Hotel King Episode 1 Recap


Yay, My Girl reunion, the only reason for me to watch this drama. FYI, this drama is 50 episodes long. Great, usually long dramas get the injection of clusterfuk in the middle and the story doesn’t make any sense. Let’s hope that stays at the minimal.

So the premise of the story is around the hotel management and I have not done a PhD in that department, so if I get something wrong as in the ranks or anything do forgive me. This time too, I didn’t watch any trailers so I have no idea who will be playing what and most of the time the correlation chart and the synopsis are wrong anyway.

The name of the hotel “Ciel” had me thinking about Kuroshitsuji. It is the popular manga and anime in Japan. Lee Dong Wook is playing Sebastian.

No promises, I may or may not continue with this.


Episode 1
Its 1991 somewhere and English is spoken. Children are begging on the streets. Two of them are Korean. Their leader demands the money they collected and slaps when there isn’t enough. Jayden protects his younger brother Ji Won. But Ji Won is dragged away and beaten to death with a metal pipe and Jayden is bruised up with kicks. Jayden takes a wooden stick to go against Ji Won’s killer, but that guy takes out a gun. First pointing it at Jayden then on Ji Won. A shot is heard and blood is seen, it’s not of the brothers, but the attackers and Jayden is holding the gun. How that happened don’t ask me. A door opens and a suited, booted man stands with a walking stick.



Jayden wakes up to some lavish room. The first thing he sees is the painting of angels. He thinks he died and went to heaven.  His rescuer Joong Goo says that indeed this is heaven. Police car’s siren makes Jayden jump literally and he tries to run away but in vain.  Joong Goo tells him that people are looking for him and if he gets caught either he will be sent to jail or back to his life. Jayden says that killing that man wasn’t his fault. Joong Goo says true indeed it is not. It’s all Jayden s fathers fault; Ah Seoung Won the chairman of Ciel hotel. He is an evil guy who threw his child. Joong Goo proposes a deal with Jayden, take his hand and he will make sure Jayden becomes the king or go back where he came from. Jayden washes up and a feast awaits him.  He has taken affection to a painting of an angel or is it a mother and a child?



This was Jayden 11 years old. He changed his name to Cha Jae Wan and now he is the general manager of the Ciel hotel. Jae Wan gets ready for the day his room has his credits framed. He still has the painting he took the liking for as a kid.

Sun Woo Hyun and his partner greet the chairman. Hmm are they bellhops? Chairman? As in Jayden’s father? For some reason the chairman is nervous and panicky. Jae Wan watches him in this miserable state and thinks back to a speech he gave about making Ciel hotel into the best hotels.


God knows what Jae Won has done because the chairman accuses him of betrayal and asks if he approached on purpose to which Jae Wan says yes. He wanted to meet the chairman who has abandoned his kid and his mother who died. Chairman says no, his mother didn’t die because of him and he is not his son. –great do a DNA test, what is with the yelling? Jae Wan gives him time to think and says if he didn’t accept him, he will let everyone know that he is the son of the chairman who is a murderer.



Party time- some new thing launched and everyone is having fun. The chairman calls someone and apologizes, saying sorry my child. Someone creeps behind him. In the pool where the party is still in motion the most awaited thing happens the ceiling will open, but instead a body comes crashing down which is indeed chairman’s.



Jae wan meets Joong Goo and he freaking throws his walking stick like it’s a dart.  Jae Wan dodges it and the stick hit the poor cat, the original target. Joong Goo doesn’t like cats because they sneak around when they are only fit for rummaging through trash. Hmm the metaphor. He gets angry at Jae Wan for telling the president.  Joong Goo informs that Ah Mo Ne his sister, chairman’s daughter is coming.  Chairman’s estate and shares have already been given to her. Jae wan says he won’t give the hotel to anyone. Joong Goo gives him a watch that the chairman was wearing. It’s a family watch. Jae Wan sits in front of his favorite painting as he sees his younger self admiring the picture and the days happening, how his father rejected him plays once again in his mind. He says was acknowledging him as his son was so difficult that he decided to finish his life. He says he will show his father how higher he can go.



Chairman’s death has its consequences. Customers cancel their reservations and stuff. Chairman’s funeral day- Joong Go goes all in for fake crying and stuff. Oh, did I mention Joong Goo is the vice chairman of the Ciel hotel. Whatever the rest of the people are, manager’s stock holder’s or dear friends rants about Ah Mo Ne for not attending her father’s funeral.



Jae Won is with funny guy from Inspiring Generation.  He is Jang Ho Ill manager of the guest rooms. Jae Wan is a man of few words and no nonsense kind of man. Soon the atmosphere becomes awkward.  Ho Ill turns on the radio and instead of music there is news about the snow storm and how the people are stuck at the airport. Jae Wan suddenly steps on the break takes out his cell phone and bark instructions to get to the airport. Ho Ill asks what is going on. Jae Wan answers we are having customers. Jae Wan tells the staff to look after the guests and behave like nothing has happened. Woo Hyun is sadder than anyone else. Jae Wan tells him to quit if he isn’t par with the work.



Joong Goo gets the news of Mo Ne coming from the sea. He tells his driver to tune in the radio, but gets upset when the news is about Ciel hotel and Mo Ne. The driver changes the channel and the music blazes to which Joong Do likes and taps his foot to it. hmmm

Ah Mo Ne is busy barfing, she is on a ship. Wearing a scarf on her head, trying to hide her identity.  Some people are searching for her on the port and she uses the same scarf as a veil and tries to run away ,but soon gets cornered but in the end somehow runs away.



