Having been travelling to North Korea for almost 11 years I have stayed in just about every Pyongyang hotel – and, indeed, most of the hotels in North Korea open to foreigners – but when it comes to weird and quirky nothing quite comes close to the Pothonggang Hotel! Here’s our guide to one of the weirder hotels in North Korea (that – spoiler alert – you are unlikely to stay in).
The Pothonggang Hotel is one of the more deluxe hotels of Pyongyang, with 161 rooms spread over 9 floors. It was built in 1973 as a joint-venture between Reverend Moon (of the Moonies) and the DPRK. Fun fact: there is even a Moonies church on the grounds.
Generally speaking we don’t have guests stay at the Pothonggang unless they specifically ask to!
As well as being a hotel, religious pilgrimage by Moonies is done here, as well as social events by embassies. A number of companies also use the hotel for office space, too.
Where is the Pothonggang Hotel?
The hotel is located along the Pothong River, one of the many that flow through Pyongyang close to the central district of Pyongyang, as well as near many of the embassies located in North Korea.
There’s a few decent restaurants near the hotel, such as the Chongyru Hot Pot restaurant that many a tour group eats at!
Facilities of the Pothonggang Hotel
Similar – but very different – to the other hotels of Pyongyang. The restaurants here are very good, and they have a high-end, slightly expensive bar that is very atypical for Pyongyang. One of the quirkiest facts about the hotel is that it is the only place in Pyongyang – and, indeed, North Korea – where one can watch CNN (if that’s your thing).
Rooms are of the best standard in Pyongyang: quite spacious and with their own balconies, and the aforementioned CNN! As with the other hotels, they have high-end/first-class suites that include a kitchen and office.
The Pothonggang Hotel exists for reasons that are not all about tourism. It is also one of the most expensive (and boring) of the hotels, so we rarely have groups stay there, but if you do an independent tour to North Korea we can certainly arrange a stay there!.