By Sarah Davies, July 17th 2013.
Earlier this month I visited the new hotels in Wonsan, on the east coast of DPRK. The Kalma and Saenal hotels are situated in a resort with its own white sands private beach where tourists can rent inflatable boats, body-boards or play a game of beach volleyball. Opening in July, the hotels offer four standards of rooms from deluxe class to third class rooms. The deluxe and first class rooms have their own private sauna and jacuzzis and are complete with the works of Kim Il Sung in a variety of languages.
The Kalma Hotel (Block Number 1) boasts 2 first class rooms and 34 second class rooms as well as a sauna, 3 restaurants, a banquet hall, meeting room, karaoke and a small bar on the first floor. I was told there are also plans for a billiard room, chess hall, ping pong hall and a second bar.
The Kalma Hotel (Block Number 2) has 58 rooms of 4 different standards – Deluxe, First, Second and Third Class. All except 3rd class are equipped with the complete works of Kim Il Sung in pretty much every language you could hope for and amazing china ornaments. The deluxe rooms look very similar to the first class rooms in Block 1 but these have their own mini-sauna attached to the shower and you can’t get much more exclusive than that. If you can’t quite stretch to deluxe, the first class rooms in block 2 nix the sauna and offer a jacuzzi instead. Apart from the opulent rooms in the upper classes this hotel also features a huge banquet hall with a stage and a piano, as well as a billiard hall, ping pong room and 2 dining rooms.
Tourists have access to this beautiful beach at anytime but have to pay a fee. The bathing resort has 7 large shower blocks with saunas and lockers and there are facilities available for tourists to hire inflatable boats and body boards – there’s also a volleyball court.
And finally, below a pic from the Saenal Hotel which we’re told opens mid-July and features a large billiard room with bar and a ping pong room. It also has three bigger restaurants, a meeting room and a banquet hall. We’re awaiting specific prices for these hotels but hope to be able to offer them on future tours – watch this space!