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“Unique hotel - great location”
Review of Hotel Yaja Jongno

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Hotel Yaja Jongno
Ranked #337 of 472 Hotels in Seoul
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Unique hotel - great location”
Reviewed November 28, 2011

The room is comfortable even though lights is a little dim. The place is comfortable and staff are helpful and can speak some English. Room is cleaned everyday but they do not replenish coffee bar.
Location is convenient with subway is only a min or 2 walking distance and there are a lot of nice restaurants around this area. Insadong shopping place is only a few minutes walk from the hotel. We enjoy our stays in Cats Hotel and Seoul.

Going to CATS hotel from Incheon Airport is convenient. We took Airport Rail Express to Seoul Station from there we take a taxi to CATS but the taxi driver cannot find the place until we tell him to use GPS which is fitted on each taxi. On returning journey, we decided to take subway train to Gimpo Airport and transit to Incheon Airport using Airport Rail Express and the whole journey cost us only 3,700 Won each (if not mistaken) only. Comparing taking taxi 70,000 Won or Airport Coach 10,000 Won.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WeiLing_at_KL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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56 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2011

We really enjoyed our stay there, the room is spacious and the bathroom/ spa is awesome. Staff spoke ok English but they are very friendly and helpful. The location is great, its literlly 2 mins walk to the subway. There are also a lot of restaurants around. The only down side was the computer was fairly old and the internet was just hopeless, but other than that we enjoyed it very much.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank scifigeekboyfriend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
1 review
Reviewed November 15, 2011

We booked the room through Laterooms. Booking was late, slightly more expensive than other online sites but we were happy to have found a hotel near where we wanted. Having frequently travel to Japan, long stairs at train stations is our greatest worry, especially with big luggage. So we decided to take the airport bus. We were glad we found the directions from another reviewer and managed to locate hotel by following the directions.

Room was small, like any hotels in Japan. To me, its acceptable. Lighting was dim as many reviewers have mentioned, it is a "love hotel", so the mood must be right. :) The shower has a thin curtain which hardly gives one any privacy. You will appreciate the dim lighting in this aspect. There is a window in the room and it lets in natural light that brightens the room in the day. The room is cleaned everyday, there was no stuffy or moist smell. Everything in the room is free but hotel do not top up the mini bar. We brought our own iPads and wireless router. Surfing in the room was a breeze. The only setback is the room does not have a wardrobe and safe.

There are restaurants just down the street infront of the hotel. Train station exit (with escalator) is also in the same street. Did not have time to explore the area but was told by friends that it has good food. Hotel is also near Jongmyo Shrine, Changdeokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok Village and Insadong which we explored on foot. Jongno 3 station has access to many lines, saved us the confusion but be prepared for lots of walking within the station to change to another train line.

We stayed there from 13 to 18th October. Giving this a good rating as it has meet our expectations. Room need a little effort to get used to but overall no complains.

Room Tip: Ask for room near the lift as the walkways are dim.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EricaQueenie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2011

Conveniently located just 2 minutes from Exit 5 of Jongno-3ga station, which accesses 3 lines on the subway. Once out of exit, stand such that Standard chartered bank is on your left and there's a guitar shop on your right. Turn right into the small lane beside the guitar shop and you should see cats hotel about 30metres on. About 5 minutes walk to Insadong area, plenty of food joints around, fantastic location. Rooms were equiped with a computer terminal with internet connection, wifi only in lobby. TV with many channels. Free ice-cream at the lobby.

Was initially wary of the place when I read the reviews but I had no trouble and didn't see anything that suggested it was a love motel. The light for your room blinks when you first reach your level, so that is not weird either. It only blinked on the first night when we first arrived, I believe it can be controlled by the lobby staff.

Drawback was that there was no shower curtain or screen in the bath.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank maisieo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ruskin, Florida
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2011

