We stayed at Astar Hotel when we were in Jeju. There are 2 main areas in Jeju to stay at; Jeju City (nearer Jeju Airport), and Seogwipo (south of the island). We chose Jeju City as our base as we felt that it was more convenient as compared to Seogwipo.
Most of the luxury hotels (e.g. Shilla, Lotte, Hyatt Regency, etc) are found at Seogwipo though, thus if you are looking for a luxurious resort stay, it would be better to base at Seogwipo instead.
However, as we were travelling on a budget, Astar Hotel fit the bill nicely. It was close enough (10-15min walk) to the Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, and also not too far from the airport (20-30min by bus).
This was a major plus point as we did not hire a taxi nor a rental car for our stay, which meant that we would need to make full use of the bus network in Jeju to get around. It was a short 10min walk from the hotel to the bus terminal. If you’re coming from the airport, take bus #100 to the ‘Hanguk Hospital’ bus stop, which is one stop after the bus terminal. It’s slightly nearer to walk to the hotel from that bus stop.
Upon entering the hotel, you would find the hotel’s restaurant just next to the hotel lobby. The overall decor of the lobby gave off a distinctly business-like vibe, with the clean lines and generous use of black and cream-coloured colour tones.
There was a small business centre with 2 PCs and a printer located behind the front desk, and the 2 lifts were located to the right of the front desk. At certain times of the day, we had to wait quite a while for the lifts, as there were only 2 guest lifts, and the hotel was quite big.
Another plus point for Astar Hotel was that there was a small convenience store directly connected to the hotel lobby. Thus, it was very convenient to grab a bottle of water/snacks on the way in or out of the hotel.
We booked a double room, which cost us a total of S$302 (tax included) for 3 nights. A twin room would have cost us about S$50 more in total, and thus we decided to just go for the double room.
Upon entering the room, the living area was to our left, with the toilet on our right. It was difficult to watch TV from the living area though, as the TV was facing the bed rather than the sofas. I was most impressed by the toilet seat, which had a bidet!
Although the double-seater sofa and single-seater sofa would not win any awards for comfort, they were still pretty decent. The sofas made it very convenient to sit and wear/take-off our shoes, and the coffee table provided a good place to put down our stuff.
With a little furniture re-arrangement, you could even create enough space to open up big luggages.
The bed was very comfortable, and the pillow was large and provided good support for my neck as I slept. I really appreciated the fact that this hotel room was rather spacious, and even came with a carpeted living room area.
The following amenities were provided:
- Bath towels, bath robes & bathing lotions
- Electric kettle & coffee/tea sachets
- Mini fridge
- In-room safe
- 2x bottled water (replenished daily)
- In-room slippers
- Standing shower
- Toilet with bidet
The bathroom was compact, although not overly cramped. The best part about the bathroom was the toilet seat, which came with a bidet!
The shower gel and shampoo were of decent quality, and the water temperature and pressure of standing shower was easy to adjust. The glass door at the shower also helped to ensure that the floor was not flooded after every bath.
However, my main gripe was that disposable toothbrushes & toothpaste were not provided for hotel guests. I would have thought that it should have been rather basic for a supposed 4-5star hotel to provide these amenities to guests. If I were staying in a 2-star hotel or hostel, I would not have expected these amenities, but for a 4-5 star hotel..
I also thought that it was done in rather poor taste that the associate checking us in matter-of-factly informed us that there was no toothbrush and toothpaste in the room, and that we had to buy them from the convenience store at the lobby.
There was a restaurant in the hotel, although we did not patronise it during our stay, hence I apologise for not being able to review it. The restaurant did offer a buffet breakfast for hotel guests, which would cost about 15,000won per adult.
Fitness Centre and Sauna
There were gym and sauna facilities at Astar Hotel, which excited me, until I found out that guests had to pay in order to use the facilities. I thought it was rather hilarious that hotel guests had to pay for the use of the gym and sauna facilities. I would understand if the hotel wanted to charge non-guests to use the gym facilities (like at Novotel Ploenchit), but to charge hotel guests?
The gym did look quite nice though, and seemed well-equipped, although I did not use it since there was an extra charge.
I found Astar Hotel to be a rather decent hotel, situated in a good location near Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, and close to the Airport as well. The double room was comfortable and I enjoyed my stay there, other than for the 2 negative aspects of the lack of basic amenities (disposable toothbrush & toothpaste) as well as having to pay for the gym and sauna, which I would have expected a 4-5 star hotel to provide.
Ratings out of 10 (10 being the best, 0 being the worst)
Overall Rating: 8
Location: 8 (for a place with no subway network, being close to the main bus terminal was really useful)
Room: 7.5 (spacious room & bathroom, although minus 1 point for lack of basic amenities)
Facilities: 7.5 (1 restaurant, fitness centre & sauna, although minus 1 point for the hotel charging for use)
Staff: 8 (staff were helpful enough)
129 Seosa-ro, Jeju-do