Although I live in a big city, it’s always fun venturing to another big(ger) city! The new year was approaching and my two gal pals and I wanted to welcome 2017 by celebrating it in the capital of Korea!
Since I’m an expat living on a teacher’s budget, I opt for finding reasonable accommodation in a busy area. Luckily, I found the perfect place to lay my head: Hotel Maui Dongdaemun.
Since my train came into Seoul early in the morning, we arrived at the hotel before the usual check-in time. We were greeted with a friendly smile from the receptionist who I apologized to for being a few hours early. Fortunately our room was ready and we were able to get settled in. If your room isn’t ready before the usual 3pm check-in time and you want to explore the city, you can leave your luggage in the front area of the hotel.
The reception area is bright and welcoming with exposed brick (a decor fave of mine). There’s a common area where you can congregate to have breakfast or a cup of coffee, which is provided by the hotel for free. There’s also a microwave, water cooler and some snacks that you can use at your disposal.
Our triple room was located on the top floor (Note: in the elevator, there is no 4th floor – as the number 4 is considered bad luck – similar to the 13th floor superstition in North America. So we had to hit the 6th floor button to get to our 5th floor room).
Once you walk into the room, there’s a little front area where you can remove your shoes. The hotel provides comfy slippers that you can wear to keep your feet warm on the hardwood floors.
I really enjoyed the simplicity of the room. It felt like I was in someone’s home rather than a typical hotel suite. The walls are painted with a calm yellow hue and there are some cute paintings hanging from the wall.
I must applaud the perfect temperature throughout my entire stay. We couldn’t control the heat in the room, which sometimes worries me in case it’s too hot. Should you need some relief, you can open the door connecting the front foyer and the bedroom.
If you are staying at Hotel DDM during the summer, there is a remote controlled air conditioner ready to cool things down for ya.
The triple room consists of a double and a twin bed. The room is also complete with a television set, refrigerator, blow dryer and towels. Note that towels in Korea are usually hand sized, even ones you use for showering. If you want a larger sized towel to drape yourself in as you finish your daily routine, you’ll have to bring one from home.
Since the room is triple occupancy, it’s a good space for 2 to 3 people. Any more bodies (plus luggage) in there and it might feel a bit cramped. The beds are firm yet very comfortable. The pillows are plush which made for a very restful sleep.
One of my favourite things about the hotel room was the spacious bathroom! My bathroom in my apartment is tiny in comparison. I loved that there is enough room to separate the shower and the toilet. I hate when the entire toilet gets wet while you take a shower. Luckily this doesn’t happen in this spacious bathroom! The hotel provides shower shoes, shampoo, conditioner and body gel (in its own Hotel DDM-branded containers – what a nice added touch!).
Hotel DDM is technically in the Dongdaemun area, which is a wonderful neighbourhood full of markets, restaurants and shopping. In between the hotel and Dongmyo (the subway station closest to the hotel), there is a big outdoor market where locals are selling clothes, watches, shoes and random items. It almost looks like a garage sale!
I really enjoyed my time at Hotel DDM. It made for a great weekend getaway in Seoul! If you’re a budget traveler or an expat living on an ESL teacher’s salary, Hotel Maui DDM is the right accommodation for you.
14, Jong-ro 66ga-gil, Jongno-Gu, 03115 Seoul, South Korea
Be careful not to miss the small pathway to lead you to the hotel! Turn right after K Hostel.
This review was made in exchange for a two-night complementary stay at Hotel Maui DDM. As always, opinions are my own.