Before my trip to Korea I was almost unsure of what to expect in Uljiro Co Op due to the lack of recent reviews in 2011. So here I am doing a favour to all those who are looking for more updated information!
Firstly, many people get confused that there is no DIRECT shuttle to the hotel from the airport. In fact, there is! Its called the Airport Limousine Bus 6001. Remember its 6001! Many people get confused with 6002 but its 6001! It costs 14,000 won, which might seem expensive but well..it saves you alot of confusion in a new town. It brings you directly to the front doorstep of the hotel. You can ask English Speaking staff at Information Counters at the Airport for the location of the Bus Stop. You have to buy a ticket at the ticket counter there before boarding. The journey takes around 1 hr to 1hr 30mins depending on the traffic conditions.
Note : When going TO the airport from the hotel, you just have to wait at the bus stop outside the hotel, and board the bus, paying the driver there.
Now on to Uljiro Co Op...
During my stay, I got a room that looked nothing like those in pictures uploaded and the hotel's main site. I suppose they are renovating new rooms? My room had hanging plasma TV with a table and two chairs underneath it. The whole room had a IKEA decor kind of feeling, which I really liked. I suppose the furniture are new as it still had the new-wood scent. I was staying on the 6th floor so maybe you might like to request for it if you're turned off by those shown in pictures.
However like most reviews stated, the toilets are indeed small. One complaint was that clothes get wet easily in the toilet. However in the 'new' room that was given to me (I'd like to think they're upgrading all the rooms), there's actually this cabinet attached to the wall where you find your towels in it. You can actually stuff your clothes there and it'll shield them from the water spraying.
Personally I feel the room might be best for not more than 3 people. A family of 4 might find it rather squeesy in here and I'd reccommend getting 2 rooms side by side.
The Kitchenette is fully functional with very modern kitchen equipment. They provide a nice non-stick pan, a pot, an induction cooker, a mini fridge, a kettle, a microwave, 2 bowls, 2 rounded-plates, and a range of cutleries. Dishwashing liquid and sponge was also provided (You need to do abit of exploring of the kitchenette to find all the things stated above)
Hair dryer is also provided above the shoe cabinet. (It's amusing how they try to save space)
As mentioned in other reviews, there are no safety deposit boxes, but the Front Desk (English speaking but abilities vary from person to person) is available to help you keep your valuables. (I kept my passports with them). Its easy to trust them as they're really nice and honest people.
Place a Do Not Disturb sign outside the room and the housekeeping ladies will not enter (If you're worried about that security aspect) However, you'll find that they'll hang 2 fresh towels on your door handle for you to use, which was quite pleasant.
Now on to the area around the hotel. Coming out of the hotel, you'll be facing the National Medical Centre (Something like a hospital?). Turning left and walking just a little will bring you to the entrance to an Underpass/Mall called the Dongdaemun Underground Mall. Once in this underground mall, which sells mainly sports equipment, you can follow the signs and find your way to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Subway Station. (Quite a walk, but around 5 mins or so, but its just a straight path) By the way, it is important to take note that many of Korea's subways have numbered exits. The entrance you've entered from Uljiro Co Op is numbered '17' (If I didn't forget, you might want to double confirm when you reach the bottom of the stairs). So you just have to follow the signs leading you to the desired numbered exit you want to head to. I suppose it's possible to reach the subway on street level but personally the underground mall is much 'user-friendly' in the sense you don't have to cross roads or get confused by buildings.
Now, back to the entrance of Uljiro Co Op facing the National Medical Centre. Turning right will bring you to some little food shops selling stuff like fried chicken and seafood. Walking on you will also see a convenience stall named "Family Mart" In there you can get..well...your convenience needs. (They sell microwavable rice that can be heated in your room, really neat. Just click the 2 분 button on your microwave, which means 2 minutes)
Walking on, by crossing the first Traffic Light (It will be on your left) you see will bring you to Lotteria (One of their Fast Food Restaurants.) You might want to use it as your checkpoint, as the signboard LOTTERIA with red background and yellow words are hard to miss. After you cross this traffic light, while facing the fast food restaurant, turning right will bring you to the start of the stretch of shopping malls!
First one you'd see would be 'Good Morning City'. Inside it you'll find many small stalls selling clothes and you can go crazy there. One surprising find I discovered on this trip would be SPAREX, at the Basement 3 level of this particular mall. I suppose many of you have heard of Korea's Public Baths? Made popular by its drama serials. Theres one in this mall! With surprisingly modern equipment and decor! Its abit hard to direct based on text, but you just have to take a lift to B3, exit into a carpark, and look for their multicoloured sign with the words SPAREX on it. Good luck finding it, but it's really worth the experience! However if you're uncomfortable with being completely nude in the changing rooms and water sauna then it is advised you stay away from it, as its sort of a 'must' there. Theres a nice common area (Where both males and females can hang out) at the bottom level of SPAREX that features heat saunas to sweat it out. Lockers with keys are provided so you don't have to worry about your belongings (Just don't bring your entire luggage)
Back outside the mall, walking on straight will bring you to malls like Hello Apm and Milgilore. There are concert areas outside these malls, and in the evening they might occassionally have competitions, auditions or even celebrity performances. There are many food outlets and restaurants in this area too!
If your impression of Dongdaemun would be that it has those dense lines of stalls in the streets selling accessories, cute lil stuff, clothes and all that, I'm afraid you might be a little disappointed as the influx of these departmental stores have probably wiped out many of these stalls. (From what the locals told us) But yeah its good enough, you'll still see a few of them :)
Yeah that's about it for the review of Uljiro Co Op and the area around it. I hope it helps!
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- Also Known As:
- Uljiro Co-Op Residence Hotel Seoul
- Uljiro Co Op Residence Seoul