Would you want a room with this view? From the totally decaying to the beautifully eerie, every one of these abandoned hotels have a haunting and heartbreaking story about how they went from bustling tourist destinations to gloomy reminders of what once was. So check out where visitors once checked in: it’s time for a trip to heartbreak hotel.
1. Baker Hotel, Texas, USA
In the 1930s and 1940s, the Baker Hotel was the opulent gem of Mineral Wells, Texas. The now-abandoned hotel’s rooms once hosted a slew of Hollywood Golden Age celebrities, from Ronald Reagan to Judy Garland, Clark Gable, and even the notorious duo Bonnie and Clyde, as they all flocked to the town to bask in the healing waters of the mineral pools nearby.
But after a few glory years, the hotel’s profits dipped, it was ultimately shut down in 1972. Since then, the 232,000 square foot, 460-room, 14-story hotel has stood untouched. But in 2019, developers announced that the hotel was due to get a $65 million renovation. So there may yet be hope for the Baker Hotel — stay tuned.
2. Buck Hill Inn, Pennsylvania, USA
Buck Hill Inn was once the go-to destination of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. The thousand-acre property featured not only an amphitheater, but also a 27-hole golf course, an indoor pool, swimming and tennis facilities, horseback riding, and of course, a 400-room resort hotel.
After business suffered for years, the owners of the Buck Hill Inn closed its doors for good in 1990. What was once a place for families to enjoy a long list of activities has now transformed into a place that is rumored to have paranormal activity. Ghost hunters from all over the country have visited the Buck Hill Inn looking for signs of hauntings.
3. Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel, New York, USA
Looking at the decaying state of the Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel, with its graffiti-filled pools and crumbling infrastructure, most people would not be able to guess that the site was once the inspiration for the classic film Dirty Dancing. Today this abandoned hotel, which was closed in 1986, is just plain…dirty.
Since 1910, the resort was a destination for New Yorkers looking to get away from the city for a weekend in the Catskill Mountains. Of all the resorts in its area, Grossinger’s was once considered to be the most luxurious. It featured a kosher restaurant made to cater to its largely Jewish clientele, and even hosted the wedding of Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor. But now, the site hosts photographers looking to snap a picture of this eerie relic of the past.
4. Sanzhi UFO Houses, Taiwan
For some of those who follow the folklore of Taiwan’s Sanzhi UFO Houses, their demise was seen as a long time coming. Conspiracy theorists have believed that this strange resort was doomed from the moment developers knocked down a Chinese dragon sculpture that stood at the front of the property in attempts to make room for construction vehicles.
From that moment, the site was said to be cursed. Soon after, those working on the hotel suffered horrible fates, with several workers dying in car accidents and others by taking their own lives. Shortly after, the site lost its funding. The futuristic, alien-like hotel pods were never finished, and no one has ever checked in to these UFO houses.
5. Lee Plaza Hotel, Detroit, Michigan, USA
In 1927, the Lee Plaza Hotel was being advertised for its stunning beauty. Pictures of grand ballrooms with golden chandeliers and luxurious couches were placed on postcards that touted Lee Plaza as being “Detroit’s finest apartment hotel.” After an economic downturn, the 220-room hotel became housing for Detroit’s low-income seniors before shutting down completely in 1993.
Now, the shine of the Lee Plaza Hotel has long faded. According to local papers, not a single window in the entire 17-floor building is left in tact. Paint is chipping off of the walls, and graffiti has been put in its place. For thrill seekers, it has become something like a playground. But for some in Detroit, the crumbling hotel is a marker of the city’s overall crumbling economy.
6. Ducor Palace Hotel, Liberia
The Ducor Palace Hotel in Liberia was once one of the world’s most luxurious five-star hotels, and the first five-star hotel in Africa. For that reason, the hotel hosted some of the world’s most rich and powerful figures during their trips to Liberia back in the 1960s. That all changed in 1989, when conflicts marked the beginning of what would come to be called the First Liberian Civil War.
