Lonely Planet Writer

Abandoned Monte Palace hotel in the Azores to reopen after 27 years

Closed for 27 years, and completely abandoned for the past eight, hotel Monte Palace in São Miguel island (Azores, Portugal) is set to reopen as a newly revamped hotel in 2021. Located on one of the most famous viewpoints on the island (Vista do Rei), that overlooks the blue and green lagoons of Sete Cidades, Monte Palace was the first five-star hotel in the Azores and was considered Best Hotel of the Year in Portugal in 1990.

Sete Cidades, Sao Miguel, Azores. Image by Westend61/Getty Images

According to Level Constellation, the Chinese real estate development company that’s responsible for rehabilitating the unit, the new hotel will maintain the architectural style. Negotiations with local hotel management companies are underway and the final selection should be announced before June 2018. The new hotel will, most likely, no longer be referred to as Monte Palace from that date on.

Monte Palace. Image by Hélène from Flight to Somewhere

The five-floor accommodation unit closed down shortly after opening, due to reportedly low profits, and remained under surveillance of a 24/7 security company until 2010. Vandalized and abandoned, the hotel Monte Palace became a type of offbeat, unofficial attraction since then. An eyesore to some, a photography opportunity to others.

The view from the hotel. Image by Hélène from Flight to Somewhere

Surrounded by natural landscapes and cryptomeria trees, a species that alongside the blue hydrangeas is immediately associated with the Azores islands, the new hotel will respect the environment, in tune with the region’s sustainable tourism values. Future hotel guests will have access to a science centre, a SPA, a rooftop area, and support areas to outdoor activities like birdwatching and hiking, two of the staple tourist attractions of the Azores islands.

The hotel will be completely revamped. Image by Megan Starr

The Sete Cidades lake, just a half an hour drive from the main city Ponta Delgada, is the absolute calling-card of São Miguel’s natural beauty and includes some of the island’s most famous hiking routes that lead visitors closer to the blue and green lagoons.