The Pyongyang Hotel
The Pyongyang Hotel is located, as you might expect, in central Pyongyang. But don’t be fooled by Google or Tripadvisor- it isn’t that hotel.
(That hotel being the massive triangular (and as yet unfinished) Ryugyong Hotel).
The Pyongyang Hotel is a far more modest affair.
It is owned and mostly frequented by Chongryong (ethnic Koreans who live in Japan but carry North Korean passports). But is also used by Korean guests, visiting Chinese businessmen, and- from time to time- other foreigners.
It doesn’t purport to be the best or most luxurious hotel in the city, but with its friendly staff, unique clientele and central location is a good value option for those visiting the capital Pyongyang.
The Pyongyang Hotel has a great location. It is situated right downtown with views of the Taedonggang river on one side and all the way down Yongggwang Street to Pyongyang Railway Station.
Pyongyang’s Grand Theatre is opposite, and the Central Bank of Korea just over the road.
You could drive by the Pyongyang Hotel and not realise this unremarkable 5-floor building is a hotel.
The top is adorned with propaganda singing the praises of the Supreme Leader, the lettering lit up at night in neon pink.
You can also see into the glass-windowed hotel bars of the Pyongyang Hotel, and the coffee shop on the top floor overlooking the river.
The fairly modest foyer of the Pyongyang Hotel has a friendly coffee bar, well-stocked shop (everything from daily necessities to local cosmetics and a small clothing and bric-a-brac section), plus several adjoining restaurants.
Standard rooms are basic but clean and comfortable (although the pillows are a little hard), and warm and cosy in winter.
Superior rooms on the 2nd floor of the Pyongyang Hotel have a second living area with desk and sofas.
Foreign rooms have access to Al Jazeera and other international TV channels.