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North Korea’s six-star hotel slammed by tourists on TripAdvisor

Dozens of outraged tourists have slammed North Korea’s only six-star hotel for its ‘prison-like’ conditions, online. The Ryanggang Hotel in Pyongyang – which is described by locals as a ‘first class’ establishment – has received 31 reviews on TripAdvisor1, with the majority of tourists giving it a big thumbs down. But for tourists seeking an alternative luxury accommodation, the capital’s other premier hotel, Kim Jong Un’s swanky 1,082ft-high Ryugyong Hotel, remains unopened, 29 years after the project began.

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North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

Underfire: A ‘six-star’ hotel in North Korea is making waves for its ‘prison-like’ conditions with dozens of guests slamming it online

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

The Ryanggang Hotel in Pyongyang – which is described by locals as a ‘first class’ establishment – has received 31 reviews on Trip Advisor

Simon Ryder from Wirral, Merseyside, who booked a room at Ryanggang Hotel in May 2012, wrote: ‘The beds are so hard I think the floor was more comfortable… I flushed the toilet and my feet got a wash.’

Another guest from Cape Town, South Africa, echoed Mr Ryder’s sentiments, writing: ‘Classic Soviet style hotel. Dismal, poorly lit, rock hard beds, miserable food, and intermittent hot water – and these are the good points!’

However, looking on the bright side, the traveller concluded that the hotel stay was all part of the ‘North Korean experience’. David Templeman from Estonia merely described the Ryanggang as ‘old and cold’. Talking about the electrics, he wrote: ‘The electric wiring is in a really poor state.

Half of power sockets are broken, and there’s bare (and possibly live) wires coming out of the floor and just end abruptly.’

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

One guest wasn’t impressed with the bathroom or bed at the Ryanggang Hotel in Pyongyang

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

A visitor said ‘western prisons are more welcoming’ than the luxury establishment

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

Good value for money? There is no word on how much rooms at the Ryanggang Hotel go for and there is no website for the business

He continued, with a touch of humour: ‘But on the plus side, there was a huge flat-screen TV with one channel: the North Korean propaganda channel, where the female narrator tries her best to sound upbeat while clips of Kim Jong Un and some fields and buildings show.’

There is no word on how much rooms at the Ryanggang Hotel go for and there is no website for the business. Many guests said they booked while being led around the city on a tour. Overall the Ryanggang emerges with a rating of 2.5 out of five on TripAdvisor, with the majority of reviewers marking it ‘average’ or ‘poor’.

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

Atmospheric: A photo of the dining area shows dozens of empty tables

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

A bad night’s sleep: Lots of reviews complained about the hard beds

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

Happy meal? Many guests weren’t impressed with the food offerings

In North Korea it appears that luxury hotels are lacking. For years, visitors have been anticipating the opening of Kim Jong Un’s swanky 1,082ft-high Ryugyong Hotel. However, the pyramid-like glass and steel building which has apparently cost more than $750millon ( 565million) to construct, remains unopened.

Work actually began in 1987 under the regime of Kim Jong-Un s grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, and was meant to open two years later as a calculated snub to neighbouring South Korea. As Seoul hosted the 1988 Olympics, North Korea would open what would then have been the world s tallest hotel.

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

One man said: ‘I flushed the toilet and my feet got a wash’

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

Many photos of the Ryanggang Hotel left by guests show it in an unflattering light

The structure of the mighty pyramid was quickly completed, but work came to a shuddering halt in 1992 after the collapse of Pyongyang s benefactor, the Soviet Union. It was an economic disaster for North Korea and provoked a devastating famine that killed up to 3.5million people.

So what was supposed to have been a towering symbol of the country s technical mastery instead became an idle landmark which has attracted international ridicule. An inspection by a European delegation in the Nineties concluded that the shell was irreparable and it should be torn down because of its poor-quality concrete and crooked elevator shafts.

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

For years, visitors have been anticipating the opening of Kim Jong Un’s swanky 1,082ft-high Ryugyong Hotel

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

Long-running project: However, the pyramid-like glass and steel building which has apparently cost more than $750million to construct, remains unopened

Esquire magazine described it as the worst building in the history of mankind . Others labelled it the Hotel of Doom. The name has stuck.

In 2008, after 16 years of inactivity and to the astonishment of Western observers, work suddenly resumed. Then in 2011 its concrete was strengthened and its exterior coated in 111million worth of glass, which dazzles when it catches the sun. Its fortunes were further revived by the deep-pocketed Egyptian Orascom Group which took over as developer in 2008 after reportedly signing a $400 million deal to establish a mobile phone network in North Korea.

Orascom were responsible for installing the glass panels along with a telecom antennae.

References

  1. ^ TripAdvisor (www.tripadvisor.co.uk)

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IHG® Celebrates World Water Week with update on Global Water Stewardship Programme

IHG® Celebrates World Water Week With Update On Global Water Stewardship Programme

31 August, 2016

IHG Celebrates World Water Week with update on Global Water Stewardship Programme

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG ), one of the world s leading hotel companies, is today celebrating World Water Week by providing detail on the progress made with its leading global water stewardship programme, as well as a number of other water-related initiatives. In partnership with global water-use experts, Water Footprint Network (WFN), IHG has mapped its global estate of more than 5,000 open properties and the majority of its pipeline hotels against risks related to both water quantity and water quality. Together, we have also identified the actions needed to address these risks. IHG first announced its global water stewardship programme last year1 and the work completed represents the hospitality industry s most comprehensive water risk assessment to date. It provides the foundation for IHG to develop tailored water stewardship action plans for each individual hotel based on considerations such as the maturity of the property, the type and level of risk and the business case for tackling it.

