Hotel King – First Impressions

At last I have some time to write my thoughts about “Hotel King“!!

As you may already know, the drama premiered on 5th of April and for me it was up for a good start as I enjoyed the first two episodes.

It is not mind blowing and I surely have some concerns but the first two episodes captured my interest and kept me wanting to see more and I must say that I liked the episodes more with each replay (Yes I did that many times actually specially Episode 2 😀 )

But what I am invested in the most right now are the characters and their interactions specially our two leads Lee Da-hae and Lee Dong Wook and also Kim Hae Sook and Lee Duk Hwa as I am looking forward to know more about them.

So here I share some thoughts about the first week for our drama and hope you also tell me about what I thought of it.

[Warning: this may contain spoilers]

Thoughts on Characters

Ah Mo Ne (Lee Da-hae)

I think AMN is really an interesting character with many sides to her and I am already rooting for her to discover the mystery about her father’s death and ruin their plans to take over the hotel.

We know she did put an act being the brat heiress with all that talk about not caring about the hotel, her father and all. But why she did that? I think she did that to make her first move to the hotel with the excuse that she wants to enjoy the luxurious life as a heiress without getting people attention about that she might be wanting to start a war to control the hotel or even that she has any doubt about her father’s death.

But why she actually needs to do that? it is because she is inexperienced and has been away from the hotel and doesn’t know anything about the work there and also because her father told her not to trust anyone.

But after she enters the hotel she actually can’t stand still seeing the life goes on normally in the hotel without her father and no one actually have any doubt about his death. So came her next move, she puts shows for all to see to make people rethink about her father’s death and may be to see how people in the hotel will react so may be that lead her to something. We see that she is now up against our hero JW thinking that he is the true enemy because he is the one who truly controls everything in the hotel and the one who is challenging her the most.

And then comes another step for her to actually start to show her presence, that scene when she entered the meeting of the board of directors was her way to do that. She indirectly started claiming her role and position as the heiress of the hotel and her right to be there at that meeting which she wasn’t invited to and she also sit at the chairman seat (I Loved that scene) and now she will be the one who will receive the hotel award. I guess that is the ceremony she will wear that white dress on and reveal about her father’s death after she discovers that those bills was actually not given to her dad by his doctor.

I am happy we saw MN real face already. We know she was a loving daughter and she feels so sad inside and may be feels even guilty somehow that she couldn’t help her father or know what he was going through. Inside she is kind of a child who is very afraid like JW think of her but she is still strong and putting all what she can to discover the truth which what I most like and appreciate about her character even if she actually doing that in an extreme and immature way.

I am really curious and interested to know what is the story of MN with the birds?? why she has such Ornithophobia?? Hope there is a logical explanation to that.

Overall I find Da-hae performance is really good, with her toggling from being so annoying to sad to innocent and pure like a child both in her expressions and voice tone. And ooh those crying scenes of her in Episode 2 were AMAZING specially the one when she was mourning her father in the temple T_T

Good job my girl ❤

Cha Jae Wan (Lee Dong Wook)

I really love how JW is really good at his job and smart. And although he is so serious and cold usually but when it comes to the guests and meeting important people you can see him smiling and acting professional because this is his job.

I can see he is not that kind of revenge seeker with evil brain character but he is someone who is working to make the place which he thinks of it as his own to be the best and also I like how they showed from the very first episode the sign of him being more of a forgiver just if his father (or who he thinks to be his father) acknowledge him as his son. I think he is a seeker for identity more than revenge and he really miss having a family, his reaction at that scene when he saw VP with his daughter was an evident to that.

The “suicide” of the chairman was actually a new reason for him to keep approaching his goal and plan because it was for him a refusal from his dad to acknowledge him as his son and choosing dead over that. So, he is more determinate now to go up and take over the hotel to show him that he can have what he wants. I think he is trapped in his own past.

But I am really happy that he actually see through MN and kind of understands her. You can see him actually showing some care and getting softened when he see her crying or afraid.

IMO Wookie is doing a very good job here, I never saw him acting that intense like that scene between JW and the chairman in the first episode!! And those small moments of contained anger when the VP keeps reminding him with his past and that he is actually his owner comparing him to the dog. I can see that JW is wanting to get rid of this control from the VP but I guess he is not doing that because right now he needs him to reach his goal and may be also because he feels indebted to him and what he did to him till now.

Sun Woo Hyun (Seulong)

WH is somehow cute and his scenes with MN are lovely too but I am afraid I am not invested in his character yet specially that actually those sentimental or kind of babo characters are not my type to be honest.

I can see that he has the courage to voice out his opinion which is good to see but I really hope we get to see more from him and that he actually has more effect to the main story not just being the person who takes care of our heroine and show sympathy to her.

Song Chae Kyung (Wang Ji Hye)

Mmm, not sure how to think about her actually. Yes we didn’t get enough from her to judge and again like WH I am not sure how much she will influence the main story and will she just be there as the third wheel and make things difficult for our couple or what?

But that scene with MN in the shop surely shows how manipulative she is 😀

Lee Joong Goo (Lee Duk Hwa)

Oh the man is indeed the definition of evil, his look is enough to give this vibe and accompanied with that voice tone he really scares me.

In the first episode, I couldn’t stop laughing at the crying act he did in the chairman funeral and how he held AMN hand and told her that he is now her father!! WHAT??

