The MSN Traveler

North Korea's Hotel of Doom set to open next year

Twenty-four years behind schedule, the monstrous hotel will finally open, though foreigners aren't invited.

By Chelsea Lin Dec 11, 2012 12:01PM

North Korea is probably not at the top of your travel list, for obvious reasons. But even if you won’t be visiting the super-secretive nation anytime soon—it’s certainly not an easy vacay to plan—this Daily Mail article about Pyongyang’s Ryungyong Hotel, otherwise known as the Hotel of Doom, is a must-read.


The Hotel of Doom looms 1,082 feet (a whopping 105 floors) into the capitol’s skyline, and is set to open next year after more than two decades of delays. The creepily futuristic, pyramid-shaped monolith is, according to the story, “the same shape and size as the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.” It’s big enough to accommodate the entire annual number of tourists to Pyongyang in a single night. (See images of the Hotel of Doom.)


But this monstrosity isn’t open to tourists, likely because the hotel has been disparaged by the press and rumored about since construction started—25 years ago. Writer Simon Parry risked his life, escaping from his sanctioned hotel in the guise of a pre-dawn jogger, to be the first foreigner inside the Hotel of Doom. And let’s just say he wasn’t impressed:

“I step through a maze of scaffolding and set foot in what will be the lobby entrance. It is quite a disappointment. There is no marble or teak on view to match the brilliance of its exterior, no chandeliers or flunkies in gold braid. When the North Koreans first unveiled their preposterous plans, the Ryugyong Hotel was to have at least 3,000 guest rooms, five revolving restaurants, shops, a casino and eight revolving floors of luxury suites in its pinnacle. There is no sign of them here. In fact, there is no sign of anything at all.”


Read the rest of the article here. Parry won’t be returning to North Korea anytime soon; in fact, blogging this has surely secured the fact that I won’t be, either.


Photo courtesy of Joseph A Ferris III

Dec 21, 2012 11:21PM

This looks like Batman's lair in Gotham City.  Too bad Hollywood can't get in for filming a movie there.

Dec 21, 2012 7:39AM
Dec 20, 2012 5:36PM

I can see it now. North Korea starts laughing their asses off at the rest of the world for underestimated them while the whole time they were in cahutts with China. Then this Chinese funded silo will open up and knock out everything 20,000 feet up by sonar. We should never underestimate people we can't control. Oh yea, Merry Christmas Everybody!!!!! GOD Bless the USA!!!!

Dec 19, 2012 8:30PM

Whenever Dr. Evil visits North Korea, he stays at the luxurious HOTEL OF DOOM.

Make your travel plans now!

Dec 19, 2012 9:12AM


Dec 19, 2012 7:13AM
Hotel of Doom, Those that check in never check out except in a coffin after extreme torture.
Dec 18, 2012 8:14AM
Dec 17, 2012 9:48AM
I am certainly lost for words!  Seems like all these people do is dress up and dance for the government.  You talk about being under depression!
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