Of the various places to go to for a vacation, resorts are one of the most convenient for a number of reasons. They not only serve as a great place to stay after a long day of going to other places in the area, but also one can just as easily stay there and indulge in the various things the resort has to offer instead of going somewhere else for one’s own entertainment. With that said, some are more popular than others. The main reasons for this have to do with what the resort offers in terms of services and entertainment as well as the location of it.
For instance, one is more likely to go to a resort that’s conveniently located next to other places of interest as opposed to one that isn’t. But even if it is the latter, a resort can be worth going to so long as it has good service and has a lot to offer. Though regardless of whether a resort is popular or not, they will inevitably be abandoned due to external reasons such as shifting interest and/or sudden disasters that put a damper on the business itself. Whatever the reason may be, hardly anyone sets foot in these resorts except for squatters or curious tourists.
25 Elmina Bay Resort - Don’t Want to Catch Anything
Two years ago, this resort in Ghana was completely devoid of tourists which were usually college students studying abroad through different programs. The main reason for this had to do with the spreading of a particular disease in the West African region as a whole which included countries that were close to Ghana. However, according to Humanosphere, there were “No new cases” in Ghana or its neighboring country Senegal at the time. But their close proximity to the affected countries was enough to scare people away for a while. Still, the Elmina Bay Resort remains open today despite the scare.
24 Laurel Mountain State Park - (Temporarily) Inoperable
While this place has become operational once more, it has gone through periods of either being temporarily closed or not operable whatsoever. Originally a private ski resort, the park’s popularity spiked after World War II when it became the “Ski Capital of Pennsylvania” according to StateParks.com. Yet overtime, less people came here until 2005 when the ski resort in the park closed for several years until another resort leased it out. Then following a series of renovations, the park became operable again satisfying the local skiers who kept asking whether Laurel Mountain would reopen according to Snow and Jaggers.
23 North Shore Yacht Club - Renovated and Relocated
Located near the Salton Sea, which is a saltwater lake in California, there was a famous resort called the North Shore Yacht Club which attracted many celebrities who docked their boats nearby during the late 50s and 60s. However, flooding in the 70s caused much damage to “Motels on the shore and docks in the water” according to The Desert Sun. On top of that, the shores of the Salton Sea receded overtime which brought fewer boats and made the place less popular as a result. Then following a major renovation, it was converted into a museum and eventually relocated.
22 Sanzhi - A Futuristic Relic
Looking like something out of this world, these “UFO Houses” in Sanzhi, Taiwan, have quite the interesting story behind them. While their construction license was issued in 1978, according to the Taipei Times, it was halted two years later when the company that was in charge of the project flopped. Overtime, the place gained the notoriety of being haunted due to several fatal accidents that occurred there while also becoming a tourist attraction of sorts. Sadly, the Sanzhi UFO Houses no longer exist because they were removed to make way for a new resort that is supposedly being built.
21 El Pueblito Beach Hotel - Closing and Re-Opening
Yet another victim of Hurricane Wilma, this resort was also forced to close in wake of this event. But whereas Sol Cabañas del Caribe was eventually replaced by another hotel, El Pueblito still remains abandoned to this day. Yet according to Modern Day Ruins, it “Went through a period of opening and repairs after Wilma”. So as a result, much confusion occurred as there was conflicting information about when the renovations would be complete let alone if the resort would reopen soon or not. In the end, though, none of these things ever got confirmed or completed for that matter.
20 Cape Tribulation Resort and Spa - Reclaimed by Nature
Within Australia’s Daintree Rainforest lies this former “4.5 star resort” that was abandoned by its owners in 2011 according to ABC News. In the time since, it came under new ownership but nothing’s been done with the place due to contract issues and the new owner acquiring another property in the meantime. So he was forced to sell the Cape Tribulation Resort and Spa in 2014 “With a minimum sale price of $2 million” ABC News says. Yet as this picture shows, which was taken two years ago, it’s still abandoned.
19 Valdanos - Displaced Persons
Next to the Adriatic Sea lies the country of Montenegro. Despite having achieved independence a little over 10 years ago, it has a complex history that ironically ties into this abandoned resort named after the bay it’s on. For instance, Valdanos was initially abandoned in 1949 because “The government wanted to establish a state-run agricultural program” according to Sometimes Interesting. Then after that failed, the resort was reclaimed only for the people to get displaced again in the 1970s when Yugoslavia took over the area. Yet even after Yugoslavia dissolved in the 90s, the resort suffered financially and closed.
