Ah. I didn’t want to write about this, but seeing as I am sharing about Korea…
So despite the fact that I have family in Korea, I wanted to find my own accommodations. I didn’t need something to fancy. I’d rather spend the money on eating lol. Well, that was what I thought. I had originallt found a place to stay, which was 210,000won (very roughly $210CAN+) for 6 nights. SUPER cheap. The thing was, it was a little further from the main station line, I had to make more transfers, and I had to walk about 7 minutes from the station exit. I ended up finding another place, which was 250,000won (very roughly $250CAN+), and less transfers, plus VERY close to a main shopping area. I figured I would pay the extra for this new place.
Here is my views on Dongdaemun Inn.
The reviews were pretty decent. I mean, some people complained about the size of the room, but I disregarded that. There was also mention about the crazy number of stairs. Which again, I ignored, as I didn’t think that was enough reason not to. But DAMN! It WAS a lot of stairs…
If you have a smaller carryon, you should be okay. I was a little tired seeing as I had two bags + carryon, but I dealt with it.
When I got to the place, I spoke with the younger lady that was there. I was talking to myself though, as she merely pointed at the piece of paper that she wanted to me do stuff with.
I got a key, and she showed me my room, which was room 101, right across from the main entrance. On the plus side, I could be in and out. I asked if there were any other rooms, to which she said “no”. She opened the door, and stepped aside. I didn’t know where the lights where, and struggled a bit to find it while she just stood there. As I was doing so, I noticed the dank smell, and felt the humid heat.
“Are you sure you don’t have any other rooms?”
“This is not going to do, when will the owner be here?” Since the reviews said that he was reasonable, I figured that I could settle this matter.
Yup. As soon as I got there, we were off to a bad start.
I shut the door, and tried to manage with the air conditioner. Except, it wouldn’t work. I was now sweating. I went out back to the younger lady, and asked her for help.
“You push button”
“Yes, but how do you make it colder”
Now, I’m tired from the 17 hour trip, plus the hour 30 minutes it took to get there (immigration + public travel). So I told myself I’d just deal with it, and went back to my room.
First inspection. The room was okay. There was a strand of hair, but the pillow was clean, the bathroom was clean. The bathroom didn’t have soap, or a big enough trash. I also must have misread the original listing, as I was under the impression I was supposed to have a fridge. I tried to find where it said it, and couldn’t. Need to look in my files for the screenshot I took. The lack of a fridge was a bit of a damper, as I needed it for food. So that messed up meal plans. Room was so hot, I ended up leaving to go eat outside. I will share about that tomorrow.
- For one person, I actually liked the size of the room
- Private washroom, typical Korean style shower head beside the sink, clean
- The double bunk allowed me to spread out my things more
- The room had a powerbar (3 plugs), hairdryer (which I never used), towels (which I never used as I had my own, plus they were pretty small), kettle (to make instant noodles, which I never used as I didn’t come to Korea for that lol), and a lamp (which I also never used)
- The reception area had a rather large variety of tourist booklets in a few diff languages, catering more for Chinese and Japanese. Some were out of date, but majority were recent
- There is a water machine with cups at reception
- I never ran out of hot water for my shower. But just to note that the water was never super hot, just comfortably warm
- Slippers in the bathroom, though I used the ones I brought with me
- Side night table type thing, which I used as a vanity
- Larger mirror on the door
- I liked the bed and pillow. Both are on the firmer side so keep that in mind
- Maps in the room to tell you of some of the stuff near the location. Very handy
- I’m actually jealous of the People who come to stay in the winter, as the floor is ondol, which is heated in the colder weather. I loveeee laying on ondol floors…it’s where I practically lived when I visited my cousin in Jersey. On that note, because of the type of floor it is, you really need to leave shoes at the door. Don’t be a jerk.
- 711 is right beside the place, so you can pick up random things. I needed toothbrush, and water so I popped on over.
(Sorry the room was a mess. I took this the last night I was there, and was in the middle of packing up. You can see the room is on the small size, but…)
(all these are specific to my room 101, I’m sure, or at least I hope, the rest of the other rooms are fine)
- Water damage on the walls, and there was a rip in the wallpaper. To be on the positive side, I want to hope that it was ripped to see if there was any mold..which it didn’t appear to be. Air did flow through it, meaning it made weird noises. In the end I slept on the floor cause it kept annoying my imagination. Wallpaper was pretty though
- (Not really a con) No soap, so you have to bring your own. Not a big deal, but for those coming in late, you will then have to head out to get some. I think this should have been mentioned in the ad though
- Door isn’t soundproof, so I could hear people coming and going, or the chatter when people check in at all hours of the night. This disrupted sleep, which is why I asked in the first place if they had more rooms. If you are a heavy sleeper, you should be okay
- The room smelled, musky and dank, as if there was mold. Again, I’m sure there wasn’t, but it was different smell than bathroom sewage
- Bathroom door would not close, so I propped my bag against the door. Necessary or else the water moisture from shower screwed up the room. I’m guessing that’s where the smell came from. I ended up buying these things from Daiso which is supposed to help with humidity
- AC was quite on the weak side. I would enter the room, and immediate start sweating. The only thing that did help, as the rest of the functions did not seen to work, was the Turbo Mode. But that is a temporary function. Thus, for all nights I kept waking up in approx two hr intervals to turn it back on again
- The AC remote was gross. You could tell that they had attempted to clean it. I actually housed it in a plastic bag
- The area under the bunk was not cleaned fully. I found out when I store my backpack under it…not a huge deal, as I had wipes and other disinfecting stuff that I used to clean up before I unpacked
- (Not really a con) Garbage pail is super tiny, but depending on your stay isn’t a huge deal. I brought garbage bags with me, since I knew I would be staying longer
- Humid. No window specifically for this room. I know the other single room does have one. That might be one of the main reasons why it smelt so darn dank in the room. Seriously, I gagged upon entering the first 4 nights…until I sprayed perfume…temporary happiness. That was a card I got after I did my hair. It curled up within 30 minutes. Completely curled over when I came back after a few hours.
