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“Perhaps the best in Pyongyang -- and that's not saying much” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Koryo Hotel

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Koryo Hotel
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Pyongyang, North Korea   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Pyongyang
Bangkok, Thailand
Top Contributor
238 reviews 238 reviews
97 hotel reviews
Reviews in 90 cities Reviews in 90 cities
265 helpful votes 265 helpful votes
“Perhaps the best in Pyongyang -- and that's not saying much”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

This is the DPRK so don't expect the style and service of the Ritz Carlton even if this is reputed to be one of the top hotels in the entire country.

Some of the food is decent although expensive by North Korean standards (which you will not get to experience anyway, most likely). Polite persistence will get your basic needs taken care of from laundry pickup to figuring out how to tune in BBC World on the TV set.

The BBQ restaurant seems to have a habit of bringing more plates of items than are actually ordered. You will be charged for it all unless you intercept the dish before it's on the table.
Also be sure to ask up front what sending e-mails will cost you. There is no internet available at the telecom center but you can send e-mails. I sent one photo attachment and was told I would be charged $150!

The beer in the lobby is decent. Avoid the pizza in the tea lounge but the spaghetti is edible.

Above all, bring a lot of dollars, euros or renminbi. All charges must be settled in hard currency, no credit cards.

Room Tip: Your room will be chosen for you.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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94 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
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  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

Stayed in Koryo hotel on the centenary of the birth of Kim Il Sung. Had a nice and big room with a bed room and a TV room. The hotel is clean and friendly and in the bar at the lobby you can drink the two different beers that are produced in the hotel, one “yello” and one “black”. Sometimes local officials visit this bar. In the basement restaurant they serve a special noodle dish that is famous in Pyongyang. If you are eating the buffet food, stick to the korean foods, they are not so good in cocking western foods at the hotel.

The view from the hotel is nice and I was able to go out both with and without my guides and see the surroundings. If you go out and to the right you'll pass the train station and come down to Teadong river, go left along the river and you will eventually come to Kim Il Sung square where you will have the Juche Tower on the other side of the river. Cross Kim Il Sung square and zigzag the city streets back to the hotel and you have a nice 1-1,5 hour walk.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
77 hotel reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

So, if you have been 'chosen' to stay here, don't panic, everything will be ok. Remember, you are always ok and everything is always fine. Your guides are always right.
Now, on to the hotel... so it seems that everything is still exactly as it was in the 1970s when the hotel was built, right down to the bedding and the radio. There is TV, with English channels - we had BBC I believe. The beds are pretty hard - best to have a few drinks downstairs first. Most of the lights in the hallways are off most of the time, so it is quite eerie to get off the elevator onto a dark floor. As mentioned in other reviews, most of the hotel is empty, yet staff work hard to give the impression it is completely functioning. We ate many meals in the hotel restaurant (on the 3rd floor). The food was mediocre. Breakfast was cold toast and an egg. We get free coffee somedays and other days they tried to charge us 1.50 EUR, but we had our guide come and argue with the staff. It also seemed that many other tourists (Asian, Russian) had much nicer meals than we did.
There are a number of 'amenities' on the 2nd floor. You can send an email (5 EUR), you can mail letters, receive faxes, play billiards. In the lobby there is a large convenience store, similar to the other stores you will visit throughout the DPRK. They accept CNY, EUR, and USD. We found considerably different pricing depending on the currency you use - we saved a lot but paying in one currency and receiving change in another. Again, just as weird as the rest of the DPRK.
Also, in the main lobby was the bar - it is a microbrewery that serves either black or white beer, made on site. It is quite good. In addition, they have many other alcohols.
They also have a karaoke room (10 EUR per person) and a gym and pool (both for a fee).
Watch out, laundry was about 20 EUR for a small bag.
Overall, the hotel is consistent with the rest of the DPRK tourist experience. They look to take as much of your spending money as possible, every time you turn around, with inexplicably inflated foreigner prices. Since you will never possess NK currency, you will never really know how bad you are being screwed.
Since you're stuck here and not allowed to leave, just chill out, have some beers, some expired Oreos from the gift shop and make friends with the other tourists. If your tour was anything like ours, you won't be here that much anyway.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greater Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

You don't really get a choice of where you stay in Pyongyang as a foreigner, and this hotel is rather good. Huge building of two towers with great views over the city - and the wonder of hearing the hourly station music through the night - wierd and wonderful all in one go. Restuarants were good although coffee with breakfast is an extra 1 euro and the orange juice is certainly different. Service was great, and the brewpub in reception served two great beers. There is also a coffee/tea bar in reception. A food shop near reception has a wide range of western snacks with a somewhat complicated way of buying them (one person writes on a slip of paper what you have, which you then take to the cashier and pay, then back to the first person to collect your goods) which seems to be the communist way. The huge bookshop on the second floor has all the books and pamphlets written by the leaders you could possibly need plus some really interesting guide books - and at prices cheaper than the other book shops you'll be taken to. The basement karaoke bar is wonderfully 70s in it's decor as is most of the hotel - especially the rooms.
Careful of the lifts as they don't all stop at all floors, and the system seems unfathomable, but the helpful guides will always direct you to the right one.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunbar, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

Stayed here as part of a tour from the UK
Room was clean and comfortable with a sitting area overlooking the city.. Staff friendly although some have limited English. First meal was awful (cold boiled up chicken in water and cold tempure potato but breakfast buffet fine although Orange juice looked and tasted like Irn Bru! Hotel did not seem well used -we went away for 2 nights but although the bed was made everything was as it had been left and toiletries had not been replenished. There are lots of restaurants and bars but most seem empty most of the time. You cannot take pictures from the revolving restaurant.
The hotel is very close to the railway station but you need to go with 2 guides. You cannot take pictures of the hotel from across the road.
Hotel has a small shop. It accepts Euros but change can be in Euros or chinese money. We never saw a local Won
All in all a good experience - it was North Korea.

Room Tip: Higher rooms have a better view
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saitama
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

I stayed for summer holidays in Pyongyang. Room was nice and comfortable. However, I was always being forced to stay under the hard surveillance till I went out with "guide". I made a call to my relatives from hotel, however, the guide knew the whole conversation I made in the previous night. It is hard to go outside by myself. The "guide" and hotel staff had been monitering the guest's coming and going near the entrance. I tried to go out by myself, however, the "guide" suddenly called me for not leave hotel alone. Breakfast was served by buffet style. I saw some Chinese and Russian tourist in the restaurant. Quality of food was relatively high and satisfactory. Staffs in the restaurant were really friendly (except monitering near the entrance). If I have a chance to visit Pyongyang again, I will definitely choose this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

No room service, breakfast is the best meal of the day, eat chips other times of the day. At 6am you will wake up to the wake-up call for Pyongyang citizens, 'broadcast' from the station. Let this make you realize how lucky you are that you are allowed to leave. The hotel is as comfortable as the DPRK gets. The karaoke was fun too.

Stayed September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Koryo Hotel

Address: Pyongyang, North Korea
Location: North Korea > Pyongyang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Pyongyang
Number of rooms: 211
Also Known As:
Koryo Hotel Pyongyang

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