Report - Monte Palace Hotel, San Miguel Island, The Azores, Portugal - March 2016

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Bertie Bollockbrains

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Sep 1, 2014
This huge abandoned hotel is reported widely on the international urban explore forums, but is yet to make an appearance here and is the most obvious possible explore on the Azores. Visited on a miserable grey rainy day, which is normal for the Azores at any time of the year - don't be fooled by the sunny photos that the local tourism authority uses.


The Monte Palace 5 stars hotel is situated high up (at an altitude of about 600m) on the island of St. Miguel in the Azores. This monumental building has a privileged view of the "Lagoa das sete cidades", a huge volcanic caldera now filled with a massive lake. Opened to the public in 1989 and closed a year and a half later because of bankruptcy. Not surprising that it closed down, it's in a remote place far from any town and high up a twisty mountain road. Not only that but the Azorean tourist industry barely existed 25 years ago. Even today the Azores remains off the tourist radar with only one of the nine islands having any sort of affordable flights. Historically it was cheaper to fly to America than to the Azores. For the record, Ryanair and Easyjet have both only recently started flying to San Miguel island (to Ponta Delgada airport) and the Azores is worthwhile if you're interested in bathing in volcanic thermal pools or watching whales. The Bollockbrains family had a great time observing Fin Whales - at 27m in length the world's second largest animal. Shame it was grey and raining constantly.

For many years, the hotel had guards and dogs to keep the building free of looting, but lately they disappeared and the building deteriorated greatly. Read around on the international forums and it seems that those guard dogs were off the lead, very vicious and with a notorious reputation. Apparently it was a great explore once, with even the silverware left behind on the tables.


The hotel is massive with hundreds of rooms, built in a concrete Brutalist style



Tilework remains in the entrance lobby

Inside is the huge atrium space, extending upwards 3 floors



Every bedroom was stripped

The lifts


And a grand spiral staircase



It was possible to reach the roof

With fantastic views of the Sete Cidade volcanic crater

Returning inside, we found an underground nightclub


And lots of underground passages


Finally photos from back when it was briefly open