The 8 Most Enigmatic Abandoned Hotels Around the World: Unraveling History, Mystery and Beauty

Welcome, dear explorers of the unknown, to an enthralling journey through time and luxury, into the heart of the world’s most mesmerizing abandoned hotels. These once-bustling havens of opulence and splendor, now stand desolate and silent, frozen in time, their grandeur and elegance replaced by an eerie calm. Each crumbling edifice, a poignant testament to our transitory existence, seems to echo the whispers of its past guests, the laughter, the conversations, the delicate clinking of champagne glasses, now hushed by the heavy hand of time.

Yet, as you traverse through these deserted corridors, their abandoned ballrooms, their vacant lobbies, a strange beauty emerges from the silence. A beauty that lies in the unseen, the forgotten, in the stories untold. Amid the fading glitz and the decaying glamour, these majestic hotels carry within them an undying spirit, a charm that time has failed to erase. Their decaying walls narrate tales of days past, of gaiety and decadence, of ambition and dreams, and of life in all its grandeur.

So, dear reader, join us as we embark on this surreal journey, across continents, through forgotten epochs, into the heart of these enigmatic, abandoned treasures. Step back in time and immerse yourself in their haunting beauty, their poignant narratives, and their captivating allure. For within their deserted confines, you will discover more than just empty buildings. You will encounter a fascinating world, wrapped in mystery and nostalgia, and etched with the indelible footprints of history.

The Enchanted Elegance of New York’s Grossinger’s Catskill Resort

The Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel, located in the lush green landscapes of the Liberty village in New York, whispers tales of its bygone era. Founded in the 1910s, this magnificent resort was once a vibrant destination, boasting an array of luxurious amenities, including its own airstrip. The hotel was the first in the world to use artificial snow on its ski slopes, a testament to its innovative spirit. Today, its vacant corridors, overgrown tennis courts, and drained swimming pools serve as captivating echoes of its opulent past.

Mystique of the Lee Plaza Hotel, Detroit

Witnessing the majestic, yet melancholy, sight of the Lee Plaza Hotel in Detroit, one can’t help but imagine its past grandeur. This Art Deco building, once a symbol of Detroit’s economic prosperity in the 1920s, is an architectural masterpiece with its intricate design and impressive terracotta details. The towering structure stands like a silent sentinel over the city, with its empty, hauntingly beautiful apartments silently narrating a tale of decline and abandonment.

The Mysterious Allure of the Hotel Polissya, Ukraine

Credit: Matti Paavonen

Venturing into Ukraine’s Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, one is met with an eerie sight — the grand Hotel Polissya. This 16-story hotel, one of the tallest buildings in Pripyat, was once home to Soviet officials and scientists. Since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, it has stood desolate and ghostly, overlooking the abandoned city. Its hauntingly stark silhouette against the backdrop of the ghost town has been immortalized in countless photographs, embodying the tragedy and resilience of the area.

The Elusive Elegance of Hotel del Salto, Colombia

Perched on the edge of the Tequendama Falls in Colombia, the Hotel del Salto offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and architectural marvel. This French-inspired mansion, built in 1928, once welcomed wealthy travelers seeking respite from the city’s bustle. However, despite its enchanting surroundings, the hotel could not escape the curse of abandonment. Its once-gleaming halls and lavishly decorated rooms are now weather-worn, silently bearing witness to its former elegance and vitality.

The Majestic Ruins of the Ryugyong Hotel, North Korea

Credit: ED JONES/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

In the heart of Pyongyang, North Korea, the skyline is dominated by a colossal pyramid-shaped structure – the Ryugyong Hotel. Towering at 330 meters with 105 floors, this unfinished hotel remains a symbol of North Korea’s ambitious yet unfulfilled dreams. Its reflective glass facades and striking pyramid shape make it a distinctive, albeit desolate, landmark in the city.

The Fascinating Story of Ducor Palace Hotel, Liberia

Overlooking the vibrant city of Monrovia, Liberia, the Ducor Palace Hotel was once a hotspot for the world’s political and diplomatic elite. Opened in 1960, it was the first international-class hotel in the country, boasting an array of luxury amenities. The Ducor Palace Hotel’s downfall came with the country’s political instability, leading to its closure and subsequent abandonment.

Remains Of Gold Rush, California

Bodie, California, founded in the late 1870s, was a boomtown near the Nevada border during the Gold Rush. In its heyday, the Dechambeau Hotel functioned not just as a hotel but also as a sort of health club and a place of worship. Bodie had been mostly abandoned by 1915, but the last mine didn’t close until 1942. Bodie had a population of…zero by 1950. The entire ghost town is now a California State Park.

The Tranquil Remains of the Hachijo Royal Hotel, Japan

On the remote volcanic island of Hachijojima, the Hachijo Royal Hotel stands as a tranquil testament to Japan’s post-war tourism boom. This sprawling resort, inspired by French Baroque architecture, once invited tourists to luxuriate in its lavish facilities and breathtaking landscapes. Now, its grand hallways lie quiet and its lush gardens overgrown, as nature slowly reclaims this once bustling retreat.

Consequences Of The Red Tape In Cornwall, United Kingdom

“Blotting the skyline to the south of Newquay’s most famous beach, the Fistral Bay Hotel has been left to crumble for more than a decade,” Cornwall Live reports. It was built in 1910 in Cornwall, England, and thrived for the first half of the twentieth century until declining in popularity. It was scheduled for renovation in the mid-1990s, but the plans have been bogged down by bureaucratic red tape ever since. If you’re looking for someone to blame, consider the Duke of Cornwall, as His Royal Highness Prince Charles, because Cornwall is technically his Duchy to manage.

Moving On

From the echoing halls of the Grossinger’s Catskill Resort to the towering silhouette of the Ryugyong Hotel, these abandoned hotels possess an undying allure. Their storied pasts and majestic architectures whisper tales of a time long gone, yet they remain captivating landmarks in their respective locales. Whether it’s the mysteries they hold, or the history they’ve seen, these silent sentinels stand testament to the ebb and flow of time, each carrying a legacy that continues to captivate and inspire.

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