An abandoned hotel that boasts one of the world’s most spectacular views is now attracting a very different kind of tourist.
The Monte Palace Hotel was a five-star hotel that opened with great fanfare in 1989 on the Portuguese island of San Miguel, in the Azores.
Towering over the lagoons of Sete Cidades its owners built a luxurious and exclusive hideaway that they hoped those on the hunt for a truly stunning vista would flock to.
But sadly it wasn’t to be. The visitors stopped coming and the hotel shut only 18 months after opening.
Now it attracts a very different kind of tourist – those who delight in exploring abandoned places.
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One visitor called Andy who puts together travel itineraries explained more on his website avrextravel.com.
He said: “I arrived early in the day and realized I was the only person in the hotel. Exploring an empty hotel on my own was both exciting and somewhat eerie. Entering the property, I discovered debris everywhere.
“I made my way toward the hotel’s central atrium. The glass of the huge skylight had disappeared long ago, letting in the rain and natural elements. Green moss covered the concrete walls and balconies.
“I could still imagine how incredible this atrium must have looked originally.”
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JS Alonso writes for ABC Travel and agreed that the experience of visiting the hotel is dark.
He said: “What was going to be a great hotel is today something similar to a concrete cruise ship stranded on top of a mountain, full of graffiti, mud, and empty rooms.
“There is even a casino, completely dark, in the basement, almost the setting for a horror movie.”
He adds that tourists “perplexedly examine” every corner before climbing on the roof for a final wow effect. The two lakes that the hotel overlooks have a fascinating folklore too. They are twin blue and green lakes that fill the base of the Sete Cidades.
Lonely Planet explains they are apparently “the tears of star-crossed lovers, a green-eyed princess and a blue-eyed shepherd.”
But it goes on to explain that the reality is far more sober.
The depth of the larger lake (Azul) means it reflects the sky, while smaller, shallower Verde mirrors the greenery of its surroundings.
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