A must read, if you don't already know ...

Written by Rinoa

"But speaking of romantic lines, “Hotelier” has some of the best lines in cinema, definitely worth remembering."


The Seoul Hotel was a prestigious hotel in Korea, but lately it was in financial peril. And then hotel’s CEO passed away, so the CEO’s wife asked Shui Zhen Yin to go to Las Vegas, USA, to bring Han Tai Quin home and assume the position of General Manager. Tai Quin had been forced to leave 3 years ago after a scandal, and also cut off his ongoing relationship with Zhen Yin. Meanwhile, Chui Rong Qi was the son of the hotel’s CEO. He was young and impulsive, and he fell in love with a beautiful rich girl, Jin Yuin Xi, who was spoiled but clinically depressed. Her father was the rival of the CEO (Rong Qi’s father).

Frank Shin was a brilliant businessman. He was coldhearted and arrogant, but deep inside he was nursing some deep emotional wounds from his childhood. He was hired by Yuin Xi’s father to take over the Seoul Hotel. Frank saw Zhen Yin for the first time in Las Vegas, where she was loudly complaining of the bad service in a restaurant. Frank saw Zhen Yin many times more, and each time he was amused by her actions (e.g. hitting her head against the wall). His amusement gradually turned to interest, but the next day Zhen Yin checked out of the hotel.

ZhenYin met with Tai Quin and convinced him to go back to Seoul with her. While driving to Los Angeles, they had an argument and Tai Quin left ZhenYin stranded in the desert. While waiting for him to come back, Zhen Yin was picked up by a fancy car, and she met Frank for the first time.

Soon, ZhenYin and Tai Quin went back to Korea. Before they left, ZhenYin and Tai Quin made a pact to be just friends. Frank also decided to go to Korea and accept the Seoul Hotel case so that he could see Zhen Yin again. He purposely stayed at Seoul Hotel and began courting Zhen Yin, in the meantime hiding his true identity (as the hotel takeover expert). There was one time he tried to confess, but Zhen Yin fell asleep in the middle of his confession.

Zhen Yin told Frank she’d been in love with another man (Tai Quin) but he had rejected her, and now she was not sure if she was ready to accept another man. Frank told her gently that he would wait for her. Meanwhile, Yuin Xi fell in love with Tai Quin. She found a new life in Seoul Hotel working as a waitress. Rong Qi was still in love with her and trying his best to impress her.

ZhenYin was falling in love with Frank’s smart wit and kindness, but then she found out about Frank’s identity, and was so hurt and angry she broke up with him. Frank thought Zhen Yin chose Tai Quin over him, so he was also angry and swore to take over the hotel. But even when he was angry, he still cared deeply about her, and finally acknowledged he would do anything for her. Zhen Yin had also realized she loved Frank enough to forgive him. And because of Zhen Yin, Frank discovered another part of himself, one which cared for the welfare of other people, and Frank gave up the takeover and decided instead to save the Seoul Hotel. He went to the police and assisted in the arrest of Yuin Xi’s father.

Frank had been abandoned by his father when he was a little boy, that was why he was adopted and raised in the USA, and the reason for his cold, unemotional persona – he could never let go of the fact that he was unwanted by his own parents, and felt that he was unworthy of anyone’s love. While he was back in Korea, he found his father again, and also met his sister Jenny, incidentally Zhen Yin’s roommate. He forgave his father and began forging bonds with Jenny.

Yuin Xi left to study in the USA. Frank proposed to ZhenYin, and wanted to take her to USA with him, but at the last minute Zhen Yin refused. She was still confused whom she really loved – Tai Quin, or Frank. But Frank could not bear to lose her now. ZhenYin read his emails to her where he told her how much he loved her and that this was not the end, he would wait for the day when they are together again (he was emailing from his cellphone). ZhenYin finally realized it was Frank she really loved. She hurried to the airport, but Frank had already left.

The CEO’s wife also passed away. Yuin Xi’s father was brought up on charges for his illegal actions. Tai Quin was now the CEO, and Zhen Yin was still pining for Frank. She’d finally realized her feelings for Tai Quin was merely friendship. She was telling Tai Quin she regretted her stupidity, thenTai Quin dragged her downstairs, back to work to welcome a very special guest, and there was Frank, coming towards her.

Frank: “Were you waiting for me? I’ve been waiting for you too. Can I check in now?”

