|Most touristy websites provide a view like this, with the hotel complex|
carefully cropped out and no mention of it in the text either.
I knew nothing about the place or it's history when I first ventured there on an exploration day in January 2011. We followed the signposts from the northern resort of Portinatx to Cala D'en Serra on a whim. When we arrived at the top of the cove the first thing my mate said was "bloody hell what's that?" I didn't know but I knew we'd have to go down and take a look.
|The hotel complex as seen from above.|
Once we got down to hotel itself, it was in an even worse state than it appeared from above. "PROHIBIDO PELIGRO" (Danger keep out) was written in faded white paint on one wall near the site enterance. Clearly no deterrent given the amount of grafitti and vandalism on the site. We had the cove entirely to ourselves for the afternoon and spent our time taking photos, kicking a football about, relaxing on the beach and pitching rocks into the sea.
When I got home I conducted some research and gathered that the hotel project was started in 1969 by acclaimed Catalan Architect Josep Lluís Sert who was exiled in the United States at the time. His clerk of works Antonio Ferran signed off on his projects back in Catalonia to get around the fact that Spain's fascist government ensured that Sert himself could not be accredited as an architect in the Catalonia & Balearic islands region. After a lot of work had already been completed the project was put on hold in the mid 1970s and abandoned completely after Sert died of lung cancer in 1983.
|Trees growing through part |
of the abandoned hotel structure.
The site is now heavily overgrown with large trees growing through many of the structures. In other places it has been badly damaged by generations of vandals and by the passage of time. Several partition walls have been smashed through completely and parts of the superstructure have also been deliberately damaged. Exposure to the elements over time has caused much of the reinforced concrete to start splitting as the steel fibres within expand with rust causing the concrete to flake away.
One of the best preserved parts of the site is the terrace overlooking the bay which provides a phenomenal panoramic view of the cove and an interesting elevated view of the the small beach below. Even though the terrace is in relatively good condition, immediately behind it there is an abandoned swimming pool full of rubbish, rubble and a few inches of slimy green water at the deep end.
|Some traditional style boat sheds are the only development|
in the cove unrelated to the hotel complex.
For photographers there are some traditional Mediterranean boat sheds by the beach, a small beach garden, cliffs and beautiful turquoise waters. It is also possible to capture the striking contrast between the natural beauty of the beach and the decaying hulk of hotel above it.
The hotel complex is an excellent modern ruin for urbex photography, however be warned it is very unsafe for anyone without a basic knowledge of structural engineering to enter some parts of the site as several of the rooves and walkways have become structurally unsound.
|This is one of my favourite images from the site. The abandoned car has|
presumably been shoved down this hole to prevent tourists from falling down it.