Built in the 1980s, Hotel Monte Palace was more than just a spot for a vacation. It was a chance for many to see the Azores for the first time in their life and to enjoy the natural beauty of Portugal.
The hotel spent its first 10 years as a blueprint on a sheet of paper before the first foundations were even placed. Once complete, it covered some 500,000 square meters.
Olivier-Clément Cacoub, a French architect, and Yves Roa are the architects responsible for the purposefully unattractive design of the hotel. It was their job to design the hotel so that it blended well with the nature around it. More than 100 people were employed in the hotel during the two years in which it operated.
Where the lobby ended, the spiral staircase begins. It was used by the hotel guests frequently throughout the day on the way to their rooms. Inside their apartments, guests enjoyed views from their private terraces, relaxed in their luxurious bathrooms, or simply unwound in their rooms.
With its 83 rooms, one presidential suite, four luxury apartments and a beautiful view of the lake, it was more than easy to forget about time. If one chose to leave his or her room they would have been welcome in one of the two restaurants downstairs, in the bar, or in the discotheque Discoteca Chamarrita.
The restaurants offered no less luxury than the apartments. Equipped with a fine crystal glasses, delicate silverware, and walls covered with soft French fabric, the setting was luxurious.
The hotel also had its own bank and hairdresser.
However, after just two years, the hotel shut down. The remote location meant that the guests did not have a lot to do outside of the hotel. Furthermore, there were the costs of maintenance and upkeep for the building.
Once the hotel was closed permanently, one lonely security guard was employed. He and his dogs were responsible for protecting the abandoned hotel. The guard was employed there until 2010 when the hotel ran out of money to pay his salary. After the hotel was totally vacant, it fell into complete disrepair and was subject to vandalism.