Lotte is a brand that is up and coming to be known for its high quality. And this resort is no exception. You can tell from the minute you pull up that this is a quality resort. The circle of pillars outside the main entrance give it a feel of decadence. The fixtures of this place are just as impressive. But...
I just didn't get it. Why did Lotte open this place up? This resort is situated in the middle of nothing. I mean literally nothing. There are a few palaces and tombs and museums around, but you could go see those in no less than a dozen other places in Korea that actually have the surrounding facilities (restaurants, entertainment, etc) to support tourism. This area does not... at least... not YET.
Lotte is selling this destination on their website, but don't be fooled. The ONLY thing completed at this hotel right now is the hotel itself, and "Aqua World", which is a small spa/children’s swimming area/natural spring water pools. From what I am told, the construction on the surrounding shopping, spa town, golf course, etc, etc.. is not to be completed until AT LEAST 2013. And from what I saw this weekend, it will be much, much longer. The hotel is not even staffed like a full resort. There are several key things missing, like anyone working the door, a concierge, or even room service. No room service at all.
For me, this was a weekend trip to meet my wife’s family in a convenient area for all of us. The hotel was built in an area my mother in law is familiar with so - we went. But for the average traveler, I just wouldn't see why you would go here right now.
But the property was too well built for me to give it anything less than "average". So here we go...
Parking is convenient and there are plenty of elevators in the parking area that go all the way up to guest room floors. Good for convenience, potentially bad for security.
In the basement there is also a 7-eleven and a kids play zone and somewhere around there is a no-rae-bang (Karaoke) - as I heard several guests wailing to the wee hours, not bothersome, just kind of funny.
One great attribute is they have a huge angel-in-us coffee shop on the first floor; great as a waiting area and definitely the best coffee in the house.
The rooms are separated (other than by size) by hotel type or condo type. I didn't stay in the condo type but I can tell you they are in the shorter side of the building, only 5 floors of them facing the golf course (some day) - and presumable have a bigger kitchen.
The hotel rooms are well built and are almost like a small apartment. We stayed in the 31 pyung and the 23 pyung rooms. They both had small kitchenettes, small dining tables one bed and one small room for sleeping on the floor. The difference with the 31 pyung was that it has a living room with a 4 person couch and another chair. And the TV is much bigger in the 31 pyung. About a 50" TV in the 31, and a 27" TV in the 23. I'm told there may be a small price difference ($10?) between the two so, if that is true, I would splurge and get the 31 pyung. The views are just awful. If you look at their property models, it almost doesn't make sense which direction they faced the hotel rooms. They will eventually face opposite the most beautiful part of the area. Right now, its just as desolate on one side of the building as the other.
The ONE restaurant they have in the place is pretty funny actually. The food is just average. The service is about as average. Nice people and all but, this restaurant was not very good. We ate dinner there the first night. Some dishes were pretty decent. Some were actually turned away. The next morning the breakfast buffet was very simple but again, decent. Then for lunch we were told they are having a wedding so we had a choice between three dishes that they would bring out to us at the Angel In Us Coffee. Silly. We just drove to town and ate.
There are three or four small restaurants just off the property. But thats about it. I mean literally, that’s it. No convenience shops, no stores, nothing but a museum and a tech college down the road.
I didn’t bother to try the spa. I’m sure it's average as well. There is also no gym on this property which was... odd.
So that's it. In summary, great, clean hotel with nice fixtures a few cool little features and all the potential in the world. But it’s not ready yet. I'm guessing they opened the hotel early to help make up some money to fund the expansive projects going on around the hotel. Go visit them in 2 or 3 years and you may be impressed.
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