La Valse Hotel Busan: Why I Loved this Hotel

I’m the kind of person who always spends a ridiculous amount of time choosing hotels before I travel. But every time I travel with friends or family, they are thoroughly impressed that my choice of accommodation couldn’t have been better.

And once again, this is how I feel about my recent stay at mid-range La Valse Hotel on Yeongdo Island in Busan, South Korea. I hope my work can save you the time and trouble of doing it yourself when trying to choose a hotel in Busan! And if La Valse isn’t for you, you can certainly find what you are looking for in my super detailed guide to the best hotels and neighborhoods in Busan.

Below you’ll find my completely honest, non-sponsored review of La Valse Hotel Busan, why I loved it, and who the hotel would be perfect for. I’ll also recommend some great alternatives in the same area at the end of the article in case La Valse is full or doesn’t meet your budget.

You can see prices or book La Valse Hotel here, or read more reviews and see other booking site deals here on Tripadvisor.

For a completely different accommodation experience in Busan, read about my temple stay at Beomeosa, which is the most important of Busan’s top-10 temples.

Also don’t miss my listicle on the top 50 Busan attractions!

 

Spoiler: 5 Reasons I Loved La Valse Busan

– Epic views
– Unbeatable location
– Friendly staff
– Insanely comfortable bed
– High end amenities at lower/mid-range price

 

Introducing La Valse Hotel Busan

Lavalse Hotel, Busan side of building view

 

La Valse Hotel is a brand new addition to the hotel scene in Busan, South Korea’s second largest city. The 29-floor, sleek, modern structure fronts the Busan Harbor, the largest port in South Korea. Due to its unique geometric look that I would best compare to a Jenga tower, with certain sections separated, missing, or sticking out, the hotel has instantly become a new landmark on the Busan Harbor.

The thing that for me instantly set La Valse apart from all other hotels in Busan were the EPIC views of Busan offered in all directions, including from the rooms. I’ll elaborate more on that below.

 

Other tips for visiting Busan

Book your WiFi device for pickup when you arrive in South Korea. The device worked great for me, and was easy to pick up and drop off!

– Get a discounted Korea Rail Pass or KTX High Speed Train ticket online

– Consider this comprehensive Busan day tour, which includes Taejongdae Resort Park (see image later in this article) on the same island as La Valse Hotel

– See Busan come alive at night from the sea on this night yacht tour!

 

Busan Harbor from the rooftop of Busan Lavalse Hotel
Busan Harbor viewed from the rooftop of La Valse Hotel

 

Given that Busan is a port city, I felt that staying in a hotel right on the port was a quintessentially Busan experience. There were literally boats docked in the harbor a few meters in front of the hotel’s entrance.

 

Boats in Busan Harbor at the bottom of La Valse Hotel
The hotel could not be any closer to the harbor.

 

Boat in harbor at the bottom of La Valse Hotel
Harbor right beside the hotel

 

Every time I returned to my hotel, I got to walk right along the harbor, and every evening a collection of very local BBQ seafood stalls set up next to the harbor just down the street from the hotel.

(By the way, if you are a sea lover like me, then you also can’t miss Busan’s one-of-a-kind temple by the sea, Haedong Yonggungsa!)

 

NNQ seafood night market beside La Valse Hotel in Busan
I had to try the seafood BBQ one night. You can see the hotel in the background.

 

While La Valse hotel is new and modern, the surroundings neighborhood is very local, but just a stone’s throw from some of the city’s most famous attractions.

 

 Who Should Stay at Lavalse Hotel?

– photographers
– food lovers
– romance seekers
– sea lovers
– budget travelers looking for a little splurge
– mid-range travelers (standard rooms)
– luxury travelers (corner rooms)

 

Room Types

La Valse Hotel sits in the mid-range category, but it’s standard rooms (such as the one I stayed in) are surprisingly affordable, and could easily be a justifiable splurge that won’t break the bank for budget travelers. For a little more money, you can get a similar room with a view of Busan Port instead of looking back at Yeongdo Island.

Meanwhile, mid-range and luxury travelers will struggle to find rooms elsewhere in Busan that offer city views as incredible as those from La Valse’s signature corner rooms.

These rooms, whose corners are made entirely of windows, manage to squeeze all of Busan into one view, from Busan Harbor and Jagalchi Fish market to Busan Tower and Mt. Geumjeong in the distance. Due to La Valse’s unique location, it wouldn’t be possible to see all of these things in the same view from anywhere else in Busan.