But I am really curious to know what his goal actually, I personally think there is much more than just him wanting to take over the hotel. I am not buying that this would make him need to take care of a child (specially this child in particular) and raise him, spending money and effort for 23 years (since 1991) for just that. I am sure there is more connections that we actually know now.

It seems to me it is more of a personal revenge between him and the chairman in addition to a special relation of all this to our hero JW (yes still keeping the idea of VP being JW’s real father) And seeing how the chairman reacted when hearing JW mother name means that her story has much more relation to all of this.

But I am glad to see there is some one is against him in that board of directors.

Baek Mi Nyeo (Kim Hae Sook)


With her expressionless and very serious face, she actually managed to makes me laugh hard each time she came on the screen. That first scene of her punishing that guest by seducing him was HILARIOUS and then when keep checking on the hotel staff and punishing them left and right, lol 😀 😀

But that scene with MN was the best and I also wonder will she really be the help our heroine need and that she was the one that erased the parts in the CCTV? I am surely looking forward to know more about her mysterious character.

OTP Interactions

When I see Lee Da-hae and Lee Dong Wook here, I didn’t even think for one moment about Seol Gong Chan and Joo Yoo Rin from My Girl but all I see is MN and JW which is really great to see them giving another image of them together.

But their chemistry is totally there and really shone although we actually didn’t have any lovey-dovey scenes. But every scene of them together is wonderful even if they are fighting or just exchanging some bad words and teasing each other. Just amazing. 

MN and JW are like cat and a dog with their direct and tough words and actions to each other they surely know how to make each other mad 😀

I am so looking forward to see the development of their story, JW is thinking that she is his sister but MN don’t know anything about that. But we are sure they are not, right? So the question how they will fall in love? I am kind of sure this will be before everything is cleared up about his true identity.

But till we see more of our couple, they gave us this at the end of the second episode ooh my feeels!! I can’t count how many times I replayed this scene ❤

General Thoughts

The Good

  • The episodes are really fast paced so no boring moments for me while watching.
  • The OST is so good, although we didn’t get to hear a song yet but the music is just really great to hear and matches well with the scenes. I hope they release them soon. (that one in the scene of JW with the VP and his daughter, I need to have NOW)
  • They capture the beautiful scenery of Pyeongchang really well.
  • I actually like many lines in the dialogue specially the ones which are indirect and contains lots of symbolize from both the vice president and manager Baek.

The Bad

  • Unfortunately I see some problems with the story telling in general, not sure how to explain it but I think there is some things not logical or not explained correctly or not explained at all like:
    • What JW did that cause the chairman to get angry at him and accusing him of stabbing him in the back in that first episode?
    • How WH don’t know that the temple MN was going to is where the chairman funeral was held although he sees him as his role model?
    • Where MN was actually before coming back? Was it in foreign country as she spoke to her friends in English or was it in China as she spoke Chinese to that guy on the boat? And why she was there, learning or what? 
  • Also till now, I kind of feel I know too much and just waiting for them to show that to me so, I really hope they surprise me.
  • Another problem is the editing, even thought I liked how they cut from current time to the flashbacks but sometimes I felt the editing in general is a bit rough but I didn’t have that problem in episode 2.
  • I see some off acting moments here and there specially from some of the secondary characters from the hotel staff.

In the end I like the drama’s tone till now and as it is still just the beginning so I hope that the drama will actually get better with more episodes.

But before ending this post, I would like to share this Fan Made MV which I really LOVE about Ah Mo Ne Character ❤

Credit: HK Website, kidhysteria YT Channel and shura Tumblr



Filed under Hotel King, Reviews and Recaps

12 responses to “Hotel King – First Impressions

  1. samzzy

    wow AQ, what a great insightful thought on this drama esp the character description. At one time I thought you are the actual writer of this drama.
    and Donghae, what can I say, just LOVE.


  2. OK, so I haven’t started watching this yet, but I took a peak at the show as I was browsing Viki last night. It does seem interesting, and I did really enjoy your review of the first couple episodes. I want to watch this, but I’m not sure I’m in the right mood for it at the moment. I’m going to keep reading your reviews till I get hooked. I love LDH’s expressions in these screen caps. I also really want to see Lee Duk Hwa as a villain. I’ve decided I really like that actor. I also love Kim Has Sook. Good review 🙂


  3. da mv iz rly mindblowng…i love da track…lov it.


  4. Thanks for your impression. I am going to watch the first episode right now. I follow too many kdrama right now, but soon others will be finished 🙂


    • Hi 🙂
      Thanks for commenting and hope you enjoy it. Let me know what u think about the drama after watching.


      • I finished the first episode, tomorrow I will do the second episode. I think I need to see more episodes before I can say good what I think about it. I’m a huge fan of Lee Da-Hae, I loved her at Miss Ripley, well I think she is always great. But I hope I can see more fire in the eyes of the actors. I’m also watching Gap Dong, Three Days, Iris 2 and Cunning Single Lady, so my brain has to get used by this kdrama haha. But I keep you up-to-date. I’m writing reviews for Kdrama episodes, but that’s all in Dutch 🙂


        • Keep watching chinggu and update me 🙂
          As you mention Miss Ripley, ooh yah that one was one of best roles Dahae had in recent years and she was really great in it. LOVE that drama ❤
          And yah, I checked your blog it is a pity that I can't understand but I will try to use some translator to understand some of writings there, fighting 🙂


  5. Pingback: Hotel King – Episodes 3 and 4 | Crush On Da-hae

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