Updated 2014/06/06 – Since a lot of people searching for info about this hotel seem to find this post I decided to add more of my photos from the hotel. Also, make sure to check out the comments, people have posted a lot of neat info there! Thanks guys! New photos are at the end of the post!
I read about this hotel before going to the Azores but never expected to actually get to visit it. From what I read it was supposed to be highly guarded, but that has changed (guess they gave up on it completely) and you can now walk around freely inside the building. (My level of architectural nerdiness went trough the roof and off into space when I discovered this, eeek!)
The Monte Palace is situated right on top of the mountain overlooking the twin lakes of Sete Citades on St. Miguel island.
Judging by the architecture I guessed this five star hotel was built in the late 60’s and early 70’s. I was surprised to find out it was actually completed in the mid 80’s and went bankrupt only a couple of years later. The part about it closing down is no surprise though, this place is really isolated! Not only are the Azorean islands themselves pretty far off – the hotel is also located on a mountain with only steep winding roads connecting to it. To make things even worse, from what I’ve read, the Azorean tourist industry barely existed 25 years ago.
Beautiful tile work in the lobby.
The great hall or perhaps the ballroom?
Need a drink? I think this was the bar.
The grand staircase is just wonderful. This hotel was not cheap to build!
The rooms have a wonderful view over the valley down below.
That looks safe!
The facade features some pretty neat architectural details too, like these little nooks molded out of the concrete.
Something that is completely beyond me is how anyone ever got permission to build a gigantic hotel (bound to fail) at a place like this. The impact on the surrounding nature is quite heavy. Luckily, nature seems to be on the way of claiming back the space.
This is just the first of several posts about my vacation in the Azores. More will come. And my DIY posts will be back soon too!
New photos added 2014/06/06:
You could explore the entire hotel, from the basement up to the roof. The view from the roof was spectacular!
Another view from the rooms.
The entrance at the back. Is it just me or does the architecture sort of remind you of the buildings in Jurassic Park?
A corridor and the great hall again.
Bathroom with some marble tile left.
A close up view of the hotel sign letters.