At that point, the Ducor Palace Hotel instead became a safe house for government officials. Once tensions escalated, those officials abandoned the hotel, as squatters and those who had been forced to evacuate their homes soon replaced them. Though there have been multiple attempts to revitalize the former luxury getaway, the site remains abandoned.
7. Dixie Walesbilt Hotel, Florida, USA
The Dixie Walesbilt Hotel in Lake Wales, Florida, has a storied past. The hotel was originally built in 1926 and was seen at the time as the height of Jazz Age grandeur. The ceilings and columns were all made in Italy, the floors were mostly antique marble, and guests could enjoy both a fountain and a number of shops during their stays.
Over time, the hotel was passed around from owner to owner. In 1972, the hotel was renamed the “Groveland Motor Inn,” and by 1978 it had been sold yet again and named “Royal Walesbilt,” which touted itself as a “Christian hotel.” In 1985, it was renamed a final time the Hotel Grand until it at long last shut down nine years later due to code violations.
8. Hotel Polissya, Ukraine
Hotel Polissya is one of the creepiest abandoned hotels in the world, and also one of the most infamous. The hotel, built in the 1970s, was and continues to be the tallest building in its area, still looming over the city of Pripyat. If that name seems unsettlingly familiar to you, yes, the same Pripyat that once was home to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
Hotel Polissya was once the go-to lodging choice for diplomats and scientists visiting the nuclear plant. As anyone could have guessed, the hotel was abandoned after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Today, it has become a must-see destination for anyone touring the abandoned city, and the hotel itself is even featured in the video game Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
9. Penn Hills Resort, Pennsylvania, USA
Penn Hills Resort was for lovers. But actually, since the 1960s, the hotel in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania indeed pitched itself as a honeymoon resort. In each of the 100 rooms on the property, guests could find wall-to-wall carpeting, a round king-sized bed, and the hotel’s signature red heart-shaped bath tubs.
As if that was not enough, the property also had a wedding bell-shaped swimming pool and a romantic ice rink. Forget sandy beaches and tropical smoothies; the mountains of Pennsylvania were supposed to be the new honeymoon spot, at least in the eyes of Penn Hills’ owners. But since the hotel closed in 2009, the property has received no love, and remains completely abandoned.
10. Varosha, Cyprus
The resort town of Varosha, Cyprus was once known to be a “millionaire’s playground.” It was a vacation destination for such ’60s film stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, and Richard Burton. But then celebrities stopped going, and the population of the town went from nearly 40,000 to zero.
In 1974, Turkish forces invaded the island nation, and everyone who had lived in Varosha was forced out. A 1984 resolution made it illegal to resettle the town, and the entire community remains fenced off and heavily guarded. Varosha is now a true ghost town, with dilapidated hotels, apartments, restaurants, businesses, and homes left as barren reminders of what once was.
11. Old Gagra Resort, Abkhazia, Georgia
Georgia’s Black Sea coast was once called the “Russian Riviera.” During Vladimir Lenin’s reign over newly-formed Soviet Russia from 1917 to the 1920s, he reportedly ordered developers to make the Gagra an area of opulence, with some of the best spas in the world.
“Citizens would flock here as part of a state-funded health program of sanctioned vacations meant to re-energize them while they contemplated socialist ideas,” National Geographic wrote. The Old Gagra Resort became an increasingly popular spot for state-mandated vacation time, and more spas in the area became increasingly opulent. This all changed in 1992, when war in the area led all of these resorts to close their doors.
12. Maya Hotel, Japan
The Maya Hotel in Kobe, Japan, has been long known as being one of Japan’s most iconic haikyos (the Japanese term for “ruins” or “abandoned places”). But even with all of that attention, actually finding the Maya Hotel today can be a challenge.
The Maya Hotel sits on the top of a mountain, and it’s not exactly easy to access. The hiking trails that once led to the hotel have been long obscured since the building closed for business in 1995 after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. Its location is actually so far up a mountain that the roof of the building was once used as a lookout to defend Kobe from enemy fire in World War II.
