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Inside ghost town with 7-star hotel ‘owned by King Charles’ left to rot in once idyllic resort turned no-man’s-land

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AN ABANDONED ghost town has been left to rot for decades despite it being home to a seven-star hotel believed to be owned by King Charles.

The luxury building still sits untouched as the centrepiece of the once idyllic resort that was quickly transformed into a no-man’s-land after years of looting and complete disregard.

The luxury seven-star Golden Sands Hotel was the centrepiece of the island of Varosha in the 1970s before it was left abandoned and deserted for decades

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The luxury seven-star Golden Sands Hotel was the centrepiece of the island of Varosha in the 1970s before it was left abandoned and deserted for decadesCredit: Facebook
King Charles is believed to own the Golden Sands Hotel according to the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus government despite the Royal Family denying the rumours

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King Charles is believed to own the Golden Sands Hotel according to the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus government despite the Royal Family denying the rumoursCredit: Getty
The resort has been left a ghost town full of abandoned buildings as tourists were banned from entering for over 40 years

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The resort has been left a ghost town full of abandoned buildings as tourists were banned from entering for over 40 yearsCredit: AFP

The ghost town is in the quiet Cypriot town of Varosha that was once beloved by the stars and celebrities of the time.

According to the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus government – who control the island nowadays – King Charles owns the mega Golden Sands Hotel.

The enormous hotel complex was first opened in 1974 and was proudly declared “the world’s first seven-star hotel”.

It was even so big that it even had a railway line inside to carry clients around from room to room.

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But according to reports, the hotel was only open for a few months before it was left abandoned.

Tables, cabinets, dishes and crockery sets have all been eating mountains of dust for decades inside the glamourous walls.

But unlike other properties on the resort, the Golden Sands Hotel has been left untouched by looters and preserved – giving it the nickname of “the untouched hotel”.

It is still closely monitored and patrolled by several guards and requires permission to enter the nearby grounds.

Although, the Royal Family has previously denied the King owns it.

The Military of Defence has also shut down rumours that it is protected by UK security forces.

Inside the Mediterranean ghost city of Varosha where A-listers once spent their summers before it became a ruin

The town of Varosha was considered a state of art resort and a breakthrough in tourism for the island when it was thriving in the 1970s.

It was once even described as “a tourist mecca of Cyprus” and the “Vegas of the Mediterranean”.

Elsewhere on the desolate island sits 45 hotels, 3,000 commercial properties, 60 apartment hotels, 21 banks, 25 museums, 20 theatres and museums, and 99 entertainment venues.

The whopping number of properties left behind has been described as “a monument to diplomatic failure”.

One property belonged to Italian Hollywood superstar Sophia Loren and the resort was also a favourite holiday spot of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Raquel Welch, and Brigitte Bardot.

Of the over 3,000 properties, outside of the Golden Sands Hotel, all of them were vandalised and hit by looters – leaving them a far cry from their former selves.

WHAT HAPPENED TO VAROSHA?

Varosha was badly affected after it was caught up in fierce fighting in 1974 between Turkey and Greece.

The Turkish army reportedly arrived in the town to protect Turkish Cypriots from Greeks thought to be attempting to ethnically cleansing the island.

The inhabitants of Varosha were forced to fee, fearing they could be massacred by the invading Turks.

Troops then fenced off the area, preventing anyone from getting in and signs warned that it was a “forbidden zone”.

Tourists were banned from entering and taking pictures inside the fenced off area but some managed to sneak in to document the decay.

These days the crumbling buildings and rubble in the streets only hint at the town’s former glory days.

Since then, the United Nations has used it to try to bring the two battling groups together but it is controlled by the self-declared country of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus.

Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said he has hopes of Varosha reopening properly soon as it could bring trade and tourism benefits.

He explained: “Varosha is most definitely going to be opened. The tide has shifted, a new page has been turned.

“We are successfully continuing on our path. The inventory work is almost complete, we are in the opening phase.”

People have been banned from stepping foot on Varosha until 2017 when only a small section of it was reopened to the public.

Since reopening, people have explored the island to see what the once regal and luxurious resort still has to offer.

One tourist wrote on Tripadvisor: “Very emotional and thought provoking to see somewhere as beautiful as this with bullet holes and nature reclaiming it.

“You cannot help but feel for the people who once lived here.”

As a second said: “It is really a remarkable place, straight out of “Planet of the Apes”. A full on holiday beach resort, closed, many buildings with marks from shelling or bullets from 47-years-ago.

“Every bit is fascinating and all along are abandoned hotels, houses, unfinished buildings.”

Before a third put: “Amazing and sad at the same moment to see how this place went from heaven to nothing.”

The hotel complex was one of over 3,000 buildings on the small island beloved by the stars

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The hotel complex was one of over 3,000 buildings on the small island beloved by the starsCredit: Facebook
The island of Varosha back in its thriving heyday when thousands flocked each year to enjoy the sun and luxury spots
The island of Varosha back in its thriving heyday when thousands flocked each year to enjoy the sun and luxury spots
Varosha now sits abandoned as a ghost town
Varosha now sits abandoned as a ghost town
The view of Varosha from afar as tourists still aren't allowed to visit the whole island up close

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The view of Varosha from afar as tourists still aren’t allowed to visit the whole island up closeCredit: Rex

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