Entrance into Maxtyle Guesthouse was a bit difficult to find. After you come out of Exit 1 of the Dongdaemum History and Culture Park station, which is located inside the futuristic-looking Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Maxtyle building is located right in front of you, across the road. Cross the road, walk to the left of this building and there is a side entrance to the lift, which will take you to the 18th floor. We got lost and entered the shopping mall, but a kind doorman directed us to the right place. The first 4 floors are the mall's shops.
Check in was done by an older gentleman, who has limited English. The night shift younger guy, Mr Wan Seok, spoke better English but his shift ends at 8am. He was very helpful with communicating with our prebooked taxi driver on where to pick us up on departure day.
Rooms start from 15th floor to 18th, where the office is. There is no lobby or proper reception area. The office doubles as a breakfast area, where you have to fry your own eggs, toast your own bread and make your own coffee, wash your dishes. We were often reminded by signs posted that this is a guesthouse, not a hotel, so do not expect housekeeping or room service or conceirge service.
Our room was large, with 2 twin beds and 1 double bed, though we paid for a twin room rate. There was a big TV, a small kitchenette without a sink, a kettle. Toilet and shower is together, but the sink is outside, which is quite convenient. There is air-conditioning, but we opened the windows during the cool nights. Views from our 15th floor room was awesome. Internet was free and speed fast. Only face towels were provided, no bath towel. Luckily we brought our own as was warned by previous posters. You have to bring used towels to the office to change for clean ones. You are also provided with a big black bin bag to dispose of your trash, but we saw a cleaning lady once during our stay, coming in to deliver clean towels and throw away the trash.
Breakfast was included in the daily room rate, but was rather a simple affair, which we did not mind, as it is just to get us started early in the morning. There were eggs, bread, butter and jam, tea, coffee, juice and you are supposed to make it yourself. You are also supposed to wash all your dishes and frying pan. We thought it was great fun!
Breakfast area has only 2 tables which can seat 6. The office was in a corner of the room, there was a room with a washing machine inside, 3000 won for a load. So it is a bit cramped and crowded. There were another 2 tables outside on the corridor.
The surrounding area is lively and vibrant, with numerous shops, malls and eateries. Some malls are opened 24 hours and we felt very safe walking around at night.
We stayed 5 nights and rather liked this guesthouse and will recommend it to anyone on a budget for the large rooms for groups or families. For a decent room rate, we got huge room at a great location which makes up for the DIY style.