Monday, 19 October 2009

R Hotel, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul


I think Love Motels are evolving... They're meant to be seedy stop-outs for lovers, adulterers, or foreigners who like motels with lots of bells and whistles, but the R Hotel is something else entirely, yet the prices are the same.

My husband and I had planned to visit Seoul for Chuseok due to the 4 day holiday and mass closure of all businesses, especially in the rural areas such as Goseong where we live. I figured that Seoul wouldn't close, or while some things would, enough would stay open for us to eat, drink and be merry.

Once Greg and I had agreed on a trip to Seoul I set about finding the perfect place to stay on hotel365 and again found myself wading through fabulous motel after fabulous motel. There was one motel that really caught my eye though. I wanted us to stay in a district of Seoul which was in striking distance of Hongdae, Insadong, and Itaewon. Say what you like about Itaewon, but you can buy foreign food essentials there and get a good curry.

The R Hotel is situated in Yeongdeungpo which in itself is a thriving, neon lit place to visit at night full of clubs and bars and places to eat and perfectly located in order to reach the places I wanted to.

It was a bit of a journey to get to Yeongdeungpo on a late Thursday afternoon, just as the Chuseok holiday began, but Greg and I were up to the task. We took a packed coach from Goseong to Daegu and then the subway across Daegu to Dong Daegu Station before taking the KTX to Seoul Station and then the subway to Yeongdeungpo. It took about 6 hours from start to finish, which I think is pretty good going considering.

The R Motel made up for everything though. These were our first sights of the motel:
I can't tell you how excited we were! It looked better than we could have imagined! But we were still amazed when we went inside...
Above you can see the corridor leading to our room. We stayed 3 nights and changed rooms each night for the full experience. On our first night we stayed in the Rainbow Room...
Our bed in the Rainbow Room was enormous and had the softest most comfortable bedding with plump pillows that gave us a great nights sleep. The room had surround sound that hooked up to both the TV and the PCs and the PCs were also able to be viewed off the wide screen TV which faced our bed.
Every detail had been thought of and the whole room put together immaculately; there wasn't one flaw and you could see that much consideration had been given to creating the best use of space. In the bathroom and above the bed there were special lights which slowly changed colour to make our stay even more relaxing. The shower in the bathroom was powerful and required no fiddling to get the perfect temperature.
Our room had large windows which faced out to the railway track and the park beyond it but due to not double, but quadrupole glazing we could hear nothing of the trains that sped by late into the night and instead could immerse ourselves in the tranquility of our beautiful room.

When we checked in we got the usual little packet of free single serving toiletries, pictured below...

This was one of the more comprehensive toiletry sets we've received at a Love Motel and consisted of: 2 x toothbrushes, 2 x toothpaste, a razor, a sponge, bubble bath, shower cap, hair band, cotton wool pads, cotton buds, vaginal douche (!) and two condoms.
In the rooms themselves they also provided facial wash, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner (called rinse in Korea), moisturizer, hair spray and hair gel.

Before we went out for our first evening in Seoul we explored the rest of the hotel and this is what we found...
This is the dining room, where a complimentary breakfast is served each morning, redeemable with a little voucher they give you when you check in. Again, the decor and the standard and quality of the motel is outstanding, the whole of the R Hotel is like an art installation.

The next morning my husband went off to enquire about us changing rooms, not that our room wasn't lovely but we wanted to see what else this motel had to offer. The guy who worked at front desk advised us that checking in before 6pm would increase the price of our room considerably (this is because Love Motels rent their rooms by the hour as well as overnight, I'm sure you can understand why) but he reserved our chosen room and kept our bags in his office all day so that when we can back in the evening we could go to our new room. Perfect!

