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“Decent place for a zero-expectation traveler”
Review of Youth Hotel

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Youth Hotel
Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in Pyongyang
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
42 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Decent place for a zero-expectation traveler”
Reviewed October 2, 2013

First, let me just say that I have ZERO expectation of any hotels in Pyongyang, partly because of reviews I've read on Lonely Planet and other websites.

So this hotel actually surprised me by offering a relatively clean room (albeit a bit damp and dark) with TV and a huge fridge - seriously it must be 1.5m tall which makes you wonder what it's for. lol

The only real problem was water as we were told hot water is only available after 10:30pm. The bigger problem was as soon as I turned on the bath tap, the water coming out was REDDISH BLACK which is disgusting even for a zero-expectation traveler like me. Luckily the hotel staff was able to fix it after we complained at the front desk.

The hotel is complete with a few souvenir stores and a karaoke room, as well as a very dodgy massage parlour. And a swimming pool too though I've not tried these facilities.

I came here with a tour group from Dandong, and the reason we didn't stay at the Yanggakdo was that it was full with foreigners and diplomats due to the 9.28 celebrations. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because we were able to sneak out of the hotel at night, something I heard is not possible when you are on Yanggakdo island.

Room Tip: You don't get to choose your room (or even the hotel) anyway so I suggest you to check on the ba...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Eric Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
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  • English first
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  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

Most tourists in North Korea don’t really have their choice of hotels so a review of a place like the Youth Hotel is probably more for informative than decision-making purposes anyway.

The biggest plus about this place: an outdoor pool with a fun slide! Even the Yanggakdo can’t claim that. While we were there the pool guests were mostly North Koreans who paid for daytime pool access. The water was also pretty clean, although I couldn't say the same for the indoor sauna/locker facilities. Other hotel offerings included a newish burger fast food joint (just to the side of the hotel), a fairly decent restaurant on the first floor, a small bookshop on the second floor, and a general snacks and sundries shop just outside the hotel entrance that was open late for a nighttime beer run.

Everything else about this hotel is pretty standard for North Korea: dimly lit, cavernous, marble-lined spaces that looked a bit run down and dated, rooms with old, musty, cigarette-stained furniture and worn linens, and somewhat dingy, dimly lit bathrooms with plumbing issues. I visited in the middle of summer so I can’t speak to the heat available at this hotel, but there was limited air conditioning in my room. In comfort and cleanliness, the rooms are a step below what you’ll find at the Yangakkdo; it makes sense to me now why tourists are usually housed there instead of places in the city like the Youth Hotel.

Overall, it’s a decent option for one night, although if your tour operator has you staying here for longer I would probably push for something better like the Koryo or the Yanggakdo.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank michida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uk
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2012

In its day you can imagine that this hotel was probably very grande, but its day was many years ago.

The heating like others have mentioned, had been removed, just two cut off metal pipes protruding from the wall where the radiator once was. You will notice this in many of the public buildings. It was replaced with an electric, oil filled heater. The one in our room had the control switches melted from a previous short circuit.

The room and hotel were generally pretty clean, although a pile of toenail clippings under the edge of the bed were a bit off putting.

Great bar, pool and table tennis room. The daily "western breakfast" does start to get monotonous, but on the bright side, you are eating!

To be honest the hotel was just one of the many experiences that made for a memorable trip, and the kind and helpful staff made up for any shortcomings. This is the story of our trip, a genuinely friendly welcome from everyone we met.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank dam1an
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
44 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2012

I stayed in this hotel for 3 nights and couldnt wait to get out. Firstly the hotel is cold... VERY cold! Rooms have portable radiators or electric heaters as the heating in the hotel does not work at all. The electricity is also a problem. I moved my heater and managed to short out the entire room. When they came to sort it out, it transpired that plugging the heater all the way in did not work. The plug had to be partially in. As it was, the wall socket was already badly wired. I wasnt game enough to touch it for fear of electrocution.

Hot Water? Well I had hot water in my sink but it was freezing cold in the bath tub and shower.

Breakfast is fairly awful. Dry toast, raddish, some sort of unidentifiable meat product, eggs (in fairness they were okay) and some sort of sweet sauce. Best tip would be to take a jar of jam and some coffeemate with you because at least that way you could have toast and coffee. For the first day, what they serve you is interesting but after that, the same inedible food becomes rather boring and tedious.... you'll be thankful for the jam! :)

The hotel has a coffee shop and they sell Pokka Ice Coffee by the tin. Is worth getting some of these for takeaway during the day.

There is a gift shop on the second floor and a pool/billiards room with table tennis. The swimming pool was empty when we were there but it was a little too cold to swim.

Lifts up to the higher floors take forever. It wasnt unusual for us to have to wait 5-10 minutes for a lift.

I cant compare this to other hotels in Pyongyang but my feeling is that there has to be somewhere better to stay!!

Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
7 Thank london_ozgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trinidad and Tobago
Level Contributor
1,141 reviews
242 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 635 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2012

Letes not forget, we are in NorthKorea, the country that let a good 1 - 2 mio of its people starve to death in the 90ies. Now its all boom, aas the commodity trade out of the country into China brings in hard currency for the uper echelkon of party members to spend to brand new German cars and other gadgets.

The Youthhotel is a dubb place, it hasa a huge reception area and everything is ice cold, wew recorded 6 degrees celcius. My room was heated by electricity, as the radiator was long gone and there were simply 2 holes in the wall!
We were asked to take breakfast separate from the locals, as to keep any co-mingling to zero.

IMPORTANT: Outside - there is a currency shop and a burger place.

Inside,. the Bar delivers cheap beer at 5 bottles for 3 euros.

An experience in its won

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank FOL-1003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2011

One of the most affordable places to stay in Pyongyang. Book head as it is often filled with school groups. Basic but clean hotel.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank juche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Youth Hotel

Property: Youth Hotel
Address: Chilgol-dong | Mangyongdae District, Pyongyang, North Korea
Location: North Korea > Pyongyang
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in Pyongyang
Number of rooms: 465

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