Now Boarding: An abandoned Portugal hotel becomes a haunt for tourists

The old Monte Palace was the most premiere luxury hotel in Portugal in the 1980s. It closed after just two years!
Published: Oct. 29, 2023 at 1:43 PM MST|Updated: Oct. 31, 2023 at 11:02 AM MST
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PORTUGAL (3TV/CBS 5) — Haunted hotels are a draw for visitors all over Arizona, from Bisbee to Jerome. The same is true around the world, as tourists are lured to the mysteries and legends surrounding other historic or abandoned properties. One of the most famous sites is on the island of São Miguel, which is part of the Açores off the coast of Portugal.

The old Monte Palace was the most premiere luxury hotel in Portugal in the 1980s. It closed after just two years! Developers had high hopes but were up against two challenges at the time. First, not enough tourists had even heard of the Azores in the 1980s. Second, the views from the suites were too often shrouded in fog.

Today, the fog adds to the mystique and the eerie feeling you get walking through the abandoned property. The glass is all shattered or removed. It’s been totally lost to the harsh elements of the island. While the Monte Palace ruins were closed to tourists for years, today, there are no guards, and the property is open. Most people visit the hotel because the rooftop provides one of the best views of the nearby dormant volcano.

From the roof, you can see some of the best hiking trails in the Azores, around the volcanic lakes, beaches and coastline. Sao Miguel is also known for beautiful waterfalls, plus its range of hot springs (courtesy of the volcanic activity below), along with vineyards and even a tea plantation.

The best time to visit the Azores depends on your tolerance for crowds and unpredictable weather conditions, but the shoulder season months of May and September are usually ideal. Sao Miguel is a small island, which is easy to navigate and visit as a tourist. Ponta Delgada’s airport is efficient, and this is definitely one place I’d recommend renting a car to drive around so you can see all of the natural wonders on your own schedule.

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