Berengaria hotel, a majestic building that silently stands in Prodomos, the highest village in Cyprus, was once the most luxurious hotel in Cyprus, served as a haven for royals and other titled guests. The hotel was named after Queen Berengaria, wife of Richard the Lionheart, who were married there. However, mysterious deaths, screams and other strange apparitions appearing in the hotel, all combine to create a horrifying conundrum.
The hotel was built in 1930 by a resident of Prodromos village, Mr. Kokkalos, who gathered the available funds, borrowed some money from friends and invested in the construction of a luxury hotel that was developing quickly. In the middle of the twentieth century Berengaria hotel was at its peak: locals came here for the weekend, while hundreds of Europeans fled here from the hot beaches of the island, enjoying breakfast leisurely soaking up the views of the Troodos mountain range.
From Dawn to Decadence
According to legend, the hotel owner had three sons. Before his death, he left the business to his three sons to share equally. However, upon his death, the sons, driven by jealousy, greed, and pride ran down the hotel. Subsequently, all three of them died under mysterious circumstances. For instance, the eldest of the brothers, they say, threw himself over the bridge, when faced with serious financial problems. Locals also believe that his father avenged him and his beloved “Berengaria” brothers for their unfulfilled promise. This, together with other stories including that of a manager who committed suicide at the hotel added to the conversation around the village that the hotel was haunted. Some people claimed to have seen shadows through the shattered windows and heard screams and cries.
Additionally, another story holds that two female ghosts roam the hotel. One of them was found dead in the swimming pool, and it’s said she still hangs around trying to avenge her death. The other is that of a young woman with black raven hair who is seen at the hotel dressed in white linen, and can allegedly be seen leaning against one of the windows at sunset. Another myth says that inside the hotel there was a fresco, depicting the dance of hell and that, whoever saw it, would be doomed for the rest of his life. All these stories have now made the hotel a place sought after visitors that still having a lust for the thrill of this location.
Hopes the once-proud Berengaria Hotel can revive past glories have been rekindled after the property was finally snapped up by a Cypriot land development company prepared for the costly rebuild.
The dilapidated building was bought by Limassol-based Prime Property Group for a reported €2.2 mln with the new owners confirming their plans to breathe new life into the property. Сlosed since 1984, the property was abandoned to the elements with little to no interest from investors to take on what is considered one of the most demanding and risky projects on the island.
A deal was reached earlier in the year, but the new owners wanted to ensure that by buying the hotel they could use the surrounding area for building real estate.
Once the most luxurious hotels in Cyprus, it was named in honour of Queen Berengaria, wife of Richard the Lionheart, who were married in Limassol in 1191.
The stone-built mountain hotel opened in 1931 and closed in 1984, its rooms and halls that once entertained royalty are now home to dust, graffiti and exposed to the elements.
Having withstood the passage of time, the Berengaria has now become an unofficial and a rather dangerous tourist attraction with its share of myths and ghost stories surrounding it.
There are plenty of ghoulish stories to choose from; A former manager who killed himself is said to wander the empty halls in search of new victims, a merchant’s wife supposedly found dead in the swimming pool seeks revenge and a fair maiden dressed in white linen is said to be visible only during dusk leaning against one of the windows.
It is estimated that some 200 tourists a week visit the hotel – situated at an altitude of 1,400 meters – attracted by the building’s architecture and macabre history.
Now the “Jewel of Cyprus” after almost a 40 year downtime is awaiting for start of the imminent resurrection of its greatness in due time this year.