The Berengaria Hotel opened its doors in 1931 and closed down in 1984. It now stands desolate, derelict and its stone structure is beginning to crumble. In its time, it was the hidden jewel in the mountains; a luxurious hotel hosting visitors such as Farouk, the King of Egypt, and President of Israel Ezer Vaisman as well as top businessmen of the time. It was a mountain resort boasting state of the art furniture and décor, a casino and a nightclub.
What makes the Berengaria Hotel so appealing to this day is its peculiar history. The hotel closed down due to bad business and huge losses, but underlying stories uncovered secrets within the family. It was said that the original owner, Mr Kokkalos, having built a hotel with an international presence and reputation all by himself, let it go to waste. This was due to the fact that, after his death and after having passed it on to his three sons—all of whom were filled with greed, vanity and jealousy towards one another—their infighting caused the hotel to fail.
There are numerous stories that circle the Berengaria Hotel. It was said that the three brothers all died under mysterious and suspicious circumstances, which provoked interest in the story of the hotel. As a result, the hotel is thought to be haunted. People have reported seeing shadows flying behind the broken glass left over from the large windows and heard screams and cries. Furthermore, stories emerged about a manager who killed himself and now wanders the halls looking for new victims. Additionally, it was said that two female ghosts haunt the hotel: a merchant’s wife, who was found dead in the swimming pool and is seeking to avenge her death as well as a fair maiden with black raven hair and dressed in white linen, leaning against one of the windows and visible only at dusk. All these stories have now made the hotel a highly sought after attraction for adventurers and adrenaline junkies.
A special factor that added to the “creepiness” of the hotel was the fact that the furniture, beds, crockery and clothes were still lying around the hotel, together with old postcards that were scattered all over the entrance of the hotel. However, after it was bought, in order to be renovated, all of this was removed and all that remains now is the structure of the hotel.
A relative of the owner, who now owns the hotel, regularly puts up no entry signs and blocks the hotel off to visitors. This is due to the fact that the building itself is unstable and dangerous to walk into, especially at night, but visitors still seek the thrill of this location and enter despite all his efforts.
The Berengaria Hotel will always remain a mystery to the public and its secrets may never come to the surface.
Text by Achilleas Kentonis
1929 Mr. Kokklaos and his family
2007 Salamis Cours – Michalis Ioannides
2018 Bank of Cyprus
2018 Bank of Cyprus
Form of government
1929 Colonial Government (British Empire)
2018 Presidential Republic (Republic of Cyprus)
Spatial Planning Agency
1929 Urban planning bureau
Type of heritage and protection
1929 Not recognized as heritage
Interview with Costas Georgiou