Abandoned Hotel in the Azores – Checking in to the Monte Palace

abandoned ghost hotel in azores cete citades

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.

monte palace hotel sao miguel island

monte palace abandoned hotel entrance

Beautiful tile work in the lobby.

tile monte place lobby entrace

reception monte palace azores st miguel

The great hall or perhaps the ballroom?

monte palace azores great hall lobby ball room


abandoned hotel kitchen sao miguel azores

And restaurant.

hotel resaurant in the azores monte palace

the monte palace restaurant azores islands

Need a drink? I think this was the bar.

the bar at monte palace hotel

The grand staircase is just wonderful. This hotel was not cheap to build!

monte palace hotel azores grand stairs

gran stairs

monte palace corridor abandoned hotel

hotel corridor azores monte palace

hotel room entry

monte palace hotel room azores abandoned sete citades

The rooms have a wonderful view over the valley down below.

monte palace a room with a view

decay hotel room azores

That looks safe!

ghost hotel abandoned azores

monte palace roof top

skulls on wall abadoned building hotel

The facade features some pretty neat architectural details too, like these little nooks molded out of the concrete.

facade design hotel

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.

azores abandoned hotel

abandoned building

decayed empty closed hotel azores

monte palace closed down hotel in the azores

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!

view from roof at monte palace in the azores

view from roof 2

Another view from the rooms.

sete citades view

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.


great hall abandoned hotel azores

Bathroom with some marble tile left.

hotel bathtub

A close up view of the hotel sign letters.

monte palace hotel azores


Abandoned Hotel in the Azores – Checking in to the Monte Palace — 48 Comments

    • Wow, somehow I completely missed that you included a video in your comment, thanks you SO much for posting it!!!! It looked beautiful back in the day!

  1. Horrendous building. How did the developer get permission to put it up in such a splendid setting. At least nature is trying to claim it back, but it should be demolished a,s,a,p.

  2. No! This building is gorgeous and needs to be restored… You stupid hippy… Ive been in this hotel in the 80’s and the views were pure magic… That’s why it was built…. I am a native Azorean and proud of this modern wonder… It will be restored one day

    • That would be awesome! Hope it will happen :D In a way it looks like it’s part of the mountain. If they do restore it I hope they leave some of the vegetation to be there. It looks pretty cool being a bit over grown :)

      You wouldn’t happen to have some photos of the hotel from back when it was new? I managed to find some pictures of it showing furniture and the staircase (which apparently used to have some really nice railing). Would love to see more photos though, but they are very hard to find.

      • I have been searching for photos too! If you find or get any let me know. So happy I found this and was ble to see the video!

        • Oh yeah, the photos in the video are so cool. Will def update this post if I find any more photos (probably quite unlikely that I will find more though)

    • I agree – My parents were both born and raised on this Island and the first time I was taken there as a child we visited the tourist spot at the top of the mountain overlooking one of the most beautiful views on this island. This hotel should be renovated and shown to display all the beautiful craftsmanship that the Azorean people have to offer. I know this hotel will one day shine and will be appreciated and adored by many who visit this beautiful Island.

    • The main reason why this hotel closed in the first place, was because of the fact that the weather at the top of this mountain is horrible. I have been there many times and 95% of the time this hotel in in the fog (clouds). I know some government officials there and there has been talk about demolishing the hotel, but it will be very costly. This hotel will never be rebuilt, but if it was, it would fail again.

  3. 5 years ago you couldn’t just walk into this building, but my little sister, my friend and me were curious and did it anyways. I was 16 at the moment and my little sister was 12. When we walked on the balcony, very excited but scared as hell when a big, terrifying and dangerous guarding dog found us. He ran right up to us, bare teethed. we had to run for our lives. my sister cried so loud, and i jumped over the balcony. nobody got hurt, it was stupid, but we have a good story and we can laugh about it now! :) we Always wondered how the hotel would look on the inside and know the facts about it. Haha and now we finally can! i showed this link to my family straight away.

