Thursday, 29 April 2010

Luke and I are probably going to Busan this weekend to see a baseball game with a former student. We need some good hotel ideas!..

...I'll be around the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Sajik-dong, Dongnae-gu. It's on the Subway Line 3. But, if you can't find much, we're thinking about heading to Haeundae after the game to liquor it up. I'm sure there are tons in Haeundae. Any good motels (love motels are perfect) for under 70,000?

Ohhhh Busan! It's always Busan! Expensive Busan with the badly listed motels!

I had a look at a map, line 3 is miles out. Part of me wants to suggest these motels, as they're near Nampo-dong bus terminal which is where I expect you'll arrive. But if you're drinking then you'll most likely want to be around Haeundae. Getting a cab all that way would be annoying.

Firstly, I have two listings for motels in Haeundae already but they might not be excatly what you're after. Motel Sugar is here and my favourite, the Mu Motel is here. The Mu Motel's most basic of rooms really do look quite lovely and in fact, oh joy of joys! They are quoting their basic rooms (Ilban shil) as 60,000 Won at the weekends. If you can, hurry, hurry to the Mu!

The nicest motels in Haeundae get booked up super quick on the weekends, so I implore you to get there as early as you can, around 6pm would be perfect. Or even call ahead to confirm the price and request to reserve a room!

As a back-up, I've looked up a few more basic motels which you should be able to fall back on...

So first up there's

I haven't been there, but room 209 has a chaise lounge in in it, and a bath!

It's not super-glamorous or fabulous but part of me wants to trust the pictures, I mean anywhere with a chaise lounge has to be alright, surely?

Prices are quoted as a maximum of 60,000 Won per night at the weekend.

You can find this motel at 부산 해운대구 중동 947-1 or call them on .

Anyway, NEXT!


This motel is a bit odd looking in my opinion, it seems pretty old and brown. However, the VIP room is dirt cheap. I'm not sure how well that bodes but let's have a little look...

It is, if nothing else, quite large! And it has a circular bath!

You can find Universe at 부산 해운대구 중동 1026 or contact them on

Let me know how you guys faired, have a fantastic weekend in Busan!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Motel Sugar- Busan

This motel already has a good few existing reviews, but none as glorious and stylish as mine. So read on!

Motel Sugar has quite a reputation as one of the better motels in Haeundae, Busan. I'd like to say that I chose to stay there in a fit of investigative journalism, hungry to get the scoop on the best motel in town. Alas, that would be a lie. We plumped for Motel Sugar as it has twin rooms and we were travelling as a trio, Greg, Ellen and I. It transpires that the twin rooms in Motel Sugar are in fact the 'Royal Suites'. How fitting.

It was a Saturday night in Haeundae, the night that the skankiest rooms seem to become extortionate and rare and therefore we found ourselves handing over something like 140,000 Won for the pleasure of two beds for us to collapse into when we got back from the bars that night.

Before I start I want to say that I recommend Motel Sugar, it's a great place to stay and whatever anyone says, 140,000 Won isn't that much for a VIP room at the weekend.

HOWEVER! This blog is dedicated to the most unusual and coolest motels in Korea and this motel hasn't saved itself a special place in my heart. Looking at the lower grade rooms, it's not dissimilar to the already reviewed Mu Motel just down the road from it. In fact I prefer The Mu's VIP room and think that their standard rooms are roughly equal.

Take a look for yourself though...

So it's orange, but that's not a serious mark against Motel Sugar, how could they have known I hated orange, that it washed out my complexion, that it matched none of my clothes? They couldn't possibly... Or could they? No... surely not..! Anyway, it may be a seriously unflattering shade of orange but everything matched nicely, the frieze on the wall was cute and very 'Haeundae'. Half the motels in this part of town seem to be sharing rolls of wallpaper and graphic artists. I wonder if there's some seriously rich interior designer skulking around Haeundae, killing off the competition?

What I really loved about this motel though is the bathroom, it had stones! I don't know what it is about about this great Korean meme, maybe it's spread wider than just Korea, maybe in Japan, China, Thailand, they're all enjoying the mystical benefits of walking shoe-less on piles of smooth stones. I don't know. But this bathroom had a handy path of smooth, clean stones for the bather to nurture their feet with as they walked towards the bath. Of course for us lily-footed westerners, this just left us limping.

