Koryo Hotel

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Koryo Hotel
Koryo Hotel at night.JPG
Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 고려호텔
Hancha 高麗호텔
Revised Romanization Goryeo Hotel
McCune–Reischauer Koryŏ Hot'el
Entrance to the hotel.

The Koryo Hotel is the second largest operating hotel in North Korea, the largest being the Yanggakdo Hotel.[1] The twin-towered building is 143 metres (469 ft) tall and contains 43 stories.[2][3][4] Erected in 1985[4][5] under the scrutiny of Kim Il-sung, it was intended to "showcase the glory and strength of the DPRK."

The hotel is rated three stars by Western standards.[6] North Korea rates it as five stars.[1]

Name[edit]

"Koryo" is the name of an early kingdom which is the source of the English name "Korea". It is also used in the name of the North Korean airline, Air Koryo.

The Koryo Hotel replaced an older hotel of the same name, but in a different location. For a time after 1946 the leader of North Korea's Democratic Party Cho Man-sik was kept under house arrest in the older Koryo Hotel.[7][8]

Location[edit]

The hotel is situated along the Taedong river in Chung-kuyok, central Pyongyang.

Features[edit]

The lobby of Koryo Hotel

The hotel's extravagance is exemplified by its entryway, which consists of a 9-metre (30 ft) wide jade dragon's mouth[1] that leads into an expansive lobby dominated by a mosaic of North Korean cultural symbols.[1] The mosaic tiles make use of a wide variety of precious metals[9] and gemstones underneath low-dispersion glass panes, which are replaced biannually to preserve the mosaic's luster.

The hotel has 500 rooms.[10] Rooms are equipped with a mini-bar and TVS which feature three channels.[11][12] Guests report power outages.[11][13]

Gift shop in the Koryo Hotel.

Amenities include a hard currency gift shop, gym, a swimming pool,[9] a revolving restaurant on the 45th floor,[14] a circular bar on the 44th floor[15] and two movie theaters (one 200 seat cinema and one 70 seat cinema.[4] The hotel also features a billiards room[4] on the second floor[16] and a casino in the basement. The casino offers blackjack, roulette, and slot machines.[17] The casino is staffed by Chinese workers.[18] Amenities do not include the use of the Internet.[19]

Restaurants[edit]

Each tower is actually topped by a revolving restaurant, however only one is open.[20] The revolving restaurant apparently had a 9 pm closing time but in recent years the closing time has been extended or relaxed based on the quality of the guests' tipping.[21] Aside from the single open revolving restaurant, the hotel has four other restaurants including a Japanese restaurant and a Korean BBQ restaurant.[4]

The restaurants are run by Japanese expatriates and are run as private businesses but must pay a fee to the state.[22]

Guest liberty[edit]

By some reports guests are prevented by guards from leaving the hotel.[12][23] However, others report the ability to wander off the hotel grounds.[24][25] If one can wander off the grounds, the hotel is a few blocks from the city's restaurant district and the Pyongyang Railroad Station.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "North Korea Travel Guides". HotelChatter. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  2. ^ "Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang". SkyscraperPage. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  3. ^ Oh, Kong Dan; Hassig, Ralph C. (2000). North Korea through the looking glass. Brookings Institution. p. 117. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Koryo Hotel". Northkorea1on1.com. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  5. ^ "Koryo Hotel (1985)". Structurae. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  6. ^ "Tour Tips". Koryo Tours. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  7. ^ Lee, Bong (2003). The Unfinished War: Korea. Algora Publishing. p. 40. 
  8. ^ Yup, Paik Sun; Paek, Sŏn-yŏp (1999). From Pusan to Panmunjom. Potomac Books. p. 82. 
  9. ^ a b "Hotels In North Korea, Hotels In Pyongyang". CountriesandCapitals. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  10. ^ "Individual tours, hotels description". Korea Konsult. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  11. ^ a b Young, James V.; Stueck, William Whitney (2003). Eye on Korea. Texas A&M University Press. p. 146. 
  12. ^ a b "Koryo Hotel". TripAdvisor. 
  13. ^ "P'yongyang Hotels". VirtualTourist. 
  14. ^ "Koryo Hotel". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  15. ^ McElroy, Damien. "Whiskey, weapons go-go in Pyongyang". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  16. ^ a b Linton, Stephen W. (1997). "Life After Death in North Korea". In McCann, David R. Korea Briefing: Toward Reunification. Asia Society. p. 98. 
  17. ^ Keats, Walter L. "Slot Machines, Pyongyang Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang, DPRK". NorthKorea1on1.com. 
  18. ^ "Arrival in Pyongyang". Yunkai. October 14, 2000. Archived from the original on 2009-06-25. 
  19. ^ "Business". Korean Friendship Association. February 2011. 
  20. ^ Gluckman, Ron (1991). "Life in Paradise". Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  21. ^ Gonglewski, John D. (2010-02-11). "Korean Pictures". Archived from the original on 2012-01-10. 
  22. ^ Young, James V.; Stueck, William Whitney (2003). Eye on Korea. Texas A&M University Press. p. 148. 
  23. ^ Oh, Kong Dan; Hassig, Ralph C. (2000). North Korea through the looking glass. Brookings Institution. p. 130. 
  24. ^ "British Parliamentary visit to North Korea". British Association of Korean Studies. September 2005. Archived from the original on 2012-02-11. 
  25. ^ Reilly, Justine (July 6, 2006). "Hot spot". Travel Blog. The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°0′31.47″N 125°44′9.92″E / 39.0087417°N 125.7360889°E / 39.0087417; 125.7360889