‘Hotel of Doom’ Has Never Had a Single Guest

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In the heart of Pyongyang, North Korea stands a towering structure that’s captured the curiosity of the world for decades. The Ryugyong Hotel, often dubbed the “Hotel of Doom,” has been around since the 1980s, but has never had a single guest.

The Ryugyong Hotel

Construction on the Ryugyong Hotel began in 1987, with a goal to create the world’s tallest hotel. Designed in a pyramid shape, the hotel was intended to be a symbol of North Korea’s prowess and modernity, boasting over 100 floors and thousands of rooms. The initial plans were to complete construction in time for the 1989 World Festival of Youth and Students. However, as the years passed, the progress of the hotel faltered. Economic crises and inner turmoil within North Korea led to significant delays, halting construction just as the hotel reached its planned height in 1992.

The Hotel of Doom

In a bid to salvage the project, efforts were made in the early 2000s to re-do the exterior in metal and glass, at a cost of millions of dollars. Yet, despite these changes, the hotel remained empty. In a fleeting moment of hope, German hotel group Kempinski announced plans to manage the Ryugyong Hotel in 2012, signaling a potential opening on the horizon. However, these aspirations were short-lived, as the company withdrew from the project mere months later, leaving the hotel’s fate once again uncertain. In recent years, sporadic attempts have been made to revitalize the Ryugyong Hotel, including the installation of LED lights and a sign bearing its name. Yet, nothing seems to work.

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As of now, the Ryugyong Hotel stands empty, leaving many to wonder if its doors will ever open to the world.