First: it's somewhat shabby, needs good coat of paint, but better inside than outside. Good view of the mountains from all the front rooms, owner / manager speaks some English and does
ask for cash for payment. Inside rooms are cosy, about 2 km from the park gate, and close to small restaurants outside on the main road into the park.
Our room in Oct 2013 had: older TV, small fridge, shower ( that took a long time to get warm)
but a fair bit of room, A/C, and was fairly quiet when we were there.
Location is just east (towards the sea / Sokcho ) of the large triangular shaped Seorak Park hotel.
If you get off the bus at the 7 - 11, opposite from the Park Information centre, the hotel is to your
left slightly up the hill and is marked "Resortel 632-6677" on the top of the building (visible from the street). Go past the hotel marked "Garden Resortel" . The staff at the Park info centre can help if you need.
We spent 4 nights, 3 days hiking in the area and it was lovely. Especially worth doing is Ulsanbawi, a 4-5 hr trek to an incredible vista overlooking the park, the sea and Sokcho.
RESERVED IT THROUGH BOOKING.COM (which will reserve your room but not charge you for it) Once there you will be greeted by an elder man (I think Mr. Yu) or his wife, although I only see her around at night. He will ask you for cash, please bring it--it will make the process easier, but we did not have cash, but a korean debit card and this was ok :). We were mountain side and was impressed with the room. Had a good view of the mountains, it was breezy (so much wind was coming in I thought the fan was on--only if you have you main door open as well). The room comes with a TV hair dryer, soap, shampoo, bed, a/c, fan, closet, drawer, and hanging bar. The bathroom was outdated and had an amazingly small tub (I'm 6ft 3in) , but had a shower. One thing my gf was impressed with and commented to me was that the hot water turned quickly--from our previous experiences at other places (some did not have hot water, or it took close to 15 minutes to get) --so ladies you are in luck :). There is hot and cold water self served in the entrance of the "resortel" (haha you will see once you get there) with coffee or tea as well. This location is close to the number 7, 7-1 bus which will take you into the main city were a plethora of attractions are or straight into the mountain (if you want more details on the mountain just look it up on my comments) YOU ARE A STOP BEFORE KESINGTON HOTEL (YOU ARE LOCATED IN SEORAK PARK, BUT KENSINGTON HOTEL IS IN ENGLISH-- easier for me to understand haha) The bus stop in located infront of 711 if you want to go to the mountain or across the street from 711 if you want to go into the main city. The owner knows quiet a bit of English and is there to help you (he will try :) ).
PS> For two nights: 105USD, there is no room cleaning service between nights. Walk to park (20 min). Bus 1.90USD. Cheers!
My wife and I being "middle of the road" travelers chose this place because of it's price and proximity to the National Park which is 15 minutes away. Since we love nature walks and I love photography this was the perfect time to shoot late autumn scenes. We booked for 5 days and 4 nights. On hind sight, we should booked 4 days and 3 nights. Then the last night we could have stayed in Sokcho city. This was because this place is in a valley and I couldn't shoot the rising nor the setting sun. Sokcho being a city by the sea would have been the perfect place for this type of photography.
Our room was OK, they provided towels but do not expect the bath size towels. I could not figure out why Koreans use large size hand towels as bath towels. The condition of the attached bathroom need some re-doing. It has that musty old smell and the owner should think of providing a higher voltage bulb so that it would brighten the otherwise drape bathroom. But for the price, you can't complain.
But, I do have a complain. There's not enough hot water. I only managed to shower twice in our 5 days. I come from a hot tropical country and late autumn water is just tooooo cold for shower. Once I was showering half way and the hot water just became cold water. I complained to the owner but his excuse was too many people were showering at the same time. When we were there, I could identify the guest of the Inn.
When we arrived, we discovered we had to pay up front for the four nights we booked and we had to pay in cash which was of slight inconvenience. On the third day we asked the owner whether we could get a refund of our last night since we planned to stay over at Sokcho city, he declined. Although the owner who speaks a fair among of English and his wife are nice and pleasant people, he is still a business man. What is paid cannot be refunded. The view of the room is great as it faced part of the mountain range of the National Park. It was nice that the room floor is heated. Near the entrance on the ground floor, there is a water dispenser that dispensers very hot and cold water. On the side table there are plastic cups, coffee, tea, sugar and creamer for you to make your beverages and you can take it up to your own room.
The main road where the buses from Sokcho city passes to the National Park is only 150 meters away. And this Inn is among other restaurants and shops around the place. There is a 7 eleven store in the area. We had our Korean dinner in the different restaurants and tried the different Korean "junk food" bought from the shops.
I made a review of Seoraksan National Park and I made a mistake by stating I visited the place in November 2012. It was October 2012
read my tips below
+ : close to park by walking distance (20min), nice owner, price ok (but does not worth over 60 USD)
- : old bedroom, old bathroom, need maintenance, not very clean (but not especially dirty), need to pay in cash, no room cleaning or bed done between night 1 and 2!!!
= ok for 1 night if you want to stay close to the park, but dont stay there for over 2 nights. I hesitate to rate it with 2*, but considering the price, I cannot complain
I stayed 2 nights in the hotel for 115'000 KRW (57.5 per night). Considering the price, I cannot really complain, but it does not worth more...
I booked through booking.com but when arrived at the hotel, I had to pay the room in cash which was not said. I had enough to pay but this emptied my wallet of the cash which was necessary to pay my next day lunch and various spending in the park! I dont complain to pay in cash, but I think it should be said when booking the room to be able to plan the amount.
The hotel is ok, but room is old and bathroom too. It maybe influenced my opinion on the cleanliness of the room, but I did not think it was very clean (and I am not a demanding person).
=> If you want to stay 1 night close to the park, it is good hotel, 2 was a maximum for me!
Another thing which disappointed me is that no service was performed between the 1st night and the second one. The bedsheet was at the same place as we left it in the morning. As you can see on my pictures, the bedsheet are very simple.
TIP 1: you can take the bus 7-1 or 7 which cost 1100 KRW on each trip from sokcho or to the park, maybe walk the 20min if you are not too tired. Taxi cost less than 20'000 KRW.
TIP 2: Bus going to the park are on the other side of the road from the bus terminal in sokcho. Last one is leaving at about 9:30 pm to the park. It takes about 20 min so you can decide to sleep in Sokcho too
TIP 3: Take care of busy period : it may take over 30 min to wait before you can enter in a bus!!! and you will be like in a can
TIP 4: IMPORTANT YOU MUST HAVE DINNER AT the seaside on the evening when going back from the park. The site is close to Daepo Dong just before arriving in Sokcho. The bus 7 will stop there at the entrance of the town then you need to follow the seaside to the restaurant area. We spent 30'000 KRW per kg of a big crab (after bargaining), 20'000 for 3 fishes (1 of them was a flat fish) and 10'000 for 4 big and delicious scallops. Totally, we spent a bit more than 60' but it was really worthing!
TIP 5: do the walk to the Ulsanbawi, it is wonderful
The hotel owner is very kind and helpful. He offered to send us with his pick up to the peak at 5.30am
The room is clean and the facilities is in good condition
Although there are better hotel surrounding the area however, SM is one of the most affordable hotel closes to the national park. Walking distance of 20mins to the national park entrance. The scenery along the walk path is really heart capturing
Walking distance to the restaurant and supermarket.
For those dislike hiking/walking, you can opt for bus/taxi. The bus/taxi stand is nearby to the hotel. All public bus and taxi will pass by this area and the trip is very frequent + punctual.
During autumn/winter, you will love the warm heated floor.