The world’s eeriest abandoned hotels, resorts and airports

Ella Castle

Let’s do the travel time warp Wallpaper peeling from the walls, moldy ceilings and furniture left frozen in time – these popular airports and destinations for vacationers were once filled with buzzing conversations and laughter but now they’ve turned into eerie time capsules. We take a look at the […]


Wallpaper peeling from the walls, moldy ceilings and furniture left frozen in time – these popular airports and destinations for vacationers were once filled with buzzing conversations and laughter but now they’ve turned into eerie time capsules. We take a look at the most astonishing abandoned spots that are now playgrounds for urban explorers, photographers and ghost hunters alike.



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Overlooking the stunning Tequendama Falls, this hotel opened in 1929. For decades it welcomed thousands of wealthy tourists, who came to see the spectacular waterfall.



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But as the Bogotá river got increasingly contaminated with sewage and other liquid waste, the tourist numbers slowly dwindled. The hotel closed in the early 1990s but a museum exhibition about biodiversity was recently set up in the abandoned space.



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This ship-like Art Deco building first opened its doors as a hotel in 1932, but due to its proximity to the Spanish border it was closed during the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War. Unable to regain its former glory it closed down for the final time in 1983.



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A kosher establishment, catering primarily to wealthy Jewish clients from New York, Grossinger’s grew from a Victorian hotel in the early 1900s to the first ski resort in the world to use artificial snow in 1952.



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The hotel closed in 1986 after Grossinger’s descendants sold it and has been empty ever since. Inside many features such as this bathroom and the indoor pool are still broadly intact.



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After a series of unfortunate events, which began with Hurricane Kathleen in 1976, the town was cleared out. Now, only empty diners, abandoned motels and deserted hotels remain.



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The Lee Plaza opened in 1928, facilitated by local developer Ralph T. Lee. However, both Lee and the hotel suffered during the Great Depression and he ended up bankrupt in 1935.



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One of the pioneers of Croatia’s tourism, Kupari vacation village was a military resort for the elite of the Yugoslav army from the 1960s. When the Croatian War for Independence broke out in 1991, the army fled, and the resort was heavily bombed.



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It has been a popular attraction for urban explorers, but this won’t last for long – the old ruins look set to be replaced by a new 5-star resort.



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One of the buildings in the resort known as Bokor Hill Station, the Bokor Palace was built as a mountain retreat for Europeans in the early 1920s, when Cambodia was under French rule.



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It was first abandoned by the French in the 1940s and was then used as a stronghold by various political movements until the early 1990s. Modern infrastructure has made the mountainous region accessible again and there has been a stunning hotel on the site since 2017.



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Located by the spectacular Puente del Inca rock formations and hot springs, this hotel was built in 1925. Every room in this luxury retreat had its own spa until the frequent landslides disabled the trans-Andean train service and it was abandoned in 1965. Now only a small part of the original building, pictured here, survives.



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Built between 1936 and 1939, this beach resort spanned an astonishing 2.8 miles (4.5km) along a lagoon separating the continent from the Baltic Sea. A particularly striking example of the Brutalist architecture during the Third Reich, the eight vacation buildings were actually never used for their intended purpose.



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Initially intended as a resort for the US military, this project was never finished due to financial troubles and the deaths of several construction workers in the 1980s.



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The pod-like houses were a tourist attraction due to their unusual appearance. However, in 2010 they were demolished to make way for a new resort and water park.



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Originally founded as a tavern in the Pocono Mountains, this resort was popular with honeymooning couples. It expanded to include 100 bedrooms, a ski resort and a golf course.



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Sadly, it closed when its co-founder Frances Paolillo died in 2009 and the county took over the estate due to unpaid taxes. It has been abandoned ever since.



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North of Kobe in Japan, the Maya Hotel sits atop Mount Maya. Built in 1929, it was only accessible via a cable car and when that was suspended during the Second World War, the hotel closed too.



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Since then, damaged by a typhoon and a strong earthquake, it has become a popular spot for urban explorers.



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First established as a health retreat in the early 20th century, Gagra was intensely developed as the Soviet Riviera along the coast of the Black Sea during the 1920s. The resort town was immensely popular with vacationing Soviets, but also served as a rehabilitation site for soldiers wounded in the war.



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In its heyday the town had its own railway station, theater and beachside colonnade, and was filled with stunning vacation homes. However, it was abandoned in the late 1980s, when tensions grew between different communities in the region. The resort suffered heavy damage during the Abkhazian-Georgian war in 1992.



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Notable for its unusual Moorish décor, this Italian palazzo in Tuscany was built in 1605. Redeveloped into a luxury hotel in the post-war era, the stunning building was abandoned in 1990 and has been neglected for more than 20 years.



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When the Turkish army invaded, its inhabitants and visitors fled, and the once-popular tourist destination has been uninhabited ever since.