13. Palms Motel, California, USA
Something fishy happened at the Palms Motel by the inland Salton Sea in California that led to its demise. For years, this desert retreat attracted tourists from all over the country who were flocking to experience one of the largest lakes in North America. But soon, all of the Palms Motel’s funds dried up.
By the late 1970s, the lake was experiencing some serious issues. Runoff from nearby farms combined with other elements meant that the sea became extremely polluted. It was so polluted, in fact, that most of the fish in the sea were killed and their bodies were washed ashore. The smell got so bad that people no longer wanted to stay at the Salton Sea, and the Palms Motel closed down forever.
14. Hotel Kupari, Croatia
For 30 years, the Kupari village of Croatia hosted five luxury hotels. Each of the hotels, named Grand, Kupari, Goričina, Goričine II, and Pelegrin, overlooked the majestic blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. For that time period, the area mainly catered to Yugoslavian military officers and their families, with all five of the hotels able to host 1,600 people in total.
But then the same people who were once guests were also responsible for the hotels’ demise. In the early 1990s, the hotels were among the many casualties of the Croatian War of Independence. The Yugoslavian Army proceeded to set all five of the hotels on fire. Today, the beaches in Kupari are popular once again, but the charred hotels remain.
15. The Diplomat Hotel, Philippines
The Diplomat Hotel has been known as one of The Philippines’ most haunted places. But at first, this derelict wonder was not even a hotel at all. In 1913 it began its journey as a retreat house. But during World War II, the site became a refugee camp for people escaping war in Japan.
When it was eventually raided by the Japanese military, the building was the site of some rather horrific events. It was re-purposed as a hotel in the 1970s, but only had a 10-year run. Now, it is a popular site for ghost hunters, who have reportedly seen “headless apparitions” and have heard “screams, cries, banging on doors, and other desperate noises.”
16. Bokor Palace Hotel, Cambodia
It took 9 months to build the Bokor Palace Hotel in Cambodia when it was a French colony. Appallingly, the process also cost the lives of 1,000 men working on the site. By the time it was finished in 1925, the hotel quickly became a destination for rich Europeans. “Parties and dances would carry on into the early hours, with laughter and chatter ringing through the surrounding jungle,” according to Culture Trip.
By 1972, the Communist Party in Cambodia at the time, known as Khmer Rouge, took over the countryside near Vietnam, including the Bokor Palace Hotel. For years, the hotel was left to crumble and rot. But there may yet be hope: in 2018, developers announced a plan to completely revitalize it.
17. Puente del Inca, Argentina
In the 1800s, Puente del Inca was one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Argentina. People the world over came to the area in order to enjoy the mineral hot springs that surrounded it. The breathtaking views of the rainbow-colored hillsides created by years of glacial melts and minerals didn’t hurt either.
Tucked away within the side of the rocky hills and under a natural bridge, developers built a spa and hotel, along with a nearby church. After a decent run, flooding in the springs surrounding the hotel ended up ruining the building. The former luxury spa in an almost unreal location has been left abandoned ever since.
18. Sheraton Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Picture this baffling scene. Tucked away at the edge of a jungle on the South Pacific island of Rarotonga, surrounded by cows, chickens, and other livestock, tourists can find a completely abandoned five-star hotel. That hotel, once known as the Sheraton Rarotonga, is now almost completely covered in foliage. What’s more, it’s sitting on land that’s rumored to be cursed.
The story of this hotel dates back to the 1980s, when Italian developers wanted to build a luxury hotel to attract visitors to the Cook Islands. The problem was that these same developers could not finish the project, and landed the local government in millions of dollars worth of debt.