We booked this hotel through Travelocity. It was an Airfare and Hotel package. After reading some of the reviews AFTER I booked our rooms at this hotel. I wrote Travelocity to ask what "love motel" meant.. and asked about the smoke smell in the rooms. I wrote that I had been planning to take my 71 year old mother back to her homeland for over 3 years and needed to make sure nothing went wrong on accomodations. I was assurred by Travelocity that no one knew what "love motel" was and that all rooms were non smoking. On our arrival to the Hotel Cats.. all kinds of couples kept coming down as I was checking in to turn their room key in..We went to our room that looked NOTHING like the pictures. No drawers for our clothes, no closets to hang anything.. you had room to walk around the bed and that was it. When I went to show my mother and Neice their room.. I turned the TV on.. and Bam.. Korean Porn. And in our rooms which was filthy..instead of coffee packets on the small tv stand.. condoms. I called Travelocity at once, explained my situation and how unhappy I was, went down stairs where no one spoke english to try to explain my situation and displeasure. I checked out of this hotel. I was fortunate to find the Hotel Sunbee out of my Travel guide and Kim from the front desk was able to set us up for the rest of our trip..Trust me guys.. walk across the street over to Insadong and go up to 7 Gil (name of street) and it'll be on your left side of the street. Its like night and day for comparison!! It took me over 2 weeks AFTER getting back home to the states to get my refund from Travelocity. Trust me.. you don't want to be in my situation. I was told later by someone at my new hotel that "love motel" is for people that live at home with their parents and need a place to go with their partners for intimacy.

Room Tip: Purchase a Travel Guide and try to stay at one of the places they recommend. Do your research BEFOR...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kena1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Seoul hotels

Singapore, Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2011

Directions to the Hotel from the Airport (by train)

**BE WARNED - If you have plenty of Luggage, Its advisable to take a cab from Seoul Station to the hotel (cost around 5000won) as its a long walk and there are ALOT of stairs to climb from the train station up to street level.

INCHEON Airport - You can either (1) Take the AREX EXPRESS train non stop to Seoul Station (takes approx. 43mins to reach and leaves on the hour or every half hour) or (2) Take the COMMUTER Train which makes a few stops to several stations before reaching Seoul Station (Takes approx 55mins to reach / Costs 3800won).

GIMPO Airport - Take the AREX COMMUTER Train to Seoul Station

SEOUL STATION – EXIT Airport Express station and walk towards the direction of METRO lines 1-4. Its a busy terminal so ask the information counter to direct you towards the Metro Station. From the Metro Station take Line 1 (Soyosan Line) from Seoul Station – Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station. Its 2 stations away and cost 1000won/person + 500won Deposit for train card and you can get your deposit back when you exit.

Once you reach the station, DO NOT EXIT the station first as there are 9 Lines in Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station and Line 1 is where you first alight the train. Walk towards the direction of LINE 5 (a 5-8mins walk away) and exit. Do not forget to get back your 500won Deposit. Walk straight to the end once you have exited the train station gantry and you should see an escalator on your LEFT. Take the escalator up to street level and you should see Tongi Hotel on your Right. Facing the Tongi Hotel's entrance, you'll see a small lane at the right hand side of the Tongi hotel. Walk in to the lane and you'll see Valentino Club, M&M aka Men & Men club, a barber shop and the entrance of Cats Hotel.

Worst Experience Ever

We booked a Suite room from 27-30Oct 2011 and checked in at around 10pm. Feeling extremely exhausted from having trouble finding the hotel, dragging our 4 big luggage up and down the train station stairs and not being able to get a cab to drive us to the hotel from Jongno sam-ga Line 1 station, the manager delivered the bad news that the Suite rooms are all taken up even though they had my reservation details upon arrival. Great! Then they offered to either give me a deluxe room at 325000won for 3 nights or take the Deluxe Suite at 700000 won for 3 nights (10% discounted Price due to their error). My Suite costs me 527000won which is rather expensive for a Motel Suite but to pay 207usd/night for a motel's Royal Suite due to their mistake, its crazy! The Royal Suite is just a bigger room with a big Jacuzzi and a walk in shower. With that price, I could pay a little more to stay at the Hilton Hotel instead. But there really isn't much choice as it was late at night on a weekend and most hotels are fully booked. Additionally, check out time is 1pm and if you want to extend your checkout time til 5-6pm like what I did, they charge 40000won for the late check out.

We took the deluxe room on the 4th floor and the room was small though quite well decorated. There is barely enough space to put our 2 big check-in bags and 2 small carry on bags. I'm not sure about the other Deluxe rooms but our room was very dim and there are no electrical point to charge your electronics stuff. The only electrical point is used to power up the electrical toilet bowl, however my travel adapter keeps dropping as the power point had a weird angle and a cover that makes it extremely frustrating to charge anything. Only 2 pathetic hooks and hangers are available for your clothes.

