BUSAN, South Korea – Where to stay in Busan comes up from time to time on the forums, and I've answered a few emails about places to stay near Haeundae beach. For the benefit of other readers, and of Google, here are some options.
You may already know, from the posts in my "motels and hotels" category, that I'm a big fan of love motels and what might be called boutique hotels if they didn't rent rooms in two-hour blocks. There are plenty of hotel options along the beach—Westin Chosun, Novotel, ?—and you've probably learned that an English-language search will bring them up.
You probably also know, from experience or from reading here, that motels often don't turn up in English-language searches and that a nice motel room will cost half or one-third what a hotel room will, and that your motel room will often have nicer stuff. There are times when you want to pay for the view—rooms are between 420,000 and 8,000,000 won per night at the Westin, and between 300,000 and 4,000,000 at the Novotel—but there are other times when one of the dozens of motels between the beach and the eponymous subway station will be just fine.
For people who want to preview rooms before walking out of Exit 5 of Haeundae Station, a Naver search turns up 159 motels in Haeundae-gu, many of which are between the beach and the subway station. Before we take a quick look at a few online, I will mention that when you do come out of Haeundae Station and start scouting motel options, a lot of the newer ones will have pictures at the entrance and will hang a banner, in Korean, describing the rooms' features: large TV, big bed, jacuzzi, PlayStation, internet, ?. Beneath the fold are a few of what look to be the better ones.
+ Big Apple Motel (?????). This currently has a 9.9 rating out of 93 user votes on Naver, making it the highest-rated motel in the area. It's a little further away, though, (map) and is near the entrance to Dongbaek Island. There are five kinds of rooms (seven if you count the two types of Deluxe and VIP rooms), with prices ranging from 40,000 to 80,000 won per night [wpn] during the week and 60,000 to 90,000 wpn on weekends. All the rooms have big TVs, computers, and tubs, as you'll see on the room description page, but the Deluxe and VIP rooms have whirlpools. No view, though.
+ Black & White Motel (????????). The website is a little uninformative, but the Black & White Motel (map) looks like it has some promise.
+ Ice Motel (?????). There are four classes with variations between each room. Prices range from 40,000 to 70,000 wpn during the week to 60,000 to 90,000 wpn on Saturday nights. You'll find pictures and descriptions, in Korean, on this page. These are two looks at the Royal Suite Room #604:
+ Mu Motel (???). There are six classes of rooms, though there are a number of pictures, prices aren't listed. The Royal Suite and Mini Pension rooms are pictured below. Map here.
+ NASA Motel (????). The NASA Motel doesn't look like anything special, and at 30,000 to 50,000 wpn is pretty typical of motels throughout the country, but it's something for people who get a kick out of copyright infringement.
+ Navi Hotel (????). The Navi, which rings a bell after Avatar but which could very well be a mistranscription of ?? (butterfly), sits across the beach from the Westin Chosun and has several types of rooms available, ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 wpn depending on time and place. There are a few condos available for larger groups as well. The Beach View Special room, pictured below, costs 100,000 wpn on weekends.
+ Nine Motel (????). Located roughly between Haeundae and Dongbaek Stations (map). There is variation within the Regular, Twin, and Special Rooms, with prices ranging from 50,000 to 90,000 wpn during the week and 60,000 to 110,000 wpn on weekends. There are also two types of Pension Room, which includes a kitchen, ranging from 150,000 to 220,000 wpn depending on time and place. Here are a couple looks at a Special Room:
+ Noblesse Motel (??????). I've stayed here twice and can recommend it as clean and pleasant. I was amused that the ?? had two computers (for games), a projection TV, and a PlayStation. There is a giant teddy bear in the lobby, and as you'll see stolen and pasted below, they offer a variety of balloon and bear packages for your sweetheart.
There are I guess four different classes of rooms, but each room within the class is different, so take a look at this page for some pictures of each and descriptions, in Korean. Here's the VIP room #1002, with a hell of a view that costs 80,000 wpn during the week and 100,000 wpn on weekends:
+ Sangria Motel (???? ??). There is a regular and special room available, as well as Western- (with a bed) and Korean-style (without) rooms. Prices range from 40,000 to 60,000 wpn during the week, and from 40,000 to 80,000 wpn on the weekends. The website says rooms on the 2nd through 8th floors will have a view of the water.
+ Santa Fe Motel (?????). Right next to the Noblesse, looking new and clean. There are four types of rooms, the most expensive being the Special Room (??) pictured below and costing 60,000 wpn on weekends. You'll find descriptions, in Korean, and prices here.
+ Thema Motel (????). Whether it's written Thema or Theme Motel in English, there's one in every town. I spent my first few nights in Korea at the Thema in Yongin. This one isn't near Haeundae Beach, but it's in Haeundae-gu near another one of the city's top beaches, Seongjeongni (map). It has five types of rooms, some of which have a view.
Rates are 40,000 to 60,000 wpn during the week and 50,000 t0 70,000 wpn on weekends. There is a minbak option as well for larger groups.
+ V Motel (V ??). The V Motel is near Seongjeongni Beach, too (map), and I included it because it has the look and over-the-top swankiness people seem to enjoy. The VIP room, one of four classes, has a pool table.
The Deluxe and Royal Suite Rooms are colorful as well.
As are the hallways.
+ Will Motel (???). There are eight types of rooms: European, Gallery, Spanish, American, Korean, Japanese, Mediterranean, and Swiss. You'll find photos of the bathrooms here. Prices aren't listed.
Though now back in the states, Brian Deutsch remains one of Korea's most popular bloggers. You can check out his blog here.