K-Drama Review: “Hotel Del Luna” Imparts Valuable Lessons About Forgiveness, Letting Go and Moving On

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This lifetime is not for Man Wol and Chan Seong to have but the hope that the next ones could be makes their love story endearing and more meaningful.

Hotel del Luna dazzled, not only because of its great cast, but also due to its narrative and the characters’ interesting back stories. Behind the special effects and IU’s beautiful collection of fancy wardrobe, the drama touched on human emotions.

IU and Yeo Jin Goo portrayed their roles well that it was so easy to root for them. The ending was bittersweet (as expected from the Hong sisters) but it was a beautiful conclusion to their love journey, at least in this time period.

Hotel del Luna

TITLE: Hotel del luna
THEMEs: fantasy, romance, drama
LENGTH: 16 episodes
BROADCAST DATE: 13 Jul 2019 – 01 Sep 2019
MAIN LEADS: Lee Ji eun (iu), yeo jin goo
HIGHLIGHTS: engaging characters, engrossing narrative and backstories

The cameos and the side characters added fun, and gave more substance to the story. It was always a welcome sight to see the guest actors played a bit mysterious and amusing roles. As a result, the entire series was entertaining and interesting to watch.

Hotel del Luna Highlights

Relatable and arresting Characters

Jang Man Wol, despite her tough façade, was really a lonely and hurting woman. Her past has so much to do with her pain and sorrow. Add the fact that the person she thought would not betray her just did, although it was done to spare her life. Not knowing the real reason for Chung Myung’s action led to a grudge so great she put up walls and has become a mean person. You really can’t blame Man Wol for her feelings.

However, waiting for Chung Myung to appear before her (or for him to become a guest of the hotel) motivated her to survive. It kept her alive and led her to meet Chan Seong, the person who would change her for the better.

Hotel del Luna

Chan Seong was probably the character that has the least development, but it was not a bad thing. From the start, it was established that he is an upright person and always pragmatic. This consistency justified all his actions and decisions that did not leave room for doubt that he was the right person to send Man Wol off to the afterlife.

The stories of the ghosts and hotel staff added more humanity to balance out the fantasy theme of the drama. I love how the drama presented the story arcs of the guests by showing their lives and how they die. The cameos and the side characters added fun and gave more substance to the story.

Absorbing Plot and intriguing character histories

Perhaps the most obvious reason to watch Hotel del Luna is the compelling story. The main arc, combined with the characters’ interesting backgrounds, were such major hooks. The way each plot points connected created scenarios that made it easy for the viewers to understand the characters’ point of views.

The fantasy element and the spotlight shone on human emotions definitely captured the viewers’ attention. It was specially moving to learn about the characters’ pasts and how they ended up with so much resentments. Hotel del Luna played well on the idea that death is not the end as the stories of the guests and employees unfolded.

Hotel del Luna

I particularly loved how the drama told the storyline of the three main employees. They gave them the closure they needed before hopping on the limousine bound for the spirit world. I also liked the notion that our dead loved ones get to fulfill the things they were not able to do when they were alive and busy sailing through life.

Hotel del Luna Takeaway

Hotel del Luna was more than just a fantasy romance drama. It managed to deliver resounding life lessons viewers can all learn from. Despite its otherworldly theme, Jang Man Wol, Goo Chan Seong, as well as the rest of the characters, were representations of ordinary people grappling to understand their existence. They depicted emotions that viewers can relate to, most especially those we struggle to take control of such as anger, grudges and pain.

In the midst of the supernatural elements were the presence of human emotions. The drama clearly presented the driving force behind Man Wol’s attitude. Her past explained her actions, though she might have been blinded to the truth about Chung Myung’s betrayal. Her clinging to that anger and hate for so long was totally understandable as she never knew the real reason.

Hotel del Luna

Man Wol’s “obsession” with material things and lavish lifestyle stemmed from experiencing poverty from her early years. Abandoned as a girl and later on grew as a nomad, you really can’t blame her for wanting the best and grandest things money can buy.

Most of the characters have a grudge to resolve and it was a constant theme in the series. Man Wol had trust issues because of Chung Myung. Bartender Kim Sun Bi could not really move on as he wishes to clear his name, while hotel attendant Choi Seo Hee was so consumed by her hate and eagerly awaited the death of the last male descendant of the family that caused her daughter’s demise.

Hotel del Luna

Screengrabs from tvN


Ji Hyun Joong, patiently waiting to reunite with his beloved sister, also had a score he needed to settle with his old friend. The other ghosts were mostly resentful to the people who caused their deaths.

Hotel del Luna told their stories and showed how humans deal with it, especially when we perceived someone has done us wrong. Their anger and desire to take revenge was basic human reactions. It is also true that people can hold on to grudges for so long. But given the right time and proper closure, we can also let go of it.

The drama has put emphasis on how ill-feelings and revenge can only lead to disaster. Forgiveness is something that, us humans, can’t easily give but it is not an impossible task to do.

Letting go of our loved ones and moving on are hard things to do. It holds true for both the dead and the living. While we try to understand and live without our dearly departed, it resonates so much that they too are struggling to move forward.

It does take a lot of effort to forgive, let go and move on but it is something that could be done. Holding on to our anger and resentments will not do any good, regardless if you are alive or dead. Though it may serve as a motivation for continuing to exist, it will only render you bitter and revengeful.

A life full of hate will be forever dull and empty. But if you are willing to let go and fill your heart with hope, forgiveness and love, the world starts to bloom. It becomes colorful and a wonderful place to be in. It does not matter whether you live for a short or a long period of time. What matters is you have touched people enough for a legacy to live on. Hotel del Luna just conveyed that message loud and clear.

READ: Hong Sisters Spill Insights About “Hotel Del Luna” Ending

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