Zhen Yin: “How long are you planning to stay, Mr. Customer?”

Frank: “Forever. I will stay here with you forever.”

(As for Tai Quin/Yuin Xi/Rong Qi, there was no definite ending. Rong Qi still loves Yuin Xi, and she still loves Tai Quin, and Tai Quin is a mystery. He seems to be still in love with Zhen Yin and he doesn’t show more than concern for Yuin Xi, though there was one time he told her he *might* fall in love with her. In the ending, Tai Quin and Rong Qi both went to USA to join a convention, and also to meet with Yuin Xi, who was studying there.)

This series has an interesting plot and well-rounded characters, but the biggest attraction (especially for female fans) was the role of Frank, by actor Bae Yong Jun. He was a rich, sophisticated businessman, but there was a sadness, a loneliness inside him that was caused by his bitter childhood. He spent most of his life hating his father for abandoning him, but when he met his father again, what he felt was not anger, but sadness and regret.

Frank rarely smiled, but when he did, it was almost always because of Zhen Yin. At first because of her silly antics (like talking to herself while banging her head against the wall), but ultimately because she brought that much happiness in his life. By his own words, it was because of her he first knew what “human warmth” was like, what it was like to be happy. To him, she symbolized not only love, but warmth and happiness and life. He needed her.

There are also many other scenes involving business takeover tactics, the rivalry between Tai Quin and Frank, and also Rong Qi and Yuin Xi’s families. There was also Frank’s attorney, Li Oh, who was his best friend.

To be quite honest, my main reason for watching this series is also because of Frank, whose character piqued my interest at first and gradually had me oddly touched by his loneliness and his healing love. His love healed both himself and Zhen Yin. Zhen Yin, who needed someone to love her after Tai Quin’s rejection, and Frank, who desperately needed love and happiness, after a life of hating his father and himself.

As for Tai Quin, I never liked him much, maybe because he had a hold on Zhen Yin’s feelings and he was Frank’s rival, both in love and business. As Yuin Xi’s main love interest, I also did not like him (Tai Quin), since I felt sorry for Rong Qi, who loved Yuin Xi with a young boy’s innocent steadfastness. As for Yuin Xi, perhaps I just don’t like the actress, I certainly did not like her character in this story. The picture of the “poor little rich girl” who’d never had to strive for anything in her life was never my cup of tea.

Favorite characters
Frank Shin. He was endearingly sad and lonely, that it was heart-warming to see how he fell in love with Zhen Yin. Because he lived in a world where nothing mattered but power and money, and finally he met a simple, happy girl who found happiness in simple things like friendship and good food. She made a home for him inside his heart, she made him laugh, she taught him to open his heart and realize that there were some things more precious than money, she helped him to forgive his father and begin a relationship with his newfound sister.

Favorite actors
Bae Yong Jun (Frank) and Song Yun Erh (Zhen Yin). Ms. Song suited the role of the sweet, foolishly naïve girl, and I think she did a great job in showing Zhen Yin’s indecision (torn between 2 men), and her growing love for Frank. Bae Yong Jun, on the other hand, was simply brilliant. His expression of Frank’s feelings was excellent. And the look in his eyes, alternating between loneliness at first, and a relaxed happiness after he met ZhenYin, was priceless.

Favorite lines
(1) Frank gave Zhen Yin a bouquet of 300 roses. Because the restaurant where he first saw her, where she made a scene complaining of the bad food, was called “300 Roses”.

(2) Frank’s email letters to Zhen Yin. (“If you want, I will give up everything for you. So, please don’t leave me. I can’t lose you now.”)

(3) The ending. “How long are you planning to stay?” “Forever.”

Best Scene
(1) The ending. ‘Nuff said.

(2) The swimming pool scene: After Frank told ZhenYin the significance of the 300 roses, he asked her to go with him again to Las Vegas, to visit the place where they first met. Then ZhenYin fell into the pool (she could not swim), and Frank pulled her up, and then stood back, amazed and laughing, as ZhenYin almost drowned in 4-feet deep water. Then he really saved her, and the look he gave her (the smile on his face) was a mix of amusement and tenderness.

Saddest scene
(1) When ZhenYin confronted Frank about the truth of his motives. While Frank did also come to Korea to take over the hotel, the real reason why he came was to see ZhenYin again. But ZhenYin thought he had purposely gone out with her to try to get more information about the Seoul Hotel.

