When planning our upcoming trip to Seoul, we recently decided to stay at the Myeongdong Merlin Hotel near Chungmuro Station.
What We Were Looking For: Low Cost, Good Value, Suitable for 2 weeks. We really wanted a washer for laundry and a kitchenette so we could stay healthy and save money on meals.
Conclusion: ☹ (2 out of 5 stars)
We used to stay here back when it was the Chungmuro Hotel and Residence. While the prices were a little steep, it had several positives that had brought us back 3-4 times then:
- In-room washing machine 🧦 ,
- In-room kitchenette 🍳with simple kitchenware (plates, silverware, kettle, etc),
- Clean, well-kept up 🌼,
- Relatively friendly staff 👨🏻,
- Incheon airport bus 🚌 is 5-10 minutes walk by metro,
- Major subway exchange (Line 3 + Line 4) 🚆 is 5-10 minute walk,
- Nearby western restaurants (Burger King), coffee shops, and local Korean BBQ or chicken & beer shops 🍻
With these pros in mind, we decided to check it out again this trip since we were staying for 14 days. Boy were we disappointed! 👎🏻
It appears the hotel has undergone new management and the current operation is less than satisfactory.
Cost (💲): $50 / night (incl. taxes) — Pricey, on the higher end of economy hotels. We were relying on the washer and kitchenette to save costs elsewhere (silly us!).
Location(🧭): Look at that, there is a small sip of lemonade in this very ‘lemon-esque’ hotel. Easy to find, centrally located, close to a metro, and close to the airport bus.
Incheon Airport Bus (6015). Or you can take the metro Line 3 (orange) or Line 4 (light blue) to Chungmuro Station, Exit 2. Follow the maps below.
Key landmarks by hotel for guidance: See picture 3 below. These are from 2020 and may change. . . church is historical and probably won’t.
Staff Friendliness (👨🏻): Desk staff were indifferent at best. Often unavailable at night and would leave you waiting even at busy times. Didn’t ask them to clean the room, but did request clean towels. It was obviously a major imposition. Poor them.
Communication (📞): Desk and cleaning staff right now are mainly foreigners (non-Korean Asians) which makes conversation potentially difficult. English was somewhat okay.
Cleanliness (🛀🏻): 😨 Oh dear. I rather suspect Shrek would feel at home, us less so 🤷🏻♀️.
Elevator: The elevator itself was just . . . ugh. Trash and dirt on the floor, often wet as well. Mop buckets filled with bleach left throughout the day while they did cleaning (long after check-in started). Smell made us sick and was a serious clothing hazard. Dirty mops left, random supplies, etc.
Bedroom: Well suited to an abandoned motel, but left much desired for modern consumption. The bathroom sink handle hadn’t been washed and had food stuff on it. The bathroom toilet had crud on the outside. There was hair, dust everywhere – under the bed was really bad. The windows were filthy on the inside, the curtains were dirty.
Room Amenities (🛌🏻): Great disappointment!! 😭 Money was not well spent!
When we checked-in we were told the washing machines were ‘broken’, but they just aren’t paying for them right now. So no washing machines. 👚🩲
The kitchenette has water, but you aren’t allowed to eat in your room!!! They want you to eat in the lobby at these uncomfortable tables. Cooking in your room has a 200,000KRW fine, as does smoking. 🍽❌ 🚬❌
The Wifi is shared by everyone and open which made it VERY SLOW. Perhaps they are anti-social media and film types, but we personally wanted to scream 📶
Notice they don’t change the sheets unless you ask them to (dirty).
The bed’s 🛌🏻 manufacturer either has questionable night passions or is a history enthusiast of medieval torture techniques ⛓. Could go either way. . . 🤔 We finally went bought additional pillows out of pocket and just lived with the panda eyes 🐼. Back pain served effectively as an alternative alarm clock.
A. called the pillows ‘rubber bullets’ if that gives you some insight.
So no laundry, no food, just super basic amenities in a dirty room.
We somehow thought we were booking a hotel, but ended up booking an unexpected indoors camping trip. Except you couldn’t cook, but you did have a dirty shower. 🤷🏻♀️
All joking aside, this ‘hotel’ has shifted to a hostel level but remains priced way out of its range. It has a ‘convenience’ store in the lobby where they want you to eat, but it just has instant noodles.
Felt like everything was cheap — skimping on cleaning, skimping on staff, skimping on amenities, skimping on the kitchen gas costs, skimping on the water costs.
Don’t stay here – you can find a better hotel for less money.
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