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'Hotel of doom' that cost £600 million has never had a guest stay over

'Hotel of doom' that cost £600 million has never had a guest stay over

It has been more than 30 years since construction started on the hotel

When someone says 'hotel of doom', you'll probably think of the time you had your worst experience in a hotel, but I can do you one better with this.

There is a building in the world that is the most doomed of all, but it doesn't feature grimy bedsheets, horrible food and one star reviews.

But how can it be doomed then?

Getty Stock Photo
Getty Stock Photo

It's different to your usual horrible hotel, because this hotel has never actually hosted a guest before - that's right, a grand total of zero guests have checked in here.

The hotel is located in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, and ground was broken on the project way back in 1987, with the original plan being to open it in 1989 - which would coincide with the World Festival of Youth and Students.

The record for the world's tallest hotel at the time was held by a South Korean firm, and the Ryugyong Hotel was meant to break this record, but it didn't stick to the schedule.

The pyramid shaped colossus was later established as a part of Pyongyang's skyline, exceeding 1,000 feet in height with 105 storeys, as well as 3,000 rooms and five restaurants.

Getty Stock Photo
Getty Stock Photo

But despite costing approximately £600 million, progress on the building has been stilted over the years.

It reached its planned height in 1992, but with North Korea heading for an economic crisis, construction was then halted. A crane was even left on top of the structure!

For the following 16 years, the Ryugyong Hotel stood hollow, with its naked concrete exterior looming over the surrounding buildings.

It was during that time that the menacing structure earned itself the nickname the 'Hotel of Doom'.

After the lengthy break, the crane was removed and the Ryugyong Hotel was clad in metal and glass which cost £144m.

In late 2012, German hotel group Kempinski announced that it would be partially opening the Ryugyong under its management the following year. Just a few months later, however, the company pulled out.

KIM WON JIN/AFP via Getty Images
KIM WON JIN/AFP via Getty Images

More than 30 years since work began, the hotel is still yet to open to guests - though one man who's been inside the building has it made clear that it's not exactly a welcoming environment.

Simon Cockerell, general manager of a company specialising in North Korea tours, told CNN: "They took us into the lobby area, where there was a lot of exposed cement. Then we went (on) the one working elevator to the top, which was the 99th floor, I believe.

“It took a long time to get there, because it was a service elevator, not a modern lift with a string of buttons. There was a lift operator who determined where to stop. At the top we had a look around, took some pictures and went back down to the lobby again.”

It would apparently cost £1.6 billion to complete the hotel, according to Reuters.

Further work on the hotel took place in 2018, when it was fitted with LED lights in an attempt to make it a bit more pleasant to look at, as well as a sign which simply read: "The Ryugyong Hotel”.

It's still not open for bookings, though. Who knows if it ever will be?

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Travel, World News