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“LOCATION is the thing!”
Review of Pearl Hotel

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Pearl Hotel
Ranked #470 of 952 Seoul B&B and Inns
Miami Beach, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“LOCATION is the thing!”
Reviewed May 9, 2013

If you love the liveliness of Insadong, then this hotel is right in the mix of things. It's a hotel with good service and amenities. It's in a refurbished building so there is no elevator or lobby. It is cozy and comfortable. The Wi-Fi, hot water, all work well. Everything stated they have. I would come back. It is so near to the palaces, the metro, Bukchon (a must see!), and several nice art galleries.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MoiFree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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15 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 (4)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Crawley, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2013

Mixed feelings about this stay and ultimately I can’t look back and say I enjoyed it.

My plane landed at 7am and I arrived at the hotel at 11am to be met with a short sharp greeting “Check in at 2pm”. He made no attempt to see if the room was ready or not. There was no reasoning or discussion allowed. I was permitted to leave my luggage in a storage/cleaners room, and I went for a walk for 3 hours.

I returned at 2pm on the dot and was taken to the room. I was hit by three things which all fought for priority. First, the room hadn’t been cleaned. After the earlier performance, they had failed to get the basics right and this set the level for the remaining 9 days here.

The second thing was the smell. It had been used by smokers. I quickly mentally reviewed my booking options and realised that there had been no smoking/non-smoking option. So this is what you can expect. The smell is only apparent for a minute after entering then you no longer notice it. It all came back though on return home when I opened my luggage.

The third disappointment was the size. Being a single traveller I had naturally chosen the cheapest room with the single bed option. Big mistake. Huge. This room was tiny. Remember I said that my luggage had been stored in a storage/cleaners room? Well that room was immediately below this one. Look at the hotel room pictures on their Expedia web page. It’s the green room. Clever use of a wide angle lens makes the room appear much bigger than in reality. It measures approximately 8ft by 7ft. There was no room for my suitcase and this had to be kept in the tiny entrance area by the bathroom, blocking the doorway.

I asked if I could have another room. Without any checks, I was told that there weren’t any. I’ve stayed in worse [Calcutta], so I just gritted my teeth and got on with life. Whilst the room was being cleaned I was allowed to wait in another room. Although significantly bigger, it had a miserable oppressive feel about it, and a tiny window. Nevertheless it would have been an improvement. My recommendation is, if you are a single traveller and insist on staying here, then unless you are watching every penny, take a bigger room.

The bathroom. Let’s think of something positive to say here. All waste products were adequately removed. That’s it. The “shower” was a hose/spray attached to the wall, bizarrely, immediately above the toilet bowl. So showering was a handheld job. The towels supplied was a basket of tiny hand-sized ones.

Room amenities. Surprisingly, quite a lot. Kettle and usual tea/coffee products, a fridge, hair drier, hair straighteners, lots of hair and bathroom products including toothpaste [albeit previously opened], fly spray. A PC with internet, but this was in Korean. Nevertheless I was able to get an internet page showing, and navigate around without too much trouble. The aircon worked. There were just a couple of coat hooks to hang clothes and a small stool to sit on to use the PC. The bed was on the firm side but ok for me. There was no direct control of room heating. It was an underfloor system and controlled by the reception desk. Although there was no need for the aircon cooling in March I tried it to see if it worked and it did, without any disturbing noise.

Room cleaning never happened. I only got the bin emptied twice in my nine days and both of those times were after I chased them up at reception because it was overflowing. I think they may have replaced some of the tiny towels once or twice, but it’s hard to say really. Cleanliness was adequate and there were no bugs.

The best thing about the hotel was the location. Dead easy to get to from the airport. At the airport exit there’s a coach desk. Ask for a ticket to Anguk Metro [bus 6011] and go to the appropriate stop outside. It’s just over an hour. You get off at Anguk Metro [obviously]. Now I’ll clarify the earlier details of how to find the hotel. Walk back in the direction that you have just come from, past the police station. You will see a 2-storey car park. The earlier reviewers instructions say take the pathway down the side of the car park. However, the car park has a pathway down each side, and I naturally took the nearest one, which is wrong. Take the one at the other side of the car park. It’s very narrow, and after a few yards it gets even narrower – maybe two feet. This will sort out the Americans and those with big luggage. At the end of this pathway turn right and you will see the hotel a few yards along on the left. Should you choose to use the train from the airport, then the exit at Anguk Metro is number 6. The bus stop back to the airport is on the other side of the road, a bit further along. Buses run every 30 minutes or so.

The main road, Insadong-gil, to which the hotel sidestreet is attached, is an interesting touristy street which is mainly pedestrianised. Turn right and you’ll see a convenience store for your room snacks and drinks, and a little further across the main junction is a Subway for a quick Western fast food fix. Turn left and the road is lined with arts, crafts, souvenir shops and a small street market. It leads to a larger shopping area, underground markets and the stream that runs across Downtown. Two of the main temples are within easy walking distance.

Finally, the hotel address given on booking pages bears no resemblance to the road signs. It’s on Insadong 16-gil, which is a sidestreet off the main road Insadong-gil. The sidestreet is so short it’s not worth bothering writing a number down.

If you can come to terms with the hotel shortcomings balanced against the price and location, you should survive.

Room Tip: Don't get a single bed room unless you have absolutely no other option.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MichaelE-England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pearl Hotel

Property: Pearl Hotel
Address: 6, Insadong 16-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03146, South Korea
Phone Number:
Location: South Korea > Seoul > Insadong
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #470 of 952 B&Bs / Inns in Seoul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Pearl Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pearl Hotel is situated in the heart of the city just a 4-minute walk to Anguk Subway Station (line no 3). It features tastefully furnished guest rooms with air conditioning and free WiFi access. Centrally located only an 8-minute walk from the lively Insa-Dong street, the property is also a 13-minute walk from Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village. Incheon International Airport is 60 km ... more   less 
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