Retro Seoul in “Hotel del Luna”
See & Do Tours
Elite hotelier Ku Chan-seong (Yeo Jin-goo) finds a job as the manager of Hotel del Luna, a place for the dead who are burdened by regret and cannot pass into the next life. The drama “Hotel del Luna” tells the story of Ku Chan-seong, who meets the proudly detached and beautiful but fastidious CEO Jang Man-wol (IU) with whom he runs the hotel. As popular as the drama itself are the retro-style filming sites. Let’s find retro Seoul in “Hotel del Luna” where the past and the present coexist.
Hotel Seine – Hyemindang & Coffee Hanyakbang – Changhwadang – Seoul Book Bogo
The transition from the past to the present in Hotel del Luna were recorded through photos that are displayed on one side of Man-wol’s room. One location that sits in the background of the photos is a dessert café in Ikseon-dong called Hotel Seine. The café kept the sign that hung on the 50-year-old pink building’s exterior when the building was used as a hotel, and the sign conjures up feelings from the past. In addition to the theme of a hotel concierge on the first floor, interior decorations adorn the concrete walls at the top of the red-carpeted stairs. The design concept was inspired by the film “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and each corner is a photo zone with antique sofas, curtains, props, and paintings.
Address: 28-5, Donhwamun-ro 11-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 12:00~24:00(every day)
Directions: Subway Line 3 Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (#329); Line 5 Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (#534) Exit 6, walk 2 min
In episode 2, Man-wol drags Ku Chan-seong to a red bean porridge restaurant that was featured on a television show she always watched, “The Guys Who Died After Eating.” Hyemindang on Eulji-ro is the very location, boasting an overwhelmingly antique-style atmosphere with bright cabinets inlayed with mother-of-pearl and stained-glass windows. Unlike the drama, however, Hyemindang is a bakery and does not sell red bean porridge. The popular items on their menu are the sweet and sour five-flavor berry mousse and the nutty and moist fig tart. They don’t sell beverages so customers can order dessert first at Hyemindang and then get drinks at the café, Coffee Hanyakbang. Coffee Hanyakbang is the very site of Hyeminseo where Heo Jun, the author of “Dongui Bogam (Principles and Practice of Eastern Medicine)” and the first protagonist of Hallyu dramas, treated patients.
Address: 16-9, Samil-daero 12-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: Mon.-Fri. 11:00-22:30 Sat. 11:00-21:00 Sun. 12:00-20:00
Contact: +82-70-4148-4242(Coffee Hanyakbang)
Directions: Subway Line 2 Euljiro 3(sam)-ga Station (#203); Line 3 Euljiro 3(sam)-ga Station (#330), walk 2 min
In episode 1, Jang Man-wol takes Ku Chan-seong to a popular dumpling restaurant that she says one must go to at least once in this life, and that restaurant is Changhwadang (Daehakro Branch). The restaurant is eye-catching with its clean but vintage interior decorations. Its popular dishes are the assorted dumplings that feature Changhwadang’s popular meat, kimchi, and smoky flavored dumplings, the spicy cold springy noodles with fermented Chinese plum marinade, and spicy rice cakes with the perfect combination of a chewy texture and sweet & spicy flavors. As a popular restaurant approved by Man-wol, waiting in line is a must. When visiting, be sure to make sure you have plenty of spare time or avoid popular dining hours.
Address: 1F, 39, Changgyeonggung-ro 26-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 11:30~21:00 (every day)
Directions: Subway Line 4 Hyehwa Station (#420) Exit 3, walk 3 min
“Seoul Book Bogo” made its appearance in episode 2 as the filming site for the grandmother guest ghost who could not leave this life because she was filled with regret for not having received an education during her lifetime. Seoul Book Bogo is Korea’s largest used bookstore that sells over 130,000 used books. The place was loved as a popular site to take pictures and post online before it was featured on Hotel de Luna, and this is thanks to the interior design that appears to be a work of art. Along the arched iron bookshelves that give shape to “bookworms” is a long, curved passageway with sculptures made of books for a unique walk. In addition to enjoying taking photos here, come make memories while finding old and rare books.
Address: 14, Sincheon-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: Mon.-Fri. 11:00-24:00 Sat. 17:00-24:00 (closed Sundays)
Directions: Subway Line 5 Jamsillaru Station (#215) Exit 1, walk 2 min