Tourists call this North Korean hotel a prison, despite its six-star rating

Tourists call this North Korean hotel a prison, despite its six-star rating.

Dozens of indignant tourists have criticized the only six-star hotel in North Korea on the Internet for prison-like conditions.1

The Ryangan Hotel in Pyongyang, which locals call a first-class establishment, received 31 reviews on TripAdvisor, and most travelers were extremely dissatisfied with the service and conditions of accommodation at this hotel.2

But if you were hoping to stay in the North Korean capital with greater comfort than in “Ryangan”, you will be disappointed: the luxurious hotel “Ryugen” with a height of 330 meters, which you started building 29 years ago, has not yet opened.3

Simon Ryder from the UK, who booked a room at Reagan in May 2012, wrote: “The beds are so hard that it seems to me that it would be more comfortable on the floor ... I washed the toilet and soaked my feet.”4

Another guest from Cape Town (South Africa) agreed with the complaints of the British, writing in a review: “A classic hotel in the Soviet style. Dark, poorly lit, stone beds, poor food and interruptions in hot water - and this is not the worst! ”Nevertheless, trying to find at least some positive, the South African tourist noted that staying at the hotel helped him to feel the North Korean flavor.5

David Templeman from Estonia briefly described “Ryang” as an “old and cold” hotel. He added: “The wiring is in terrible disrepair. Half of the sockets are broken, and in some places bare stripped wires (which may be energized) stick out of the floor. ”6

But he also noted the positive moments: “From the good one is a large flat-screen TV with one channel, the North Korean propaganda channel, where a female announcer is trying hard to sound inspiring, while the background shows videos with Kim Jong-un, fields and buildings.”7

How many rooms in the hotel, it is not known, “Ryangan” does not have its own website. Many guests say they booked a room while they were taken by bus with a tour of the city.8

At Ryangan on Tripadvisor, the rating is 2.5 out of five possible points, and most of the guests point out that the hotel was “average” or “bad”.9

It seems that in North Korea, the situation with first-class hotels is not very. For many years, tourists have been waiting for the opening of the Ruguen Hotel in a high triangular tower with a height of 330 meters. The building of glass and concrete, which cost more than $ 750 million, is still not completed. The work began in 1987 under the grandfather Kim Jong Un Kim Il Sung, and the hotel should have been opened two years later. According to the calculations of the North Korean leadership, the new hotel-tower should have caused envy in South Korea. In 1988, Seoul hosted the Olympic Games, and the highest hotel in the world was to open in Pyongyang.10

The skeleton of a huge pyramid was built quickly, but the work stopped in 1992, after the main sponsor of North Korea, the USSR ceased to exist. For the country, it was an economic catastrophe that caused famine, which killed about 3.5 million people. What should have become a symbol of the technical and engineering superiority of the country has become a meaningless monument and an object of ridicule in other countries.11

In the 1990s, the European delegation inspected the building and concluded that the framework could not be repaired and should be demolished due to poor concrete quality and curvature of elevator shafts. Esquire magazine called this building the worst in human history.Others called it the "Doomed Hotel." This nickname stuck.12

In 2008, after 16 years of inaction, to the surprise of Western observers, work on the construction of a giant hotel was resumed. In 2011, concrete structures were strengthened, and the building was faced with glass worth $ 146.5 million outside. Now the hotel shines in the sun.13

The fate of the hotel was not so hopeless thanks to the rich Egyptian group Orascom, which signed a $ 400 million contract to establish a cellular network in North Korea and in 2008 was appointed developer of Ryugen. It was investors who faced the building with glass and installed a cellular antenna on the roof.

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  • Tourists call this North Korean hotel a prison, despite its six-star rating

    Tourists call this North Korean hotel a prison, despite its six-star rating

    Tourists call this North Korean hotel a prison, despite its six-star rating

    Tourists call this North Korean hotel a prison, despite its six-star rating

    Tourists call this North Korean hotel a prison, despite its six-star rating

    Tourists call this North Korean hotel a prison, despite its six-star rating

    Tourists call this North Korean hotel a prison, despite its six-star rating

    Tourists call this North Korean hotel a prison, despite its six-star rating

    Tourists call this North Korean hotel a prison, despite its six-star rating

    Tourists call this North Korean hotel a prison, despite its six-star rating

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