Atop a dormant volcano in the Azores, the remnants of the abandoned Monte Palace Hotel slowly disappear behind vegetation. In the late 1980s this hotel was the culmination of more than ten years of planning. It offered its guests top-shelf accommodations surrounded by million dollar views, but the business collapsed before its second operational birthday.
Natives know why the hotel struggled: the location is too remote, weather too unpredictable, tourism campaign too ineffectual, and there’s nothing else to do up there. It was probably all of the above, plus a healthy serving of developers exhausting financing and succumbing to enormous debt.
The hotel was designed to be purposefully unspectacular, its designers intending to blend the structure into the landscape while not detracting from the magnificent views offered by São Miguel’s Vista do Rei. Now it has been abandoned for years, and many feel the building detracts.