    • Great story, thanks for sharing it! Weird how it’s not guarded anymore, I mean, it’s really needed now when the building is crumbling. You could hurt yourself pretty bad in there…

  4. Thanks for creating this page. We’ve visited this place last week and where wondering about the story behind it… Now we know!

    • It’s still very much abandoned. It sits on top of a mountain, quite far from any larger towns. I think it would be quite frustrating to stay at that hotel if you want to explore the rest of the island… And that’s what you want to do there. I think someone could at least try to open up the restaurant, there are lots of tourists up there to check out the view over the valley, and the crumbling hotel itself is an attraction too. I have no idea about the address. It’s up at the look-out point over Sete Cidades. Can’t miss it! ;)

        • I recall going there for the first time shortly after it had closed….Picture all of the furniture, couches, chairs covered with white linens. The dining room tables had clear glasses and silverware on them. It was as if the world stopped up there. The rest as they say is history.

      • Hi i am from portugal and i am intrested on this hotel i want to bring back to life that place…its possible we be in touch to speak about it…as i can see you know very well that area and i am planing to visit the island soon with my architect so if you can help me with mora information i will be very happy

        • You have too many problems as it is in Portugal forget about coming to the Azores to fix anything. You couldn’t afford it anyways. Lisbon is still pretty ratty in many places work on that before you start looking at the Azores.

  5. I grew up seing this place being built… and looking back all the locals prepredicted this from happening. …it is so sad to see that the hotel is to this state:-) this video was introduced to me by one of my teachers and since then I can’t stop thinking about it. So sad! It is even more sad to think that even if some one wanted to rebuild the place if would be a waste of money as the place is so remote that you would only stay one day and be all set. SAD :(

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  8. We visited San Miguel in 2014 & came across this on our way to visit Sete Citades. Didn’t realise you could go inside. Took pictures of the outside. Was amazed to see it there sat at the very top. As everyone said, it is a very long, winding road to the top but we had hired a car & drove all over the island. What a fantastic place & wonderful people there too. I think it should be reopened too. Such a waste of a view! There is plenty of greenery about as the island is the lushest place I’ve ever been to. Would recommend it to anyone. Beautiful! !!!

  9. My fiancé and I just left Sao Miguel today. We visited Sete Cidades while we were there. An amazing place. I couldn’t believe this giant concrete hotel was abandoned. I didn’t go in, but saw some people on the roof. (Wish I went in now!) Right before we left we saw an article on the cover of a local newspaper in Ponta Delgada stating that this hotel is now for sale. If I recall correctly, they were asking $385 Million euro. I can’t imagine that being correct – but would LOVE to see this concrete beast resurrected!!!! The views are astonishing!!

  10. It’s very sad how the hotel worn out so quickly. This summer I’ve been there and now it’s completely empty. There isn’t even a roof, no windows, no doors, nothing. You can barely walk because the place is falling down and the floor is full of dust, metals and bricks. The stairs are dangerous and you have to be very careful (though you can still access the roof for the amazing views). Everything is covered in mildew and it’s very creepy because sun light doesn’t reach every room. It has been definitely looted and I’d love to see it restored! (I totally recommend it but don’t make the same mistake as I did and wear flip flops or high heels).

  11. Had my first ever little un-planned urbex experience in the hotel last week and I loved it! Could wander around for ages, imagining what it used to be like. Fascination pur, but I can’t imagine anyone buying it. To high of a price to rebuild it. On clear days, yes, must have been wonderful. On most days, neh…

    • I was there about three weeks ago. Our tour guide said that it closed after its owner (an alleged money launderer) was found dead. We were also told that there are two interested groups of buyers: one Chinese and one Arab.

      I didn’t go in, but it appeared that anything of value was removed long ago. The building is just a shell now.

  12. I am right now staying in Sete Cidades and have spent some thoughts on what would work for the abandoned property. The place will never work as a hotel in my opinion. It however would be an ideal place for a REHAB for wealthy patients: The place is remote enough to keep patients away from temptations but in the same time can be easily reached from both the US as well as the European mainland. With all the former conference rooms the facility should have plenty of space for whatever required besides lodging (i.e. medical cabinet,…). This would also generate tax money and jobs for the Acores / Sete Cidades.

