Photos of the old Cape Sierra Hotel

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.

1. Cape Sierra end of Lumley Beach


The roundabout near the entrance looking back toward the beach

2. Roundabout looking back


Entrance to the hotel (turn left)

3. Entrance to the hotel

4. entryway


Guards at the entrance and detail of the wall

5. guards at the entrance

6. detail of the wall


The iconic combination sign/water tower

7. the iconic watertower sign


Entryway and lobby

8. Front door and drive

9. main lobby


Gift shop area to the right of the lobby

10. gift shop area

11. detail of ceiling


Outside – main building and walkway to the two room units

13. main building with walkway


One of the room units

12. one of the room units


The walkway looks cool and breezy

14. walkway to room units


At the pool area

15. room units from the pool

16. Waitress at the pool

17. pool


Interesting details around the pool

18. details of pool

19. stairway by pool

20. more details of pool


They must have planted this in 1970

21. old plant


Back to the main building through the garden

23. garden and room units

24. walkway between room units


View of Lumley Beach from the deck

25. View of Lumley from deck


After our tour, how about a Star Beer in the bar?

26. bar

27. bar

28. bar


Sorry it’s gone. This is the proposed new Hilton. Currently the hotel is partially built and the project on hold.

29. projected new hotel