My wonderful husband chose me the perfect room for our second night and in a wonderfully selfless act as it was far from his ideal decor. Have a look...
Yes, it's the Hello! Kitty Room! The photos can't do it justice. Again, this room had large windows, this time facing out over the city affording us one of the greatest views...
And then as dusk fell...
I loved the Hello! Kitty room and it's fantastic views. This room had a double shower instead of a bath and only one PC but you still had surround sound and the ability to view the PC on the wide screen TV plus the complimentary soft drinks in the fridge, coffee sachets, green tea bags and hot and cold water.

For our final night at the R Hotel we upgraded to a VIP penthouse suite. While this room wasn't pink and glittery, it was larger and of course, higher up so the views were even better...
As you can see, there was a bath in the room so that you could lay back with the jacuzzi bubbling while you watched the wide screen TV. This really appealed to me and I spent a happy 45 minutes watching Gossip Girl from the comfort of the bath. The room also had a separate shower, 2 PCs, and all the complimentary toiletries and beverages which the other rooms provided. Again, the bed was a large and comfortable as it had been before and the whole room was put together perfectly and professionally.

In addition to the great rooms and the dining area already shown, the R Hotel had a roof garden which we were invited up to each night by the manager to enjoy a complimentary beer. My pictures don't do the roof garden justice but I'll show you anyway...
A roof garden is a great touch and it was wonderful to round off our evenings up there with a beer, looking out over the city.

The manager of the R Hotel went out of his way to make our stay as comfortable as possible and there was always someone on hand if we needed anything. The service at the R Hotel was exceptional and as personal as you'd get even if you payed ten times what we did and stayed at a 4 star hotel. My husband and I are already making plans to return to the R Hotel in a few months time.

Due to staying over the Chuseok period we managed to get discounted prices for the rooms and payed 60,000 each night, even for the VIP suite. According the the R Hotel's page on hotel 365
prices for standard rooms (such as the Rainbow Room or the Hello! Kitty Room) start at 50,000 Won with VIP rooms starting at 80,000.

If you would like to stay at R Hotel then there is a map here. The motel is easily found from Yeongdeungpo subway station; simply come out of the main exit, and turn right onto the main road. Continue for five minutes and turn right just before you reach the large flyover. You should be able to see a short street with a row of large Love Motels of the same size and dimensions, the R Hotel is the most fancy looking one with the rainbow neon lights all over it, as pictured at the top of this blog post. Should you arrive during the day the R Hotel will look like this...
You can contact the R Hotel on 02-2675-4800


  1. hi stumbled across your page while checking out R hotel. I just went to Seoul last week and stayed there for two days. The room was awesome and I will definitely go back again!

  2. thank you for the review... Hello Kitty Room... priceless!!!

  3. Is it clean with so many people using it know what?????

  4. HI.. nice review. I'm vacationing in Korea in November and am looking for hotels and found your blog. Love the way the rooms look. Is the hotel suitable for a family with 2 teenagers?

  5. Great site thank you so much for putting up.
    I've lived in Japan for 8 years and we are
    going in December. I checked the reservation
    online and it was 120,000 won. I'm wondering
    whether to go without a reservation and check
    the price on arrival. Is that safe?
    It's very cold in Seoul this time and I anticipated a reservation in advance. I have back up places hotel jelly, max hotel...etc
    and your blog mentions others around R that are ok. So I want to go Dec 10. Pay for 4 nites and
    switch every nite. Hopefully the price will be cheap and room is available.

  6. If you stay for multiple nights, do you have to check out your luggage in order to save on $? How much more expensive is it to leave your luggage in the room during the day?

  7. Hi Could I have your permission to use your photos of R Hotel in our publication for a report on love hotels in Asia? We will definitely credit your blog site in our report. Thank you.

  8. Oooh, I'm looking forward to staying here soon!

  9. Quickbooker provides all information related to Hotels in South Korea and also offers online hotel reservations facility for Hotels in Korea.

  10. Nice photo's and good info's as well, but i am wondering if one can stay for few days in love motels 9 yes, i call them love motels) or not?

  11. how long can you stay in this love motel for?

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