Myeongdong is a popular area of central Seoul, known for shopping, cosmetics and street food. Always busy, its brightly lit streets are a great introduction to South Korea’s capital city – here’s a guide to the best hotels in the area.
Contemporary design in the lobby of L7 Myeongdong | Courtesy of Hotels.com
The Myeongdong area has a number of hotels run by Korean conglomerate Lotte, not least the swanky Lotte Hotel Seoul. All of these are part of the iconic Lotte brand, and will give you a taste of contemporary Korea. L7’s stylish interior gives guests modern, well-designed rooms to rest in after a hard day of shopping, at a slightly more affordable pricetag than Lotte Hotel. It’s still a four-star hotel, however – don’t expect budget digs. There’s a free foot spa next to the rooftop bar, and the Myeongdong shopping area starts just behind the hotel.
Floral Hotel Shinshin is a modern four-star hotel, ten minutes’ walk from the Myeongdong shopping area and across the street from Namdaemun Market. It’s a tall building, with graffiti-style yellow origami boats painted on the walls. Inside, the rooms are clean, cool and contemporary. Some of the rooms have Korean-style beds (floor mattresses on raised platforms) that provide a nice counterpoint between old and new. Internet-connected smartphones are provided in all the rooms for guests to use.
The Crown Park Hotel’s location is perfect for avid shoppers – it’s right next to the main branch of Lotte Department Store, across the street from Myeondong’s main shopping area, and a five-minute walk from Shinsegae Duty Free. Rooms are decorated in an elegant, minimalist-meets-classic style. The hotel also offers connected rooms, and is popular with families.
L’Escape is an opulent five-star hotel with an 18th-century European feel. Although entering its interior feels a little bit like stepping back in time, it was opened in 2018, so all the fixtures, fittings and amenities (spa, bar, fitness suite) are brand new. The rooms are beautifully decorated, with lots of attention to detail. Dim, soft lighting throughout gives the hotel a romantic atmosphere.
Sejong Hotel is located five minutes’ walk from Myeongdong shopping area, and right next to the subway entrance. Its interior is classic and a little old-fashioned, although sparklingly clean. Some of the rooms have balconies and views of Namsan Tower. There’s a small European-style garden that provides a peaceful respite to Myeongdong’s noisy streets, as well as a small on-site art gallery.
The Splaisir is a modern, contemporary four-star hotel. Its exterior is a little bit industrial-chic, with bare concrete walls and yellow-lit windows. The interior is minimalist, monochrome and stylish – with the exception of the Line Suites, which are an homage to the characters used in popular messaging app Line. As well as stuffed toys in the Line rooms, there’s also a giant Line character (Brown, a teddy bear) in the lobby, which is good for photo ops. The hotel has a small roof garden with views out onto the city.
Fraser Place offers studio and apartment hotel accommodation in the centre of Seoul, seven minutes’ walk from City Hall station and within walking distance (approximately 15-25 minutes, depending on your speed) of Myeongdong main shopping area. The apartments have a stylish, homely feel, and all come with a washing machine and kitchenette. The downstairs spa includes a Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms.