There are some odd hotels around the world. Some are extremely cool, like the Ice Hotel (Hôtel de Glace) in Quebec that makes its appearance every winter. Others are just…weird. Like the Dog Bark Park Inn in Idaho. The latter might also be the world’s largest beagle.

But I hadn’t heard of the “Hotel of Doom” until just this week.

Pyonyang’s “Hotel of Doom”

The actual name of this massive North Korean edifice is the Ruygyong Hotel, and it is a large construction project that wasn’t ever fully realized. It may appear like people could be staying in it, but it has never actually functioned as the mixed-use building it was supposed to be. All 105 floors are deserted. The hotel stood constructed at its current height for years, without a finished interior or exterior glazing. The exterior was later completed, but not before it had earned its nickname.

The building actually holds a couple records. First, it is the tallest building in both Pyongyang and all of North Korea. Second, it is the tallest unoccupied building in the world. There are some mostly empty apartment buildings in various locales, but the Ryugyong Hotel is completely uninhabited. It’s eerie, empty pyramidical form towers over Pyongyang.

Had it opened on schedule, it would have held the record for the world’s tallest hotel, at least for a while.


North Korea makes the list of places I have no interest in visiting. I’m intrigued at times by the country, but I’m fine admiring it from photographs. Including its eerie Hotel of Doom.

Read more at: CNN.

Ryugyong Hotel image courtesy of Roman Harak via Flickr under CC-BY-2.0 license