Since I began traveling mid-budget, I rarely stay at hotels. I’ve never stayed in a hotel in Seoul. But I loved staying at guesthouses.
Guesthouses, generally, gives you a feeling of community, like a home away from home – but not quite (depending on your perspective of home, I dare say). To begin with, I’ve stayed at three different guesthouses whenever I’m in town. This is because I still want to explore staying at different parts of town and find out which is the best neighborhood for me.
For this post, I’ll discuss each guesthouse based on the following criteria: proximity to nearest subway station, proximity to Airport Limousine Bus stop, breakfast, reception, toilet/bath, space, price, facility, night life, and shopping. These are the ten points I look at when choosing a hostel or guesthouse in general. This can be your starting point in choosing your guesthouse in Seoul. Or even in other cities.
To make comparing objective, I’ll give one (1) point if it’s positive, and zero (0) if it’s negative, and point five (0.5) if there’s both positive and negative, based on my experience. I will also give explanation as necessary.
So let’s get right down to each of them.
Kimchee Dongdaemun Guesthouse
25-2 Daehak-ro 2-gil, Jongno 5(o).6(yuk)ga-dong,
Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Stayed in April 2013
This was the first guesthouse I’ve stayed at in Seoul. I stayed with a friend and her 2 officemates. Unfortunately, I think this particular branch no longer exists, since I can’t find it in their official website. This link will take you to the official Kimchee Guesthouse if you want to check out their other branches.
|Proximity to nearest subway station||
|The closest one to the subway station among all guesthouses I’ve stayed at.|
|Proximity to Airport Limousine Bus stop||
|The closest one to the Airport Limousine Bus Stop|
|They serve but you have to pay for it.|
|Reception||1||They help you carry your heavy suitcase; also when I returned to the guesthouse and was just waiting for my friends, the reception came down to me (from the fifth floor) to ask if I was okay and that I can go up to the common area if I needed to wait for my friends even though we have already checked out.|
|Toilet/Bath||1||Private bath for our room of 4 people|
|Space||0||Too small for 4 people|
|Price||1||Really cheap, stayed for W15,000/night (sharing of 4)|
|Facility||0.5||No lifts, but they clean your room every day.|
|Night Life||0||I’d say a bit unsafe because it’s sort of a mini red light district|
|Shopping||0||Closest is Dongdaemun, by bus or train, one stop for both.|
Total: 5.5 pts.
Namsan Guest House, 35-2, Namsandong 2 ga,
Jung gu, Seoul, Korea
Stayed in October 2015, December 2016
I stayed at this guesthouse twice, mainly because the second time was in winter and I wasn’t willing to look for a new guesthouse location in the middle of winter. I stayed at two different rooms, but both for 2. One was in VIP and the other one in twin room.
|Proximity to nearest subway station||0.5||It’s a hike, but it’s close.|
|Proximity to Airport Limousine Bus stop||0.5||A hike, but close.|
|Breakfast||1||Free, and you can eat at any time of the day.|
|Reception||1||Very friendly and patient. The first time I stayed here, we left our key inside and the receptionist at that time really searched for his master key. Totally biased, but they were really very patient with us, because it happened twice.
They also send you an email after you have checked out and probably arrived at your next destination asking for any feedback during your stay.
|Toilet/Bath||1||Private bath for our room of 2 people|
|Space||1||Both room spacious for 2 people.|
|Price||1||Relatively okay. W32,500/night for 5 nights. The second time I stayed there, I was given a discount, sort of a loyalty promo.|
|Facility||0||No lifts, doesn’t clean the room unless you ask them.|
|Night Life||1||There’s a school nearby and 24-hour restaurants and convenience store littered the place.|
|Shopping||1||MyeongDong shopping district on foot, baby!|
Total: 8 pts
Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea
Stayed in May 2016
I stayed at this hostel when I traveled solo. I checked in a 14-pods room exclusive for the ladies. This hostel was also featured in some video of Super Junior’s Heechul some time ago, as seen on their Facebook page.
|Proximity to nearest subway station||0||A hike and crazy far.|
|Proximity to Airport Limousine Bus stop||0||A hike and crazy far.|
|Breakfast||1||Free, but you have to eat within a specific time in the morning.|
|Reception||1||Friendliest receptionist I’ve experienced. Since I was alone, I usually ate at the first hour the breakfast is open and the present receptionist would chat with me from time to time.|
|Toilet/Bath||0||Shared toilet and bath|
|Space||1||Since its’s a dorm type room you have to make do with little space, but the pod is really spacious and you have legit privacy in there.|
|Price||1||Relatively okay, W27,000/night (I got mine discounted at W25,000/night), depending on the season.|
|Facility||1||No lifts, but there’s only 2 floors. It’s more of a share house than a building with rooms. There’s a really big common room with prettiness. I love it!|
|Night Life||1||It’s almost right beside Hongik University. I walked here at 12mn and it was perfectly fine. It’s not too close to the noise of Hongdae but its within the area so you can bar hop if that’s your thing.|
|Shopping||1||Hongdae shopping district on foot, baby!|
Total: 7 pts.
Overall, I don’t like spending too much money on accommodation. When I visit a country, I like going out and seeing places. That’s part of the reason why I don’t need a very classy hotel.
Of course this will change eventually, especially if I’m travelling with my family. Those trips will mainly be staycations anyway. J
Do you have a favorite guesthouse in Seoul? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to also stay there on my next visit!