18 Creepy Abandoned Hotels and the Tales of Their Demise
Nothing lasts forever. This is a fact of life that pisses us off since birth. Why the heck else do you think babies are crying right out the womb? They're angry because they know they've only got a finite amount of time to get to living.
When a human being's time is up, they're (hopefully) buried in the ground and mourned by a few people before becoming worm food. For physical structures, it's not quite as simple. In a bustling city center, abandoned buildings are usually repurposed or demolished and replaced. But for destination spots, like resorts or hotels in the middle of nowhere or a place that soon became a "middle of nowhere" due to whatever circumstances, their permanence makes them a corporeal ghost.
They become hollow and scary reminders about the impermanence of life, like these 18 abandoned hotels that are just downright creepy.
Kozubnik — Poland
For some people, there's nothing creepier than Eastern Bloc communism, and the Kozubnik resort and hotel embodies just that: it was a Communist party holiday resort built in the 1960s. It's surrounded by a huge forest.
Hotel Monte Palace — Sao Miguel, Portugal
This hotel opened in 1989 in an attempt to get people to stay in Azores, which wasn't exactly a hot spot back in the day. No one came and the hotel was shut down a year later.
Buck Hills Falls - Pennsylvania
The hotel had an 89-year-run between 1901 and 1990. The Poconos resort suffered from financial issues and a bunch of fires, and a final act of arson led to its ultimate destruction in 2017.
Unnamed Resort - Gagra, Abkhazia, Georgia
Located off the coast of the Black Sea, this Soviet destination was a hot spot for tourists, but also for soldiers in the 1920s looking for some peace and quiet to help rehabilitate after the war. Growing tensions amidst ethnic groups in the region left its mark on the resort: it sustained heavy damage in the Abkhazian-Georgian war in 1992.
Maya Hotel - Japan
This hotel was built in 1929 and was only accessible by cable car. Which was great and all, until World War II happened. Then people didn't feel like going on vacation all that much, especially if it involved dangling from a tin box to get there. It's been severely damaged by a typhoon and an earthquake.
Penn Hills Resort - Pennsylvania
Unpaid taxes ultimately did the resort in when its owner, Frances Paolillo died in 2009. It packed 100 bedrooms, a ski resort, and a golf course.
Sanzhi UFO Homes - Taiwan
Originally designed to host members of the U.S. military, these pods were left unfinished after the money ran out and several workers died building them. They became a popular tourist spot because of their weird shape, but were destroyed in 2010 for a whole other resort and water park.
Coco Palms Resort - Hawaii
You might recognize this spot from the 1961 Elvis film Blue Hawaii. In 1992, it shut down after Hurricane Iniki devastated the island. Good news, however: it just opened up again in 2018 under Hyatt's management.
Ducor Palaca Hotel - Monrovia, Liberia
Opened in 1960, the Ducor Palaca Hotel was one of few hotels in all of Africa that had a 5-star rating. Sadly, political turmoil in 1989 saw the hotel sustain heavy damages, and it was ultimately shut down.
Lee Plaza Hotel - Detroit
A testament to the opulence of a bygone era, the Lee Plaza hotel was commissioned by Ralph T. Lee, but only a few years later, the hotel and Lee were both hit hard by the Great Depression. He went bankrupt in 1937, and the hotel was eventually turned into a senior citizen's home. It was closed in 1997 and has been vacant ever since.
Moonlight Motel - Salton Sea, California
First off: the Salton Sea is actually a lake, and in the 1950s, it was the vacation spot to visit. Now, it's basically known as a pretty good Val Kilmer movie where he does a lot of meth.
Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel - Liberty, NY
This all-kosher hotel was created to give wealthy Jewish vacationers a spot all their own. It started as a Victorian hotel, then turned into a full-blown ski resort and then even, in 1952, became the first spot in the world to use artificial snow for those who wanted to hit the slopes. In 1986, the hotel closed down after its founders' descendants sold it. Much of it is fully intact.
Hôtel Belvédère du Rayon Vert - Cerbère, France
This beautifully designed hotel opened in 1932, but its location ultimately damned its viability. Since it was so close to the border of Spain, the Spanish Civil War spelled curtains for this happening little spot.
Hotel y Salto del Tequendama - Colombia
Many believe this hotel, located near the gorgeous Tequena Falls, would still be operating today had it not been for the gross amounts of raw sewage and other liquid waste that kept getting dumped into the Bogata River. The early '90s saw this hotel close down, but now it's a museum dedicated to the study of biodiversity.
The Wonderland Hotel - Elkmont, Tennessee
"Where's the hotel?" You're probably asking yourself this very question while looking at this photo. The answer: it's covered in shrubs. The two-story abandoned building was a hot spot for adventurers, but in 2016 a fire decimated much of the building's remains. All that's left now are some remnants that have been grown over with foliage.
Roy's Motel Cafe - Amboy, California
What's so striking about this abandoned motel is that it's so well-preserved: it's pretty much flawless from the outside. It's middle-of-nowhereness largely contributed to its bankruptcy, and the fact that Amboy is now a ghost town. One can only imagine the kind of person who'd be wandering in the middle of the desert and happen upon this motel to spend a cold night.
Divine Lorraine Hotel - Philadelphia
The first racially integrated hotel in the country stands in plain sight in the middle of an otherwise busy area in Philly, even though it's been abandoned since 1999. It once housed a cult and various squatters over the years. The good news is there's a huge, $44 million renovation planned for the beautifully-constructed building. Gentrification does have its upsides, I guess.
Palms Motel - Salton Sea, California
Another Salton Sea spot that was abandoned thanks to ecological ruin and the stench of rotting fish, the Palms Motel finally closed in the late '80s, but its building still remains largely intact for anyone willing to scope it out.