 

Location, Location, Location

View of La Valse Hotel and Yeongdo Island, Busan
La Valse sits on the tip of Yeongdo Island, where ships pass under Busan Bridge to the Busan Harbor

 

La Valse Hotel is located on Yeong Island (Yeongdo, or Yeongdo-gu, literally Yeong Island district), one of the largest islands in Busan and lying just south of central Busan. Ships sail around either side of the island to enter the enormous Busan Port.

La Valse Hotel sits on the northwestern tip of Yeong Island, directly facing Nampo-dong and Gwangbok-dong.

These two neighborhoods contain some of Busan’s most famous sights, including Jagalchi Fish Market, Gukje Market, BIFF Square, Guangbokro Cultural and Fashion Street, Yongdusan Park, Busan Tower, and Lotte Department Store Gwangbokdong.

 

Jagalchi Fish Market, Busan
Jagalchi Fish Market, one of Busan’s most popular sights, the way I saw it while walking across Yeongdo Bridge to reach the hotel every day.

 

BIFF Sqaure Busan
BIFF Square, another of Busan’s famous sights, not too far from the hotel

 

To reach any of these sights from La Valse Hotel, all I had to do was walk across Yeongdo Bridge, which is the oldest bascule bridge in Korea (1934) and first one to connect the mainland to an island. If you are lucky, you may be able to see this bridge being lifted for a taller ship to enter the port.

 

Yeongdo Bridge, Busan, South Korea
Yeongdo Bridge, which I crossed every day to reach La Valse Hotel. If you’re lucky, you may see the bridge being opened up to allow ships to enter the port.

 

It only took me 7 minutes to walk from Nampo subway station (Lotte Mall exit/exit 8) to the hotel’s front door, or from Lotte Department Store Gwangbokdong itself, where I went to stock up on cheap drinks and enjoy more epic views from the mall’s rooftop.

Lotte Mall also contains the world’s largest indoor water fountain show, which takes place daily at even hours (11 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM, 5 PM and 7 PM).

 

Musical water fountain, Lotte Department Store Gwangbokdong, Busan
Officially the world’s largest indoor musical water fountain show in Lotte Department Store Gwangbokdong

 

Staying at La Valse, I felt like I was close to all the action and the best neighborhoods for eating and street food in all of Busan, but at night I could retreat across the bridge to my quiet and very non-touristy neighborhood. This is the kind of balance I consider ideal when traveling.

 

Eomuk shop in Namp-dong, Busan at night
An eomuk (Korean fish cake) store in busy Nampo dong

 

On Yeong Island itself, Samjin Eomuk Main Store is the best place to visit Busan’s famous eomuk (fish cake) chain store. A lot of Busan guides recommend the branch in Busan train station, but the main store on Yeongdo is more interesting, and you can even take eomuk making classes there!

It was only a five-minute walk from La Valse, and I was blown away by how delicious the eomuk were (I tried a cheese stuffed one, a paprika flavored one, and a chili one).

 

Lighthouse at Taejongdae Resort Park, Yeongdo, Busan
The famous lighthouse viewpoint at Taejongdae Resort Park, a major tourist attraction on Yeongdo Island

 

At the southern end of Yeong Island, Taejongdae Resort Park is one of Busan’s most famous attractions, with rocky paths offering breathtaking coastal views.Read about my visit to Taejongdae Park here!

It’s about a 40-minute bus ride from Nampo subway exit 6 or from the bus stop on Yeong Island closer to La Valse Hotel.

 

Check-In at La Valse Hotel

La Valse Hotel lobby

 

A large metal door opens automatically to a narrow marble lobby with hanging chandeliers. There were many staff at the desk both when I checked in and checked out, so I never had to wait.

The reception staff were polite and friendly. The staff member checking me in admitted it was his first day, but he did everything smoothly and efficiently.

Once during my stay, I had a minor embarrassing problem that I’m not going to describe (no, it wasn’t any strange physical issue), but the reception lady handled it in a way that was really cute, leaving me smiling.

 

Cafe Ravel on the ground floor or La Valse Hotel in Busan

 

On the ground floor, there is also a café and fresh juice shop called Café Ravel, and a shop selling bath & beauty products.

