I have always looked forward to travelling out of the country whenever it is possible and as of the moment, South Korea has been my most frequented travel destination for the past two years because I just love this country so much!
Whenever I travel, I make it a point to try new things so during my fourth visit to Seoul last November 2016, my friend and stayed at Hotel Maui which is one subway station away from Dongdaemun.
Of course, Myeongdong will still be my comfort zone in Seoul because this is where I have always stayed during my visits, but I am really glad I was able to try out a new place to stay this time.
During our travel dates for the last week of November 2016, they had a promotion and offered 45% discount for their grand opening from September until the end of December 2016.
For January to February 2017, they have a 5 + 1 promotion where you will have one night free stay if you made your reservation for five nights thru Agoda. Once your reservation had been made, you will have to email them the reservation number at firstname.lastname@example.org to avail of the free one night stay. Their staffs writes and speaks English really well so communicating with them is hassle-free.
FACILITIES AND SERVICES:
Hotel Maui has a Goodstay logo which means it is approved and endorsed by Korea Tourism Organization.
Reservation is very easy through email. I have mainly communicated with Ellen to make arrangements regarding our room reservation. She is very friendly and responded really fast to all of my questions.
Their reception is open from 8 a.m.until 11 p.m. only. Their main door will be usually locked and you will have to key in a security code in order to enter but they will disable it so you can still come if you will request for a late check-in. We found out that was the case when my friend and I arrived really late and thought the main door’s lock was not working. When we inquired about it the next morning, they told us they were expecting guests who will be arriving past midnight so they left the main door unlocked in order for those guests to self check-in.
Seoul is a very safe place and this is not the first time I encountered this situation upon checking in other hostels that I have tried. Also on my first trip to Seoul, I traveled solo and I usually came back to my hostel quite late. Most of the people I have met during my travels are friendly and helpful. CCTVs are everywhere and police does respond quickly. But of course no matter what I say and no matter where we are, we still need to be careful and be observant of our surroundings.
Hotel Maui has five floors but do not worry because they have an elevator which can fit four persons. It makes it more convenient especially if you have big luggage or travelling in a wheelchair or just tired from whole day of walking.
Since Koreans believe that 4 is an unlucky number, they do not have 4th floor. We were assigned a room on the 5th floor so when referring to the floor numbers in the elevator, we were instructed to press number 6.
Their pantry and reception area are both located on the first floor. There is free breakfast from 9 am to 10 am which consists of toast, butter, strawberry jam, eggs, cereals and coffee. I really appreciate that they also have water dispenser in each floor near the stairways.
On a warmer weather, I think it will be enjoyable to stay outside but since it was autumn-winter season during our stay, we were not able to do so.
For the first three nights of our travel dates, my friend and I stayed in a twin room on the 5th floor. On the fourth night onwards, we transferred to Myeongdong so we can stay close to my officemates whom I will be touring around in Seoul. But on my last night, I came back and stayed here again in their double room on the 3rd floor. For all the duration of my stays, their rooms had been consistent.
Their bathroom is quite spacious compared to others and it is separated from the bedroom. They provided toilet paper and small towel as well as basic toiletries such as soap, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. They do not have a bidet but the toilet bowl flushes well. Their hot and cold shower works fine. Extra towels and power plug and adapter were provided upon request.
All rooms in Hotel Maui are non-smoking. The twin and double bedroom which we have stayed in are both decorated in a minimalist fashion which I like. The room is neat and small but there is just ample space for us to open and arrange our luggage. We have our own mini refrigerator, LED TV, air conditioning unit and hair blower. The floor is heated as well which is just perfect for the cold weather. The bed was firm and comfortable to sleep in and the sheets and pillow cases were clean. Wifi connection is fast and steady.
Their heater is centralized so during our stay since the temperature dropped usually from 5 to -2 degrees, we requested that they adjust the temperature, which they gladly obliged.
Hotel Maui is in a less touristy area but still conveniently located near Dongmyo station Exit 3 (Blue Line 1), airport bus stop, flea market, park and various food establishments which are relatively affordable for as low as ₩5000 per meal. There are other types of accommodations in the area (love motels, hostels, guesthouse, etc.) as well as PC bang and numerous noraebang (karaoke bars) but it is still relatively quiet at night. Convenience stores such as GS25, 7-11 and WithMe are also within 3 to 5 minutes walk from the hotel.
On my last day, I made it a point to check out Dongmyo Park. It was just a small park but since I love nature and I’m interested in architectural details, I enjoyed my brief moment here taking pictures.
I will be providing two options which you can try in order to reach Hotel Maui. For both of these options, please also refer to the map provided by Hotel Maui.
The easiest way from Incheon International Airport to Hotel Maui is by taking airport limousine bus 6002 for ₩15,000. I would highly recommend this option especially if you are travelling with big and heavy luggage.
1) Upon alighting at Dongmyo bus stop, cross the street and look for Potters Coffee, KT Mobile and NHK Bank.
2) Turn right on the corner of NH Bank.
3) Once you turn right from NH Bank, look ahead and you will see PC Story. Walk towards that street until you reach GS25 Convenience store.
4) When you reach GS25 convenience store, turn right. Walk for about 1 minute and you will reach Hotel Maui.
From Incheon International Airport, you can take the subway and alight at Dongmyo Station and Exit 3.
1) From Dongmyo Station Exit 3, turn left and you will pass by the flea market. Cross the street and you will see the wall surrounding Dongmyo Park.
2) Walk straight ahead until you reach K-Hostel. On the side of K-Hostel, enter the narrow alley.
3) At the end of the narrow alley, you will find Java Motel and Benikea Hotel across each other. Cross the street towards Benikea Hotel and walk straight ahead.
4) Once you cross the street towards Benikea Hotel, just keep walking straight ahead until you see WithMe convenience store.
Do not walk towards WithMe convenience store, just turn left instead and look for the GoodStay logo on your left side and you will find Hotel Maui.
I would recommend Hotel Maui for you:
- If you want to stay in a quiet neighborhood which is accessible by both the airport bus and the subway which has a lot of affordable food establishments and just a couple of subway stops from major tourist spots.
- If you are looking for a mid range accommodation which provides basic amenities and is accessible even if you are travelling on a wheelchair (it is not located in an elevated place and there is a wheelchair ramp and an elevator).
- If you want to secure an accommodation through email and you have certain preferences that you want to request. Based on my experience, Ellen responded immediately to most of my emails. She is very friendly and very accommodating. I have tried other accommodations in other countries before and most of them did not respond to any of my emails.
- If you want to make new friends. They usually host events and parties so you will be able to meet other guests and interact with their friendly staffs. Check out their Facebook page for details. During our stay, my friend and I had breakfast together and made friends with one of their staff, Tammy. She is an exchange student from Taiwan and I still keep in close contact with her presently. She provided us information and suggested places which we can visit. We also both have one thing in common, we love Korea! It is so obvious, I know haha!
My friend and I were very fortunate to have been invited and accommodated by Hotel Maui for a couple of nights while we were in Seoul. My friend and I had a pleasant time during the days we stayed here. However, this does not affect my review of Hotel Maui. All opinions are my own.