Of course I read the other reviews before I booked. you never know what to expect, but one thing is for sure. You cant say you weren't warned if any of what the other said happens to be true. I needed a room for my wife and 2 preteen kids for 2 weeks. I would be staying in the room a few nights, but mostly just visiting for the evenings and departing for work at 10pm. I am fairly familiar with Busan, but they were not, so I needed a location that was easy to use the subway. This hotel fits the bill its a 5 minute walk to namcheon subway station. There is not much very close nearby. 15 minute walk to Kyung sung University (chock full of restaurants and bars) 15 minute walk to Gwangalli beach which is nice, and a 15 min walk to emart which has an outback and a huge grocery and department store. They have removed the walk over at the big corner, but there are crossings out in there place. Only problem is that no in in Busan stops at red lights. They might slow down, but your life is on the line whenever you are crossing when it says walk. I was in constant fear of my family being killed. Anyway thats a city/country issue, nothing to so with the Hotel. Taxis are always nearby and although its VERY difficult to communicate where to go in English, they are readily available. No person, or taxi anywhere knows the Benikea Press Hotel. A couple locals knew it as the San Fransisco (past name), but luckily the hotel is right next door to the tv sation KBS. So just say KBS Nam-chon. Then you can attempt to direct him down the little alley way that the front door sits on. The hotel is on a one way main street, so you have to use the alley when approaching from the west.
I was only able to book a Superior room and that cost about $108 USD after taxes per night. Not cheap. It was supposed to be for 2 people and one child under 5 free. As I was not sleeping there most nights i didnt think it would be a problem. It wasn't they were very nice and gave us a mat and a coupled extra pillows for the kids to sleep on for free. It wasn't more than a thin piece of foam, but kids can handle anything. The bed was hard as a rock. Fairly typical for Korea. The pillows were bad as well. Bad for a westerner I should say. Again normal for Koreans. Do your self a favor and buy a pillow at emart if you are staying more than 1 night.
The room had a huge tv, and 2 PC's which 1 was intermitently working. Kept the kids busy. There are no English channels. No ESPN, no CNN nothing. Of the 60 channels, there is Usually One, YES ONLY ONE english movie playing. Basically its hit or miss if that movie is any good. We saw everything from Titanic to Pretty Woman to Avatar. Your better off watching something streaming off the PC, as our TV was wired into the PC, and the connection was 28MBPS. Super fast. I aslo watched some movies via USB hard drive through the PC to TV connection.
The room smelled bad. It was a type of sewer smell, and it wasnt coming from the toilet or bath that I could tell. It wasn't unbearable, and you got used ot it after 5 mins, but it wasnt nice. I should have complained, but I have travelled a lot, and I could tell that trying to communicate to the non english speaking guy at the desk at 11pm was not going to turn out well. I have complained at these type hotels before only to get a room that was worse than the first. We bought some air freshener, and it helped a little. I also didnt want to rock the boat as we had more people staying in the room than allowed for that first night.
The Superior room is supposed to be the second biggest, and I can tell you it was small. It was smaller than any normal US hotel room, and the pictures online must have been shot with sme kind of a fisheye lens or something. With the kids small mat on the floor and the queen bed, there was virtually no walking space except in front of the door. The bathroom was big and had a jacuzzi, 2 showers (one of which just sprayed onto the floor and drained) and a fancy bidet, heated toilet seat. The aircon was a split unit type and although the remote is all in Korean, at times it wouldnt turn on. It was really frustrating. one night after returning, I sent my 11 YO down to the desk to TRY to relay that it wont work. It seems that they have the power to turn it off via computer from the front desk. Weird as you need to put your key card in the wall for power anyway. Spent over an hour on 3 nights messing with that thing before I learned that trick.
The front desk staff couldn't really speak english as far as we could tell, but they were all very nice. The cleaning lady was also very nice and always smiling. Im sure this had to do with the fact they we are a family. I was always treated nicely in Korea when with my family, but when Im alone, people wont even look you in the eye and can be quite rude. Not sure why, but Busan became a much friendlier city when my family was here with me.
Although there were condoms on the nightstand, I would not classify this as a love hotel. There were no shady characters, porn channels, or dangling ropes covering the parking area to conceal cars. (My young son saw them on the hotel next door and asked if it was a car wash). I did not go to the bar, restaurant, or kareoke joint, but it was not noisy ever.
There was a convenience store a block away, but you had to cross 2 lanes of death to get there or walk 8 blocks to a crosswalk. There was a group of local restaurants and shops 4 blocks away, with a McDonalds near there too.
All and all it was a fine place to stay, but in my opinion after thousands of nights in hotels in my life should have cost about $55. Not $110. Saying that, I would not expect a giant tv and 2 high speed PC's included for $55 but it was a $55 room. Great location being in between Haundae beach, downtown and Nampo Dong Market area. All accesible by subway. Next time traveling with a family, I will check Koreabridge and Busanhaps websites to see if any English students are subletting their apartments so I dont have to apy $1500 for 2 weeks stay. Avoid room 705 because of the smell. Not sure if that was the same room as the other reviewer got. I would use this hotel again if I needed to be in the area.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Benikea Hotel Press has earned recognition as a boutique hotel that brings out the best of the natural environment of Gwangalli Beach where visitors can enjoy romance all year round. In Busan, you can see a glimpse of the beautiful Gwangandaygyo Bridge at the end of a dazzling shoreline, and there are many places to enjoy marine sports. As an advocate of a new concept of hotel culture, Benikea Hotel Press thinks from its guests' point of view in order to provide the best services and to ensure a comfortable stay. * Check-in -Standard check in time is between 2:00PM to 10:00PM. -Please inform to hotel in advance in case of late check in (after 10:00PM) ※ Blanket will be provided for paid addtional guest. ※ Free Wi-Fi ※ All rooms are non-smoking. ... more less
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