Monday, January 13, 2014

10 abandoned hotels

1. Sheraton Rarotonga, Cook Islands

 This sprawling almost-resort is still shown on Google Maps even though it's never hosted a single guest. Called the "Heartbreak Hotel" by islanders, the project nearly bankrupted the tiny Pacific nation.

2. Sofitel Heiva, Huahine, French Polynesia

 Although ideally located on a secluded spit of the island, it's been a decade since the last guest checked out here and the property is falling apart.
3. Lee Plaza, Detroit, United States

 Detroit might be bankrupt but signs of its former glory hang on inside the Lee Plaza hotel. Closed for two decades, the 15-floor art deco structure is nonetheless deteriorating badly.
4. Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea

Begun in 1987 as a monument to North Korea's eternal leader, Kim Il-sung, what started as an attempt to create the world's tallest hotel has turned into one of the secretive state's greatest embarrassments.

5. Hotel Renakse, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

This century-old French colonial style hotel was owned by the Cambodian People's Party, and then sold to a private developer in murky circumstances.

6. Varosha, Famagusta, Cyprus

 Varosha was once frequented by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot, but since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 the former resort has become a fenced-off no man's land.

7. Igloo City, Alaska, United States

 Starting construction in the 1970s, Igloo City contravened so many building codes it was never able to open. Serving variously as a souvenir stand and gas station since, it's now all but derelict.

8. El Hotel del Salto, Colombia

A horribly polluted river and a reputation as a suicide spot put guests off staying at this ornate little hotel, and it eventually failed.

9. Hotel Polissya, Pripyat, Ukraine

This then 10-year-old hotel was evacuated along with the rest of Pripyat after the explosion of the Chernobyl reactor nearby. Today, "disaster tourists" climb to the roof for views across the desolate city.

10. Unknown hotel, Vientiane, Laos

Just as some abandoned hotels are famous for their once lavish decor and celebrity guests, others are notable for their anonymity. This forlorn, riverside pension still has a couple of ground level occupants but is largely abandoned.