The trip planning commenced as far back as nearly six months ago because it was a trip meant for 10.
It would be 3 families of adults and young children. Young children referred to Z, X and two other babies who were even younger than X.
Some of us redeemed air miles and some took an alternative airline. We arrived over staggered periods due to varying requirements.
The plan was to spend first 3 days outside of Seoul and the next 7 days in Seoul.
Thanks to tripadvisor, we landed on pretty good residence options. We spent the first night at Mount Seorak and opted for a b&b called Casa Seorak. It was ranked #1 on trip advisor. I could see why! It was quaint, pretty, well-kept, spacious and clean. The best part? It was the nice and hot breakfast served to the room.
The owner was a very nice guy. He was friendly and cheery and had the cutest dogs. I really loved the family room that we got because it was so spacious.
The second night was at Suwon and I picked Orsay Hotel. It was a business hotel, passable and was very clean. I thought it could do better with a proper toilet door and a better designed headboard instead of one that offered a ledge for X to climb. It offered free flow bread and hot beverages at the lobby though.
The last hotel was one which we would spend 7 nights at. It was The Grand Hotel Myeongdong and this hotel ranked amongst the top 3 on tripadvisor. The hotel was along the shopping streets, clean and the rooms were as pictured. We booked the family twin room. Whilst it wasn’t a five star hotel, the room was well-designed. Even the shower’s water pressure was just nice.
With compliments from the hotel
I liked this even better than The Plaza which was 5*, way swankier and spacious (and of course more expensive). It just felt like this 4* gem was more comfortable and good enough than a 5* do.
We were also lucky to have a very responsible guide who spoke reasonably well English. In fact, he was more anxious about getting us to as many sights as possible while we took things slow.
His name was Denny and his email contact was firstname.lastname@example.org should you like to arrange for a personal tour of Korea. I found his contact off a forum and compared the prices with a few other agencies. I found his rate to be competitive and he was very accommodating with our requirements.