 

My Room at La Valse Hotel

Standard double room at La Valse Hotel, Busan
I couldn’t get enough of the view

 

I stayed in the cheapest, standard double room at La Valse Hotel. My room included a “City View”, which in fact was a view facing not Busan city center but south towards Yeong Island, with with Yeongdo’s Bongnaesan Mountain (395 meters) in the background, and the small harbor and BBQ seafood night market that I walked by every day visible down below.

For me, this view was impressive enough, so I didn’t feel the need to go for the more expensive rooms, and I was able to enjoy the view facing Busan city center from the rooftop and bar anyway (see below).

In the distance between some buildings, I could also make out Namhangdaegyo or Namhan Bridge, which connects Yeong Island to Seo district, where famous Songdo Beach is located, and a little slice of ocean.

 

View from room at La Valse Hotel
View of the buildings of Yeongdo Island and Bongnaesan Mountain, with the ocean in the background, from my room.

 

To be completely honest, the view from my room is the main thing that sold me on staying in this hotel. I sat for hours at my window or lay in bed just looking out at that vista with a cold drink in my hand. The view was no less spectacular at night, though the photo taken through the window does it no justice.

 

View of Yeongdo Island from La Valse Hotel at night
View from my room at night, with BBQ seafood market on the right side

 

Interestingly, there was a thick glass sliding glass wall that could be pulled out, which had the effect of creating a space at the window that sort of felt like a separate balcony.

 

Room balcony, La Valse Hotel
A faux balcony in my room created by a sliding glass wall, with reflections of the harbor below

 

I must admit that the room itself was a little small. For me it was perfectly fine, but you might notice this as a couple. The rain shower was also a little small, but I was very pleased to find that the bathroom included a high-tech Japanese-style toilet, with heated seat, automatic spray, bum fan, and so on. I love these so much that I’ve got one at my own home in Taiwan.

 

Shower in room at La Valse Hotel Busan
Somewhat small shower, but good enough

 

Toilet in room at La Valse Hotel
If you haven’t tried one of these Japanese-style toilets, your life isn’t complete.

 

All the amenities and extras you’d expect were included, including mini-fridge, safe, robe, towels, water bottles, tea & coffee, hair dryer, notepad, and shampoo & conditioner (which smelled really good, and they specifically gave me only “manly” scented ones). The room was thoroughly cleaned every day (they even, somewhat embarrassingly, folded my pile of dirty underwear and socks), and all the items above were replaced daily.

 

Bath products in room at La Valse Hotel
Manly-smelling bath products

 

Coffee packets in La Valse hotel room
Branded La Valse coffee to enjoy over the view every morning

 

Last but not least, the bed and pillows at La Valse were INCREDIBLY comfortable. I like soft beds and often struggle with the hard beds in Asia. The bed here had the perfect level of softness; comfortable, but you won’t sink in. I enjoyed three nights of glorious sleep during my stay.

 

Bed in standard double room at La Valse Hotel
Looks simple, but I can’t describe how comfortable this bed was.

 

28F Bar and Maxim’s De Paris Café & Bakery

Maxim's de Paris Cafe and bakery on 28th floor of La Valse Hotel
Fragrant baked items at Maxim’s de Paris Cafe

 

The 28th floor of La Valse Hotel is occupied by an elegant, French-style bakery and café called Maxim’s de Paris. The breads on sale looked scrumptious, and the views through the windows looking down on the harbor are incredible.

 

Maxim's de Paris cafe patio at the Busan La Valse Hotel
Outdoor patio of Maxim’s de Paris cafe with view of Busan Harbor

 

The café has an outdoor patio with the same view, and the floor literally sparkled with little lights in the evening. Even though I was creeping around taking pictures of everything and not buying anything, the café staff greeted me pleasantly and were always smiling.

 

Bar at La Valse Hotel Busan
28th floor bar

 

Indoor seats at La Valse Hotel bar
Some prime indoor sunset viewing spots at the 28th floor bar, all unoccupied

 

Bottles of alcohol on offer at the La Valse Hotel bar
Tempting bottles at the 28F bar

 

The other side of the 28th floor is the hotel’s bar, which is where I gravitated to on one evening of my stay. Timed perfectly to coincide with sunset, I splurged on a fancy apple martini to enjoy on the outdoor patio overlooking Busan. The drink came with some really delicious dried fruit slices.

