ibis myeong dong - simply splendid
this immaculate, simply splendid hotel impressed us. the rooms have everything you need EXCEPT shampoo and conditioner, bring your own or purchase in vending machine - and it has a few neat surprises as well (hints: in your personal bathroom AND in the free traditional baths on the top floor AND in the dispenser jug bottled water next to the ice machine on every floor). the location is terrific - right across the street from the lotte department store and shopping center, and a three-minute walk from the airport to downtown bus stop. views are great day or night - downtown on one side, seoul tower on the other, interesting day or night. the restaurant food is ... i hesitate to use these words, but they're true ... fantastic, reasonable and plentiful. we ate liesurely and our fill at the breakfast buffet (all meals feature american, continental and korean staples and delicacies, and gorgeous fruit and cheeses). there are lots of places to eat in the immediate vicinity - lotte has a huge food court and fresh market, and all the familiar chains (including starbucks) are in the area. personally, i would eat every meal in the hotel partially because of the value but particularly because of the variety and fun. if you are new to korean food as we are, it's nice that everything is labeled ,and the buffet staff will explain anything you're curious about. the hotel staff is lovely, very accomodating and responsive and respectful. finally, i think the price can't be beat ... at the time we booked we paid about $100u.s. per ight. food is extra ... about $15 for breakfast, pp and i don't remember the rest. really, i think this is a steal for a city center upscale albeit it smallish hotel. i can't imagine anyone being disappointed in this hotel ... there is even a small, sparkling cheap laudromat with a tv, air conditioning and a bottled water cooler! we threw our laundry in to wash and dry as we went upstairs to 'the baths' (separate by gender) and the gym - small but modern and immaculate ... even laundry night was fun and productive at this place! even if all you have is a day in seoul, i'd root for this place rather than an airport hotel - the transfer is SO easy with k.a.l. 'limosine' (nice bus) service and so much cheaper than a taxi, and you'll be immersed in the culture in town in seoul rather than surrounded by the concrete and macadem of airport hotel after airport hotel. it's a 40-minute ride that goes quickly barring any traffic nightmares. have fun!
Ibis complete my trip to Seoul
I made reservation through hotels.com. from the incheon airport, i took a bus limousine to ibis myeong dong, where i have to get off at Lotte hotel. you can ask from the information counter upon arrival which exit gate should you go for the bus. once you get off the bus, walk straight as the same direction the bus go then you'll have to turn right when you see a traffic light. just look up straight, you'll see ibis hotel sign across the street. however you can't cross the road as there is no zebra crossing, but you need to use the underground subway path.
when u arrive at the hotel, go straight to level 19 where the reception is located. my room is at 16th floor, the room is small but comfortable. it was very cold in seoul by the time i reach there (considering where i came from), the heater control is centralized, however they can adjust the temperature accordingly, they even provide me extra heater. the hotel provide maps in hotel room or you can even find it at the entrance of at the reception (behind the business centre; place where u can use internet for free), also tour guide brochure if u dun feel like travelling alone, and other brochures too.
what i like the most about this hotel is the location, it is near to subway , shopping area (myeong-dong, nam dae mun market, shopping malls) restaurants and a lot of coffee shops too from starbuck to coffee bean or local shop. if you are a muslim, you can take subway to itaewon (you have to transfer to other line), there you can find a lot of halal foods.. with subway just down the road, you can go almost everywhere.. if you have question just aboutt anything, the information counter or receptionist will be able to help. at 1st floor, the hotel provide a safe luggage room.
i took the same bus limousine to go to incheon airport from the hotel. you can choose to get on the bus in front of lotte hotel or at KAL building. free shuttle bus is provided from the hotel. Contact the receptionist to make reservation.
most korean dont speak english.. so gud luck if u happen to visit seoul
Best hotel for the bucks
Prior to booking this hotel, I read 95% of the reviews on TripAdvisor. One thing my husband and I noted was that everyone raved about the location of the hotel. I must agree.
As I considered the location of our hotel to be most important, let me explain that first. Our trip was just over a week long. We wanted/needed to be in a central location where transportation is easily accessible to various places in Seoul. We could not have picked a better hotel for the location for the price we were paying for the room. By booking the hotel directly from the Ibis website, we were able to get an online special. Weekend stays cost a little more (approx. $33 USD per night), but it was still a great deal.
Upon arrival at Inchon Int'l airport, we took the KAL bus to the city as recommended by another reviewer. The bus ride was very comfortable and it was not full, there were only 3 passengers (even on our return ride). We got off at the Lotte hotel and walked in the same direction as the bus was going (this was a great advise because I wouldn’t have known where to go to find Ibis Myeong Dong). At the first signal light, make a right turn and walk about 3-5 minutes. The hotel is on the other side. You cross the street by going downstairs to an underground mall (entrance to the stairs is right in front of Avenuel mall/department store). You’ll find that many streets in Seoul are crossed by going underground. The underground, you ask? It may not sound too welcoming, but it’s literally filled with stores and vendors, as if shopping above ground is not enough.
Speaking of shopping, the hotel is located in Myeong Dong. This area is bustling with people, stores of all kinds and restaurants.
