Hotel Del Luna is a supernatural drama about a mysterious hotel that caters to ghosts and the romance that blossoms between the woman (IU) who is stuck running the hotel because of a curse and the human hotel manager (Yeo Jin Goo).

Hotel Del Luna Korean Drama - IU

IU plays the CEO of Hotel Del Luna, Jang Man Wol.  Because of the things she did during her lifetime, she has been cursed and forced to run the hotel for over 1000 years. She has a cold personality, is cynical, and loves to spend money.

But underneath that, she is a woman who is hurting because of her past and wants to move forward. And it should be noted that IU was absolutely fantastic in this role. One of her best performances!

Yeo Jin Goo plays Goo Chan Sung. He is a human who is brought in to manage the hotel to pay back a debt of his father. He’s known to be weak-hearted and is quite scared of the ghosts. He’s also an upright man with a big heart which makes him perfect for helping ghosts deal with their issues before crossing over as well as helping Man Wol with hers.

Hotel Del Luna is a drama I’ve been excited about from the moment it was announced. I tend to like dramas from the Hong sisters, and then add in a couple of my favorite actors, Yeo Jin Goo and IU, and I was more than sold.

The drama had a strong magical quality to it with its heavy supernatural elements and whimsical music. Ghosts staying at a luxurious hotel is just primed for fun. Some of the ghosts are pretty scary looking too!

The show sets things up in the beginning well with its solid world building, and it gives just enough information to understand the Hotel Del Luna, who Man Wol was, and how Chan Sung comes to manage the hotel even though he is a human. It was a good opening.

I found the series as a whole had a slow but steady pace to it. Not quite draggy but also not gripping. It did allow for ample time to just take everything in since the drama was beautiful to look at. It had wonderful cinematography with gorgeous and luxurious sets.

Then the costumes were fantastic too. IU in particular must have had a huge costume budget as she donned so many stylish outfits that I lost count. She just looked amazing! Yeo Jin Goo was also looking quite dapper in his suits.

The biggest drawback to the series for me was that there was a sort of ghost of the episode element to it as the stories of multiple ghosts who arrived at the hotel were told. There were little mysteries to be solved as Man Wol and Chan Sung helped them get things in order before they crossed over to the afterlife. I just don’t care for episodic shows as it’s hard for me to get invested in so many short stories. Plus, in this case, those stories took up the bulk of each episode.

Now there is an overarching story running too that focuses on Man Wol’s past over 1000 years ago. We slowly learn about her life, her first love, and what led her to run Hotel Del Luna. I loved all of these historical portions of the drama.  This story was fantastic, and I was very engaged in it.

How it affected everyone in the present was also incorporated as we watch Man Wol and Chan Sung develop a relationship. This was a bit slow going and the actual romance doesn’t really take shape until over halfway through the drama.

I kept waiting for the overarching story to take a more prominent role as we went deeper into the series, but it stays pretty steady in its pacing as we stick with lots of little ghost stories. I just feel like the main story could have been fleshed out so much more.

Finally, in the last quarter of the drama, everything comes to a head, and Man Wol and Chan Sung have to face their fates. I had enjoyed watching their relationship grow, but this is where things got serious.

Their newly blossomed romance is tested with life and death stakes. Things get very emotional as they have decisions to make and many struggles to face. This couple had a very solid relationship that was built upon their many trials. Themes of forgiveness and love were heavily explored. It was nice to see the pair be there for each other and work to heal from their pasts. Get the tissues ready for these episodes!

Overall, Hotel Del Luna was an enjoyable drama. While I was disappointed that it had so many episodic stories, I loved the supernatural elements, the intriguing main story, and IU and Yeo Jin Goo’s wonderful performances. It’s a fun series that had enough positives to keep me entertained.

My Rating: 7/10

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26 responses to “Hotel Del Luna Korean Drama Review”

  1. almiaramos Avatar

    This was a beautiful story. I loved it. The special effects were of great quality. But … like you, I think they have too many alternate ghost short stories. ( NOw maybe spoilers) On the other hand, again the same thing happens to the Hong sisters. They leave characters hanging, for example, the young girl in the body of her murderer, the endings remain open, I don’t know if it was a dream, his imagination or what. They did not clarify the wedding scene in the past. But despite these small weaknesses, the story is good, entertaining and the performance of the leading couple is worth seeing.

