The Ryugyong Hotel, North Korea’s so-called “Hotel of Doom,” a 105-story, pyramid-shaped building, is nearing completion after nearly three decades of false starts.
The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, was conceived of by the government as a symbol of the isolationist nation’s wealth, but the economy thwarted construction for more than 25 years.
The 3,000-room “Hotel of Doom,” which was given that nickname because the project had to be shelved for 16 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, is set to open in the next couple of years, according to the BBC.
Construction resumed on the “Hotel of Doom,” also known as “The Phantom Hotel,” in 2008, and new photos taken by a Chinese company that specializes in North Korean tourism show there is still much work to be done before the Ryugyon Hotel can open its doors.
In line with the North Korean government’s penchant for secrecy, the BBC noted that few observers have been able to view progress on the “Hotel of Doom.”
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The pictures from Koryo Tours give a glimpse of what the hotel looks like for the first time in years.
Work began on the “Hotel of Doom” in 1987, with construction scheduled to be completed about to weeks later, according to NK News.
But “delays and mismanagement prevented [then North Korean leader] Kim Il Sung’s dream of building the tallest building in the world from being realized,” the website reported. ”Building work halted in 1992 and for nearly two decades it remained a dormant triangle on Pyongyang’s skyline, treated by many as a symbol of North Korea’s economic failure.”
The newest photos of the Ryugyong Hotel reveal that the interior of the 105-story, pyramid-shaped structure is yet to be fleshed out.
Koryo Tours said the “Hotel of Doom” plans to open in two or three years. The tower will feature hotel rooms, office space and long-term rentals.
Although the Ryugyong Hotel has not opened its doors, that didn’t stop Google+ users from submitting satirical reviews of the “Hotel of Doom.”
“There is so much to do here between the morning military parades, daily re-education seminars, complementary tickets to a nuclear missle [sic] launch, and the VIP screenings of the dear leader's latest cinematic triumph,” wrote Michael O’Grady, whose “review” gave the Ryugyong Hotel a two out of three on quality and facilities and a perfect three out of three on service. “The Kimchi was just so-so and the restaurants are hit or miss (depending on when the last shimpment [sic] of UN food aid came. The rooms are a bit barren (luxury and comfort are opiates of the bourgeoise [sic]) but with all the excitement on campus, you hardly notice. Remember to tip your government handlers though, trust me on this.”
Google+ users Rico DeVaca, Carmine Ragusa and Seven Bates all gave the hotel perfect ratings.
“My state appointed escort told me I could check out anytime I'd like but I could never leave. I am hoping he's simply a fan of the Eagles,” Ragusa wrote, referencing the song “Hotel California.”
“Being of sound mind and free will, I can honestly say the Ryugyong Hotel is the greatest structure ever built by man,” Bates wrote. “My skin comes alive as I enter the doors, and I am humbled by its scale and majesty. I am in no way being told to say this by gunpoint.”
Other satirical reviews were less favorable.
“Appreciated the blindfolded escort to my room on the 81st floor. My state-appointed translator was careful not to stab me in the calf with the bayonet [sic] on his rifle. Breakfast was fine, but the all-gruel buffet was bleh. Would stay again,” wrote Jonathan Lynch.
An unidentified Google user gave the “Hotel of Doom” a zero.
“I had a north-facing room. No light at all!,” they wrote.