Sunday 4 May 2014

The Bed Report 7: Ibis Seoul Insadong Accommodation Review

This shiny new hotel is tucked away in the district of Insadong, east of Seoul's city centre.

It's an interesting area of the South Korean capital: a mix of business and residential, including atmospheric narrow streets lined by small restaurants.

The Ibis Seoul Insadong is located in a narrow street dotted with mini-marts and eateries.

Directly opposite the hotel is a remnant of old Seoul, an enclave of traditional one-storey houses known as hanok.

The Ibis, by contrast, is distinctly and simply modern. Its big lobby area opens onto a cafe-bar and restaurant, both of which are sleekly fitted out.

My 9th floor room echoed this unobtrusive but intelligent design, making the best use of space without the need to make a loud statement. Though compact, it was light and airy.

There was a sizeable desk placed beneath the window, making good use of natural light and the view, and the open cupboard space was neatly tucked into a corner.

The bed was comfortable and it had - praise be! - power sockets placed at a prominent height for late-night charging and use of mobile devices. The free wifi was very good, reliable and fast.

The bathroom was similarly small but well designed, with the shower and sink diagonally opposed in order to maximise their size. The toilet was a marvel of technology, with a set of controls that could impress an airline pilot.

The only problem I had was with the airconditioning; though it seemed its output could be lowered to 18°C, my room was nearly always an uncomfortably warm 25°C. On reporting this, I discovered the aircon was only turned on for a few hours each day, at that time of year.

Luckily the window could be opened to let in the cool night air, a cue for me to gaze down on the tiled rooftops of old Insadong and idly wonder what those houses were like inside.

I did eventually have a closer look at them after a day or so, when I realised a zig-zag through enclave was the quickest route to the nearest Metro station, Jongno-3. Gotta love those beautiful timber doors (see image, left).

Overall the Ibis was a good balance of price and comfort, in an interesting area of Seoul with useful access to other parts of the city worth visiting.

Just the Facts:
Ibis Ambassador Seoul Insadong
31 Samil daero 30 gil, Jongno gu 110-340, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 2 6730 1101
Rates: Rooms from $100 per night.

Disclosure time... for this stay I was given a discounted accommodation rate by Accor Hotels. To read previous accommodation reviews, click on The Bed Report label below.

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