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“Lovely Penthouse :D”

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Orakai Insadong Suites
Ranked #90 of 472 Hotels in Seoul
Certificate of Excellence
Nagoya, Japan
Level Contributor
51 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Lovely Penthouse :D”
Reviewed February 22, 2013

I'm so happy to stayed there for my short vacation.
The reception was being renovated when I was staying at this resdence, so I'm looking forward to my staying next time.
They upgraded me to the penthouse for free this time. I was so lucky:D
The each room are so nice and confortable, Sauna and swimming pool are always awesome!
You can also park your rental a car at the underground parking fr free!
I have to say I love love looooove this residence a lot!

Room Tip: get a membership of the freser company
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Akie.S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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526 reviews from our community

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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2013

Update** beginning in January Fraser Suites is completely remodeling causing hazardous living conditions and has become obscenely inconvienent for anyone living here long term.

Being your own hard hat, mask and safety goggles! Down to one elevator, active construction sites, broken wooden floors, falling objects, exposed wired, no ramps, open welding and jack hammering next to patrons(right next to them)(no accessibility for wheelchairs or strollers) extremely narrow passageways, dust, chemicals, plenty of mold (and I'm guessing asbestos from the looks of it) This is the biggest reason now why to not book this hotel. If you need more reasons, see my overly detailed explanation below!


About us-
My family of 4 (2 young children included) stayed at Fraser Suites for an extended period of time on business. We have a rather in depth and unique perspective of the service, hotel, staff and area.

First, the basics:rooms:
Stayed in several types of rooms a 2 bedroom with a balcony and an alcove study. It was decent, though we were put on a smoking floor without our knowledge, watch out for that!!
Also have stayed in a 3 bedroom and a 4 bedroom. The three and four bedrooms both had a study included in the bedroom count. There are no windows and no closets in the study, just a bed and sometimes a fainting couch thrown into a tiny clost size room with a glass door,No privacy. I cannot even count the number of times I have heard complaints about the deception on bedroom counts and lack of privacy. Also, no floorplans is the same, so while your neighbor in the same size room might have a 3 seatet couch, you might only have the love seat(2 seater couch)

Who is the decorator?-
The rooms are all drab and outdated with very old furniture.(but about 50 throw pillows) The beds are very very firm(typical of Asia) but really hurt our backs. The bathrooms have several patches of mold growing around hidden/uncleared areas. The linens are stained and the towels are worn with holes and very rough. Large claw foot runs are nice, but not when you fill them with milky water. The curtains while extremely dusty(no one ever cleans those) are nice because they have sheers and black outs.


Who turned up the heat?-
There is only central heat and air, meaning you cannot control the tempeture of your room at all! If it's too warm and winter out, you have to constantly open and close windows. Too hot and summertime, too bad if the hotel wants to save a few thousand won and not turn the AC on, enjoy baking in the humidity of Seoul. This was a huge complaint and issue to us. Not only could we not control our temperature in our apartment but also could smell cigarette smoke through the vents, since it is all a common/shared system, even though we were on a clearly marked non smoking floor. Also, the stench of sewer gas is god awful! Koreans apparently do not use pea traps in their drains so the sewer gas builds. If you close the bathroom doors, it will keep the smell from leaching into the common rooms and bedrooms but then open the door and wham, nauseous knock out! How this air is even safe to breathe in, I have no idea.

Not such a clear concept-
Next issue, the water, it's milky and our britta water filter "filtered" out all kinds of nasty colorful specs, not sure how that is "safe to drink" or even bathe or shower in.

The employees behind such service-
Front desk staff- most are friendly and speak English relatively well. A few staff members should not ever interact with the public. There always seems to be useless doorman standing around "watching" as you struggle to open the doors with loads of luggage and children in hand. Not sure why they have these people employed. If the staff at the desk is somewhat busy they can be rather rude as well.