18 Penang Mutiara Beach Resort - Going to be Saved (Supposedly)
Despite being a popular hotel “In its heyday,” according to the owner of a next-door resort as stated in The Star, it officially closed in 2006. Since then, it’s been left to grow weeds gather algae in the pools and asphalt on the pavement. Yet according to WeekendNotes, there have been “Frequent reports that it's finally being renovated and brought back to life”. However, the picture above was taken last year. So either these plans for renovation are still being worked out to this day or they didn’t happen and these claims were just false rumors like El Pueblito.
17 Alps Ski Resort - Between Two Nations
Nestled in a region between South Korea and North Korea, this resort is primarily famous for being one of South Korea's first winter sports destinations according to the Daily Mail’s website. Yet despite its popularity, the place abruptly closed in the mid-2000s without much of an explanation given for why this happened. Though given that several ski resorts nearby lost all their money and were forced to close due to “Competition from more accessible rivals with newer facilities” as stated by a county official in the Daily Mail, that could be a potential reason though it’s hard to say.
16 Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel - Time of Our Lives
While the former resorts located along the Borscht Belt were famous in their own way, this one was considered to be particularly special. It was not only “The first resort in the U.S. to offer artificial snow for year round ski runs” but also this was the location that inspired the movie Dirty Dancing according to Atlas Obscura. Ironically enough, the resort permanently closed the year before Dirty Dancing was released in 1987. Left abandoned in the years following, this place naturally fell into decay and got graffitied by vandals as the above picture of the indoor pool shows.
15 Indian Ridge Resort - Ended Before It Began
Now here’s an example of a resort that didn’t work out due to external reasons as well as the former owners. To elaborate, this place was constructed outside of Branson, Missouri, with the original plan consisting of “Hundreds of houses, condominiums, a hotel, water park, golf course, conference center and retail space” according to Springfield News-Leader. However, this plan came to a halt when the Recession occurred in the mid-2000s. It also didn’t help that associates from the companies involved in the project “Admitted to conspiring to commit bank fraud and/or money laundering” Springfield News-Leader says.
14 Sorake Beach Resort - Not So Fortunate
Though it doesn’t look abandoned from the distance taken in the above picture, this resort hasn’t been occupied for many years on the island of Sumatra in the country of Indonesia. As the story goes, according to Flung magazine, the Sorake Beach Resort had been established in 1995 assuming “A new airport would soon bring wealthy guests in directly from places like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Jakarta”. However, this didn’t end up coming to fruition. So the resort barely held on in the following years, even surviving an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the mid-2000s before closing permanently.
13 Hachijo Royal Hotel - The Result of Dwindling Tourism
Named after the volcanic island its located on in Japan, this place is a favorite for anyone who’s looking for a Haikyo. Now according to Atlas Obscura, Haikyo “Means both ruins and the urban exploration process of tracking down those abandoned, overgrown spaces”. Now how did the resort get this way? Originally constructed in the 60s, it quickly became popular due to most people traveling locally, as passports were difficult to get back then according to INSIDER. But as travel outside of Japan became much easier, the hotel became less popular over time. Then it permanently closed in 2006, INSIDER says.
12 Nevele Grand Resort - The Number Eleven
While the Catskills are associated with poor people living in the wilderness of New York State these days, that wasn’t always the case. This resort, for instance, was established in the Catskills in 1901 and “One of the famous Borscht Belt resorts” according to JMORE. Owned by Eastern European immigrants, these resorts hosted many Jewish entertainers and were a popular vacation spot. Another interesting thing to note is that, “Nevele” is the backwards spelling of “Eleven”. Unfortunately, they lost popularity over time leading many of them to close including Nevele Grand which JMORE says closed in 2009 because of financial troubles.
11 Varosha - Turmoil in Paradise
Due to its position in the Mediterranean, the island of Cyprus has a pretty nice climate that made places like Varosha popular. Once part of Famagusta, it was primarily known for “Its bright blue waters and beautiful sandy beaches” according to Sometimes Interesting. However, the district was seized during an invasion by Turkey which caused all of Varosha’s residents to leave. Since then, it’s been fenced off and guarded by Turkish soldiers who won’t let anyone in. It also doesn’t help that the area “Can only be resettled by its original inhabitants” due to a UN resolution Sometimes Interesting says.
10 Tranquility Bay - Waiting for No One
Located on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize, this resort is quite popular among tourists due to the large beach that it stands upon. On top of that, there are many villas and shacks located near Tranquility Bay as well. But as the above picture clearly shows, this particular shack looks abandoned and it isn’t the only one. Some possible reasons for this could be that their owners only live in them seasonally instead of year-round or they were left behind “For reasons unknown” as speculated by Jack Erickson who writes for the blog A Year and a Day.
