Every year, more than a million tourists visit the island of Lanzarote. Most of them come from Britain, Germany, or Spain, but all of them expect to be able to find a hotel to suit their budget as well as a little bit of luxury and a lot of sand, sea, and sun.
Tourism is such big business in the Canary Islands that it’s no wonder builders and investors are always looking for new opportunities and enterprises. Unfortunately, the abandoned Atlante del Sol hotel is one of the ideas that didn’t quite work out.
The Atlante del Sol is situated north-west of Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, up the coast from the lighthouse. It is sometimes also referred to as Hotel de Los Charcones because of its location, and sometimes as Hotel en Ruinas because of its state of disrepair.
No one quite knows what went wrong with this construction project, but there seem to be three main theories on the internet.
First is that a wealthy German businessman wanted to create a golf resort on this spot. The location seems perfect: there are picturesque cliffs nearby and a dramatic seascape for hotel guests to enjoy from their windows. The German businessman managed to get various investors interested, and work began to create the Atlante del Sol.
However, while construction of the main hotel seemed to be on track, it soon became apparent that the planned landscaping would be impossible on the volcanic rock that surrounded the hotel. Furthermore, attempts to get grass to grow in the barren soil failed utterly. And what use is a golf resort without its grassed golf course?
The second theory again centers around a German businessman, but this one suggests that he went ahead and started building without the necessary planning permissions. When his breach was discovered, he was ordered to pay a fine amounting to several million pesetas. Since he couldn’t pay, all work halted.
The final theory is that the hotel was a joint venture involving two partners. Unfortunately, one of them upped and vanished, leaving the other with all the project’s debt and a hotel that he couldn’t afford to finish building.
What all reports agree on, however, is that construction works ceased in the 1970s and never resumed. So, instead of catering to tourists or golf enthusiasts, the Atlante del Sol is now more of a draw to photographers, street artists, and urban explorers.
Since the hotel wasn’t ever completed, there is little in the way of curious artifacts from the past lying around. However, its half-finished state does give it a bare, skeletal feel that makes it somewhat unique compared to other abandoned hotels.
Explorers report that the location is so desolate that it can, at times, feel spooky. However, others state that the isolation made them feel safe and unthreatened while they were exploring.
There is a strange incongruity to this location. The rigid and angular layout of a block of half-finished hotel rooms stands right next to crumbling architecture, showing how nature and the elements can undermine humanity’s efforts at uniformity.
There is one road leading to the Atlante del Sol and it is full of potholes. However, the site is accessible to those determined to visit. Anyone not wanting to risk damage to their car can find the hotel a couple of hours’ walk from Playa Blanca.
The area is surrounded by fences, but there are many breaks and holes in the barrier, so access is reasonably easy. The buildings are decorated with plenty of graffiti, and there is also evidence of squatters, including mattresses piled on beds, chairs, and even a baby’s travel cot.
Because of the terrible condition of the buildings, visiting the hotel is very hazardous. Many explorers comment on how it’s only going to be a matter of time before something collapses and someone is hurt.
A bit thank you to Wolfgang Sterneck who provided us with these amazing photographs of the ruined hotel. You can find more of the photos of this hotel on his Flickr account via this link.
Another Article From Us: For Sale: Victorian Fort & Naval Gun Battery Yours for £5.5 Million ($7m)