However! Stones aside, this was one swanky bathroom! When there are steps leading up to the bath, you know you've got a good thing going on! Huge bath, steam shower, flattering lighting, stones... This was definitely one of the better bathrooms I've seen.

This is where it's time for a confession though. I visited this motel on my birthday and I have to admit I was less than exacting in my investigation of the accommodation; no photos of the freebies, no fridge inventory, no recollection of the exact price of the room. I've let you all down I know.

This wouldn't be so bad, I've been slack before but always saved myself with a bit of a web search, sadly Motel Sugar has one of the most insane websites I've come across, it may take me days to figure out what all those numbers and symbols really mean.

Not to be a complete failure, I have handily embedded a helpful map for you all to peruse and enjoy at your leisure.

I wouldn't want to suggest the Motel Sugar were over compensating for their appalling website, but in the spirit of connectivity they are contactable by email on , telephone on 82 51 747 8620 and of course through their website too.

Design Hotel- Daegu

Sometimes you don't know how much you want something until you see it. It was like this with Daegu's Design Hotel. Until I knew it was possible to stay in a Chanel room I didn't dream of doing so, but once I was aware it existed, I was frantic to get to Daegu to spend the night there.

Going to Daegu isn't something that I do on whim, sadly. It's a few hours by bus and a part of me knew I should wait until I had reason to go. Eventually though, I had an appointment at Frigo Hair and the perfect excuse to stay at Design Hotel!

Firstly, there are two Design Hotels in Daegu, both about 10 minutes from each other. Their under the same ownership but this blog post is about Design Hotel 'Another Day'. Don't get confused, there isn't a Chanel room at the other one and I've never visited!

The Design Hotel is by no means in a convenient location, let me be frank with you. But sometimes, namely in situations where one wants to stay in a Chanel room, these kind of trifling details can be ignored. Located almost at the end of the subway line, in a strange and seemingly newly built district next to an industrial estate, the Design Hotel demands that you put in the legwork.
To reach the Design Hotel we took line 2 of the subway to Keimyung Dae (University) and then handed a taxi driver the hotel's address written in Hanguel. It was a swift and direct 5 minute journey to the hotel but it would easily have been a 20 minute walk into the dark unknown, quite possibly fraught with rows and recriminations. Best to spend the few thousand Won on a cab, in my opinion, especially if you're anything like my husband and I.

Our first view of the motel looked something like this, albeit a more full-lenth view with plenty of neon.

Just as I had dreamed, the receptionist handed me they key to the Chanel room and we rode the elevator to our floor. There were a few seconds of trepidation as I turned the key in the lock. What if the room wasn't like I imagined? What if it was dirty? What if it was uncomfortable?

No worries! It was Chanel wall to wall!

A tiny little bar! So incredibly cute and glamorous! Part of me wanted to rush out and buy a bottle of Champagne and an ice bucket. Alas, this
is Korea and it's best not to wish for too much!

Twin PCs were also provided. In my opinion two computers should be a given in any love motel but I still find good quality ones without, so the Design Hotel gets extra points for remembering this detail.

The bathroom wasn't splendid by any means, it wasn't dirty or old or in any way bad but it didn't provide the same level of opulence and glamor that the rest of the room did. Bravely I carried on though, without allowing this to colour my experience.

The fridge however, was one of the best stocked I've ever seen! Choco Pies! A couple of biscuits! This more than made up for the bathroom!

The freebie toiletries were thrillingly comprehensive too, most pleasing was the oft-forgotten bubble bath.

So that's about the size of the room. Fabulously decorated with vintage Chanel ads, sweet touches like the bar and the Chocco Pies, clean and well maintained. This motel is not the newest and some of the fixtures could do with being brought into line with more modern love motels, such as the bathroom. A single bath is quite a surprise when you stay in a theme motel but the very reasonable prices reflect these details. A full night in a deluxe room on the weekend cost us 70,000 Won, almost half the price of most premium motels.

Should you, for some unfathomable reason, not wish to stay in the Chanel room, rest assured that there is a wealth of options ranging from the Ferrari room

The somewhat creepy Cameron Diaz room

Or the similarly obsessive Brad Pitt room

Verily, there is something for everyone at the Design Hotel.

The Design Hotel's address is 대구 달서구 호림동 14-6, remember to take the subway to Keimyung Dae on line 2. If your taxi driver is seeming skeptical, hand him over this number and I'm sure the receptionist will give him directions.