Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels and Residences was opened in July 2018 with 331 guest rooms and 192 residences. This newly built property is located adjacent to the famous Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Dongdaemun Market. It is also very accessible with a bus stop (2 mins) and Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station (4 mins) walk from the hotel.
We picked this hotel because it’s new and has a convenient location. There are 3 subway lines that serve Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station. It’s only two stops away from Myeongdong shopping district and four stops from Seoul Station (AREX). Moreover, the airport limousine bus stop is just a min walk away. There are also several convenience stores and eateries near the hotel.
The property has a wide range of room types in two distinctive wings (hotel and residence) to cater for every traveler’s needs. The Residence has facilities similar to a serviced apartment – equipped with washer, dryer, fridge and cooking facilities. The moment you step into the hotel, you’ll see the concierge desk. The lifts on the right and left lead you to the Hotel and Residence Wings respectively. The check-in counters are located on the 20th floor that connects both wings.
Getting to Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun
The hotel is 68km away from Incheon Airport (about an hour’s drive). We booked a private driver from Klook to get to the hotel. There are various private airport transfers on Klook. We booked the private transfer from S.A Tour as they were the cheapest ($83 per car for 3-5 person). I’d highly recommend them. The driver can speak Mandarin and very helpful too. The car is clean and spacious. Moreover, they sent me the pick-up details one day before my trip. They also created a group chat to contact the driver. Very awesome service!
You can also take the airport limousine bus # 6001 (Dongdaemun – Incheon Airport) to get to the hotel. It takes approx. 1.5 hour and costs KRW 15,000 for adult and KRW 11,000 for children. Bus tickets can be purchased at the ticketing offices near the arrival hall.
There are two bus stops within walking distance from the hotel. Look at the two red triangles in the map below for the bus stops. The one on the left (shorter distance) is in front of Western Co-Op Residence. The one on the right is in front of Co-Op Residence.
Red Triangle: Airport Limousine Bus Stops, Purple Arrow: Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun, Blue Arrow: Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station (Exit 12)
The most cost-effective way is by AREX (Airport Railroad Express). The cost of traveling between Seoul Station and Incheon International Airport is KRW 9,500 for adult and KRW 7,500 for children. The travel time is ~43 mins non-stop from Terminal 1 and ~ 51 mins from Terminal 2, with a brief stop at Terminal 1. You can purchase discounted AREX Incheon Airport Express Train Ticket on Klook. From Seoul Station, you can take the subway to Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (4 stops away). The nearest exit to the hotel is Exit 12 (4 mins walk).
Residence Deluxe 1 Bedroom with 1 King Size Bed
We stayed for 5 nights in a Residence Deluxe 1 Bedroom with King Size Bed. The room is super spacious at 53 sqm with a comfortable King-sized bed, sofa, work/dine area, en-suite shower and kitchenette with washer, dryer, induction cooker, microwave, rice cooker, Nespresso coffee machine, kettle and fridge. Basic cutleries, cooking tools, wine glasses, laundry detergent, washing detergent and sponge are available. Two complimentary bottles of mineral waters are also provided daily.
The moment we stepped into the room, we were so impressed with the fully-equipped kitchenette. Pots and pans are neatly stowed in the drawers. The washer (with dryer function) and fridge are concealed in a cabinet underneath the sink. All the electrical appliances have instructions in Korean language only. However, there is an operating guidebook in English (how thoughtful is that!).
Further from the kitchenette is the living area with L-shaped sofa and a small work/dine table with chairs. There is a 55″ LED TV, high speed Internet, GIGA Genie voice and touch system, as well as wardrobe with plenty of storage space. An in-room safe can be found inside the wardrobe, as well as iron and ironing board. Next to it is the King-sized bed with en-suite shower.
I totally love the floor-to-ceiling windows. During the day, the room is illuminated with natural light. At night, we get an incredible night view of the cityscape. Our room also has a view of Namsan Tower!
On both sides of the bed, there are international power sockets and USB power ports (very easy to charge our phones!). Bedside reading lamps are installed on both sides of the headboard. A telephone and alarm clock can also be found on the bedside table, along with GIGA Genie voice and touch system.
Cool stuff here – the GIGA Genie allows guests to use voice commands in their rooms using the touch screen panel to control lighting, AC, TVs, music, and to order hotel amenities. Imagine lying in your bed and give command to switch off the TV or light without touching any buttons or leaving your bed. I’m sure there are other features, but I didn’t have time to check them out.
That’s not all! Guests can also use the Genie Phone for free international call to 22 countries (Singapore included!), mobile tax refund and mobile tour card to pay for transportations fare using T-money App. So impressive!
Now, let’s take a look at the bathroom. It’s SO huge! I love the long countertop where I can spread out my toiletries and make-up. Their in-house bath amenities are very complete too – shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, tooth brush set, vanity set, sewing kit and shaver kit.
There are two cubicles in the bathroom. One is the shower cubicle with a regular shower head and rain shower. The other one is the toilet equipped with a bidet. There is no bathtub in our room. If you must have a bathtub, upgrade to a suite!
First of all, the swimming pools. The hotel has two pools – the indoor pool on the 20th floor that is opened all year long, and the outdoor pool on the 21st floor rooftop (opened in summer only). I didn’t have a chance to see the outdoor pool as it was closed in winter, but the indoor pool is very nice. The pool is heated, there’s also a jacuzzi pool next to it. Most swimming pools in Korea require swimmers to wear a cap. If you intend to swim, don’t forget to pack your cap.
On the 20th floor, there is a fitness center that is well-equipped with exercise equipment. Free rental service for sportswear (except shoes) is also provided. I love the floor-to-ceiling window that allows the guests to indulge in a rejuvenating workout while overlooking the beautiful view of Seoul. Computers are also available for free use at the PC Corner.
Breakfast buffet is served at Food Exchange on the 20th floor. Like most good hotels, Food Exchange offers a selection of food items from different cuisines. Choose from local delights like fried rice, beef bulgogi and bibimbap or more Westernised food items like omelette, sausages and ham. My favourite is the golden crispy hash brown. There are also live cooking stations that serve noodles and eggs.
Additionally, there’s a range of healthier options such as fruits, salad, yogurt and breakfast cereal for guests who are mindful of their diet. There’s also porridge, a wide variety of bread and pastries, as well as coffee machines. Breakfast hour is from 6:30am to 10:00am. Although there’s little variation day to day, but in general, the breakfast is delicious and sufficient.
Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun is definitely one of the top hotels to stay in Seoul. The hotel appeals to travelers who want a nice room and convenient location but with a mid-range budget. I’d highly recommend this hotel – especially for families as the residences are very spacious and comfortable.
The hotel also provides a lot of value-added services such as complimentary shuttle service to major locations in Seoul i.e. Myeongdong, Seoul Station (KTX, AREX) and Insadong. Moreover, getting to and from Incheon Airport is super easy – the bus stop for Airport Limousine is just a min walk away. As I’ve mentioned earlier, Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station is only 4 mins walk from the hotel.
Last but not least, all the staffs in the hotel are extremely helpful and nice. We were especially thankful to the concierge staffs who helped us to book taxi and provide directions. They speak good English too. We felt so welcomed and happy during our stay. Their impeccable service left a lasting impression that will surely bring us back in future.