|Written by||Jo Eun-jung|
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|No. of episodes||32|
|Executive producer(s)||Kim Jin-min|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original network||Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation|
|Original release||April 5 –|
July 27, 2014
Hotel King (Korean: 호텔킹) is a 2014 South Korean television series starring Lee Dong-wook, Lee Da-hae, Im Seulong, Wang Ji-hye, Lee Deok-hwa and Kim Hae-sook. It aired on MBC from April 5 to July 27, 2014 on Saturdays and Sundays at 21:45 for 32 episodes.
This article may benefit from being shortened by the use of summary style.
Summary style may involve the moving of large sections to sub-articles that are then summarized in the main article.
A love story between an heiress who tries to save her father's legacy, the one and only seven-star hotel in the nation, and a hotel manager who becomes his mentor's enemy in order to protect her.
[Warning: The following text contains many spoilers to the series]
The story begins in 1991 in the United States, with two child street beggars, Jayden and Ju-han, who are coerced to produce earnings by a criminal gang. Having failed to produce enough takings, the boys were given a beating by the gang. In all the chaos, Jayden accidentally shoots the boss of the gang and passes out. A man with a walking cane, Lee Joong-goo (Lee Deok-hwa) then takes Jayden in and tells him about his past. The man claims that Ah Sung-won, the chairman of a luxurious hotel in South Korea named Hotel Ciel, is Jayden's father who abandoned him and his mother. Jayden then vows to avenge his father for his actions and takes on a new name - Cha Jae-wan.
Fast forward over 20 years. In the present, Cha Jae-wan (Lee Dong-wook) works as the general manager for Hotel Ciel. He is known as the “hotel monster" due to his capability and work ethics. On the launch day of a pool section of the hotel, Cha Jae-wan tells Ah Sung-won that he is his son whom he abandoned. However, Ah Sung-won denies the accusations made against him. Jae-wan demands that the chairman accepts this fact, and then gives him time to think. Unfortunately, Ah Sung-won suspiciously commits suicide by falling from his office.
After his death, his daughter Ah Mo-ne (Lee Da-hae) shows up at the hotel. She acts arrogant and uninterested towards Hotel Ciel's management affairs, but Mo-ne is actually trying to get to the bottom of her father's suspicious death. She also recalls her father's last words: Not to trust anyone in the hotel.
She constantly clashes with Cha Jae-wan over a series of attempt of trying to prove that her father did not commit suicide. Jae-wan is torn between his sympathy for his sister and his lifelong ambition to take over Hotel Ciel. During the company dinner, Mo-ne claims that her father has been forced to take anti-psychotic pills which were not supposed to be taken together. Jae-wan looks into the truth and discovers that the pills were indeed Lee Joong-goo's doing. He then threatens Joong-goo not to harm Mo-ne.
Mo-ne eventually manages to become the new chairwoman but was given a 3-month trial period, in which she needs to achieve 100% increase in sales. On her first day in-charge, Mo-ne loses her emerald bracelet, which was a gift from her father and accuses an employee of stealing her bracelet, resulting in his dismissal. At night, the frustrated employee tries to set fire to the hotel kitchen but Mo-ne succeeds in talking him out of it. However, an arsonist ignites the fire, trapping Mo-ne and the employee inside. Cha Jae-wan was able to save them from the bursting flames but tells Sunwoo Hyun not to reveal to anyone that he was there.
Eventually, Mo-ne realizes that she had misunderstood Jae-wan and goes to apologize to him at his company home. There she accidentally sees the wounds and old scars on his body. This causes Mo-ne to have a change of perception towards Jae-wan. She decides to learn from him in order to achieve the profit target and moves into the company house beside Jae-wan's.
As time passes, the two grow closer and fall for each together. Jae-wan becomes tormented and pushes Mo-ne away. Although he does reciprocate her feelings, he knows something she does not - that they are half-siblings. Later, Jae-wan discovers that the paternity test result proving that his relationship with Ah Sung-won, has been falsified by Lee Joong-goo. The two proceeds in a romantic relationship.