- Due to the slightly odd hours I was in, and the staff were in, I never saw the owner. So I had to email him about my severe disappointment in the room…but I never got a reply until the last night. I like to tell myself its because it’s not a monitored acct…but who knows
- Also, 24hr security is not the case. Which I can’t say I blame them. My second last night, it was about 6pm. I was arranging crap for my last few days schedule, when a drunk ahjushi came is looking for the owner. I can’t say I wasn’t a little scared. Also, because they aren’t always there, you get other morons who like to be stupid. This one female duo were yelling at 7am for front help, ringing the front bell like mad, and just pissing us off. Didn’t seem to work when I told them to keep it down.
- Luggage storage is placed just outside my door. I know the workers didn’t do it, because that is just stupidity, but I opened my door once and met with resistance. Some jerk didn’t think that my door was a room, and had placed it over it.
- (Not really a con) When you are in the bathroom, you can hear others in their bathroom…a little.. Exposing? Lol but not harmful
I kept asking about the owner, but she kept telling me he is in after midnight. I couldn’t stay up as I had plans for each day I was there. When I was up and out by 8, she was there, or someone else (Dimitri, who was the manager). I did eventually receive a reply back from my original email, which was sent by Dimitri, but we were at the last night of my stay.
I did appreciate that Dimitri relayed my email to the owner, and that I got to see him…when I walked out to check out. I heard them talking about my issue while I was packing up. That is when I walked out.
At one point there was mention about ratings, me leaving a rating, and how others have all enjoyed their stay. I was told that 101 is their VIP room. I was also ask why I didn’t leave if I didn’t like the room. Well, I would have LOVED to leave. HOWEVER, I couldn’t get in contact with the owner to discuss getting my money back. I would have lost all that money for no apparent reason. In addition, because I was there for a week, I had problems trying to find a place last minute, who could accommodate that. So I kept trying to bite my lip, and then called my friend one day back home, almost in tears in frustration.
The owner J apologized. But at that point, it was way too late. It didn’t help that this little talk as I gave them my key, upset me even further. I was also sleep deprived, and just wanted to get home. The owner offered, and would not take no for a reply, to take my luggage down the crazy stairs for me. That I did appreciate. It showed that he did feel bad, and wanted to show something. Once we walked out, near the 711, I broke down and just cried while somewhat yelling at him on the street. Oh, I guess I should mention. If you are Korean, and I am upset with you, I will start talking in both English and Korean interchangeably. Have always been like that, despite the fact I shouldn’t argue in Korean. I probably looked like quite the sight.
John kept saying sorry, and we eventually made our way back to the turnstile of the station. I walked down to the subway, sat down on the seats, and finished up my tears. My God that was embarrassing, but necessary. I was looking forward to my scheduled sleep at the JimJilBang that I was staying my final night in Korea for. That story will come near the end of the month. Oh a side note, I should have left DDM Inn to stay at a Jimjilbang sooner -__-
So, would I stay here again?
No. I doubt anyone reading this would be surprised.
The location is ridiculously great. Even if you climb those damn stairs, plus the rating is pretty decent.
I want to believe that I would gave loved this place if I had a room with a window. At least that way I could air out the disgusting dank humid smell. I also would have appreciated support staff, who didn’t brush me off. I don’t think that was intentional though, more so that she is more on the shy side…or so I’d like to believe. I was told later when I did meet the owner, that she was hired to deal with their Chinese customers, as she could communicate with them. Good point to hire, but just think that there should be something to accommodate some more English. Price was great…if the room wasn’t crap. It was too bad, as I was hoping that the place would be nice enough that I could stay for 2 weeks in January. So was a bit disappointed at that part too.
Still, I left the coffee I had brought with me from Canada, that I had planned on giving them as a gift. I didn’t want to drag that with me, and be reminded of a horrible stay.
I wish I was one of the lucky ones, who have loved their stay here. Even as far as returning. Again, it might have just been the case for the single room I had, as the guy I talked to one day said his room was fine. But the price and location can be quite good, so I totally get why a lot of people think that this is a great place. They also apparently have another location? Two ladies had come for their reservation, but it was overbooked or something. The female employee told them she would take them to the other place. I wonder why, when I asked for another room, she couldn’t have offered the same.
Anyway, that was my…rather…interesting experience with accommodation. I’m not new to Hostels…but this was a surprise to me.
Okay, tomorrow I’ll have my post about the Dongdaemun area :) We will move on to everything else that was fun, as this was the only real disappoint with the rest of the trip.