It's actually incredibly hard to resist writing about Seoul without making some pun on the name and trotting out an overused cliche like 'Seoul Train' or 'Seoul Sister' but I've given myself a good talking to and I'm not going to make that mistake.
It's also tricky for me to start without using my usual disclaimer about how it's difficult to find something cheap, clean and classy on a weekend. I don't want to send anyone to a hell-hole such as the mosquito ridden, dirty, mildew colonized, broken bedded nightmare that I stayed at in Jongro a few weeks ago but neither do I wish to only suggest rooms which cost obscene amounts.
Someone asked me to recommend a cheap but good quality room with a jacuzzi bath in Itaewon last month and I had to eventually concede that such a motel doesn't actually exist. Finding something in this instance which has the broader remit of the whole of Seoul should be easier. I'm still waiting for someone to want to visit Gangwon-do though, so that I can bust out the plethora of barginous, downright funky motels I've seen listed in that area.
But anyway, I've no need to start making silly Seoul puns, I've found a motel that'll do that for me!
Hotel Mate, or Seoul Mate as it also likes to refer to itself, is all of my favourite things a motel can be. Just looking at the website has me desperate to head to Seoul and hide out in this place for as long as I can afford. More of a boutique hotel than a motel, Seoul Mate reminds me of a grown up version of the R Hotel, more casual luxury than rainbow themes but with the same extra touches and lack of seediness that only a top love motel can provide.
Now keep breathing as you read the next bit, prices will get more reasonable as I progress...
For the princely sum of 700,000 Won you can book into either of the 'Star Villa' suites. For 700,000 you'll get a two-storey 'villa' complete with a swimming pool, double bath, kareoke, a deluxe media system and about a hundred other stunning details. According to their website, the price is based on 5 people sharing.
Less rock-star but far more affordable are the deluxe twin rooms which cost 133,000 Won according to their website. Unfortunately I'm unable to link to their photos but they are very, very nice rooms. I particularly like the Asian feel of the Chrysanthemum room.
The standard rooms cost 108,000 and while they are by no means substandard, they are very much the poor relations in this hotel.
One thing that isn't going for this motel is the location. Any further out and they would have had to call it Gyeongi-Mate. In it's defense, it is located fairly close to a subway and taxis are cheap in Seoul if there's a group of you.
Seoul Mate requires you to make a telephone booking if you wish to stay here. They are contactable on and their address is 서울 강서구 화곡동 921-6.
Alternatively you could consider staying at the Ezen Hotel in Seo Dae Mun.
The prices quoted for a twin room are similar to those of Seoul Mate at 130,000 Won but the location is far more central.
All mod cons are provided, even a small kitchen-esque area with a microwave and a sink and a dinky little bar.
The twin rooms come with a bath, widescreen TV and twin PCs.
You can find the Ezen Hotel at 서울 서대문구 창천동 20-38 or call them on
There is of course, the R Hotel! I can't go on about the R enough, it's genuinely my favourite place to stay, not just in Seoul but probably anywhere in Korea, the world, the universe! I've already fully blogged about the R and you can read all about it by following this link. A lot of the rooms in the R Hotel have special beds which fold out of the wall so you'll need to call ahead to request and reserve one of those rooms as they rent them out as ordinary rooms the rest of the time. The staff at the R don't speak great English although the manager and one of the receptionists are able to get by. I'd probably ask a Korean friend to call just to be certain.
If all these twin rooms get too much, a fall back option with cheap double rooms might be the Queen 21 .
This motel looks somewhat small and possibly not hugely new. In it's favour however, the rooms are achingly cheap and touchingly cute. I don't know if you can quite make it out from this slightly less than great quality image but this is an Audrey Hepburn room which according to the website is going for the impressively low price of 60,000 Won at the weekends.
The Queen Motel is located in the reasonably central district of Seo Dae Mun Gu.
You can contact the motel on or find them here: 서울 서대문구 창천동. A word of warning, I'm not sure that this motel has provided a full address so I'd suggest you ask someone who speaks Korean to call ahead and get the exact location if you decide to stay here...