I have only known IU as the voice behind the catchy k-pop song Good Day but never really watched any of her dramas until Hotel Del Luna came. It was out of sheer fondness over what’s new and what’s airing in Korea that made me decide to see it. I’m glad I did.
This drama tells the story of Jang Man Weol (played by IU), the “bratty”, straightforward, fashion savvy CEO of Hotel Del Luna. Unknown to normal people, such hotel exists in the heart of Myeongdong and caters solely to wandering souls as they prepare for their trip to the afterlife. Man Weol who is a former rebel in her past life was forced to become the owner of this hotel by the deities. Tied to a Moon Tree, her existence is reflective of its life. Dry, dull and lonely.
After an encounter with a single dad whose plea to Man Weol is to keep him alive for the sake of his son, an unbreakable deal was made between them two. A life in exchange of another life. It was Ku Chan Seong’s (played by Yoo Jin Goo).
Ku Chan Seong, is a young, brilliant hotelier whose Harvard degree has earned him a position in one of Seoul’s top hotels. However, because of the deal that his father made with Man Weol,he was forcefully hired to become the General Manager of Hotel Del Luna.
This is where the story of Jang Man Weol and Ku Chan Seong came into play. How and why their lives became intertwined is something that I will leave for you to see. I always try to make my reviews spoiler-free. Joesonghamnida chinggus.
I can continue to write about the things that I love about this drama but I’ll try to keep it short by listing them instead.
- Jang Man Weol is now a FASHION ICON. How can one miss the several costume changes IU has to go through in every episode? Clad in designer clothes with a hefty price tag, Man Weol is no doubt one fashionable CEO. Which one is your favorite outfit? I can’t decide myself. I love them all!
- Yeo Jin Goo is perfect as Ku Chan Seong. I didn’t know how good of an actor he is until watching this drama. His portrayal of Ku Chan Seong has the perfect balance of charm and class. A coward with a heart. A brave one at that. He’s got undeniable chemistry with IU also.
- The Hong Sisters notably set the standards higher again for K-dramas. With a number of K-dramas written under their helm (My Girl, My Girlfriend is A Gumiho, Master’s Sun and Hwayugi to name a few), Hotel Del Luna is by-far one of the best story lines I’ve watched under the romance/fantasy genre. It’s hard to pull off a story that parallels between the past and the present but the genius in them made it happen.
- No bit players in this series. Each character stands out with the story of their own. The stellar cast composed of legends and rookie actors brought to life the interesting characters working in Hotel Del Luna. Each has a back story to tell. Stories we all can learn from. Be prepared to experience a second-lead syndrome too! Lee Do-hyun got everybody’s talking about him after appearing as Man Weol’s past love in this drama.
- Watch out for the cameos! There’s a lot of them. Lee Joon Gi, Sulli, Lee Yi Kyung, Nam Dae Rum and KimSoo Hyun all made an appearance in this drama. A good bonus for the fans in the episodes that they are in.
- The OST is worth listening to over and over again. Taeyeon’s All About You became an instant fave. Mostly ballads, the songs will give one a deep feeling of melancholy and love. I’ve been listening to it repeatedly even after the drama has ended.
It is impossible to live a life without resentment. However, if we become too consumed by it, we often fail to see that we are the ones being nurtured by it. It makes us grow in bitterness and sadness. Hotel Del Luna gave a good reality check for this truth.
A seamless blend of laugh, love and light. A must see. Definitely.
Meanwhile, IU is set to come in the Philippines on December 13 for her Love Poem 11th Anniversary Concert Tour at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tune in for more details.