“How can you do this to me? Why do you make me suffer so?! I … I thought I could finally fall in love…”

(2) When Frank met his father for the first time. His father seemed uncaring of the fact that he’d abandoned his two children, and Frank was so angry. He asked his father if he would care if he knew how his elder son had spent most of his life sad and alone, ashamed of the fact that he was abandoned, and he’d never known what joy and happiness was like.

(3) The almost ending, where Frank was waiting for ZhenYin at the airport and his eyes grew sadder and sadder as it became evident that ZhenYin was not going to come.

Happiest scene
For ZhenYin: When Frank proposed to her. And the ending, when Frank came back to her.

For Frank: every moment he was with ZhenYin.

The BEST part – the LOVE factor
For ZhenYin, who was still heartbroken over Tai Quin’s desertion three years ago, Frank’s love healed her bruised heart, and made her giddy with the possibility of a new love. That was why she was so angry when she found out about Frank’s mission. But she still loved him, and for her, Frank gave up his mercenary life and chose a simpler way of life with Zhen Yin.

For Frank, Zhen Yin was like a burst of sunlight in his life. Her bright, cheerful disposition brightened his days, and even when he was furious at her, he still loved her. He sought her until she came back to him, and he gave up everything so that he can be with her. Oh, and have I mentioned that I love the gentle look in his eyes whenever he smiles at her?

Wait a minute! If Tai Quin and Zhen Yin were a couple, and Frank started courting Zhen Yin, doesn’t that make Frank a third party?
Personally, I disagree. First of all, Tai Quin and ZhenYin both agreed to be “just friends” before they came back to Seoul. It’s just that both Tai Quin and ZhenYin both still had lingering feelings for each other. It’s interesting to note that for the few times Tai Quin tries to confess or do something nice for ZhenYin, Frank comes along and destroys the mood. Maybe that shows that it was meant to be for Frank and ZhenYin.

Besides, I rather think it was Tai Quin’s own fault for deserting Zhen Yin three years ago, then coming back without lettting their real feelings come out in the open. He was insensitive and easy to anger, and would time and again hurt ZhenYin’s feelings. And it was at this time, when she was feeling alone and unwanted, that Frank came along and showered her with attention and made her feel loved and special. It’s not Frank’s fault at all that he was able to give ZhenYin what she needed, and by the time Tai Quin realized he still loved her, it was too late, she had fallen in love with Frank. I think it was fate.

If you think about it, that scene in the desert is a clue to what might be the ending of the love triangle. Tai Quin leaves Zhen Yin, and when he came back for her, she was gone. (Tai Quin left Zhen Yin 3 years ago, and when he came back for her now, she had already met and fallen in love with another man – Frank Shin). A lesson can be learned from this – that chances might come only once in your life. By the time you realize you want that person beside you forever, he/she might be gone forever. Zhen Yin was lucky – Frank came back for her. But Tai Quin was not.

Worth Watching?
One interesting fact about this series is that it is actually a simple love story with a simple plot. It will remind you a lot of “Pretty Woman”, how love melts the ice around an arrogant, lonely man’s heart. But what makes this story more special for me is how you can see the growing love between Frank and ZhenYin. It’s a lot more than romantic lines spoken by a good-looking actor, it’s also the way he loved her and the way he needed her, and the tender way he looked at her and the gentle, happy smile in his eyes will make you fall in love with him, too. But speaking of romantic lines, “Hotelier” has some of the best lines in cinema, definitely worth remembering.


It was a definite hit in Korea and in Taiwan. Bae Yong Jun “retired” for two years before making this series, and it was a great comeback! He also looked a lot different from his younger, fuller face, so definitely, one of the biggest attractions of this series is Bae Yong Jun. Check out the response of female fans from online forums.

However, this is more than just your average female hormone overload. Bae Yong Jun is more than just another handsome face, his portrayal of a lonely business takeover specialist is superb. And there is a certain something about Bae Yong Jun which makes his fans so crazy about him. When he is sad and hurt, you can still feel his loneliness. When he smiles, happiness glowing in his eyes, you find yourself smiling crazily along with him. He is one of the rare actors who can make you _feel_. And for me, that is the definition of a real actor.

Here’s a chinese “Hotelier” series and actors links page: CLICK HERE

And here is my personal page for Hotelier: CLICK HERE


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