Destinations Central & South America

Ghost Hotels Sit Empty While Brazil Suffers World Cup Squeeze

Excerpt from The Washington Post

Feb 01, 2014 5:00 pm

Skift Take

Other hotels that odd get built will likely sit vacant as well after the games — both the World Cup and the Olympics — have gone.

— Jason Clampet

Free Report: The State of Student Travel

Sergio Moraes  / Reuters

A view of the renovations of the Maracana Stadium for the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro. Sergio Moraes / Reuters


The Gávea Tourist is an empty shell of a hotel, a 14-story modernist monument of disintegrating concrete and decaying beauty that has been abandoned for four decades. It is one of three huge, architecturally stunning ghost hotels in Rio de Janeiro, all of which are vacant in a city facing a chronic shortage of rooms for June’s World Cup soccer tournament.

Rio could use the Gávea Tourist’s 400-odd rooms. Instead, it is an emblem of the obstacles that hinder Brazil’s World Cup preparations: cumbersome bureaucracy, a slow-moving judiciary and a lack of imaginative planning.

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