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“Too Much Hype Actually”

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Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel
Ranked #118 of 542 Hotels in Seoul
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Stayed in IP Boutique Hotel for 4 nights in Jan 2013, and my conclusion is that there is too much hype about this hotel. It is good, but I’m not willing to give it a rating of ‘excellent’.

Location wise, it is not that bad. It is about 500m walk from Itaewon Station leaving via Exit 2. Itaewon area caters more to foreigners and thus there are different food varieties ranging from Western, Italian, French and even a Halal restaurant along the way. So those who wish to have something different from Korean food, it is easily available here. However, this area is quite expensive due to the numbers of tourists visiting/staying, expect costly meals and so does the room cost of IP Boutique Hotel.

In my opinion, IP does live up to their award of being trendy. The room looks futuristic especially the bathroom. I especially like their wall mural in the room that we had. The hotel also gave to our request for a high-floor and non-smoking room. Hence, we had a good view from our 11th floor window and the room has no smoke scent. They gave quite good toiletries except no toothbrushes, BYO. The room has a large closet to hang clothes and a safe-box provided. There is a mini fridge that is stocked with items but all items are chargeable. We used their gym facilities as well and all equipments are in working condition. It is not a big gym, but no one is using anyway. The hotel staffs are very friendly and they speak fluent English. Their café looks popular as we always saw quite a number of guests inside, but we did not try.

Here go the bad points. After all the excellent reviews I read about IP, I was really disappointed that the room’s fixtures and furnishings look very worn and dated when we finally looked into details. The carpet was stained and there were cigarette burn marks on the floor and on the bedside table. The wall to the bathroom shows gaps (which is probably due to poor renovation works) and I was not very impressed when I saw a very thick line of greenish algae on the bathroom wall. The water pressure for the room that we stayed was really slow and it took a while to fill the bathtub. On our last day, the contractors started some renovation works along the corridor and it became quite noisy. IMO, the standard of the room does not do justice to the price we paid for the room. IP Boutique Hotel is quite pricey.

One last remark, a light-hearted joke to share. As we all know IP hotel lift corridor is really very dark. On top of that, they strategically placed mirrors along the walls and at the end of the walkways. One night, while waiting for the lift on the 11th floor, another male guest who was inside the lift gave a ‘yelp’ when he saw me standing in front after the lift door opened (I was wearing a long white coat & probably my pale makeup). It was rather amusing but yet embarrassing for the both of us. Occasionally we could not find our room door as well due to the poor lightings. Sometimes we would also have a mini fright of our own because of the mirror reflection. I hope the hotel can do something about it. Is it really an ‘In’ trend to have dark corridors?

Room Tip: High floor rooms will give a good view.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kisetsu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IPBOUTIQUEHOTELSEOUL, 매니저 at Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to comment regarding your stay.

We are sorry that you were not satisfied with some points of our hotel.

The equipment gets worn out easily, so we renovate our rooms regularly in order to make our

rooms to remain in the best condition.

This is the reason that you heard a small noise in the afternoon.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

I hope we will have an opportunity to welcome you back in the future.

Thank you,


Resident Manager

Young Park

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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314 - 320 of 652 reviews

Reviewed January 22, 2013

Fabulous hotel, great location and quirky rooms. Best hotel we have stayed in Seoul, will definitely stay again. Glass partitions, seperate lounge and bespoke bedrooms made the hotel quite unique, and close proximity to subway made travelling aroung Seoul quite effortless. Although we did not eat in the hotel, the food and drink menu seemed quite enticing. Previous stays in 'love hotels' have been quite mediocre by comparison and for definite this is our hotel for the future.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank JimFerris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IPBOUTIQUEHOTELSEOUL, 매니저 at Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 24, 2013

Dear Jim,

Thank you for writing about your experience at the IP Boutique hotel.

We are glad that your stay was enjoyable and comfortable.

We look forward to seeing you again the next time.

Sincerely,


Resident Manager

Young Park

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2013

I am very picky and loved this hotel!

I don't understand why so many people complain about this place, aside from the dark halls, which, yes the halls are actually very dark, everything was great! Everywhere else is VERY bright and clean with cool decor and lots to applaud! Staff, room and location all great!

We were here for Xmas and hadn't had time to make xmas dinner resos- the hotel concierge upon check-in booked an AMAZING 5 course meal for us atop one of the tallest buildings in Seoul.

Hotel room:
The room was very white and showed no sign of being dirty.
The washroom to room wall is glass, so careful about what room you book if you are not traveling with a romantic partner.
Bed was super comfy.
View was great.
-Bathroom toilet is a electronic one but our first night we couldn't get it to stop flushing every 5 minutes all night while we tried to sleep of our jetlag. We didnt say anything though so I know they would have fixed it for us since when housekeeping left it was fixed (without us asking).
-I find a lot of boutiques buy cheap trendy furniture that they can change as it goes in and out of style, to an extent this is also true here. Some of the furniture was cheaply made. We had trouble with the built in plugs in all of the dressers etc, they just spat everything back out because they were falling in their frames. Of 4 or 5 sockets in the room, 2 worked.