9 Laem Set - Unexplained Abandonment
South from Koh Tao, there is another island off the coast of Thailand called Koh Samui that also has lots of beaches and resorts. Yet for unknown reasons, this island has quite a lot of abandoned places. For instance, the above picture was taken at Laem Set Beach which is pretty popular among tourists who come to Koh Samui and therefore has pricey resorts along it. Though that didn’t seem to prevent this beachside bar in the above picture from being abandoned, which was apparently next to “One of the poshest resorts on the island” according to Thai Visa.
8 Sol Cabañas del Caribe - Rocked by a Hurricane
Following Hurricane Wilma, which occurred in 2005, several resorts along the coast of Mexico were forced to close due to sustaining heavy damage. Among these included Sol Cabañas del Caribe, which didn’t get “A date for reopening” a year later according to The Denver Post. Yet for a while not a lot was said about the resort’s fate, as in whether it was going to get renovated or not. Then, in 2014, Westin Hotels & Resorts confirmed plans to build “A new 14-story beachfront hotel” on the site of where Sol Cabañas del Caribe stood as stated by This is Cozumel.
7 Elkmont - A So-Called “Ghost Town”
Located within the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, there is a famous group of log cabins that all belong to the “Ghost Town” of Elkmont. However, it’s not so much a literal town as it was actually a close-knit community of people living in the area for different reasons. In the beginning, for instance, it was established by pioneers before becoming "A logging camp" and then "A resort town for wealthy vacationers" according to Visit My Smokies. However, when the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established the residents were forced to either sell their homes or lease them.
6 The White Pines - Germans and Unions
Up in the mountains of Pennsylvania, this place has served many purposes in its long history. Originally established in 1890, according to Abandoned New York, it was meant to be a summer resort for Jewish people who spoke German. Yet during WWI, the resort was forced to close down and given to new owners. However, Abandoned New York says White Pines ultimately ended up in the hands of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (or ILGWU) who made the resort thrive from the 1920s right up until when it closed during the 80s providing “Recreation, instruction, and entertainment”.
5 Poconos Mountain Resorts - Former Honeymoon Capital
Once known as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World,” this area in the Poconos Mountains was extremely popular for “Nearly two decades” according to Travel Addicts before falling into ruin these days. But to understand why this happened, we first must look at what made it popular in the first place. Due to a convenient train route that ran through the region following the Civil War, many people were drawn to the region though particularly during the 60s with the arrival of “Love Motels”. Yet in the 90s, Travel Addicts says, “Visitors began looking for something different and more contemporary”.
4 Talipanan Beach Resort - One of Many Failures
Along the bay of Puerto Galera in the Philippines, there are two places called White Beach and Talipanan Beach. While both are popular among tourists, the reasons are different. White Beach, for instance, is home to (what else) lots of beaches. By contrast, Talipanan is famous for its string of abandoned beach resorts including the one in the above picture. The reason why there’s so many of them, according to Explore by Traveloka, is supposedly because they “Didn’t make it to the tourist boom”. In other words, they got on the beach resort bandwagon too late and therefore didn’t succeed.
3 Župa Bay - Abandoned Hotels Galore!
Near the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, lies an entire beach that’s chock-full of hotels that have been abandoned right and left. However, it all began with a single holiday village which originally opened in 1919 and then later was converted into a resort for the Yugoslav People’s Army during the 60s according to The Bohemian Blog. Because of its popularity, many other similar hotels cropped up nearby. Then in the 90s, the Croatian War of Independence broke out. As a result, the hotels got ravaged and subsequently looted during the conflict leaving the empty shells that are present today.
2 Laem Thian - Hidden
Famous for its beaches and snorkeling locations, the island of Koh Tao, Thailand, does have its share of resorts including one that is abandoned called Laem Thian Beach. Though it’s not visible in the above picture, it is hidden beyond the hotel up the road on the right according to travel blogger CiaoFelicia. As the name implies, Laem Thian does have access to a small beach that is seldom occupied, making it a popular place among those who know about it. Yet despite the few squatters that are present there, the land is apparently still privately owned according to TripAdvisor.
1 The Legendary Years - Disney’s Unfinished Resort
Though most resorts tend to get abandoned because the company that’s responsible for their creation goes under, such was not the case for The Legendary Years. Originally part of the Disney Pop Culture Resort, it and The Classic Years building were meant to showcase all the major accomplishments of the Twentieth century. But because of 9/11, there was a “Slump in tourism” according to World Abandoned leading to The Legendary Years building to be abandoned since it wasn’t finished construction-wise while The Classic Years remained. Then later, The Legendary Years was converted into the Art Of Animation Resort.
Resources: sometimes-interesting.com, tripadvisor.com, flungmagazine.com, atlasobscura.com, thisisinsider.com, taipeitimes.com, humanosphere.org, stateparks.com, thestar.com.my, weekendnotes.com, traveladdicts.net, dailymail.co.uk, thebohemianblog.com