On Ah Mo-ne's birthday, Jae-wan finds a recorder Ah Sung-won has left behind for Mo-ne. In the audio, Ah Sung-won tells Mo-ne to be careful of Lee Joong-goo and Jae-wan, who is actually Joong-goo's real son. Jae-wan is dumbfounded by this revelation and chooses to keep the secret to himself. When Jae-wan goes to meet Mo-ne that night, she brings him to a cottage called Little Ciel, which is run by her father's ex-chauffeur and they both spend a day there.
Unfortunately, Mo-ne is arrested by the police the next morning because she had approved of a sports event in the hotel, which unknowingly turned out to be a fraud. Cha Jae-wan is forced to return to Lee Joong-goo's side to secure Mo-ne's release. He also returns to his former icy self and goes against Mo-ne's efforts to build her father's dream Culture Park. Jae-wan does this in order to keep his enemy close and Jae-wan has been plotting a way to bring down Lee Joong-goo once and for all.
A confused Mo-ne still chooses to trust Jae-wan, but her trust slowly wavers as his actions become more and more unjustified. Mo-ne seeks the advice of Manager Baek Mi-nyeo in order to save her father's dream. To do so, she must acquire the piece of land owned by a farm chairman (who turns out to be Sunwoo Hyun's father) as well as attain the support of Roman Lee to invest in her project. In the end, Jae-wan manages to trick Lee Joong-goo by striking a deal with the farm chairman and Roman Lee. Lee Joong-goo is arrested by the police and is stripped off all his personal assets and belongings.
Nevertheless, the story is far from a happy ending. Lee Joong-goo tells Mo-ne that Jae-wan is his son and threatens to drag him to prison with him if Mo-ne does not bail him out. Despite feeling betrayed that she fell in love with the son of her father's killer, Mo-ne bails Joong-goo out. However, she tells Jae-wan that she does not want to see him again and sacks him as general manager.
Besides that, Roman Lee is revealed to be Baek Mi-nyeo's adopted son and that he is actually Ju-han (the boy who was with Jayden). Mi-nyeo is also revealed to be Jae-wan's presumably deceased mother, Mi-yeon (unknown to Jae-wan at this point). Mi-yeon was badly burned in an accident and was told that her son had died. Her goal is to destroy Hotel Ciel in order to avenge what Lee Joong-goo and Ah Sung-won had done to her in the past.
Baek Mi-nyeo succeeds in dismissing Mo-ne as chairwoman and is appointed as Mo-ne's successor. Meanwhile, Ah Mo-ne becomes a maid in order to stay close to the hotel and in time, she learns more about the hotel and its employees. Cha Jae-wan manages to keep his job as general manager and vows to help Mo-ne reclaim the hotel. After initially refusing his help, Mo-ne eventually realizes that she can't save Hotel Ciel without the hotel monster. The two resumes a romantic relationship after they decide not let each other hurt anymore. Cha Jae-wan prevails in saving Hotel Ciel by buying shares from the minority holders and by causing Roman's company in the US to fall bankrupt.
Subsequently, Jae-wan finds out Roman is Ju-han and Mo-ne finds out that Mi-nyeo is Jae-wan's mother. Mo-ne becomes troubled on whether or not to tell Jae-wan the truth and she invites him to the Little Ciel cottage again. She then decides against telling him as she feared that he would leave her again. Mo-ne then asks Roman to persuade Jae-wan not to report his mother to the police, who initially agrees to it.
Jae-wan then finds out that the boss of the gang whom he thought he killed, did not die. He fumes and threatens to kill Lee Joong-goo, who has been using that murder against him all this while, but does not do so. Jae-wan returns to Mo-ne feeling relieved that he is finally “clean" from his past. The next morning, Jae-wan apologizes to Roman and reports Baek Mi-nyeo to the police, much to Mo-ne's dismay. She then tells him that Mi-nyeo is his real mother. Jae-wan regrets his decision but does not blame Mo-ne as he realizes that it would have been too difficult for her to tell him the truth. Mo-ne seeks Song Chae-kyung's help in getting Baek Mi-nyeo released. Once she is released, Mi-nyeo continues her attempts to ruin the hotel and is only stopped when Roman reveals to her that Jae-wan is her real son, Hyun-woo. A remorseful Mi-nyeo then gives Jae-wan and Mo-ne her blessings, and decides to put an end to the bitter war of the older generation by dying together with Lee Joong-goo. Jae-wan manages to save his mother but she ends up amnesia and a mental capability of a 5-year-old. Together, Jae-wan and Mo-ne takes care of Mi-nyeo and he eventually proposes to her. He promises to marry her exactly a year from then, after he manages to get Hotel Ciel back for her.
