In the early days, reviews were kinda cool as you got honest feedback of those who had already visited some place or tried a product. In this day and age, understanding how important reviews have become, most are really just supportive friends and family, businesses openly soliciting to share happy experiences or internet trolls. I must admit I have threatened a few hotels with bad reviews to take off the extra charges for WiFi, so yes, they matter.
Take for example infamous 105-story Ryugyong Hotel in PyongYang. Structurally topped out in 1992 the structure stood as a tryscraper until 2008 when an Egyptian company was invited to finish the structure, or at least make it look like that. In 2012, a China-based travel agency specializing in North Korean tours was invited in but were met with a lot of unfinished concrete. The latest news is that a staged opening is in the works, but no one knows the details.
Tripadvisor has a page showing an image of the hotel including six reviews, but these are about some other hotel. However, Google Maps has 165 reviews and boy do they make me want to go. Here are some of the best reviews:
“I just came back from there and it was fun. I had a chance to do base jumping flawlessly as my room doesn’t have any windows.”
“I took my family here for the vacation of a lifetime. Well, their lifetime. Before we got there I made sure to put Pro South Korea pamphlets in their luggage that we were given in Seoul so they could show the North how ridiculous the South is.”
“Beautiful Tower! I loved my stay! The leaky pipes on the ceiling made it feel like a rainy day, awesome! Then I went downstairs for food, they didn’t have any! GREAT!”
“So great you’ll never “want to” leave And by this I mean you’ll never leave ps pleas help me i am still locked here”
“The hotel was a mixed bag for me. The furnishings and overall decor were somewhat outdated, but clean. The rooms were reasonably priced, and the food wasn’t bad. My only complaint is that I had to do 15 years hard labor at a prison camp for being there.”
“I am forced to review this, maybe after you see this review I am already dead.”
“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the best country in the entire world! ps.My coordinates are 39.0194° N, 125.7381° E”
In all it’s got a 3.5 star rating. More on Google Maps!
photo credit: Roman Harak at Flickrshare this!