Lots of hotel properties unknowingly compete for the “World’s Worst Hotel” title among travel mavens, but there seems to be real consensus that North Korea’s Ryugyong Hotel is the clear winner. This is somewhat amazing given that the 105 story property was never completed despite being started in 1987.
It is not as if funding became a problem. There never was any funding. It isn’t as if the hotel was never started. The Ryugyong stands tall, dominating the gloomy Pyongyang skyline. When a writer for Esquire Magazine said it was “the worst building in the history of mankind”, no architecture critics entered the fray to dispute him. It has also been known as the “Hotel of Doom” and the world’s largest “White Elephant”.
Now comes word, that this unfinished non-masterpiece, that there may be some building activity at the hotel. A shiny reflective wall of glass has been installed on one side of the building, but little attention has been paid to the crumbling interior .
No guest has ever occupied the hotel and some architects are said to feel that the mere act of completing the structure could actually cause its collapse. Then there is this slight financial problem. It is estimated that completing the “World’s Worst Hotel” could actually cost upwards of ten percent of North Korea’s entire Gross Domestic Product.
Why, you might ask, was this project ever started in the first place?Construction began just before South Korea was getting set to open the 1988 Olympics and the country’s leaders seemed to be in a major fit of jealousy. An expensive fit of jealousy.
But here ios the good news. Reuters is reporting that a contractor from Egypt, the Orascom GHroup, has actually begun rennovations. North Korea’s leaders have promised that the Ryugyong will, at some point in the near future, begin taking reservations.
If you do book, we suggest you might want to avoid the higher floors.