19. Hotel Belvedere, Croatia
Hotel Belvedere in Croatia has transformed over time from hosting luxury travelers to refugees to even the cast of Game of Thrones in just a few short years. Back in 1985, the complex was a five-star hotel that boasted 200 rooms, 18 floors, a private boating dock, and its own helipad. But the Croatian War of Independence the following decade changed all of that.
In 1991, the hotel was abandoned except for the handful of Croatian refugees that used the building as a shelter. Afterwards, the building got a serious makeover when Game of Thrones shot an episode at the hotel and the facade was covered with the crest of the House Baratheon. After the film crews left, locals covered the crest with signage for a local soccer club.
20. Coco Palms Resort, Hawaii, USA
Coco Palms Resort was a pioneer when it came to Hawaiian getaway-style vacations. They were the first to really capitalize on “Hawaiian-style” weddings, complete with dancers and tiki torches. The hotel was also the first to introduce torch-lighting ceremonies for guests, a concept still used by Hawaiian resorts today.
Coco Palms Resort started with a humble beginning in 1953. But after the 1961 Elvis Presley musical film Blue Hawaii was shot on the hotel’s grounds, they experienced a boom in business. The hotel thrived until 1992, when it was struck by Hurricane Iniki and never fully recovered from the damage.
21. Hôtel Belvédère du Rayon Vert, France
For the tourists who simply could not choose between a cruise vacation or a hotel stay, the Hôtel Belvédère du Rayon Vert in Cerbère, France, was the perfect option. This stately Art Deco hotel, built from 1928 to 1932, was designed to look like a ship, and was nuzzled between a street and train tracks. It quickly became a popular hotel for train travelers looking to stay near the station.
The hotel was seen as the peak of luxury during its years of operation. It had its own movie theater, a lavish dining room, ballrooms, and a tennis court built on the roof. But when the Spanish Civil War began, train traffic slowed, and so with it came a drop in hotel guest traffic. The hotel closed for business in 1983.
22. Hotel del Salto at Tequendama Falls, Colombia
It’s the hotel that’s now known by the sinister moniker of “Colombia’s Most Haunted Inn.” But when it was opened in 1928 the Hotel del Salto was a breath of fresh air. It was intended to be known as the hotel of choice for the country’s wealthiest people and tourists visiting the breathtaking Tequendama Falls beside it.
The hotel is perched on a cliffside, with incredible views of the surrounding scenery and the Bogotá River beneath. Unfortunately, construction caused the falls and the water below to become contaminated beyond repair. Stories about the river’s pollution, along with tales of hotel guests jumping to their deaths during their stays, caused the hotel’s business to dry up. It closed in the 1990s, but the structure still remains popular among ghost hunters.
23. Castello di Sammezzano, Italy
Unlike many other abandoned hotels, which linger in a state of decay, the Castello di Sammezzano in Tuscany, Italy, is still a jaw-droppingly beautiful building to this very day. Its Moorish style, rainbow interior, vaulted ceilings, and Arabian-inspired entryways were all constructed starting in 1605 for Spanish nobleman Ferdinando Odoardo Ximenes d’Aragona. The castle took an entire 40 years of building and planning.
After the nobleman died, the castle and all 365 rooms (one for each day of the year) became a hotel that included a bar and a fine dining restaurant. The hotel was sold to investors in 1999, but nothing has been done with the property since. Instead, this breathtaking castle has been left abandoned.
24. Ryugyong Hotel, North Korea
The 105-story Ryugyong Hotel has become one of the only recognizable buildings in ultra-reclusive North Korea. Standing at 1,080 feet high and literally darting into the sky, the super-skyscraper hotel is the largest unfinished building in the world. The site, nicknamed the “Hotel of Doom,” was supposed to have 3,000 hotel rooms, and the top eight stories were set to host “revolving restaurants.”
But not a single person has ever stayed the night in the Ryugyong Hotel. The building was supposed to open in 1989, but after North Korea‘s economic downturn, the grand opening never happened. Instead, the tower looms over the capital of Pyongyang, and the unfinished project is often used as a backdrop for North Korean performances.
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