This past July, when a North Korean soldier shot and killed a South Korean tourist who had wandered into a restricted zone, it kind of put a damper on the September opening of the Ananti, North Korea’s first modern luxury hotel. “It’s a lousy PR blow for a country that’s trying to recover from this kind of image,” admits Bruce Lazarus, director of marketing for Remote Lands, an American tour company that’s been offering a special package to the Stalinist country that includes four days at the hotel. Still, Lazarus reassures guests that the Ananti is fenced and patrolled and will be taking “extra-special precaution” after the incident. For $20,000 per couple (which also includes three days in Seoul, visas and a limo ride across the demilitarized zone), brave guests of the Ananti can enjoy spa treatments, unlimited rounds of golf and guarded—er, guided—treks up Mt. Kumgang.
North Korean Hotel Landscape: Courtesy of GHM Hotels