During my recent trip to Korea, I stayed at Hotel SKYPARK Central Myeongdong. It’s one of many hotels under the SKYPARK chain, with 4 branches in Myeongdong alone (!!!) They also have branches in Dongdaemun and Jeju. Of course, Myeongdong was a natural choice (you’ll see why later) and Central Myeongdong was…well, central.
We booked online directly via the hotel’s website. You can choose to sign up as a member for free before booking. I can’t remember if they give you any discounts immediately (I don’t see it on my receipt), but apparently you can collect mileage, much like how you collect airline mileage. We booked relatively early and paid 880,000 won for 3 people, 6 nights in mid-December. If you do some quick math, that’s about 50 000 won per person per night, which translates to about SGD 60. It’s absolutely worth the price, considering that it included limousine pickup from Incheon Airport.
Room interior (Image credits)
Before you start thinking that the hotel doesn’t look luxurious, it’s actually a 3-star hotel (although I think the 3 stars don’t serve justice to how great the facilities and service here have been). It’s very popular with Asian tourists in particular (many Mainland Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese), with the occasional Singaporeans. The staff are very polite, helpful, well-informed, and multi-lingual. If I’m not mistaken, many of them are able to speak English, Chinese and Japanese (these are the ones I’ve heard the counter staff speak, and they are usually the same people).
On our floor, there was a water dispenser so you can get drinkable water from there. They also had a computer that you can use for free. The rooms were generally very well-kept everyday, and I think the room size was just nice as well. The mattresses were really comfortable – I usually have trouble falling asleep in hotel rooms, but I actually had a good sleep every night during this trip.
Sadly, buffet breakfast is not included. You have to pay a fee (don’t remember exact price) in order to enjoy it. We tried it on one of the mornings. It was okay – not fantastic, but not terrible either. The range of food available was also not too bad, and should cater to most palates.
The best part of this hotel, however, is its proximity to good food and shopping. Every day, we found ourselves shopping and buying more food to eat on the way back from the subway station because why not? Imagine being tempted by all the smells of warm, delicious street food while you shiver all the way back to the hotel ~ It is also located relatively near the subway station exits, which was a godsend. You might not really appreciate the proximity in summer, but if you ever get to try this out in winter, you will realize that even 150m can be the hardest distance to walk in Korea’s sub-zero temperatures.
In addition, the hotel provides free shuttle bus services to various locations around Seoul. There was one day where we went to Lotte Mart (Seoul Station) to buy bags of food, and we took a shuttle bus back to save the trouble of lugging those bags on the subway. They have also shuttle buses to Shinsegae Department Store (Main), Namdaemun and Dongdaemun – all around the Myeongdong area, but not the easiest to get to.
I don’t always have strong positive feelings about travel accommodations, but Hotel SKYPARK is an exception. I would definitely recommend staying here for its value for money. Myeongdong I is not a bad location as well (I remember it being sandwiched in a row of shops – was it next to the Line Friends store?), just that the food options may be limited there. Myeongdong II is actually located right next to Central, but is slightly closer to the Euljiro 1-ga station than the Myeongdong one. I didn’t see Myeongdong III at all, so I can’t say much about that.
Next time you’re looking to book a hotel in Seoul, remember to consider this! 🙂
Address: 16 Myeongdong 9-gil, Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea