Seoul is one of the most impressive bucket list destinations. A very well-developed city with great culture, amazing food and interesting sights. In order to experience it fully a great place to stay is important. Therefore we were looking for a hotel with the combination of nice location, good budget price and cozy atmosphere.
After getting first impression from the experience of other bloggers, we felt like we found it – a Hawaiian charm filled Hotel Maui.
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Hotel Maui is a very basic but stylish budget hotel and a good choice for a 3 night stay.
The interior of the hotel consists of different small Hawaiian style elements, so the name of it „Hotel Maui” totally makes sense.
We are sensing that hotel must be recently opened of right after a renovation, as all areas of the hotel as well as furniture are new and fresh. That left us with a very positive first impression.
Another pleasant thing upon arrival in the hotel was the early check in that we had requested in advance. We arrived in Seoul early in the morning and were happy to have a smooth early checking in.
A good start to an eventful day. Here are some tips for the best things to do when you have one day in Seoul.
There are several very good areas of Seoul where to stay. We are very happy that we chose Dongdaemun, which is one of most conveniently located districts.
By the way, be sure to get a Korean SIM card for tourists, to have an easy acess to Internet and be able to navigate around the city without any problem.
Location of Hotel Maui is something that we absolutely loved about this hotel. The hotel is located about 15 min walk away from the famous Dongdaemun fashion and street food markets. There are many great restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores located very nearby, so you have anything you need at your fingertips.
Walking around the neighbourhood after dark felt absolutely safe which is very important in an unknown place. Another positive fact is that the hotel is located a short 5 min walk to a metro station Sinseoldong. Seoul has amazing metro coverage so you can get anywhere from the hotel very easily.
And if you are visiting Seoul at spring time, when the country is the most beautiful, here are some great ideas of best places for spring in Korea.
We got a room with a nice design and two comfortable beds. It was quite small but ok for a short stay and just sleeping over the night. We were lucky to have only two hand luggage size bags as there were no closet or clothing rack in the room or any extra space for bigger suitcases.
In addition to two beds there is a mirror and a small table in the room. Our room had a window but we had to use the electric light all the time as the window was facing a wall of another building and no daylight was coming in at all.
The room had a bathroom with shower, some basic toiletries and a hair dryer. We really liked shampoo bottles, which again were a nice design element.
The room was quite small, but possibly big enough as per Korean standards. Hotel Maui is not the cheapest one from the budget hotels, so just imagine what kind of shoe box you might get if you’d go for anything cheaper than this hotel.
STAFF & SERVICE
Unfortunately this is the part that made us a little bit disappointed. I don’t know if this is just a coincidence in our case or maybe things happen like this always, but here are two things that we wish the hotel would improve, to have a truly great service.
First – room cleaning.
As we checked in, our room was very clean and nice. It appeared so that the hotel doesn’thave a housekeeping service during the guests stay though. We stayed there for 3 nights and housekeeping never came.
We really didn’t need new sheets and towels every day but changing bins would have been nice. Or at least some pointers where guests can take out their trash during the stay if needed.
Other parts of the hotel, including the common breakfast room/ reception was nice and clean all the time.
Second – service & communication.
The reception staff didn’t speak much English, so they were pretty shy to talk to us. Sometimes so shy, that they even didn’t greet us when we entered reception. But as we are brave girls ourselves, we said Good Morning first, so no problem there! 🙂
In cases when we needed to sort any questions in reception, Google Translate and body language was the way to go. Maybe getting the information took longer that usual, but sooner or later all questions were solved.
“In general English langue barrier in Seoul is quite big but by using a „body language” you can manage to get things done good enough.”
There is a basic breakfast each morning in Hotel Maui. It consists of toasts and jam, choice of tea or coffee and a very interesting mix of rice, beans and dried plums. It’s fun to try something like that for breakfast, as it’s not your usual meal outside South East Asia. It tastes pretty good.
In the breakfast area there’s only one table with six seats. Those who like to come to the breakfast later might not have enough space at the table always or some of the breakfast ingredients might have run out.
We usually went out to one of many nearby grocery stores to get a big sushi roll, some yoghurt and went to have breakfast on the terrace of the hotel. Having breakfast outside in the fresh air tastes hundred times better anyway.
FACILITIES at HOTEL MAUI
Hotel Maui offers complimentary coffee, tea and drinking water 24/7. Also they have a microwave in the kitchen area where you can heat up any food.
We were very happy to be able to use the laundry room on the roof of the hotel free of charge. Another pleasant small detail, but very important when there’s a need for it, is the fact that they have thought of their guests for rainy days and have umbrellas available to take any time.
“Fits the price”
Overall evaluating our stay in Hotel Maui we can conclude that the offer fits the price. There are some details that we’d like to see improved, however from what we have seen in other budget hotels in Seoul, Hotel Maui is the best one from all aspects.
So if you are looking for a “cheap hotel” in Seoul terms for a few nights, don’t even doubt it and definitely stay at Hotel Maui!