Tuesday 21 November 2023

Seoul II Day 4: Lotte Spa, Kids Club & Solaria Nishitetsu Myeongdong

We woke up early this morning to visit the spa while the kids were still sleeping (kids below 14 years old are not allowed into the spa). The Hubby went first, then came back to look after the Littlest Girl so that my Mum and I could go.

As mentioned in my previous post, we were given a key bracelet each that will give us access the female sauna and bathrooms.

We headed to the locker area to undress and store our belongings in the lockers.

You'd need to follow the same spa etiquette in South Korea as they do in Japan, whereby everyone must bathe before getting into the hot pools and you cannot wear any clothes. However, unlike Japan, there were stalls for those who were too shy to bathe at the communal bathing area.

Photo credit: Lotte Hotel World

There were 3 pools of different temperatures. They were, simply put, cold, hot and super hot! We chose the middle pool (hot) and loved it! There were also 2 sauna rooms: a wet sauna and a Finnish-style dry sauna. The sauna was super hot but really great for detox!

The spa that morning was mainly filled with Korean ajumeoni (elderly women). Some looked at us quizzically, probably trying to figure out where we're from by judging our accent. 

Mum and I spent more than an hour there, chatting and enjoying ourselves. I love the spa and regretted that we didn't go on other days of our stay when we could have! I'll definitely stay here again in the future, just for the spa! 😁

We returned to our room and ate bread from my favourite bakery Lee Soon Dang (located at the basement of Lotte Department Store) for breakfast. So yummy! 😋

As we had more than an hour until check out at 12 noon, I brought my Littlest to the Kids Club located on Level 8. We were greeted with a very colourful lift lobby the moment the lift doors opened!

Admission to the Kids Club was only for preschoolers aged 6 years old and below.

It was well-decorated and had a lot of wonderful toys that immediately attracted my Littlest. She had the best time climbing, sliding, jumping and hitting the wall!

Yes, you read that right! Hitting an interactive projection wall! She and a Korean boy competed to see who could hit more balloons, zombies, fruits, etc until he got bored! 😆

She had so much fun that she didn't want to leave! 😅

After successfully persuading her to leave, we took the special lift with glass windows for the last time. I told her to say goodbye to Lotte World and assured her that we'll be back again someday! 😆

I genuinely felt sad to leave Lotte Hotel World (more details in my previous post in case you missed it)! We enjoyed ourselves and will definitely stay again if we can!

It was time to head to our third and last accommodation located in Myeongdong. The hotel helped us to hire a jumbo cab that can accommodate all 6 of us (cost 50k won).

We arrived at the street adjacent to our hotel, Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Myeongdong, as the road directly in front of the hotel was out of bounds to vehicles during certain times of the day due to heavy pedestrian traffic. We had to drag our luggage for a short distance to reach the hotel entrance.

We took the lift up to Level 21 to check in at the front desk. We were greeted with a lovely view of the Embassy of China and surrounding Myeongdong area.

It was the Hubby's birthday today and I made sure to indicate it in the notes when booking.  The hotel responded by gifting him a bottle of champagne! He was really pleased (even though his face says otherwise 😅)!

We booked 2 Family Twin Rooms via Agoda at $250 per room per night. Similar to Lotte Hotel World, each room came with 1 queen bed and 1 single bed. As usual, the older 2 kids shared a room with their grandma while the Littlest shared a room with the Hubby and I.

There was a bathtub in the bathroom, which was great for our usual hot baths.

The toilet was separate from the shower and had all the functions of a typical Japanese toilet, including a bidet! It even automatically cleans itself! Super high tech!

The hotel provided cotton wipes, cotton buds, shower caps and combs but does not provide toothbrushes, toothpaste and razors (purchase them from the vending machines on Level 21 if you need them). The hotel claims that these items were not provided due to environmental reasons but if that's the case then why provide combs, which are basically single use plastics? Totally did not make any sense to me! 

The room was very small, with little room to walk or put our luggage. We had to cleverly find ways to store everything so that they don't block the flow of traffic in the room. Even though the room was small, the hotel managed to squeeze all the usual amenities we need by maximising every square inch.

There are 3 ways to keep your drinks cold: 1) put it in the fridge, 2) put it on the windowsill (assuming it's winter) and 3) get ice from the ice machine at the common room next to the lifts on each floor.

Don't forget to also check out the laundry room on the 6th floor, where there are microwaves available to heat up your food.

The best part about our hotel is the great location on probably the busiest shopping street in the Myeongdong area! We shopped everyday because of the easy access to shops! Great for our hearts (retail therapy 🛍️) but not so much for our pockets! 💸

We walked to the main road to explore the neighbourhood and spotted the famous 12-storey Daiso near one of Myeongdong Station's exit. However, we decided not to shop as it was time for lunch and we had plenty of time to do so the next few days (we ended up going 3 times!).

The Hubby followed his instincts and chose Gimbap Cheonguk because it looked legit and inexpensive.

It was a simple restaurant staffed by ajumma (the equivalent of our aunties) who were friendly but spoke only basic English. There was a menu with English words but the actual ordering form was only in Korean characters. I had to creatively match the Korean words on the menu with the order form like some matching game! I was super proud that I managed to do it with ease! ☺️

We were super hungry by this time so we kinda went all out! The entire table was filled with so much food that we were worried that we couldn't finish eating! *laughs* 😂

The food was so good that we cleared every plate, much to our surprise! 😄 The total bill came up to be about S$80, which was really worth it considering the amount of food we ordered! 

With our stomachs satisfied, we strolled back to Myeongdong to start our shopping!

The last time I shopped in Myeongdong was with my shopaholic-fashionista sister. Nothing much has changed except this time, I was with my shopaholic-fashionista Eldest Girl instead! The minute the Eldest laid eyes on Olive Young's flagship store, she knew she was in heaven! 🤭

To be fair, Olive Young was indeed pretty amazing! They had tons and tons of beauty products at just half the price of the same thing in Singapore! They also provided immediate tax refund at the cashier if you spent the minimum amount, which added to the savings! The Eldest happily spent the money that she had received from me for achieving 5 As in her year-end exams and from both her grandmothers (her Christmas present)!

By now, the younger kids were tired and cranky so we brought everyone back to our hotel to rest.

The Hubby and I then roamed the streets on our own, in search of food to take back to the family for dinner. 

We admired the beautiful lights while we tracked down the nearest BHC restaurant to get their supposedly famous fried chicken.

When we found it, we discovered that the wait time was at least 35 minutes. We ordered, paid and explored the Myeongdong Street Night Market while waiting for our food. There were a lot of food to try but we chose those that called out to us. Like the fried coconut shrimp that smelt really good but ended up being so-so.

The grilled squid, on the other hand, was delicious! We loved it! 😋

The roast lobster with cheese was also delicious! It must be eaten immediately, even though you might burn your hands while holding the thin cardboard container!

We collected our order and returned to our starving family members. The Hubby also bought the famous dumplings from the popular Myeongdong Kyoja restaurant with long snaking queues just opposite of our hotel. So glad that we don't have to queue in the cold and can eat in the comforts of our hotel room!

The most disappointing was the BHC fried chicken, which was dry and bland and nothing like what we had expected good Korean fried chicken to be! It was possible that this outlet was too busy and didn't have time to make it right. We definitely will not be buying it again 😞 Other than that, the dumplings and some street food were good!  

We went to sleep early that night as we knew we had to wake up early for our day tour the next day! Stay tuned 😀

Continue to >> Seoul II Day 5: Rail Bike, Nami Island & Garden of Morning Calm
<< Back to Seoul II Day 3: Lotte World Adventure


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