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CYPRUS: No interest shown at auction for historic EUR 2.36mln Berengaria hotel

11 September, 2018

Plans to sell off the Berengaria hotel located in Prodromos at auction fell through on Tuesday as the Bank of Cyprus’ reserve price of €2.36 mln was not met.

The auctioneer declared the big-ticket sale a no-go despite some interest shown, no bidder was willing to match BoC starting price of €2.36 mln.

It seems the hotel’s history was not enough to attract the cash.

Once, the most luxurious hotel in Cyprus, was named in honour of Queen Berengaria, wife of Richard the Lionheart, who were married in Limassol.

The now derelict Berengaria in the Troodos mountains will go under the hammer once more as the auction is to be repeated after a three-month respite.

The once-famous Berengaria covers an area of 26,520 sq.m. with the building itself covering 4,980 sq.m.

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, Berengaria has now become an unofficial and rather dangerous tourist attraction with its share of myths and ghost stories surrounding it.

There are plenty of ghost 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 attracted by the building’s architecture and macabre history.

The previous owner, Michalis Ioannides, a descendant of one part of the Kokkalos family, which owned the hotel for three generations, had issued various warnings at times to tourists to keep away as the derelict estate posed a danger to visitors who did not know their way around.

“You just can’t keep people away. They flock from all over the place, intrigued by the hotels’ rich history. Imagine if the hotel was still operational,” said Ioannides in a previous interview to local journalists.

Ioannides had reportedly tried to bring investors aboard to revive the historic hotel. However, as efforts failed, the estate found its way into the hands of BoC.

As things stand today, the Berengaria does not seem set to revive its former glory as a classic-style mountain hotel in the Troodos mountain range, as it is expected that the estate will be sold at a lower price than the opening bid of Tuesday’s auction, and the new owner will probably tear it down and erect a new development in its place.