Grande Hotel Beira

Grande Hotel Beira

The Grande Hotel Beira was a luxury hotel in Beira, Mozambique that was open from 1952 to 1963. It continued to be used during the 1960s as a conference center and swimming pool. Its closure was a direct result of the Portuguese Colonial War (1961-1974), and the Mozambican Civil War (1977-1992) during which it became a refugee camp. Today the former hotel is occupied by approximately 1,000 squatters who live in substandard conditions.


The hotel opened in 1954, when it was billed as the "pride of Africa," and was widely regarded as the largest and most exquisite hotel on the continent. Its owners intended to include a casino, but failed to secure the necessary government authorization. The hotel was never profitable, and never attracted the wealthy clientèle it was intended to. It closed as a hotel in the early 1960s. The swimming pool and conference rooms continued to be used during the 1960s and even after the independence in 1975. The last event conducted in the hotel was the new year's eve party in 1980-81.

Since independence in 1975 its basement were used as cells to hold political prisoners. Some members of the police and army started using the third floor as their living quarters. After 1981, it started being taken over by the general population. The new guests used the entire parquet floors as combustible. The building has no running water or electricity, and is currently inhabited by more than 2,000 people.


Journalist Florian Plavec describes a visit to the hotel in a July 2006 feature in the Austrian newspaper "Kurier". According to his accounts, virtually everything of any value has been looted from the hotel, including its marble and bathroom tiles, wooden flooring, sinks, and bathtubs. The former pool now serves as a water collector for clothes washing, and the former pool bar as a urinal. The hotel has also experienced structural damage, as trees continue to grow out of terraces, and floors collapsed.


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