 

Apple martini on outdoor patio of La Valse Hotel bar
Apple martini with a view of the sun setting over Busan

 

I was the only one out there, so I got the prime spot at the corner of building, which offered a view of most of Yeongdo Island looking in one direction and all of Busan in the other.

 

Sunset over Jagalchi Market and Busan
Sunset over Busan, viewed from the La Valse bar patio

 

Yeongdo Island, Busan at sunset
And looking in the other direction…

 

Here’s a video I shot of the epic scene:

La Valse Sky29 Rooftop Patio

Sky29 rooftop at La Valse Hotel, Busan
“Sky 29”, the rooftop of the hotel

 

Don’t worry if you didn’t get the fanciest room with the view of Busan; you can simply head to the hotel’s rooftop to take in the 360-degree view from wooden seating platforms.

From the rooftop, you can spot four of Busan’s famous bridges: Busandaegyo (Busan Bridge), Yeongdodaegyo (Yeongdo Bridge), Namhangdaegyo (Namhang Bridge), and Busanhangdaegyo (Busan Harbor Bridge).

 

Namhang Bridge (Namhangdaegyo), Busan)
Namhang Bridge viewed from the rooftop of La Valse Hotel

 

Although I finished most days enjoying the view from the bed in my room because I was so tired from sightseeing (for example, check my article on Samgwangsa Temple, sight of the most amazing Lantern Festival in Korea!), if I had ben staying here with friends (or my wife), I would have certainly spent one of those evenings with a few beers up on the roof, admiring the incredible night view.

 

4F Sauna

Sauna at La Valse Hotel

 

I couldn’t leave La Valse without trying the sauna on the morning before I checked out. I love soaking in hot springs (read about my experience visiting Busan’s Heosimcheong Hot Spring, once the largest in Asia, after hiking to remote Seokbulsa Temple).

The sauna facility is about what you’d expect, with a hot pool, cold pool, and lovely wood scented dry sauna. It’s on the fourth floor but there’s no view because the windows are too steamed up.

 

Change room for sauna at La Valse hotel
Cute change room for the sauna

 

You may or may not have it all to yourself like I did, but as usual in Korea it is sex segregated and nude only. The changing room was also really cute. What a perfect way to start (or end) a day of sightseeing in Busan! This would be especially great if you happen to visiting in winter.

 

Other Facilities

Other facilities at La Valse Hotel that I didn’t use included a fitness room, coin laundry, business lounge, banquet room, ballroom, and Alianon, a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch buffets. I’m sure the buffet meals would be top-notch, but personally I like simple street food for breakfast and was mostly out exploring Busan during dinner times.

 

If you decide to stay at La Valse Hotel Busan, I personally recommend reserving your room here on booking.com. This is the service I always use, and it’s great because you don’t need to pay upfront and can cancel without a fee.

 

Alternative Accommodation Options around La Valse

Remember to consult my detailed guide to where to stay in Busan for my hotel recommendations in other parts of the city.

If you want the same epic views as La Valse but in a more budget-friendly hotel, Value Hotel Busan (read reviews / see prices) is practically next door and is also very highly rated.

For a great hostel choice nearby on Yeongdo Island, try Silk Road Hostel (read reviews / see prices).

There are of course many more hotel choices across the bridge from La Valse in Nampo-dong and Gwangbok-dong neighborhoods, closer to the top attractions.

When I was initially planning my trip, I seriously considered two of them: Boutique Hotel YTT Nampo (read reviews / see prices) is a simple business hotel that I almost booked because it is so highly rated and because it is about half the price of La Valse. There are, of course, no epic views to be had, though.

I was also very tempted by Nampo Hound Hotel Premier (read reviews / see prices), particularly their double room with outdoor balcony and city view. I LOVE balconies, and this is one thing my room at La Valse didn’t have.

Guesthouse Dear Moon (see reviews and prices) is a good choice if you are looking for a hostel in the Nampo-dong area amidst all the action.

 

La Valse Hotel on the busan harbor at night

 

Looking for the best hotel in Busan? This hotel review introduces the an awesome mid-range Busan hotel with an amazing view over Busan.

 

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. These are products and services that I personally use and recommend. If you click on one and buy something, I get a small commission, at no extra cost to you. I did not receive anything from La Valse Hotel in exchange for writing this post.

 

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