There are 2 windows but 1 window is blocked by the wooden blind so even in the morning it still does not brighten the room much unless its a really sunny day. There is a desktop with free internet, a huge flat screen TV in front of the bed and all drinks are free in the mini-bar (2 bottled water, 1 can of Orange Juice and 2 Cider Beers) . We did not have an electrical kettle even though there are some complimentary tea bags and coffee sachets in the room. Bathroom has a Bath tub with no shower curtains so the toilet floor will be wet after bathing and bath tub drainage is slow too. The Bathroom lights have sensors so if you shower half way and find that the lights turn off, its just the sensor and not anything else. About 1/5 of the Bathroom glass door is transparent with the words 'Cats Design hotel' Imprinted on the glass so it might be awkward if you are traveling with friends or people you are not very close to as they can see through the door. The consistent thing about the room is both the room and the toilet are equally dim. There are quite a number of drunkards around the train station area and also the small lane leading to the hotel, so just be careful and try not to go out till too late if you are a girl and alone. Its not exactly the safest area to be in at night.

The only 2 plus point about this hotel is its free internet with Desktop in the room and its location as it is centralized and is easily accessible to the few main shopping areas, Isadong, Dongdaemun and Myeong Dong. But it is rather taxing (especially if you have loads of shopping or just came back from a whole day of sightseeing) to walk from Jongno 3(sam)-ga Line 1 to Line 5 where the hotel is as its a long walk with a lot of stairs. I would advise people who have a lot of shopping stuffs to take a cab if you are around the Numdaemun, Seoul Station, Dongdaemun and Myeong Dong area as its not too expensive. It'll probably cost between 5000 - 8000won (depending on Peak hour traffic Jams or Midnight surcharge) for a journey back to the hotel but remember to carry the hotel card with you and get the hotel staff to write the directions for the cab driver to drop you in Korean as most cab drivers do not know the location of the hotel and it'll be pointless to take a cab if he drops you at Jongno 3(sam)-ga Line 1 as you obviously take a cab to avoid the long walk from Line 1 to Line 5.

Though they call this a Hotel but obviously to everyone its an expensive Motel. Staying in this Motel really spoils the whole holiday experience and going back to the hotel is a drag everyday. Whenever you see the dim lighting in the small cramped room, it feels as though you are staying in some sleazy bar. For the first time during my numerous hotel stays, I really miss my room and am glad that I only have to put up with all this nonsense for 3 nights.

Useful Tips

Book early and you should be able to get a better hotel at this rate. If you have booked this hotel without paying up front, its advisable to call the hotel and inform them about your time of arrival maybe 1 - 2 days before you arrive so that the chances of you getting the room you booked is higher or other plans could at least be made if they do not have the rooms you have booked. A junior suite, suite or royal suite should be good for couples or people with loads of luggage as the deluxe rooms are just too small. Good luck and I hope your stay will be a much better experience then mine.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Joanna W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2011

Me and my friend stayed in this hotel for 1 night on recent 3rd october. We actually booked for junior suite with double bed. But when arrived, we asked if they have single bed available. They do and gave us a room on 3rd floor.
Here's the weird experience begin.
We took the lift to 3rd floor. The whole 3rd floor hallway light was dark and dim. Our room is at the end of the hallway. So strange, only that room number light is keep on blinking. We use the room card to scan the lock of the door. Green light on and beep but the door can't open.
We tried several times, then we found out the door was not push open inside but instead need to pull outside.
I put the card on the slot, the light turn on. The room smell stuffy. Then i go to the toilet, hit on the toilet light. Scary and weirdly water came out like water foundtain from the bottom of bath tub. I understand is like jacuzzi. But my question is why turn on the toilet light water came out from bath tub??? I turn off the toilet light immediately, and turn on the light again, water is not coming out anymore.
Following smell badly fill out the toilet. I flush the toilet bowl, but the water from toilet bowl keep coming out until i hit the flush again it stop.
No no no, something is strange and weird about this room.
We went back to the receptionist told them we don't want this room. The receptionist didn't ask us any reason and immediately change us back to junior suite with double bed we previously booked.
The junior suite is much much better. But the light in the room is so dim.
So if you are about to stay in this hotel, good luck to you that you don't get that room on 3rd floor the last room on the hall way ;)

Room Tip: Don't get the last room on 3rd floor :)
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fwgm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Yaja Jongno

Property: Hotel Yaja Jongno
Address: 9-1, Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03133, South Korea (Formerly Hotel Cats)
Location: South Korea > Seoul > Gwanghwamun / Jongno
Amenities:
Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #337 of 472 Hotels in Seoul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Yaja Jongno 2.5*
Number of rooms: 51
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