The not-so digestible grub-
Breakfast: complete garbage. Warm milk, they finally got a new coffee machine and a juice dispenser which chills above room temp. There is always questionable yogurt in big bowls(not sealed packages), bananas that are cut in half to save a few bucks(so they are gooey and brown. Heaven forbid you should want a whole banana.) Two more options of in season fruit are usually available. Two types of eggs(always the option of runny scrambled "eggs" from a carton and some other type) pancakes, French toast and limp disgusting bacon are found once in awhile, one at a time on no apparent schedule. Then there are a garden variety of stale breads leftover from the day before. A few cereals, nuts, and a vegetarian option. There are so many complaints about breakfast from long term and short term residents alike and yet management does nothing to improve it. It is by far the wort breakfast of any hotel around and the worst I've had in any country I have travelled to. They also have the nerve to try to charge your room 22,000 won to take out food(roughly $22 USD) I assure you nothing at breakfast is worth that amount of money. Why is it so wrong to be able to take a muffin or toast to go?

Not a clean sweep-
Maid service- in all my time as a resident, I had only come across two decent maids. There is no sanitation standard here(maybe in all of Korea?) myself and a few long term resident friends had to call and counsel housekeeping because we witnessed the maid use a rag in the toilet(inside the bowl, gross) then wipe down the bathroom counters and faucets! Guess which towel was used in the kitchen. There are no dishwashers the maids sometimes use water and place them in the drying rack. For safety and my family's health, we just did our own dishes. The maids sometimes wear gloves but don't change them from cleaning the bathrooms to the kitchen your hanging your nice clean linens! if all this happened while I was present, I can only shutter to think what happened while I was out.

Gadgets-
Applicances: microwave-works, fridge very small(for long term residents it's a problem, not for short ten) also the controls on the fridge don't work, either freezes my food or can't get it cold enough not to spoil the food.
Washing machine with dryer built in is a joke. You will have to line dry your clothes, hope you like crispy underwear! (this seems to be the Asian way as well) There are plenty of dishes and kitchen gadgets but need to add some bakeware.

Can I get a lift?
Elevators- for the life of me, I still can't figure out how these are programmed, they are truly awful.(hought this seems to be a Korean thing as well)

Worlds slowest Internet-
Internet- Korea has te fastest Internet in the world(it's a fact) I believe it is throttled by the hotel. (again only a problem for long term residents who wish to stream movies.)

Another Korean festival/parade?
Noise- on weekend there is a lot of noise in the rooms facing Insadong. Being higher up helps a lot. Strong winds between high rises are quite noisy as well. Also, you may get lucky and have a floor full of barking animals as well.


Shuttles-
There is a bus that can transport you to Costco, emart and Lotte.(grocery shops) though, not worth it if you don't want to spend 3 hours grocery shopping waiting in the rain for the bus to pick you up.

P.R. FAIL-
When voicing these concerns to the "sales people" that the manager hires,to give a nice impression he wants to make changes, thy were very dutiful in trying to institute change and then promptly "let go" NO CHANGE!

Unemployment line?
I am aware the manager reads these posts occasionally but it does no good! Even the posts that give the hotel a good rating are complaining about the same issues(breakfast, housekeeping and Service) and still nothing is done! I'm not sure how this hotel manager still has a job??

My 2 cents-
Do yourself a favor and stay at Fraser Place or any of the other well appointed friendly residence. If we had a smaller family I would opt for Somerset! Right up Insadong, prime location, over the top service, beautiful balcony and a great breakfat(that you can take away food, such a concept)

R-E-S-P-E-C-T-
Also, if you plan on staying long term, don't expect to be treated with respect. You are treated like any other one night stay guest. It's truly disappointing.

Location location location
- this is why people continue to come back to this hell hole. It is very centrally located. I have heard many people say if you expect a hotel experience you will be extremely disappointed. If you expect a furnished apartment (with no type of service) you will live!


If I had a choice to stay anywhere else, I would have in a heartbeat. Fraser Suites has a bad rep around many frequent traveling businessmen and local community. (I'm guessing for many of my aforementioned examples) though the hotel doesn't need to rely on repeat business.


