This weekend I spent the night at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. It was one of the most beautiful hotels I’d ever been in. But not every hotel is as fortunate. In fact, some hotels are down right ugly.
It’s not often that we discover hotels with a design so terrible it makes us wonder what the hell they were thinking, but we’ve managed to find 15 of the most hideous hotels on the planet.
There’s really no “winner” with a list like this, so we’ve simply listed them in alphabetical order.
Beetham Tower Hilton – Manchester, UK
Wait, this is the finished product? They’re not going to install windows in all the spots where they seem to be missing? Or cover up those nasty stripes with a uniform paint color? Or align the top of the building with the foundation so it doesn’t look like it’ll fall off? This is a hotel, not a giant Jenga puzzle, right?
Coral Hotel Muscat – Oman
Aladdin would be ashamed by this hotel. We get that the Coral Hotel Muscat is going for that Arabian Nights vibe, but it looks like the entrance to a flying carpet theme park ride. Once we found out this was a Best Western hotel, the tackiness made more sense, but it’s still not a good excuse.
El Algarrobico Hotel – Spain
This isn’t just a hideous hotel, it’s also an environmental disaster. When the government found out the hotel was being illegally built on a protected coastline, they stopped construction and demanded it be demolished. But the owners say it’s literally impossible to blow up the hotel because 65,000 cubic meters of concrete are implanted into the hillside. So for right now, the hotel isn’t functional and only stands as a testament to poor design. Luckily it’s in the middle of nowhere so no one has to see this thing. It’s just a shame it ‘s located on a beach in Spain and not Japan.
First World Hotel – Malaysia
The First World Hotel — which is really an inaccurate name considering it’s located in a third world country — has the honor of being one of the largest hotels in the world AND one of the ugliest. It’s a family-friendly hotel, so we get that it should be bright and colorful, but it looks like a bunch of kids on a sugar high painted this place. Either that or it was painted by adults on an acid trip. Hopefully they provide sunglasses to hotel guests at check-in because this thing is painful to look at it.
Grand Lisboa – Macau
Is the Grand Lisboa striking? Yeah… strikingly ugly. If the goal of the architects was to design a building that looks like a pissed off flower, they succeeded. This gaudy monstrosity has no coherent theme; the round dome is a completely different texture than the building with the spiky points. And those reflective gold windows are not just an eyesore, they could be a weapon, like a giant magnifying glass that melts humans. Oh, and you know how big hotels always have some random attraction to lure in tourists? Well this place is home to the “largest cushion shaped internally flawless D-color diamond in the world.” What the hell does that even mean? Sounds like B.S. title to us. Do they also have the largest collection of breadcrumbs inside a commercial toaster? Because that’s something worth bragging about.
Holiday Inn – Sarajevo
In America, we know Holiday Inn for its neutral design. In Sarajevo, they know Holiday Inn as that butt ugly, bright yellow building that looks like something out of an old 8-bit video game. Maybe they designed it that way to add some color to a drab city, but we’re pretty sure their only guest is Pac Man.
Hotel Unique – Sao Paulo, Brazil
We can’t tell if the Hotel Unique is supposed to look like a ship or if it’s just a modern art piece gone wrong. In any event, it’s just boring to look at. Hang tiny models of this hotel in a nursery mural and that baby will be asleep in no time.
Imperial Palace – Las Vegas
Imperial Palace is by far the ugliest hotel in Las Vegas. Thankfully, Vegas abandoned the idea of tacky theme hotels that were popular in the ’80′s and ’90′s and has since gone for more contemporary designs, but who in the world thought a hotel designed like a Chinese temple was ever a good idea? We’ve seen Asian people walk by this dump and laugh. It’s cheesy design is beyond ghetto, and even though you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, this is one ugly cover that perfectly represents its craptacular interior. The only thing stopping this place from being demolished is the $19 rooms, but we’d rather stay somewhere more expensive because we’d have to drink $100 worth of alcohol just to forget we’re staying here.
Inntel Hotel Zaandam – Amsterdam
What the…? Okay, this hotel is proof that everyone in Amsterdam is high. It’s like the designers plucked a bunch of houses from the Dutch countryside, stacked them on top of each other without consideration for uniformity, and covered the entire structure in a coating of split pea soup. If you look at it from afar, it looks more like a Lego construction than a hotel.
MGM Grand Macau – Macau
Seriously, what is it with Macau and these ugly, flamboyant hotels? This one might even be worse than the Grand Lisboa because of what it symbolizes. Clearly this building represents the caste system: the lower-class people stay on the lowest “bronze” level, the middle-class stay in “silver” and the rich people are on top in the “gold” section. It’s kind of like the Olympic podium of economics.
Rin Grand Hotel – Bucharest, Romania
You’d think the largest hotel in Europe would look a little better than this. Even though the hotel was built in 2008, it looks like it comes from an era 20 years prior, leaving us to wonder if the designers were referencing outdated textbooks on modern architecture when they conceived this ugly thing — Romania is behind but they shouldn’t be that far behind. At best, the hotel resembles a minimum security prison. At worst, it still resembles minimum security prison. Look at all those windows with views of… other windows. And we can’t figure out what’s going on with the tan paint job. It’s not like Bucharest is really known for southwestern color schemes.
Ryugyong Hotel – North Korea
The Ryugyong Hotel is widely considered “the worst building in the world” and it’s definitely one of the ugliest. The government planned on it being the tallest hotel in the world in the 1980′s — which seems counter-intuitive since the whole country is poor and most foreigners can’t even enter North Korea — but construction stopped in 1987 when they ran out of money. It was left alone for 16 years with no windows and a rusting crane on top until construction resumed a couple of years ago. But they don’t think it’ll be open until 2012 (which in North Korean speak means 2092). They’re still hoping to build FIVE revolving restaurants — we must have forgotten how picturesque the North Korean skyline is — but we think the building really doubles as a missile launcher. How else could you explain that terrible design?
Son Of Heaven Hotel – China
Would you want to stay in a hotel that looks like three giant Chinese nutcracker dolls? Turns out the three wise-looking dudes are the gods of fortune, prosperity and longevity, which sounds like the perfect hotel for Spock. That peach that the guy on the left is holding is actually a suite — get it? Sweet fruit, suite hotel room? Ha ha, funny funny? — and all those red circles are actually windows, which seems like a creative way to the bar the windows without making it look like a prison. Despite all its cleverness, however, this hotel is still intimidating and terrifying.
The Standard Hotel – New York City
No, that isn’t a picture of communist-era East Germany. That’s actually a “modern” hotel that only opened a few years ago in New York City. The Standard is a chain of hotels that appeal to young, hip people with its “chic” design, but when did the look of poverty become chic? We don’t recall the projects ever being a fashion statement. Even worse is that railroad tracks run right underneath the building. We know the guests are probably too busy partying all night to notice, but when they’re trying to recover from a hangover the next day, they don’t want a train rumbling through the hotel.
Westin Times Square – New York City
We’re not exactly sure what’s going on here. Maybe the design is supposed to represent the diversity of New York… or maybe the designers just couldn’t settle on one idea and combined them all into this mishmash of colors and shapes. The hotel itself actually seems pretty cool — some of the rooms come with Mac computers and iPads — but it sticks out like a sore thumb. Which might not be a bad thing in a city where most buildings look the same.
We’ve all got different tastes so let us know if we’re way off base in the comments. And while you’re at it, tell us about some of the ugliest hotels you’ve ever seen.