Hotel + Staff:
all very helpful whether at front desk or restaurant.
Don't have them book you a cab to the airport for you though, there are always cab lined up outside. They were going to charge almost double from what we ended up paying just for prebooking it for us.

Location:
2 blocks off of the metro - cabs are also cheap so we had no problem getting anywhere we wanted to go (traffic was bad so metro was easier). We didnt spend much time besides eating in this neighborhood but you could!
Great for dinner spots! On the edge of a large shopping street and hip lounge and restaurant strip. All types of food from italian, french, korean etc. Yet still quiet at night in the room.

Great value for a cool boutique that sleeps like a fancy hotel but has a funkier vibe like a boutique!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ajm4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IPBOUTIQUEHOTELSEOUL, 매니저 at Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 13, 2013

Thank you for your kind review and thank you for staying with us during your visit to Korea.

I'm glad the the staff was able to assist you in finding a great restaurant.

A dark hallway is concept of our hotel. While some guests say it is ok, other guests say it is dark.

We look forward to welcoming you again.

Sincerely,


Resident Manager

Young Park

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

This is a great hotel in a fantastic location. Rooms are pretty big for a boutique style hotel and the decorations are kooky and fun. It's like a stylish, sophisticated love hotel, and I mean that in a good way! Our room was extremely clean, the bed was huge and comfortable, the bathroom was huge and the bath overlooked the street. Great shopping and bars nearby and Itaewon is the perfect base from which to explore the city. Staff were friendly and helpful. Basically no complaints from my husband and I. We were there at Christmas time so the whole building was all bright and festive. Highly recommended if you're sick of sterile, corporate hotels.

Room Tip: reviewers who have complained about corridors being too dark? Don't let that put you off - there...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank kirbykirbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IPBOUTIQUEHOTELSEOUL, 매니저 at Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 14, 2013

Thank you for including the IP Boutique Hotel on your trip and thank you for writing about your experience at our hotel. We are glad we were able to make you feel comfortable.
It has been a pleasure to have you as our guest.
Kind regards,

Resident Manaher

Young Park

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2012

I stayed for two weeks, non consecutive, for work in the month of October 2012. Very friendly staff and wonderfully decorated rooms. Considering the location and the quality of the room you will be hard pressed to find anything better.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Sandra L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2012

Chose this hotel through the Internet after reading the reviews. Took the bus from the airport and it stopped across the road from the hotel. If it is raining, it may not be convenient to use the bus, but it is convenient and cheap though.

Location is very convenient as there are a number of restaurants, cafe, convenient store, subway nearby. Front office spoke good English and allowed one room to be available although it is still early in the morning(normal check in is 2pm). The hallway is dark with very minimal light. The room is clean and modern, it is all white. If you are the type who likes colonial type of hotel, this is not it then. The bathroom is interesting as it is all glass and if you are staying with friends, ensure that they do not peep while you take a shower or do your business in the toilet. Hardly interact with any staff except the front office who is helpful and assisted my family in arranging for tour agent to take us to the ski resort.
Overall, my family (both of us and 3 kids, 2 rooms), are very satisfied with the hotel and we enjoyed every minute of our stay in Seoul. The weather can be terrible for us but the room is cozy and we do not have any complaints.
Wil definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank RoShOKualaLumpur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

If you want to be close to Itaewon - and who doesn't? - this is the hotel to chose. Much nicer than the Hamilton Hotel, much better location that the Capital, this hotel has its own airport lim bus stop, is well-staffed, nicely decorated, and it's walking distance to the great restaurants that make Itaewon the destination it is.

The only drawbacks? Traffic noise was very noticeable from my 8th floor rooms. Also, as other reviewers have noted, this hotel probably has the darkest hallways of any hotel anywhere in the galaxy. I've seen sci fi movies where the alien spaceships are more brightly lit.

Back on the plus side of things, the hotel is quite delightfully quirky. The bathrooms are very nice. The TV channel selection is much better than other Seoul hotels I've tried. Wifi worked great. The breakfast buffet was nice, as were the swings in the lobby (not making that up.)

Definitely worth a visit. Bring earplugs and a flashlight, and you'll have nothing bad to say.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor - the traffic noise was loud, even on a Monday night
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Sightseeing_Cynic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel

Address: 221, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 04349, South Korea (Formerly IP Boutique Hotel)
Location: South Korea > Seoul > Itaewon
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #118 of 542 Hotels in Seoul
Price Range: $85 - $178 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 133
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Well-placed in the nightlife, culture, restaurants area of Seoul city, Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel provides a most conducive spot for you to take a break from your busy days. The hotel lies 2.Km from the city center and provides accessibility to important town facilities. For those of you who want to venture out, Itawon Street, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Itaewon Subway station are just some of the attractions available to visitors.IP Boutique Hotel also offers many facilities to enrich your stay in Seoul. The hotel offers access to a vast array of services, including safety deposit boxes, car park, airport transfer, meeting facilities, 24hr room service.All guest accommodations feature thoughtful amenities to ensure an unparalleled sense of comfort. Besides, the hotel's host of recreational offerings ensures you have plenty to do during your stay. With an ideal location and facilities to match, Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel hits the spot in many ways. ... more   less 
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