Enjoy your trip to Seoul and stay out of Fraser Suites!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank LostinSeoul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beverly Hills, California
Level Contributor
36 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2013

The first impression wasn’t that great because they were remodeling the lobby. The temporary lobby was a small room with a narrow hallway that led to a small elevator. But our 2-bedroom flat was cozy, spacious, and functional. The master bedroom had two walls with windows and nice city views; and there was plenty of space to unpack (only negative: the bed was a bit too firm). The flat had just about everything you could need: fully equipped kitchen with full size refrigerator, washer/drier combo, iron and ironing board, and hair dryer. There was a TV in the living room and master bedroom with a good selection of channels in different languages. The bathroom was large and had a separate shower and tub (only negative: the hotel did not restock the toilet paper). The in-room Wi-Fi worked great, but it was only possible to connect one device at a time.

A buffet breakfast was included with the nightly rate and was a great perk. The buffet included fruit, yogurt, cereal, breads, pastries, several hot entrees that changed daily, coffee, espresso, and juice (only negative: because this is a family hotel, the restaurant got very loud some mornings).

We really liked the gym! It has updated equipment (Lifecycle treadmills and Cybex machines), floor to ceiling windows with a view of the street, towels, and a water cooler (a few of the machines were out of order at different times but were fixed by the next day).

The location is great! The hotel is in Insadong just a few steps from the main street with shops and restaurants. There is a Seven-Eleven across the street and restaurant on the ground floor with take out. The nearest metro station, Anguk (metro line 3) is a ten minute walk away. Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jogyesa Temple, the National Folk Museum, and Bukchon are within a 15 minute walk.

Fraser Suites is not big on atmosphere, but it offers a lot of space, a big breakfast, super location, and friendly, helpful staff.

To see more about our time in Seoul, please visit our travel blog, http://latitudeb.com/winter-seoul/.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LoriBarber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
singapore
Level Contributor
22 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

My family of 5 adults and 1 child booked a 4 bedder in the hotel in December 2012. It was very spacious and overlooks the low houses. It's really an apartment with 3 bedrooms and a study. The masterbedroom comes with a kingsize bed and a tv while the larger of the remaining 2 rooms could fit 3 single beds. The reception is not impressive but the receptionists were able to communicate fairly well in english and could help us with directions. Fortunately for us, it had been snowing intermittently and we could enjoy the view of the "snow capped" roof tops. We had a long stay and was a little bored with the breakfast spread. Not much variety and the cafe stopped putting out fresh food closer to 10am on weekdays. So if you had stepped in at 10 min to 10, you are likely left with a cup of coffee. At 10, the staff absolutely would not help bring you any food at all that they had kept away.

I am not sure why but we had experiences of cleaners not replenishing the toiletaries, including toilet paper. we had to remind the hotel several times to do that. So that is a minus for the service.

The hotel is located in Insadong where there are a few streets of interesting art and craft shops, souvenirs shops and the usual FACE Shop, Natural republic, Etude House etc. There are plenty of restaurants serving Korean food and it's actually quite difficult to find alternatives. Over on the other street closer to the exit no. 5 of Jongno- 3 ga station, is a wonderful food street. The food stalls come out in full force at night and line both sides of the street. We tried a restaurant selling fried spice chicken only and it was pretty good. I realised that there are quite a few pubs selling similar fried chicken as an accompaniment to the drinks and they certainly dont taste as good as the fried spiced chicken. On another side of the street are restaurants selling mainly pork dishes and the pig's heads are proudly displayed in each of the shop fronts.

The hotel is less than 5 mins taxi ride to the palace and to SamChong dong, a rather hip area with eclectic mix of shops selling costume jewellery, accessories, clothing, shoes and many coffee shops and italian restaurants. Realised that Koreans do enjoy a cuppa and there are so many "brands" to choose from here.

Myeongdong is also about a 10 min sub way ride away. To use the subway, you first have to buy a store value card from 7 eleven and top up the value of the cards at the station. There is a different card for kids and the cost of travel is lower. But there are no concessions for senior citizens unless you are Korean. each trip is just over a 1000 won. We took a hour ride to a station to get to the Korean Folk Village and it was the same fare. Amazing. By the way, unless you have really not much to do, I would suggest giving the village a miss. Its' really quite contrived although i did get some nice pictures. If you still plan to go, after you get off the station( sorry cant remember the name) go to the Tourist Information Counter outside of the station and you will be directed to a bus stop about 100 m away to take a free shuttle that runs every 11/2 hours. If you missed the bus, just hang out at the shopping plaza which also houses the subway station. There are plenty of restaurants on the top floor (5th I think) and a department store within.

