There were a large variety of hotels to choose from in Seoul, but we decided on IBC hotel, as it was located in close proximity (5-10min walk) to Sinseol-dong station, with a decent variety of restaurants, cafes, and a convenience store (CU) along the way. Sinseol-dong was also a few subway stops away from Dongdaemun, and close enough to Myeongdong.
The lobby of IBC hotel was decently-sized, and was also directly connected to a cafe (A Twosome Place). There were a few leather sofas scattered around in front of the front desk, but were rarely occupied whenever we passed by the hotel lobby.
We managed to check in early on our arrival, as they had available rooms, which was good as it meant that we were able to freshen up a bit before heading out.
There was also a convenience store connected to the hotel directly, through a passageway behind the main lifts. We did not buy from that store though, as the ones we passed by on the way back from the subway station were more convenient.
Our 4 night stay at IBC Hotel in a twin room set us back by S$368 (tax-included).
The bathroom was located on the right upon entering the twin room, with a small walkway leading straight to the bedroom.There was a small mini-bar corner just between the bedroom and the bathroom. The room was noticeably smaller than our hotels in Jeju and Busan, and there was no living area at all. At least there were a number of power points scattered throughout the room, with one at the bedside table.
I made the comparison because we paid about S$90-S$100 per night for the hotels in Busan, Jeju, and Seoul, hence it was a reasonable comparison based on price. Although I do acknowledge as well that Seoul being a big city, the rooms here would definitely cost more.
The bed was comfortable to lie on, and the pillow, while not firm enough for my liking, was at least not flimsy and too soft.
One slight annoyance that I experienced was that there was very little control over the lights in the room; a single light switch controlled all the main lights, meaning that if one party wanted to sleep earlier, the room would more or less be dark, save for the bedside light.
The following amenities were provided:
- Bath towels, bath robes & bathing lotions
- Electric kettle & coffee/tea sachets
- Disposable toothbrush & toothpaste
- Mini fridge
- In-room safe
- 2x bottled water (replenished daily)
- In-room slippers
- Standing shower
- Toilet with bidet
Bottled water was provided daily, as well as tea and coffee bags. I liked it as well that the mini-bar was not stocked with liquor and other snacks that hotels like to try to upsell to guests. It was great that we had ample space to chill our drinks.
The bathroom was rather cramped, although the toilet came with a bidet seat. At least the standing shower was sufficiently large enough to be able to bathe comfortably, and there was a glass door to separate it from the main bathroom area.
That meant that the bathroom would not be flooded after a shower, and it was not too cold when drying off inside the shower.
There was a fitness centre located on the 3rd level, although I would have called it a fitness corner instead, given its small size and limited amenities.
There were 2 treadmills, 2 stationary bikes, and a rack of free weights. Unfortunately, there was no fitness workbench, and the aircon was never switched on. Luckily the windows could be opened, letting some fresh air in, or it would have been very stuffy while working out. There was also no water dispenser, nor were any towels provided. I would say that it was a very very basic gym, nothing more.
There was a small laundry room next to the gym, coupled with coin changing machines. Great for those who wish to do laundry for fresh clothes while traveling.
The breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant cost 10,000won/adult, but suffice to say, I would have felt rather cheated if I had paid for it. We only tried it as we were given a pair of complimentary breakfast coupons.
The entire setup was rather disappointing, and although normally you would expect a restaurant to be crowded at around 9am in the morning, we were the only guests (yes, only us) at 9am. It was rather sad that the staff had to heat up the food because whatever was there had already gone cold.
There was very little food in terms of variety as well, and there was also no egg station, making it easily the worst breakfast buffet that I had ever had at a hotel restaurant. Yes, those 3 pictures (and a small salad station) made up the entire buffet line up.
My stay at IBC Hotel was quite comfortable, and in terms of location, I liked being close to Dongdaemun and Myeongdong, as there were a lot of shopping and food options available, and I could stay out late without worrying about having to catch the last train back.
Sinseoldong station is also very near to Cheongnyangni station, which is where you could catch the train to Gapyeong for Nami Island, Petite France, and Morning Calm Arboretum.
I would not mind staying here the next time I visit Seoul, but I would also keep my eyes open for other hotels!
P.S. I left out the buffet breakfast from my overall rating of the hotel, as it would have skewed it very badly. Plus, I am a firm believer of going out to enjoy the city’s breakfast options, and not be confined to buffet breakfasts anyway.
Ratings out of 10 (10 being the best, 0 being the worst)
Overall Rating: 7.5
Location: 8 (5min walk from Sinseoldong Station, and a few stops away from Dongdaemun and Myeongdong)
Room: 7 (comfortable room & bathroom)
Facilities: 7 (1 restaurant & fitness centre , although minus 1 point for the lame gym)
Staff: 7 (staff were helpful enough)
Breakfast: 4 (if we were not given complimentary coupons, we would definitely not have paid for it)
241 Nangye-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Check out the hotel website here.