The hotel is located across the street from several large department stores (2 of them are very upscale – go to the Lotte Department store and check out their “Food” floor), is in walking distance to Nam Dae Moon (South Gate) for more shopping and within 5 minute walk to the subway station. As for sightseeing locations, most are easily accessible from the hotel, some within walking distance (In Sa Dong, for example, is highly recommended).
As for the amenities of the hotel, I could not say either way. The reason being, we were so busy with the shopping and sightseeing that by the time we returned to the hotel, we were too exhausted to make use of any amenities the hotel offered like the workout room as well as a spa/public bath on the 19th floor of the hotel. The hotel also has a laundry room for those who needs it. Suffice to say, the hotel had everything you needed for a nice, comfortable stay, we just did not have the opportunity to use it. The staff was very nice and efficient. I had no trouble with getting directions or recommendations for food and/or sightseeing. The hotel’s restaurant serves a buffet breakfast with western and Korean food. There was enough variety to satisfy everyone with different tastes. I would recommend having at least one breakfast at the hotel restaurant, even if for the view from the 19th floor overlooking the city.
All in all, I would highly recommend the hotel for a stay in Seoul.
Excellent Hotel and Experience
I started planning a family vacation to Seoul almost a year ago. I began by searching the typical hotels that are well known in the Myeong-Dong area (Lotte, Westin Chosun, Holiday Inn and the President Hotel where I have previously stayed) and a new option popped up...Ibis Hotel Myeong Dong. I was a bit leery at first, but was sold due to the high ratings and comments that the previous Trip Advisor members posted. The emails I sent to the hotel asking about how to navigate my walk from the Lotte to the hotel and really anything else were always promptly replied to and in a very courteous manner.
Starting out, if you get off the KAL Limousine Bus (City Hall Line) at the Lotte Hotel, walk the direction that the bus faces. At the corner you will see the subway entrance. You will need to enter and go down the flight of stairs and follow the signs to exit #6 to come out on the other side of the street. You want to head towards the Seoul Electric Office (or something like that), the sign will list it. Like Japan, many busy streets do not have a cross walk, you need to use the underground passes instead. Once you've made it up the stairs (it feels like forever when you're hauling luggage) walk straight for about two blocks and you will see the Ibis sign on your left. Registration is on the 19th floor, you will not need a key card for the 19th, but you will for all other hotel floors.
By the way, you can call the Ibis and have them pick you up at the Lotte hotel. You should call them when you arrive at the Lotte. This might make more sense if you are traveling with lots of luggage or folks that can't make it up and down lots of stairs.
The rooms were a little bigger than other hotels I've stayed at in Asia, as a whole the rooms are small. You do get pretty great amenities - in room safe, fridge, hot pot with tea and coffee, soap/shampoo, and purified water stations next to the vending machines on each floor. I used the coin-op laundry machines located of the 10th floor. The machines were 1000 won per wash or dry. This room is also where you can find the iorning board and iorn (no, there isn't one in your room).
Other people have commented on how warm the rooms were, they are right especially if you tend to be on the warm side. You can't make the room cooler, all you can do is to turn the heater off. The hotels in Asia are always warm during the winter months.
If you want some fun shopping, the Myeong Dong shopping area is less than a minute away. Exit the hotel and turn left, and turn left again at the first corner. If you want to have cheap and great eye glasses made - go to the underground shopping center entrance right in front of the hotel and choose a store. Never buy from the first store - they are always the most expensive. If you go further in they tend tp be less expensive. I came back with three glasses for $40 each...all done within two hours. My favorite shop is World Optical (turn right at the bottom of the stairs, left at the first corner, down on the second block on your left). You don't even need a prescription...he will do it for you right there!
I booked through the hotel website. I intentionally chose rates that included the breakfast. The food was fine, traditional korean, baked goods, fruit, soup, and so much more. It was nice to be able to choose what you wanted instead of having to hunt for something. I know that there is a Starbucks less than a block away, but the buffet food was pretty good.
The Business Center was an awesome perk. While there is only one English computer, usually it was open. If you want to print something out, it's 100 won per piece of paper (10 cents). Not a bad deal.
When you are leaving back to Incheon, the hotel also has a shuttle that will drop you off at another KAL Limousine Bus stop, pretty convenient.
I would definitely stay at this Ibis hotel again. The only downfall was that since this hotel is pretty new, most of the taxi drivers don't know where it is. Make sure you carry a Korean hotel card with the map (in the brochure rack next to the business center) and be prepared to be dropped off across the street or someplace else. The rooms don't have a clock in the room. The only clock is on the telephone display. If you want to see what time it is int he dark (without turning on the light) you should consider bringing your own.
Such a great hotel and location...why would anyone NOT want to stay there? The Lotte Hotel is much more well known and 2-3 time more expensive for rooms that are in poorer condition than the Ibis - why stay there? Stay at the Ibis Myeong-Dong!
ibis myeong dong or sofitel?
Hi. We'll be in Seoul for two nights and would like to hear opinions on whether we should stay at the ibis myeong-dong or the sofitel hotel. Which is more convenient? Which is more comfortable?
Also, has anyone stayed in Hotel Queen near Incheon Airport? Is it a good place to stay?