The hotel is also walking distance from the theatre where we caught Jump!, the acrobatic performance. You can just turn up and buy the tickets just before the show as I could see that there is not much of a crowd although on the day we went, there were plenty of school children. The performance is quite slapstick but i could see that the children had a ball of a time.

Overall, i am likely to choose another place to stay only to explore other areas but not because of anything I strongly dislike about this hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lspsl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

This hotel is centrally located, right in the heart of Seoul. The suites are very clean and spacious. Ours was three bedroom as we were staying with our son and daughter-in-law. The beds were very comfortable and all bedding was very clean. Sheets and towels were provided every day if you wanted this. All you had to do was phone house-keeping and they were bought to your room if you needed any extra. The lounge had very up-to-date TV, DVD player, stereo etc. The kitchen had all mod cons such as dish washer and microwave. The cleaners come in every day and the bell-boys carry your luggage to your transport. On the roof there is a golf ball hitting range. Also they have an excellent swimming pool and spa. The staff are very friendly and speak good English. An excellent buffet breakfast is included in the price. They have everything anybody would want for breakfast and cater for every nationality.

Room Tip: On the bottom floor if possible, saves getting out card to use in lift.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Lillian A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

The hotel is in a great location, near many sites. It is between two different subway stops just a ten minute walk either way. There were always taxis outside of the hotel if you needed one. The staff was very nice and helpful and spoke okay English. Our reservation included the breakfast and it was a great buffet with something for everyone. We did order room service our first night and that was very good. We didn't visit the spa or pool but what a plus. The rooms were spacious, clean and very nice and equipped with just about everything you might need. The beds are hard but that is true of Korean beds, we asked for more pillows and they were very nice and accommodated our request. This is a great place with a great location worth every cent.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank paulaga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012

Myself and three other people - including my husband, brother and daughter - stayed in a 3 bedroom suite here in Insadong. Upon arrival, we found out we had been upgraded from a 3 bedroom deluxe to a 3 bedroom executive. The difference between the two rooms is that the second bedroom in the deluxe is technically a 'study', where as in the executive it is normal sized room with windows.

The unit itself was rather large, with the master bedroom being huge! The first bedroom could of done with a bit more space as the double bed took up most of the room available. The kitchen was adequate but quite small in comparison to Western standards. Lounge and dining was cozy, plus having access to a washing machine in our unit was very convenient for a stay of 5 days.

My daughter was pleased with the free wifi in the room, however only one IP can use it at any certain time. I would definitely recommend the continental breakfast available on the 2nd floor. It is included in the room price and has a huge selection of things to eat - which is very handy in the cold winter months instead of having to go and dine out.

Across the road was a 7/11, which had just about every basic item you would need available for affordable prices. A 5 minute walk away will get you to McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts if you are looking for some fast food. The nearest train station was just a few minutes walk away, and the Seoul subway was very easy to use and navigate.

The staff at reception were extremely helpful and could not do enough for me. Our cleaner, Laura, was a lovely lady - who always welcomed and spoke with us. If you are looking to do some local shopping, Insadong has great art and other goodies available within an extremely short distance from the hotel.

Unless you are going South of the Han River, most places you can get to by walking or taking the subway as Insadong really is a very central location in Seoul. During the colder months though, we found it easier to take a taxi around town and they are very cheap and can be organised upon request via reception.

I found the room to be good value for money considering the size of the suite we had. This was far cheaper than having 3 hotel rooms. I would stay here again and recommend Fraser Suites Insadong to anyone, particularly families, visiting Seoul anytime soon.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Lyn F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Orakai Insadong Suites

Property: Orakai Insadong Suites
Address: 18, Insadong 4-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03163, South Korea (Formerly Fraser Suites Insadong)
Location: South Korea > Seoul > Gwanghwamun / Jongno
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#33 Business Hotel in Seoul
#38 Romantic Hotel in Seoul
#40 Family Hotel in Seoul
#57 Luxury Hotel in Seoul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Orakai Insadong Suites 4*
Number of rooms: 213
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Fraser Suites Seoul Hotel Seoul
Fraser Hotel Seoul
Seoul Fraser Hotel

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