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Dubrovnik, Croatia’s most popular tourist destination, is a thriving city, usually attracting millions of visitors every year. However, just a few miles outside the UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 5-star luxury hotel has been abandoned since the Croatian War of Independence in the early 1990s.



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Another abandoned vacation resort in the Pocono Mountains, Buck Hill Falls was originally founded in 1901. Financial troubles and several fires led to the closure of the 400-bedroom resort in 1990.



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In the early 2000s the crumbling resort was the victim of an arson attack. After much wrangling about what to do with the historic property it was demolished in 2017.



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Opened in 1989 to lure tourists to the then untrammeled Azores, Hotel Monte Palace only operated for just over a year before it was shut. Since then, the mountaintop resort has been abandoned and become a popular destination for urban explorers.



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Built in the 1960s, Kozubnik was a communist party vacation resort complete with swimming pools, saunas, restaurants, bars and even a bowling alley. Located in the valley of Mała Puszcza (meaning Little Wood) in southern Poland, it is surrounded by hills and thick forests.



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After communism fell in Poland, it was sold to a private company, who closed the hotel when it went bankrupt in 1996. Much photographed over the years, the complex has now been purchased and redeveloped.



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Very little information about this vacation resort is available as it has been abandoned for many years and its original name has been lost in time. Brian, who captured this shot, says there are actually several abandoned buildings covering a large area.



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Opened in 1900, this hotel had its own pastry shop, a Viennese restaurant and numerous tennis courts. Since then, the hotel has undergone several renovations and was finally demolished last year. In this picture, Brian captured the lost soul of the hotel bar by illuminating it with colored glow sticks.



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Built by the Intercontinental Hotels chain in 1960, the Ducor Palace Hotel had 106 rooms and for many years was one of the few 5-star hotels on the African continent. It closed in 1989 due to political turmoil and since then has been damaged by two civil wars, looters and squatters, leaving it in the state of disrepair you see today.



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Visitors can still visit the site, where some features remain intact. The hotel’s once-popular French restaurant, which had views of the Atlantic, was directly above the driveway pictured here.



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It’s not just resorts that lie abandoned around the world, airports can suffer the same fate too. Perhaps surprising, given their size, there are many examples of commercial airfields left to rack and ruin. One such example is Nicosia International Airport (NIM). Trapped in a 1970s-time warp, it was once the principal airport of Cyprus, welcoming hundreds of thousands of tourists a year.



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On 20 July 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus, and the country’s international airport, which was the scene of fierce fighting between Turkish and Cypriot forces, was heavily bombed.



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The airport was declared a United Nations Protected Area (UNPA) during the conflict and found itself within the UN-controlled buffer zone once hostilities had ceased.



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Situated in a no-man’s land between the Republic of Cyprus and the self-declared state of Northern Cyprus, the airport has remained largely untouched since the conflict.



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These days, the site is used as a headquarters for the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus, but much of the former terminal building and its contents still exist, including signage and seating. While the future of the airport is uncertain, plans have been floated to re-open it under UN control and even transform the site into a special tax-free industrial zone.



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Ciudad Real Central Airport in central Spain opened in 2008 to much fanfare, but the massive infrastructure project, which cost an eye-watering $1.3 billion was doomed from the get-go. Stuck in the middle of nowhere, the airport’s completion coincided with the global financial crisis of 2008 and resulting recession, and the hub failed to attract enough airlines to make it profitable.



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Vueling, the last airline to operate scheduled flights to and from the airport, pulled out in 2011. A year later, the private airport went into receivership.



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The airport, which was poised to welcome as many as 10 million passengers a year, was effectively abandoned in 2012.



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An example of how not to plan a new international airport, a massive walkway was partly completed to connect the airport to a train station on the Madrid–Seville high-speed rail line that was never built and a large parking lot was constructed that’s remained completely abandoned.



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Athens’ Ellinikon International Airport was the Greek capital’s main airport for decades, until it was closed in 2001 to make way for the new Athens International Airport.



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The airport was partly repurposed as a venue for the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, and the northwestern section of the site was used for field hockey, baseball and more.



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One of the airport’s hangars was even revamped to host various fencing events and basketball games. Since the Olympics, the airport has been left to rack and ruin. An ambitious project to convert the airport into a municipal park was in the pipeline but was canned following the Greek Debt Crisis that pretty much bankrupted the country.



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Several plans to lease the site to investors and convert it into a sprawling coastal resort have been proposed but, to date, the airport remains abandoned and forlorn.



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This major international airport near the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip was completed with funding from the international community and opened by the then-US President Bill Clinton in 1998.



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The $86 million airport, which was named in honor of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, was able to handle as many as 700,000 passengers a year. The airport was in operation for a mere two years. It closed for good on 8 October 2000 during the Second Intifada.



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In December 2001, an Israeli bombing campaign severely damaged the air traffic control tower, followed by the runway and the state-of-the-art terminal building. Around a month later, Israeli bulldozers moved in and destroyed much of what was left, including the runway.



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