Overnight trips to Seoul seldom happen for our family, as we live 45-minutes north of the city. If we do stay the night in Seoul, our typical accommodations are either local boutique hotels or an Airbnb. However, during our latest foray into Seoul, we had the chance to try something different and stay in the recently opened Hotel Maui DDM.
Hotel Maui DDM is a cheery budget hotel located about 15 minutes walking from the large cultural/shopping district Dongdaemun. It’s worth mentioning that Hotel Maui DDM is endorsed by the Korea Tourism Organization, so I was keen to see what our experience would be like.
Location // I’ll be frank, I’m not the best when it comes to traditional maps, so when I realized our check in was after 5pm, I was a bit wary. Fortunately, the hotel manager sent over a PDF map that included photos of landmarks and explicit directions – making our sunset navigation quite easy! However, coming out of Dongmyo exit 3 at dusk can be a tad overwhelming for any traveler. After, the U-turn outside the exit, you are instantly bombarded by the infamous Dongmyo Flea Market (동묘벼룩시장). If you are into antique/vintage shopping, then this is the perfect spot to visit during the daytime (we spent an inordinate amount of time browsing the wares).
During the walk to Hotel Maui DDM, you can find an array of locally owned restaurants and pockets of enthusiastic people enjoying the nightlife. The actual hotel is located on an off-street away from the bright lights and noise. During the day, a portion of the street serves as an outlier for the Dongmyo Flea Market, while opposite, is the betting hall, and across from the hotel, there is on-going construction. As you can imagine, the street can get a tad noisy during the early morning hours.
Aesthetics // A fun yellow outdoor patio greets you as you walk through the gates. The lobby is bright and small. The staff member on duty was friendly and courteous as he checked us in – also alerting us to the security code for late-night returns. As we headed to our room, I noticed our key began with the number 4 but in the elevator, there was no fourth floor, instead, our room was located on the fifth floor. Culture Note: In some East Asian cultures, the number 4 is considered unlucky and signifies death. It is common for buildings to omit the number 4 or replace it with the letter F. The fear or avoidance of the number 4 is called Tetraphobia.
The Room // We were able to access our room with an actual key and were pleasantly surprised with what we found. The interior design was super quaint: with the sea green walls, mustard yellow pillows, and white accent furniture. Our room had a high window, which was awesome as I like to sleep with the window open (and a cool urban view is always nice). We were given a snug double bed (which I found quite firm) but after a night of dancing, I was just glad not to be sleeping on the floor.
As I mentioned previously, there is a flat-screen TV, a mini-fridge, as well as a vanity and a decent sized mirror. The bathroom was another favorite as it was huge! I was grateful that Hotel Maui Dongdaemun had complimentary body wash because I forgot to pack ours. Please note, that the bathroom lacks a partition so it’s definitely possible to water the entire floor.
Hospitality // The customer service and friendliness of the staff and owner were a definite highlight. We had the opportunity to converse with the owner – May, and it was awesome to learn that she was a military spouse as well. May, really believes in giving back and providing a welcoming place for all travelers who visit Hotel Maui DDM.
Final Thoughts // Overall, my experience was pleasant, and I appreciated the bright minimalistic aesthetic for this affordable accommodation. There are minor improvements that could be made but as their a new hotel, it wasn’t a huge inconvenience and I enjoyed my stay. I just want to stress again the ease of finding the hotel, which was a major bonus!
I definitely recommend a visit to Hotel Maui DDM for traveling couples. The friendliness of the staff, price, super chill vibes, and location make it a great budget stay to explore a different side of Seoul.
FTC: Hotel Maui DDM was kind enough to offer me a 2-night complimentary stay in exchange for a review. As always, all opinions are my own. Hotel Maui DDM is currently offering a special discount until the end of 2016!! Feel free to use my Booking.com code to make your reservation! Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links”. If you click on the link and/or purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission (which helps with running this site). Cheers!
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