    1. Kay Avatar

      I’m glad you enjoyed this one 🙂 It really was a lovely story, and yes, the effects and cinematography were fantastic. I definitely would have preferred it to focus more on the main characters and the overarching story rather than the episodic ghost stories, but like you said, despite its weaknesses, the drama was entertaining and fun. And Yeo Jin Goo and IU were simply wonderful 🙂

  2. Kate Avatar

    Finished this one last night and I agree with your review 100%. Loved it but felt the episodic nature of the weekly ghost stories took away from the overarching story that was so much more compelling and could have used more fleshing out without leaving so much of it til the end. Some of the episodes were also too long and could have used a bit more editing. Absolutely LOVED Seo Yi Suk who played Ma Go and all of the personalities she portrayed 🙂

    1. Kay Avatar

      Yes, I would have loved if they had went deeper with the main story, and they definitely could have tightened up the episodes a bit. At least it was a gorgeous drama to look at though.

      I loved Seo Yi Suk too! She’s an actress I always enjoy (though usually in more villainous roles. Another one I really got a kick out of in Empress Ki), but this ranks high up on my favorite performances of hers. She was so good at all of the personalities! Luckily, the drama had plenty of positive qualities and was a mostly fun watch overall 🙂

  3. Fred Avatar

    Are they really serious about that ending? LOL.

    Although I would not have been happy with this drama if I watched this maybe one or two years ago, it is the most apt drama for me right now. This is my last kdrama and I am saying goodbye to this ‘world’ that I grew to love.

    What more could I ask for my last kdrama?
    – my favorite actress
    – my favorite writers
    – amazing cinematography
    – beautiful songs
    – a drama about endings, goodbyes and see-you-in-the-future

    Kamsahamnida and Annyeong, Kay! It has been a pleasure reading your reviews.

    But who knows? I may be watching kdramas again, sooner than I expect. LOL.

    1. Kay Avatar

      Awww, I do hope you come back to dramas eventually (sooner rather than later, hehe). Hotel Del Luna does seem like a fitting drama before a long drama break though. I’m glad it worked well for you at this time. It has plenty of good points 🙂 I appreciate you reading the reviews, and always love chatting with about our fav dramas (Gumiho Forever!!!). I hope you find you find you’re way back in the future. Take care!

    2. Tom Avatar

      I have found I have to take breaks between shows. It takes energy to binge watch a Kdrama.

  4. ronald0310 Avatar

    IU has done another beautiful drama. You are such talented and so lovely one. Sometimes its not only the acting will get an attention just to have viewers and followers but how she delivers her acting and adorable one. I salute this drama and for you IU you got my Soul. You let my tears drop again.

    1. Kay Avatar

      I agree, this was a fantastic performance from IU. She went all in for this role and made the character very memorable. She’s such a lovely and talented woman 🙂

  5. […] But there was an overarching story that was very engaging and did a lot to grow our characters as they faced life and death stakes. Both IU and Yeo Jin Goo gave wonderful performances that I really enjoyed and had a romance that was very moving. It’s a fun series that had enough positives to keep me entertained. My Rating: 7/10 (Hotel Del Luna Review) […]

  6. Jermena Avatar

    Simply beautiful 👌

    1. Kay Avatar

      That it is 🙂

  7. Jermena Avatar

    Could you please recommend another IU series?
    Thank you.

    1. Kay Avatar

      Ooh, that’s hard because I like most of the drama’s I’ve seen IU in. She’s really good in Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Goryeo if you like historicals. That’s an amazing drama and one of my favorites!

      I also really liked her in Pretty Man (Bel Ami) and Producers. Pretty Man is a bit hit or miss with fans, but IU’s super adorable there. Then her character is great in Producers. I’ve heard she was fantastic in My Ahjussi too if you like darker more realistic series. She’s always good 🙂

      1. Jermena Avatar

        Thank you very much. Will look them up.

