saint Georges Hotel
This stunning piece of architecture, known as the Saint Georges Hotel, was built in the 1920s in Beirut, Lebanon. It was a masterwork of the time, built by famous French architect August Perret and engineer Antoine Tabet. Perret traveled all the way from Paris just to work on the hotel!
For years Saint Georges was a popular upmarket hotel in Beirut before it underwent significant damage during periods of civil unrest between the 1970s and 1990s. The structural integrity of the building only worsened in the years to come, and today it is closed indefinitely until renovations can take place.
Hotel Real Del Istmo
The town of Matias Romero Avendañdo sits in the southwest of Mexico, with a population of 38,000 residents. It was named after a 19th-century politician and diplomat. And in this small town, you’ll find the next entry on our list - the hotel Real Del Istmo.
After the Hotel Real Del Istmo officially closed down, it took on a new purpose. These days the abandoned property has been used as a haven for people traveling from South America to the United States. This is shown clearly in the photo above taken in 2018, where fleeing refugees can be seen spending the night.
And over in New Mexico, we have this old dive motel - the Arrow Motel, found in the city of Española. For a long time, it was a mainstay of Española and the go-to spot for people passing through who needed a cheap room for the night. It may not have been a 5-star joint, but it worked just fine.
Sadly, the property was eventually closed down due to waning guest numbers, and it soon ran into a series of issues once the property was abandoned. Namely, it fell victim to a number of mysterious fires. The source of the fires couldn’t be traced, and eventually, the site was demolished due to irreparable damage.
Catskill Resort Hotel
Before its premature closure in 1986, the Catskill Resort Hotel was a popular hotel in Liberty, New York. It had been part of the Borscht Belt, a cluster of now-defunct resorts in the Catskill Mountains.
The hotel saw a good deal of business before its closure, particularly from the 1940s to the 1960s. Sometime later there were plans for “a $50M resort with a 250 room hotel, convention center, private residences, and other amenities” to be built on the grounds by Sullivan Resorts LLC. The plans are still on hold.
Despite its dilapidated interior strewn with rubbish and debris, it’s not too hard to see the forgotten potential of the Hotel Kupari. Built as part of Croatia’s Kupari Tourist Complex, this former hotel was once a grand property that overlooked the incredible ocean views shown in the photo below.
Tragically, the property was dealt a terrible blow as a result of the Croatian War of Independence in the 1990s. The site has never been the same since, and it seems that any attempts to recreate the glory of Hotel Kupari’s past have failed. It’s a shame, as the coastal views and nearby mountains are hard to beat!
Haludovo Palace Hotel
Another abandoned property found in Croatia, the Haludovo Palace had a very short-lived existence as a working hotel. Built in 1971 and opened in 1972, the building was the pipe-dream of Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione, who spent approximately $45M on renovations!
But within only one year the hotel was shut down due to a lack of funds on Guccione’s part. By 1995 it was privatized and passed through the hands of multiple owners, with little success. The property was officially abandoned in 2001 and has remained empty ever since.