a room with chairs and tables

Review: L7 Hotel Myeongdong (Seoul, South Korea)

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Last year, I took a trip to Seoul. Unfortunately, it was cut short by a last-minute family emergency. However, I was able to snap some pictures during the 3 hours inside the hotel that I had booked for our trip, the L7 Hotel Myeongdong. L7 is a trendy new brand under the massive Lotte Group. I was excited to check out the hotel and see if it all the hype was deserved. 

We made our way to the hotel using an Airport Bus service, which dropped us off one block away from the hotel. After being greeted by some staff on the first floor, we were directed to the lobby which was on the third floor where we were able to check in and given rooms despite the fact that we arrived 5 hours before the published check-in time. The overall process was efficient enough and the associates were quite friendly.

The hotel is located in Myeongdong, which is one of the main touristy areas of Seoul with plenty of great shopping and dining, so I have no complaints there.

IMG_2007L7 Hotel Myeongdong Lobby 

While my mother handled the check-in formalities, I decided to explore the gorgeous lobby area, which was quite honestly the perfect place for an Instagram photoshoot. Right behind the front desk were a couple of decorative benches.

IMG_2010L7 Hotel Myeongdong Lobby 

I really liked some of the artwork that was displayed all around the lobby, starting with this cool but random collection of items that were painted yellow.

IMG_2002L7 Hotel Myeongdong Lobby Artwork 

I appreciated that the lobby had a cooler with lemon-scented water, which I thought was a really nice touch especially considering how dehydrating traveling can be.

IMG_2008L7 Hotel Myeongdong Water Cooler 

Next to the front desk were two iMacs, which could be used free of charge.

IMG_2009L7 Hotel Myeongdong iMac in Lobby 

The lobby and the bar/lounge next door was decorated with plenty of bright neon lighting which I thought looked really cool.

IMG_2011L7 Hotel Myeongdong Neon Lighting 

There was a gorgeous lounge area right next to the lobby which featured a variety of seating areas along with a vending machine where guests could buy some travel essentials.

IMG_2004L7 Hotel Myeongdong Lobby Lounge

I was definitely not expecting this from what is billed as a limited service property. Had I spent longer in the hotel, I definitely would’ve taken advantage of this gorgeous space to relax, work and chat with my travel companions.

IMG_2006L7 Hotel Myeongdong Lobby Lounge

Next to the lounge was a champagne bar. Oddly, much of the shelves of the bar seemed to be stocked with bottles of San Pellegrino Sparkling Water…

IMG_2005L7 Hotel Myeongdong Bubble Lounge and Bar

Overall, I was really impressed with how well-designed and gorgeous the public spaces of the hotel. They almost reminded me of the common spaces that you find at many millennial-targeting limited-service brands, such as Aloft or Moxy by Marriott, or Tru by Hilton.

After completing all check-in formalities, we were directed to the elevators where we headed up to our rooms.

L7 Hotel Seoul Myeongdong
Check-in: Friday, August 11th, 2017
Room Type: Standard Double
Stay duration: 0 nights
Check-out: Friday, August 11th, 2017

My first impression of the room that it was small and sparse, but generally functional. There was a double bed, which was on an elevated wooden “platform”. Unfortunately, the bed was basically rock hard, which was really disappointing. Next to the bed were two wooden nightstands, which contained a box of tissues, hotel information and an alarm clock. Next to each of the nightstands were a pair of power ports and a set of aeroplane-style reading lights. There was also a small lamp in the corner of the room.

IMG_2023L7 Hotel Myeongdong Standard Double Room 

On one wall of the room was a large flatscreen television screen (the picture of which I couldn’t find) and a desk with writing pads, a book containing more detailed hotel information and a magazine, a telephone, a funky desk lamp as well as USB and regular power ports. I was glad to see that the hotel didn’t skimp on basic amenities (such as the telephone), but was slightly disappointed to see that the hotel didn’t pick a more comfortable chair for working to complement the desk, instead opting for a green stool.

IMG_2025L7 Hotel Myeongdong Standard Double Room Desk 

The room also featured a luggage rack, which was a thoughtful touch. However, the rack was barely large enough to hold my small carry on.

IMG_2015L7 Hotel Myeongdong Standard Double Room Luggage Rack

I appreciated that the hotel offered a kettle alongside complimentary coffee and tea in the room.

IMG_2016L7 Hotel Myeongdong Standard Double Room Kettle, Coffee and Tea

The room also featured a safe which was easy to use and find.

IMG_2017L7 Hotel Myeongdong Standard Double Room Safe

The room also featured an exposed closet which featured two bathrobes – a surprisingly premium amenity for what is supposed to be a relatively limited service property.

IMG_2018L7 Hotel Myeongdong Standard Double Room Bathrobes and Closet

The hotel also stocked a pair of flimsy slippers. Next to the slippers was an empty fridge with two bottles of complimentary water.

IMG_2019L7 Hotel Myeongdong Standard Double Room Slippers

Now, to my biggest gripe with the room – the bathrooms. I think the Andaz Amsterdam called and asked for their bathroom back. Seriously, what is the deal with trendy hotels and their objection to having an enclosed washroom? The washroom was just right out in the open, without even a curtain to separate it from the rest of the room. While this makes the room feel more spacious, it also makes travelling with a companion unnecessarily uncomfortable.

The “bathroom” featured a long sink/counter area which I especially appreciated. Next to the sink was a small tray with basic amenities such as a dental kit and a bottle of Malin + Goetz body cream.

IMG_2027L7 Hotel Myeongdong Standard Double Room Sink

The room also featured a Japanese-style toilet, which is always a fun feature to have in the room.

IMG_2026L7 Hotel Myeongdong Standard Double Room Bathroom

I appreciated that they at least bothered to frost the glass door to the shower, but this honestly wouldn’t be necessary if they’d bothered to install a curtain that separated the room from the bathroom – or maybe even designing the room with an enclosed bathroom instead. Inside the shower were more Malin + Goetz toiletries.

IMG_2022L7 Hotel Myeongdong Standard Double Room Bathroom

Overall, I thought the room was small but well designed, with the exception of the whole bathroom setup. Based on the sparse and minimalistic design of the room, it felt like the L7 brand is trying to jump on the “millennial-centric design” bandwagon, with an emphasis on spending time in public spaces outside of the room. However, I honestly don’t see the appeal of this. I’d much rather work and relax in the comfort of my own room instead of spending time in a noisy public area, but each to their own I guess…

After catching up with some friends, I was informed of a family emergency that meant that our trip had to be cut short. The hotel was accommodating, helpful and efficient in cancelling our reservation for the remaining nights and checking us out, which I was really thankful for. So, a big kudos to the hotel staff.

Bottom Line: The L7 Hotel Myeongdong

Although I didn’t spend more than two hours inside the hotel, the L7 Myeongdong looked like a great base for exploring Seoul. The location was fantastic, and the rooms were clean and generally well designed with the exception of the bathroom setup, and the public spaces were gorgeous. I also appreciated that the hotel staff were friendly and efficient, which helped make what was a tough situation easier for me and my mother. Overall, I would definitely return to the L7 the next time I stop by Seoul.

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