Monday, June 3, 2013

Korean Motels- Hotels (Vlog #19)

With my hefty work days, my required 15 hours under the TALK program fill up pretty fast leaving me with four day weekends. You can imagine that I'd been to quiet a few motels as each weekend I've made strides to travel and explore this land. Okay.... So what...? You sleep in a lot of motels. Well the thing is that staying in a motel here is actually a rather different kind of experience than any motel stay back in the USA.

Here guests are accommodated with the whole standard bed, bathroom, television, and night stand... I've yet to find a bible. But what is beyond the standards is what left me to believe that my very first motel room was essentially already occupied. Hair brushes, lotions, full bars of soap, large shampoo and conditioner containers, bathroom shoes and the regular sized tube of toothpaste left within the room. Did the hotel master make a mistake?

Answer is: no.

Typical check in zip baggie containing variations of over night stay supplies.
These are the basics for Korean motels and hotels. They hand you the key along with a durable plastic zip case which contains your toothbrush, some extra face wash, shaving cream, and lotion samples, and oh yes.... a condom. Or if your really lucky a few.

If you were to check into such a place without some variation of those listed above, you should check out immediately and ask for your money back. This is not to say that all places are the same, variations of this do exist. Actually last night I stayed at the Toma House Motel in Jeonju for the first time, the first hotel other than the Figaro Motel which is the most popular place for me to stay. The Toma gave me a packet of tooth paste rather than having a tube already supplied, no razor or condom, something the Figaro and some other motels will supply you with. However, a bonus that I found with the Toma house is that they have full length bathroom towels. Usually this is a rare find in Korea, as most places will supply your room with towels that are about the size of American hand towels.

 How many times did I accidentally forget my toothbrush or toothpaste at home and had to go to the front desk of the American motel and ask them if they had any? Too many. I remember sometimes having to wait for someone to be there and even sometimes being charged extra for the accommodation of a toothbrush that I'd only get to use once or twice. Here I have no worries for such small things, leaving me more time to think about my next move for my travels.

Full size towels are the BEST! Picture collection from my Toma House stay.

Another thing to mention is... most motels/ hotels are targeted towards the idea of "love". The general idea is people go there to do things they otherwise cannot do else where. Get what I'm saying? So for me... This was a bit strange, since American women already have a small reputation of being "easy." I now chuckle at the idea when I see people looking at me exiting the motel after a night's stay. In my head i cant help but replay this thought "Ooooooh yeah!!!! I totally had a wild night!!! I so slept in that bed with those fluffy blankies and wrapped my body around those poofy pillows. And you know what....? I took up the entire queen sized bed too!!! WoooOoo it was a fun night." I've been in and out of so many of these motel hotel stays the idea of potentially being mistaken for having a "good night" really no longer bothers me. It's become my accustomed life style as a traveler and explorer of Korea.

As for my mentioning of the Figaro Motel in Jeonju, I spend more time sleeping there than my own home. It got to the point that the one desk lady will knock off 5,000₩ for me if her boss isn't around. Hahahha. And more than enough times my boyfriend has accompanied me out of the motel, where the looks people give us is through the roof of funny in my opinion. In general people will stare and not just at me, but him too. "Who is he? How did they meet? What is it about him that he succeeded to get with a foreigner girl?" Not all people think this, but we've been approached and asked before and it's not just the older generation either. So anti up the questioning stares and shock when we exit out of a motel together..... My thoughts "oooooooooohhhhhh yeeeeeaaahhhhhh." Haha

Checking out is easy as pie at the Figaro. Key basket in elevator
Lastly i would like to mention why Korea has set such a high standard for motels and hotels. Korea was a very poor country only 6 decades ago. When the country first started to rebuild itself, times were difficult and any sort of business made between people meant your business would survive another day. You would be extremely grateful for your costumer's presence and did your best to present your best costumer service to them, in hopes of them returning later on. In addition as the country became more established competition bumped up and new ways of servicing the costumer did too. Korea cares about customer service all over, not just in love motels. But because of this extreme care for guest service it can really make for a different experience in such a common place.

Click here for Korean Hotel-Motel video. 

1 comment:

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