Later, Cha Jae-wan is interrogated for leaking private hotel information and Lee Joong-goo testifies against him by revealing that Jae-wan had intentionally approached Ah Sung-won 2 years ago in order to come and work for Hotel Ciel. The interrogation was somehow recorded and sent to all the employees of Ciel, including Mo-ne. Despite wanting to bring this secret to his grave, Jae-wan reveals how he initially thought that he was Ah Sung-won's real son. Mo-ne was shocked by the revelation that he had initially thought of her as a sister, but eventually comes to accept the important fact that he loves her nonetheless.
After collecting evidence of Lee Joong-goo's crime in murdering Ah Sung-won, Jae-wan hands them in to the police. Lee Joong-goo escapes to a sky bridge and holds Baek Mi-nyeo captive. Following a confrontation with Jae-wan, Joong-goo tells Jae-wan that he actually loves him and jumps off the bridge. Jae-wan catches hold of him, but Joong-goo lets go and falls to his demise. After this incident, Jae-wan and his mother leave Mo-ne and Hotel Ciel.
Almost a year later, Mo-ne is chairwoman again and has to deal with a celebrity customer who wants her wedding to be organized by Cha Jae-wan. Mo-ne then goes to visit Jae-wan and tells him to come back. Jae-wan tells her that he cannot escape from the fact that he is Lee Joong-goo's son and thus, requests to end their relationship. Heartbroken Mo-ne demands that he finishes off this last wedding project as compensation to her. While organizing the wedding, Jae-wan realizes his cowardice and confesses that he still loves Mo-ne. She accepts him back and they get married.
The show then goes a few years into the future. Baek Mi-nyeo's amnesia is cured and she returns to her training manager position in Hotel Ciel. Chairwoman Mo-ne brings her two children to their grandmother's training session for babysitting. The final scene ends with Jae-wan's monologue: "The hotel that I first saw was a heaven. When I looked at with one eye, it was a luxurious place for riches. But when I realized I was a human being with a beating heart, I saw the people and their stories. The hotel that I will start to work from now on will really be heaven."
- Lee Dong-wook as Cha Jae-wan/Jayden/Baek Hyun-woo
- The cool-headed, polished general manager of Hotel Ciel. Jae-wan hides a painful past; his unknown father had abandoned him and his mother to a life of poverty. Yet Jae-wan rises from his miserable beginnings to become the youngest ever general manager with such steely competence that he earns himself the nickname of "hotel monster." A succession battle ignites when Jae-wan is told that his biological father was Chairman Ah, the recently deceased owner of Hotel Ciel.
- Lee Da-hae as Ah Mo-ne/Bok-Soon
- Mo-ne is an heiress, the only daughter of the chairman of Hotel Ciel, the only seven-star hotel in Korea. Upon her father's death, she becomes the hotel's primary successor. But Mo-ne is utterly unqualified to take over the business, having lived a pampered, sheltered life, coupled with her flighty, unpredictable personality which makes her cheerfully barge into the executive ranks with nary a care for propriety or tact. But once the hotel faces a crisis, she must rise to the occasion and struggle to protect it.
- Wang Ji-hye as Song Chae-kyung
- The owner of Hotel Ciel's Hamill restaurant, and Jae-wan's ex-girlfriend. She is the widow of the former chairman of the wealthy GR Group. Regretting her choice of marrying another man for money, Chae-kyung tries to win back Jae-wan's love.
- An optimistic, loud and hard working hotel concierge, Hyun is often at odds with Jae-wan. Hyun is assigned to help out Mo-ne when she first comes to Hotel Ciel, teaching her the ropes and bailing her out of scrapes. As he grows to care for her, he becomes even more determined to help Mo-ne save the hotel. It is later revealed that he is the son of the owner of a farm.
- Lee Deok-hwa as Lee Joong-goo
- Vice chairman of Hotel Ciel. He tells Jae-wan that he is the biological son of Chairman Ah, owner of Hotel Ciel, and takes the young man under his wing, promising to turn Jae-wan into the best in the business and make him king. It is later revealed that he is, in fact, Jae-wan's biological father.
- Kim Hae-sook as Baek Mi-nyeo
- Training manager of Hotel Ciel. It is later revealed that her real name is Baek Mi-yeon, and that she was Ah Sung-won's former lover and Cha Jae-wan's biological mother. She schemes to destroy Hotel Ciel in order to avenge the death of her real son (Hyun-woo/Jae-wan).
- Jin Tae-hyun as Roman Lee/Lee Ju-han
- A prospective investor of Hotel Ciel, who is later revealed to be Baek Mi-nyeo's son. He shares the same past as Cha Jae-wan and is a brother-like figure to him.
- Gong Hyun-joo as Cha Soo-an
- The highly educated hotel VIP supervisor, who looks up highly upon Cha Jae-wan. One of the four specialists brought in by General Manager Cha Jae-wan from his former workplace in Las Vegas to assist him in the hotel. Later, she helps Jae-wan and Mo-ne to retrieve the hotel again.
- The Food & Kitchen Team Leader, who is friendly and flirtatious. One of the four specialists brought in by General Manager Cha Jae-wan from his former workplace in Las Vegas to assist him in the hotel. It is revealed later that Joon-sung has been secretly helping to Manager Baek Mi-nyeo, much to the dismay of his friends.
- Kim Sun-hyuk as Hong Joon
- The Guest Room Team Leader, who has a bad temper. One of the four specialists brought in by General Manager Cha Jae-wan from his former workplace in Las Vegas to assist him in the hotel.
- Go Yoon as Park Do-jin
- The Concierge Team Leader, who often uses English to taunt the locally educated employees. One of the four specialists brought in by General Manager Cha Jae-wan from his former workplace in Las Vegas to assist him in the hotel.
- Park Chul-min as Jang Ho-il
- The Guest Room Manager who is narcissistic and often spreads rumours. He was under the assumption that So Moon-jung had a crush on him.
- Jung Suk-yong as Go San
- Fondly known as "Captain Go", he is a concierge at Hotel Ciel. In a relationship with So Moon-jung.
- Ji Il-joo as Jin Jung-hyun
- A front-desk concierge at Hotel Ciel along with Yoon Da-jung, with whom he develops a romantic interest in.
- Kim Ye-won as Yoon Da-jung
- A front-desk concierge at Hotel Ciel who dreams of marrying a rich suitor.
- Kim Sung-young as So Moon-jung
- A maid at Hotel Ciel who constantly creates rumours and gossips about people in the hotel. In a relationship with Go San.
- Kim Kyu-sun as Ha So-yeon
- A maid at Hotel Ciel.
- Goo Bon-im as Madam Kim
- A maid at Hotel Ciel.
- Lee Do-yeon as Lee Ip-sae
- Lee Sang-mi as Yoon Ji-won
- Lee Joong-goo's wife and Lee Da-bae's mother. She is a well-known philanthropist and poetry writer.
- Seo Yi-an as Lee Da-bae
- Lee Joong-goo's daughter and Cha Jae-wan's half sister. She is a jovial girl, who enjoys helping society.
- Choi Sang-hoon as Ah Sung-won
- The deceased Chairman of Hotel Ciel and Ah Mo-ne's father.
- Yoo Gun as John Howard
- Cho Yoon-woo as Yoo Joo-min (cameo, ep 17)
- Lee Joo-yeon as Chae-won (cameo, ep 31-32)
- A proud and bossy top celebrity.
- Kim Ha-rin as Baek Mi-yeon
|Hotel King |
Original Sound Track
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||July 25, 2014|
|Genre||Pop, K-pop, soundtrack, R&B|
|Label||Star Entry/Inter Park/Windmill ENT|
The official soundtrack album for Hotel King was released on July 25, 2014. It was the debut foray of the famous Korean online auction and shopping mall Inter Park to the music industry business.
