If you travel a lot, you probably already know of the Holiday Inn hotel franchise. You often find Holiday Inns in popular areas of large cities, as well as close by to airports. The hotel I introduce you to today is located in Hongdae, a place on every Korean traveller’s bucket list.
With this in mind, we can say the Holiday Inn Express Hongdae is in the perfect location. However, there is far more to this hotel than just the location… Let’s take a look!
A Perfect Location in More Ways Than One
I mentioned that this hotel is located in a popular neighbourhood in Seoul, however, the convenience of its location is multifaceted. It is found within the same complex at the AK& Mall, a trendy shopping centre with a rooftop terrace. If you forget to bring toiletries or just fancy a new outfit, you’re only steps away! There are also a number of cafes and restaurants here too.
It is also located just outside Hongik University Station, accessible via subway directly from Incheon and Gimpo International Airports.
As this hotel is a Holiday Inn Express, it features less amenities than other large hotels. However, due to its location, everything you could need is still within reach!
You can find the Holiday Inn reception via the entrance to AK& Mall. However, there is not a big sign denoting the location of the reception, rather a small one.
Whenever you enter reception, you should record your temperature and apply hand sanitiser. These are COVID-19 prevention measures that you will need to carry out even after you check in.
If you are worried about Covid-19, you can rest easy at this hotel. In fact, is is very easy to avoid human interaction — ideal for shy folk! For instance, you do not need to check out via reception, you can just drop your room key in the Express check-out drop box.
Reception & Lobby
As it was an Express hotel, I wasn’t expecting much in terms of decor. However, the impression you get from the look of the lobby is one of luxury and elegance. There were vibrant, colourful walls and modern-style decorations that made the lobby look like an art gallery
The hotel decor was luxurious but the price was anything but!
At the reception, you can check in a collect your room keys. You will also be given a breakfast bracelet which is essentially an entry ticket to the buffet restaurant.
Note: you must pick up a new bracelet each day of your stay.
Interestingly, the hotel is operated in partnership with JEJUair. You can even see JEJUair decorations dotted around the hotel.
The hotel is well set up for foreign travellers and first-time visitors to Korea. If you need an idea of where to go in and around Seoul, you can pick up flyers in the lobby.
Although many hotels have computer and business rooms, many of them incur additional fees. However, you don’t need to worry about that at the Holiday Inn, as computer use is completely free! Whether you need to book an excursion or check your emails, you can use the computers at your leisure. I ended up using the computers to apply for extension of my visa! Life savers, right?
Other public amenities include a fitness centre, coin laundromat, meeting room and rooftop terrace.
As expected, food is a definite highlight of this hotel!
The buffet operates according to a schedule but the restaurant is always open for refreshments, such as soda, beer or wine.
They also featured promotions. When I went, they were offering very good deals on bottled wine.
As I only stayed for a short time, I did not eat at the buffet. However, I did take a look at the menu and it appeared to be almost all Western food! Ideal for travellers missing that kind of food or new arrivals who want to be eased slowly into the Korean food culture.
The dining area looked spacious and clean too, ideal for travel during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Don’t worry about not being able to find a table! The area is huge.
Part II: Room Review
Check out Part II for my review of the room! Find out what services and amenities will be included during your stay.
Location and Getting There
Address: Aekyung, 188 Yanghwa-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul Check In: 3:00pm~ Check Out: ~12:00pm Reservations: hiex-seoulhongdae.com
From Hongik University Station Exit 4, walk straight and turn left. There you will find the entrance to the AK& shopping mall and Holiday Inn Express Hongdae
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