Continuing our series of articles about abandoned hotel and resorts (see our earlier posts – The Incongruous Idea of Abandoned Hotels… and Abandoned Hotels – Part 2) to follow are some hotels that were abandoned but now show signs of life, either as new attempts to get the properties up and running or re-purposed as apartments, museums or film sets.
Prora – The Colossus of Rügen
Prora is situated on island of Rugen in Germany and when construction began in 1936, this enormous complex was to have been the largest holiday resort ever built. The resort consisted of eight identical buildings, 4.5 kilometres in length parallel to the beach, and was intended to house 20,000 people in 10,000 rooms together with restaurants, leisure and meeting areas and much more… The buildings were 6 stories high and the vast length was to ensure each room had a sea view.
The project was commissioned by the Nazi regime and a key part of their “Kraft Durch Freude” (Strength through Joy) initiative providing affordable holidays for ordinary workers. It was also considered a place to provide ongoing propaganda to support the Nazi ideals.
The resort was never quite finished due to the outbreak of World War 2 and following the demise of the Nazi’s was used for a number of purposes post war, including billeting for Soviet troops and a prison for anti-communist sympathisers. With the fall of the Berlin wall and East Germany in the late 1980’s the complex was abandoned for many years, with some calling for its demolition, but after a few attempts to reopen the complex, now its renewal has commenced with several blocks restored for luxury apartments, as well as a youth hostel and museum. Work is ongoing which should see most blocks reclaimed.
The Colossus of Prora: From Nazi Ruin to Holiday Resort… more
Prora – Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Holiday Camp… more
Hitler’s 3-mile-long Abandoned Nazi Resort… more
The Colossus of Rügen… more
Prora – Wikipedia… more
The Crag Hotel, Penang Hills Malaysia
The Crag Hotel is situated in the Penang Hills in Penang, Malaysia. This location offers spectacular views of the island and bay and was the site of a residence built around 1885 by Capt J W Kerr of the East India Company, who named it The Crag. In the late 1880’s the site was sold to the Sarkies brothers who planned to turn it into a hotel. The Sarkies developed a number of now famous hotels at this time, including The Oriental, Penang, Raffles Singapore and the Strand in Yangon to name a few… The Crag Hotel opened in 1894 and became a popular destination for tourists escaping the heat and humidity of the lower regions. The hotel was sold in the 1920’s, then extended and refurbished and continued its popularity until the island was occupied by the Japanese in 1941. After the war the building was disused for more than a decade, before re-opening as ‘The Uplands International School” in 1955. In 1977 the buildings were again abandoned as the school relocated to a new site. The buildings were used briefly in 1992 as a film set for the French movie “Indochine”. After a number of attempts to relaunch the site as a hotel, the location was again leased as a film site and the BBC series “Indian Summers” was filmed here. Apparently, the producers have retained the lease until 2020, and in the meantime, attempts are being made to again rebuild and reopen the property as a luxury hotel, so watch this space…
Hotel Del Salto, Colombia
The Hotel del Salto is located at Tequendama Falls, south west of Bogota in Columbia. The hotel was originally built in 1923 as a mansion and then extended and opened in 1928 as a hotel for the wealthy who wished to view the spectacular Tequendama Falls. The hotel was to operate for the next 60 years but closed down in the 1990’s due to the deterioration of the building and pollution of the Bogata river making the location increasingly unpopular as a tourist site. The hotel was not only famous for the fabulous views of the falls, but was reputed to be haunted, as the location was well known as a suicide spot – in history – the local Musica people would apparently jump rather than be captured by the invading Spanish. The building remained abandoned for 20+ years until it was restored and reopened as a museum by the National University of Columbia.
Hotel Angst, Bordighera, Italian Rivera
In the late 19th century the Riviera was the place to be for wealthy British and Europeans to escape the winter and partake in the healing climate of the region. From Cannes to San Remo the French and Italian Riviera boomed and resulted in the development of large numbers of hotels, resorts and residences. The town of Bordighera was no exception to this growth and in 1887 wealthy Swiss entrepreneur Adolf Angst commenced construction of the Angst Hotel. It was to become one of the most luxurious hotels in the world at the time, featuring all the modern comforts such as private bathrooms, electric light, hot and cold running water and central heating. Famous visitors included the family of the Tzar, various members of Italian and German royalty, Claude Monet, Jean Cocteau, Andrew Carnegie and apparently Queen Victoria planned to book out the whole hotel for a visit in 1900 but this did not eventuate. The popularity continued until the outbreak of WW1 where the hotel was used as a military hospital. Adolf Angst died in 1924 and the hotel started to decline from then onwards with the steady decline of aristocratic tourism. During WW2 the hotel was again requisitioned and was the site of various meeting between Hitler and Mussolini. The hotel’s serious decline commenced in the 50’s as the facilities were considered outdated and by the 70’s only a ruin remained. The hotel remained abandoned with the owners seemingly having neither the money nor the desire to restore the once great hotel. In 2013 the property was purchased by developers and in 2018 they announced plans to convert the building and commence construction of 80 luxury apartments, underground parking, 2 swimming pools and gardens.
Hotel Angst… more
Hotel Angst – Atlas Obscura… more
Hotel Angst… more
L’ultima visita all’Hotel Angst di Bordighera… more
Historical Day for Bordighera… more
The Riviera that Time Forgot… more
Tim Johns is a former Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm. For more information about Tim and Elite Search visit http://www.elitesearch.com.au and The Elite Hotelier http://www.elitehotelier.net