  13. Rehab idea is a good one – but you still have a LOT of tourism traffic which could pose a distraction. I mentioned that it could be converted into a luxury “retreat” type of resort to someone. Yoga, pilates, spa, etc. and all that type of activity. With a stress on bring you back to nature. I have heard the price dropped to $1.5M Euro….that’s the cost of a large single family home in an affluent Boston Suburb!

    I hope something is done with it. The area is too beautiful for that structure to go to waste!

  14. Beautiful place, saw it inside and out, found even a complete (used😂) toilet and many perfect views. Still the green carpet can be found on the grand stairs. No window sills can be found anywere however similar details of the metal parts of the former grand stairs can be found on balconies in cities on the island.

    When we walked the trail that starts here, we came across a loose (stray?) dog that looked identical tot the guard dog without tail from above video. Very friendly animal.

    I have the idea that part of the hotel would function as a horrorhostel / cinema/ discotheque though people indeed wouldnt stay for more than two nights . So serving meals in a cheap restaurant would be an additional option as well during daylight. But how to run it in wintertime and keep thieves out..

    Presently techniques are available to make it produce its own electricity by solar energy and the use of led lighting and maybe deliver energy into the net.

    However presently it remains a concrete casco and the wind is blowing right through it.
    Go and have a look. It’s worth the effort.

    Richard Verhoef
    May 2016

  15. Just visited this hotel today with my family. Sad to see such an amaking place crumbling apart. I would live to see more pictures of it from its beginning days. But would live even more to see it restored and up and running. It could be great!!

  16. Just came home fra a visit to the Azores yesterday, and I visited this hotel.
    I didn’t like being inside for to long, since it was very creepy, and I didn’t take any pictures of the hotel itself (my boyfriend took a couple), but the hotel just keeps getting in worse condition day for day.

    I was wondering though, if anyone knows the title of the horror movie that was shot there?
    Our guide told us about it, but I cannot find anything online about this movie or where to find it?

    Kimmie, Aug 2nd 2016

  17. Thank You for this site.
    We were first in 1985 in Sete Citades and we agree – a tourisitic infrastructure did not really exist. Since we can’t remember this hotel from our 1985 journey we assume it opended later than 1985.
    Yesterday we found this hotel and were wondering “What in heaven is this?”
    We agree the view from the top is really good with the see and the lakes. I made some panorama photos. How can I place one of them here?
    What is annoying is the easy access to this building. Would not be possible in other places.

  18. Nice site,thank you.
    Just back now for one day, after we visit São Miguel.
    I made a couple photo’s of this abandoned hotel, and i liked it that i could reed the story about it here.
    For a photographer it is a very nice spot, must be a little bit lucky that this place isn’t in the fog.
    If i can place my photo’s here,then let me know how to do.

    kind regards WK the Netherlands.

    • I have been studying Sao Miguel recently and I also attended a bloodless bullfight in Central California about 2 weeks ago. You need something like a tram to move people to the sight and if they want to drive then so be it. I believe that the

      Trump family would possibly take a project on like this if the gov of Portugal would work with them. It might be redeemable maybe with a golf course and some added amenities on site or close to the site. It is a spectacular view and lies on such a friendly island.

  19. I recently viewed the property on the internet. I wondered why it was so inexpensive and so large. The location looks fabulous. It probably needs some infrastructure close by, such as golf and tennis. The lake could also provide activities as far as a destination hotel is concerned including casino. This is a fabulous location but needs transport such as a tram which would be a unique experience in arriving to such a fabulous spot. You need to contact the Trump family as this would be an interesting project for them. I also believe that Sao Miguel could be the next tourist destination as mainland Europe is waining because of security issues. The people of the Azores are very friendly and this is a good mix for a winning tourist destination.

  20. Was there 12 years ago and always wondered what it looked like !! Thx for the pics, would be nice to see it restored and open for business!!!

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