July 08, 2019 2 min read

If you are drawn to the stories that lie behind closed doors, you may enjoy seeing some of these stunning hotels and resorts that stand in peace these days, without any guests wandering about. That’s right – these once grand hotels are abandoned and we are all left to wonder why.

Sammezzano Palace, Italy

Sammezzano Castle, ItalyThis castle was built in the 1800s by Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragona and is filled with wondrous detail, including vivid stained glass, intricate tile work and carvings. Once d’Aragona passed away, the palace was then turned into a hotel. Unfortunately, the owners failed to keep up with repairs and in 1990, the doors were closed. This magnificent estate has never reopened since.

Grand Bokor Palace, Cambodia

Grand Bokor Palace, CambodiaThe Grand Bokor Palace opened its doors in 1925, welcoming in much of the Cambodian elite as well as French ruling class. The hotel, located in Kampot, Cambodia, was built mostly by prisoners and many of them died in the process of building. The hotel was abandoned after the first Indochina War but it did reopen in 1962 for awhile longer. The brutal Khmer Rouge regime occupied it a decade later where terrible atrocities took place. The regime fell in 1979 and the hotel went with it, remaining abandoned ever since. There has been some talk of turning it into a museum but that day has yet to come.

Grossinger’s Catskills Resort, New York

Grossinger’s Catskills ResortFound in Liberty, New York, this resort was the first ever to use artificial snow for skiing. It was built over a long span of time, from the 1910s through the 1950s. Because of this, it acquired an eclectic mix of Victorian, modernist and Tudor architecture. Fun fact: this unique resort was the inspiration for the film, Dirty Dancing. There are plans for this upstate icon to be revived but it will be some time before the doors open.

Gran Hotel y Balneario, Cuba

Gran Hotel y Balneario, CubaThe Gran Hotel y Balneario is located in Matanzas, Cuba. It was once a destination for wealthy Cubans and tourists. With a natural spring spa and neoclassical villas, only the prestigious stayed at this structure, which was considered the height of sophistication. During the 1950s, a nearby factory contaminated the water and the resort had to close down as a result of pollution. The structure is truly beautiful still today despite its vacancy.

Kupari Tourist Complex, Croatia

Kupari Tourist Complex, Balkans, CroatiaThe Kupari Resort Complex features multiple hotels, villas, and campsites. It was developed in the mid-20th century as a spot for Yugoslav army officers and their families to vacation. When the war broke out several decades later, the army did away with their resort, leaving behind much rubble, including burned out buildings in which you can still see faded wallpaper, beds and bullet fragments. This is a great place for history buffs to check out as you can see a few scars that resulted from the Homeland War of the 1990s that tore through Croatia.


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