|2.||"아파" (It Hurts)||Kim Jin-ho|
|3.||"기다려본다" (Waiting)||Melody Day|
|4.||"사랑한단 말" (Telling You That I Love You)||Lee Changmin and Jeong Jinwoon (of 2AM)|
|5.||"그대라서" (Because It's You)||The One|
|6.||"같은자리" (Same Place)||Vanilla Acoustic (바닐라 어쿠스틱)|
|7.||"사랑병" (Lovesick)||Lumin & T.O. (of M.Pire)|
|8.||"아파 (Acoustic Ver.)" (It Hurts (Acoustic Ver.))||Kim Jin-ho|
|9.||"같은자리 (Acoustic Ver.)" (Same Place (Acoustic Ver.))||Vanilla Acoustic (바닐라 어쿠스틱)|
|10.||"사랑병 (Drama Ver.)" (Lovesick (Drama Ver.))||Lumin & T.O. (of M.Pire)|
|11.||"보이지 않는 운명"||Various Artists|
|13.||"그림자" (Shadow)||Various Artists|
|14.||"It's Just Me"||Various Artists|
|16.||"Kiss of Promise"||Various Artists|
|17.||"나를 닮은 너"||Various Artists|
|18.||"눈물은 말한다"||Various Artists|
|19.||"시간의 운명"||Various Artists|
In the tables below, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.
|Episode #||Original broadcast date||Average audience share|
|TNmS Ratings||AGB Nielsen|
|Nationwide||Seoul National Capital Area||Nationwide||Seoul National Capital Area|
|01||April 5, 2014||11.8%||14.3%||11.7%||13.1%|
|02||April 6, 2014||11.2%||14.3%||10.9%||12%|
|03||April 12, 2014||11.1%||14.9%||10.9%||12.3%|
|04||April 13, 2014||11.6%||13.9%||11.6%||12.8%|
|05||April 26, 2014||7.4%||8.6%||8.2%||9.6%|
|06||April 27, 2014||8.8%||10.4%||10.3%||11.8%|
|07||May 3, 2014||8.7%||10.6%||9.1%||9.6%|
|08||May 4, 2014||9.1%||10.9%||9.0%||9.7%|
|09||May 10, 2014||8.6%||10.6%||8.6%||9.5%|
|10||May 11, 2014||9.5%||10.9%||10.5%||11.6%|
|11||May 17, 2014||8.4%||10.6%||9.6%||10.2%|
|12||May 18, 2014||9.0%||11.8%||9.3%||9.7%|
|13||May 24, 2014||8.6%||11.2%||8.7%||10.1%|
|14||May 25, 2014||7.8%||9.7%||8.3%||8.7%|
|15||May 31, 2014||9.8%||12.2%||10.0%||10.2%|
|16||June 1, 2014||9.6%||11.8%||9.7%||10.2%|
|17||June 7, 2014||9.6%||12.5%||10.4%||11.9%|
|18||June 8, 2014||8.3%||10.9%||8.8%||9.4%|
|19||June 14, 2014||9.9%||12.4%||9.8%||10.5%|
|20||June 15, 2014||9.3%||11.4%||9.8%||10.2%|
|21||June 21, 2014||9.9%||12.7%||10.9%||12.2%|
|22||June 22, 2014||9.8%||12.4%||10.7%||12.3%|
|23||June 28, 2014||10.6%||13.3%||9.8%||10.3%|
|24||June 29, 2014||10.2%||12.5%||9.9%||10.2%|
|25||July 5, 2014||10.3%||13.4%||11.3%||11.6%|
|26||July 6, 2014||10.0%||12.4%||11.0%||11.3%|
|27||July 12, 2014||11.1%||14.4%||10.6%||11.5%|
|28||July 13, 2014||11.6%||14.3%||13.6%||15.4%|
|29||July 19, 2014||11.7%||14.8%||12.3%||13.3%|
|30||July 20, 2014||11.4%||13.8%||12.4%||13.9%|
|31||July 26, 2014||11.6%||14.6%||11.8%||13.3%|
|32||July 27, 2014||12.1%||14.6%||11.8%||13.0%|
Awards and nominations
|2014||3rd APAN Star Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Serial Drama||Lee Dong-wook||Nominated|
|Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Special Project Drama||Lee Dong-wook||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Project Drama||Lee Da-hae||Nominated|
|Golden Acting Award, Actor||Lee Deok-hwa||Nominated|
The series became very popular in China and has recorded the second highest TV ratings among Korean dramas on Baidu during its run. It has also been the number one Korean drama on iQiyi, a Chinese video website, reaching more than 200 million views, and the 5th most popular drama in China during its run.
It aired in Japan on cable channel KNTV from May 5 to September 15, 2014.
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