Baek Mi Nyeo is on her rounds. She is the manager for the trainees, a strict old lady who always has a stick in her hand. She hears the commotion in one of the rooms. Where a maid accuses the customer for sexual harassment. She sees no problem with the maid. Mi Nyeo puts up her leg and takes his hand and touches her leg saying she is seducing him. The guy apologizes.



Everyone comes out to meet the vice chairman as he arrives at the Ciel Hotel. Joong Goo tells Jae Wan that Mo Ne has come from the sea port. Ah Mo Ne comes to Ciel hotel, but demands that she would walk on a red carpet or else she won’t budge. Her demand is granted. The reception desk presses a button and all the staff is notified that a JS has come. JS = Jin Sang aka terrible customer. Mo Ne reveals herself as the heiress to the hotel. She happily greets Joong Goo. She tells him about the people chasing after her. Jae Wan asks her if she isn’t sad after all her father just died. She says she never was close to her dad. She stops at a painting Sun Woo says the chairman cherished it a lot. – hmm did she draw it?- Sun Woo takes elevator with Mo Ne to her room. Her behavior again puts her in the same position when he asks her about the chairman. She has her back to Woo Hyun and he thinks she is crying and apologies but instead it’s her lens that came off. She takes a lipstick in her hand and marks some stuff to be changed.



Jae Wan read  Mo Ne’s file. He meets with Joong Go and they make a plan in which Mo Ne will leave on her own. Mo Ne has a dream someone is chasing her, she hides in a room. She wakes up and thinks about the call her father made. Oh, so it was her, he called and apologized. He tells her one thing, not to trust anyone. She remembers everyone’s behavior. She doesn’t believe that her father committed suicide.



The new day begins with some horrendous happenings. Chairman’s voice is heard through the speakers and they can’t seem to turn off the system. He dashes into Mo Ne’s room. Where Woo Hyun is stuck with her brattiness. Maids in the chairman’s office quiver in fear because his table is set like it used to be. Jae Wan takes the open file on the table and smudges the signature; pin pointing it was recently signed.  Jae Wan and Mo Ne cross the same passage.



I like it.
Ah, now Lee Dong Wook and Lee Da Hae are playing siblings they played cousins in My Girl. Yes, yes they are not siblings, its all Joong Goo’s strategy.

Is it me or the way Lee Da Hae speaks is weird or is the character supposed to speak like that?
The little boy who called Jayden hyung, is he Jayden’s younger brother? It doesn’t seem so. I need some more clarification.

Shucks, I didn’t plan to write such a long recap.


25 comments on “Hotel King Episode 1 Recap

  1. deki says:

    Thanks for the recap. Lee da hae is so funny and such a great actress. it’s actually 32 episodes not 50, sigh of relief lol


  2. Million-meows-per-mile says:

    Lol. This drama doesn’t do anything new per se (birth secrets, rich girls rebelling, evil old men, we’ve seen all that and more), but it’s still gripping. Da Hae is so CUTE. Too cute. Especially in the scarf. And every time I see Lee Dak Hwa’s wig I crack up because I remember when he was a guest in Running Man and said that they glue the wig so well into his head that if anyone pulls it they’d pull his skin with it too or something like that. Thanks for the recaps!


    • Miss Khan says:

      Welcome. True, it’s same old same old and I would hate to see Jae Wan falling for Mo Ne and thinking I can’t love her because she is my sister. Just don’t go over there drama, please. I am busy hating the character Lee Duk Hwa is playing, Joong Goo, that I want to rip him into pieces hahahaha.


  3. jolee12 says:

    Do you really think that the brother is dead? I personally have doubts about that part… we’ll just have to wait and see.


  4. nana says:

    Thanks for recap..I’m planning to watch it. Your recap make me more curious


  5. Lola Paloma says:

    Thanks for your recap .. Please continue and don’t give up ya. I read somewhere it will be 30ish espisodes not 50 .. so lets hope this will be a good one 🙂 Thanks again


  6. cinthy says:

    I like this!!! And yes lee da hae’s voice is a little strange, anyway I loveee this two, my girl reunion!!!!!!!


  7. LIZ says:

    I don’t think Ji Won died and I guess they’re not real brothers. Maybe they became close out of misery as in they needed each other’s comfort since both wee orphaned. Perhaps, they considered themselves siblings since they had nothing to turn to. Such a sad life, it has its own destiny.


    • Miss Khan says:

      Maybe they are not brothers and if Ji Won somehow survived how come Jae Wan never searched for him again?


      • LIZ says:

        Maybe in one glance, he assumed Ji Won was dead that’s why until now he kept on thinking he is a murderer considering he thought he was the one responsible for the killing of that man who beat Ji won to death. Call it weird but I really don’t believe Jayden killed that Gangsters Leader. In fact it was one of the VC’s tricks to keep Jayden stick with him and do whatever he commands.


  8. paketi says:

    Hi thank you for the recap 🙂 I’m just curious about that scene in ep 1 where Jayden and some workers were walking around and the hotel put up a sign and they played a movie onto a screen, and I was wondering if you know what movie that was 🙂


  9. Miss Khan says:

    @ Wendy. It makes me curious too only if the story remains on the main track.


  10. Anonymous says:

    The painting, where is it from and what is it called?!



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