The targeted actions will ultimately enable hotels to manage and mitigate water risk, by measuring and monitoring water usage, improving their water performance and resilience against local water challenges and engaging staff, guests and external stakeholders in water stewardship.

Paul Snyder, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility Environmental Sustainability, IHG, commented: We have a presence in nearly 100 countries, so addressing water usage across our more than 5,000 hotels presents a significant environmental and economic opportunity for both IHG and the communities in which we operate. The comprehensive analysis we have developed with Water Footprint Network puts us in a strong position to empower our hotels to make a positive difference in their local communities through water stewardship.

Ruth Mathews, Executive Director, Water Footprint Network, commented: Working closely with IHG, we have laid the foundations to transform the way its hotels use water and impact local water resources. With this work completed, IHG is poised to take a leadership position in implementing water stewardship across its global portfolio. As we tackle the specific challenges its hotels face at a local level, we look forward to applying our deep insights and taking the next steps in IHG s journey towards water sustainability.

IHG Green Engage system

  • IHG s partnership with the Water Footprint Network builds on the progress IHG is already making to reduce water consumption per occupied room in water-stressed areas, one of the company s 2013-2017 Corporate Responsibility targets.2
  • IHG currently helps its hotels to manage freshwater usage through the online environmental sustainability tool, IHG Green Engage system.
  • The company s global estate of more than 5,000 hotels are enrolled and the tool will incorporate key elements of IHG s water stewardship programme.
  • The system gives hotels access to more than 200 specific actions or Green Solutions designed to reduce hotels environmental impact.
  • There are nearly 30 Green Solutions devoted solely to water.
  • These include the ability to track consumption on a monthly basis, as well as guidance on more specific water-saving solutions such as metering, rainwater harvesting, and the installation of devices such as low-flow taps and showerheads.
  • Such solutions have helped IHG drive a near 5% reduction in water use per occupied room in water-stressed areas to the end of 2015.

Water Conservation in California, US

  • Following severe drought in California, in 2014, IHG sent water conservation kits to all IHG-branded hotels based in the state.
  • As a result of water conservation efforts such as this, water use per occupied room decreased by 10% in IHG s California hotels between 2014 and 2015, with total water consumption reduced by 5%.
  • Six IHG hotels in the state have also gone on to complete a bathroom refresh, and collectively are expected to save 2.4m gallons of water annually.
  • More recently we sent out kits to a further 50 further properties in the Americas.

Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (HWMI)

  • IHG has also played a leading role in the development of the HWMI as a member of the International Tourism Partnership (ITP).
  • Announced this week, the HWMI provides a standard methodology for the hotel industry to measure and report on water consumption in a consistent manner.

-ENDS-

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NOTES TO EDITORS

IHG s 2015 Responsible Business Report is available online at www.ihgplc.com/responsiblebusiness3

ABOUT IHG PLC

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)4 LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs) is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts5, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants6, HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts7, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts8, Hotel Indigo 9, EVEN Hotels10, Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts11, Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Express 12, Staybridge Suites 13 and Candlewood Suites 14. IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 5,000 hotels and nearly 750,000 guest rooms in almost 100 countries, with more than 1,400 hotels in its development pipeline.

IHG also manages IHG Rewards Club15, the world s first and largest hotel loyalty programme, with more than 96 million members worldwide.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC16 is the Group s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales. More than 350,000 people work across IHG s hotels and corporate offices globally. Visit www.ihg.com17 for hotel information and reservations and www.ihgrewardsclub.com18 for more on IHG Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit: www.ihg.com/media19 and follow us on social media at: www.twitter.com/ihg20, www.facebook.com/ihg21 and www.youtube.com/ihgplc22.

ABOUT WATER FOOTPRINT NETWORK

Water Footprint Network provides science-based, practical solutions and strategic insights that empower companies, governments, small-scale producers and individuals to transform the way we use and share fresh water within earth s limits. As the global leader in Water Footprint Assessment, we find solutions using a common methodology that interlinks water related issues and leads to strategic action for water stewardship, resource efficiency, fair allocation and good governance.

Our data, tools and Global Water Footprint Standard bridge sectors and viewpoints, illuminate the path towards integrated water resource management and accelerate progress towards sustainable development. For more information, visit www.waterfootprint.org23. Follow us on social media:

References

  1. ^ its global water stewardship programme last year (www.ihgplc.com)
  2. ^ 2013-2017 Corporate Responsibility targets. (www.ihgplc.com)
  3. ^ www.ihgplc.com/responsiblebusiness (www.ihgplc.com)
  4. ^ IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) (www.ihgplc.com)
  5. ^ InterContinental Hotels & Resorts (www.intercontinental.com)
  6. ^ Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants (www.kimptonhotels.com)
  7. ^ HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts (cn.ihg.com)
  8. ^ Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts (www.ihg.com)
  9. ^ Hotel Indigo (www.ihg.com)
  10. ^ EVEN Hotels (www.ihg.com)
  11. ^ Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts (www.ihg.com)
  12. ^ Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Express (www.ihg.com)
  13. ^ Staybridge Suites (www.ihg.com)
  14. ^ Candlewood Suites (www.ihg.com)
  15. ^ IHG Rewards Club (www.ihg.com)
  16. ^ InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (www.ihgplc.com)
  17. ^ www.ihg.com (www.ihg.com)
  18. ^ www.ihgrewardsclub.com (www.ihg.com)
  19. ^ www.ihg.com/media (www.ihgplc.com)
  20. ^ www.twitter.com/ihg (www.twitter.com)
  21. ^ www.facebook.com/ihg (www.facebook.com)
  22. ^ www.youtube.com/ihgplc (www.youtube.com)
  23. ^ www.waterfootprint.org (www.waterfootprint.org)
  24. ^

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