The original Cape Sierra Hotel was built in the late 60s and opened around 1970. Located at the north end of Lumley Beach, the hotel was very popular with visitors and with local people who had enough money to go there. With a bar, a basement nightclub, and a pool it was the ultimate in 70s luxury. During the civil war the Cape Sierra and the two other high-class hotels (the Bintumani and the Mammy Yoko) were used as headquarters for various factions.
After the war the Cape Sierra reopened but it became shabby and couldn’t compete with new hotels built for the people who came to the country for business, development work, and travel.
Plans were made to replace the old Cape Sierra with a new Hilton, and the old hotel was demolished around the end of 2012.
I took these pictures in 2006 when the hotel was still open, though you can see there weren’t many customers. Fans of 60s architecture might appreciate them, and it’s a trip back in time to early post-independence Sierra Leone.
BELOW: The hotel was located on this bluff at the northern end of Lumley Beach.
The roundabout near the entrance looking back toward the beach
Entrance to the hotel (turn left)
Guards at the entrance and detail of the wall
The iconic combination sign/water tower
Entryway and lobby
Gift shop area to the right of the lobby
Outside – main building and walkway to the two room units
One of the room units
The walkway looks cool and breezy
At the pool area
Interesting details around the pool
They must have planted this in 1970
Back to the main building through the garden
View of Lumley Beach from the deck
After our tour, how about a Star Beer in the bar?
Sorry it’s gone. This is the proposed new Hilton. Currently the hotel is partially built and the project on hold.