        1. Jermena Avatar

          I must say, it was really amazing to see IU pull off the bad ass, lethal skilled rebel in the Joseon era despite her delicate persona and the sassy, cunny and very sophisticated modern day Hotelier! She was just so flawless and very talented…. 👏👏👏👏
          I loved every sequel she had with Ku Chung Myung! That very handsome smooth young general… I could av watched them all day pullof all those fine stints of theirs in their sword play and of course, the ill-fated romance that had promised so much😍
          Anyway, sometimes it’s just not meant to be.
          Then here comes Ku Chan sung who eventually won me over and was just simply awesome to watch. He was beautiful innocence and strong-headed and appealing. He is a character I grew to love so much, too bad it was ill-fated for him too😐 I would have loved to see him happy at the end. He really loved Man weol!

          Have I mentioned the Hotel’s adorable staff! I loved them soooo much! There’s just a way they played out their characters, exhibiting nobility and class in their own way even when underneath they nursed very tragic pasts. Hyun joong was such a darling 😊 with his big generous smile and cute pouts😘 I enjoyed them tremendously!

          IU’s outfits in the modern era were simply gorgeous…

          The music was something else! it gave off mystery at every corner. Look at Heize’s ‘Can you see my heart?’ so soulful and haunting…

          I must say, this was a very beautiful series, one I want to remember for a long time🤗

          1. Kay Avatar

            I so agree about IU! She pulled off the duality of her character so well. She was definitely the stand out in the drama for me 🙂

            That Joseon portion of the drama was something! I loved it, including that ill fated romance. But I was all for Chan Sung (hardcore Yeo Jin Goo fan here, hehe). His character was so interesting, and I loved watching him develop and get closer to Man Wol. Their story was pretty heart wrenching too. I also wish they could have a more concrete happy ending, but it sure was a great romance!

            And those outfits of IU’s were something! I just loved seeing what stylish outfit she was going to show up in next 🙂

            This is definitely the kind of series that is unique and leaves an impact. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much 🙂

  8. Jermena Avatar

    Av now also joined the Yeo jin goo ship so you know! Currently watching the Crowned clown and am lovin’ every minute of it 😍
    I totally agree about IU’s outfits… I was also looking forward to what she would show up in next all the time💃💃💃💃
    Heyyyyy before I forget… Do you remember that oh-so-girly-scene between rich/wealth mago and Man weol??? How they jiggled away like a bunch of excited teenagers in the parking lot! It was so cute😍😍😍😍

    1. Kay Avatar

      It’s a good ship to be on! hehe 🙂 Oooh, I’m glad you’re watching The Crowned Clown. I can see why you would love it as it is a wonderful drama, and Yeo Jin Goo is phenomenal. He really gets a chance to shine in that one and show his amazing acting skills.

      And I do remember that scene! Soooo cute!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      1. Jermena Avatar

        😁😁😁😁 Yeo jin goo has a bright future ahead. I wish him only the best. Will comment on ‘The crowned clown’s’ page properly after am done with the drama, but I must say, am really enjoying him on this drama even more.
        Meanwhile, I would like to say, thank you for this website👌🤗

        1. Kay Avatar

          That he does 🙂 I will look forward to hearing your thoughts on The Crowned Clown after you’re done.

          And thank you for saying that! I appreciate you visiting the site and taking time to comment 🙂

          1. Jermena Avatar

            You are welcome🤗

  9. Tom Avatar

    Great show. Jang Man-Wol (female lead) was very good as was the Hotel Del Luna staff. Good special affects. SPOILER ALERT! Am I correct in saying that in the last episode IU and Yeo Jin-Goo are reincarnated and reunited?

    Rating (If they are reunited) 8/10

    1. Kay Avatar

      It was a fun one 🙂 And yes, IU was fantastic here! This is one of those endings that is definitely left open for interpretation. The two most popular theories are that they did indeed reincarnate and reunite while the other is that it was his imagination of a possible future scenario when they all could be happy and together. Either could work from what we saw.

  10. Tom Avatar

    Opps! Jang Man-Wol was the female lead’s character name. The FL was UL.

    Also, I should of asked if the characters, Jang Man-Wol and Koo Chan-Sung got reunited. I has used the performer’s real names. Sorry for the error. I don’t see how I could edit.

    1. Kay Avatar

      No worries. I sometimes use the actors names when talking about their drama characters too. I think most will still know who you meant 🙂

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Hi, I’m Kay

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