South Korea Series:
How to Apply for a Korean Visa for Filipino Employees
8-Day South Korea Budget and Itinerary (Seoul + Jeju)
Adventures in Jeju
What I Ate in South Korea
While planning for our South Korea itinerary, I spent the most time on finding our accommodations in Seoul. The sheer number of choices made my head spin. But as always, I relied on Agoda and TripAdvisor to help me out once we decided that we wanted to stay in Hongdae area.
Why Hongdae Area?
The Hongdae area is known for its trendy and youthful ambience due to its proximity to Hongik University. It houses a collection of unique cafes, fashion shops, clubs, art markets, street arts and all things that would call out to an artistic spirit. And we found this to be true. Every shop and cafe had its own unique theme, there were street arts left and right, and we found that there is an ongoing street performance every night we came home.
It is near the train station and we also didn’t have to walk far to look for wide array of food. We also planned to pub crawl but we were always tired upon returning home. Add to that the sudden drop of temperature at night. We always opted to go home and hibernate. Lol.
We stayed in 3 different guesthouses in Hongdae because we wanted to experience a variety of hostels while there. However, it was a little inconvenient to repeatedly pack our bags and lug them to the next guesthouse. It was the only con in this little adventure of ours.
Dream Comfort Guesthouse
To be honest, I was firstly attracted to the cute owl in their homepage. The positive reviews around the internet convinced me to book our first night in Seoul with them. Dream Comfort Guesthouse is located about 2 minutes away from Exit 2 of Hongik University subway station. They are located on their other side of Hongdae which means its quieter in that area. Nevertheless, there are several convenience stores, cafes and restaurants near the guesthouse so we didn’t have to walk far to look for food.
Dream Comfort’s owl which I saw in almost every photo in their gallery
The room assigned to us had a double bed, a bunk bed and a super comfy sofa where I chose to sleep that night.
Bunk bed where Jayvee and Karla’s things slept
Jella and Karla’s bed
The super comfy sofa I claimed as my bed as soon as I saw it
The owner was waiting for us when we arrived and was so friendly. He showed us where to get food for breakfast and left us on our own after making sure we were settled in. He knew that we would be leaving very early the next morning for our flight to Jeju so he said his goodbye that time as well.
Dream Comfort Guesthouse was the cheapest among the 3 hostels where we stayed in Hongdae and the nearest to the subway station. I booked via Agoda when I saw that they had an ongoing promotion for our travel date which brought the rate down to 17,500 krw. 🙂
Location: Mapo-gu, Donggyo-ro 27gil 3-16, Seoul, Korea
We also stayed for a night in Bunk Guesthouse and then we wished that we could have stayed a bit longer. Out of the 3, it seemed the newest and had the most cheerful ambience. It is also my favorite even if was the most expensive at 25,000 krw for a weekday stay (it’s 28,000 krw during weekends and holidays).
Reception area at Bunk Guesthouse
Patio. I imagined hanging out here but COLD.
The owner, Brian, was very nice as well. To our pleasant surprise, we found out that he could understand and speak Filipino! It turns out that he stayed for a few years in the Philippines to study English. We stayed for a few minutes on the first floor so we could chat and exchange stories. It was very easy to communicate with Brian and he even helped out arrange for Jayvee and Karla’s tattoo appointments.
Our room was on the second floor and we had plenty of space. Each bed had a socket and individual reading light. We even had our own balcony which we never used because it was too damn cold outside.
I forgot to take a photo of our room so I lifted this off from Bunk Guesthouse’s website.
The only thing I didn’t like was going outside to access the toilets on the second floor. I braced myself for the cold each time I opened to door. The shower rooms were thankfully located in the inside hallway of our floor. Additionally, there was a water dispenser just outside our door which saved us a bit of money.
The guesthouse is located about 5 minutes away from Exit 8 or Exit 7 of the subway station.
Location: 19-1, Wausan-ro 29ra-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea
Urban Breaktime Guesthouse
After our night in Bunk Guesthouse, we transferred next door to Urban Breaktime Guesthouse. We stayed at their 6-Dormitory room for 3 nights. UBT’s dorm set-up is unique because the beds look more like capsule beds than bunk beds. Every one of us felt more privacy because of this even though there were 2 other guests bunking with us.
Entrance to Urban Breaktime Guesthouse
We had a pleasant stay at the guesthouse, though I would have liked to interact with the owners more. When we checked-in, we used the phone attached to the front door and they gave us the passcode to enter the guesthouse. It was the same process when we checked out.
A bed at the 6-dorm room costs 22,000 krw on weekdays and 25,000 krw on weekends and holidays. They have a peak season rate of 30,000 krw. Each bed had a curtains to give occupants privacy, an electric outlet and nightlight (but mine had none).
My bed at Urban Breaktime Guesthouse
Space-wise, our dorm room at UBT was the smallest. We had to haul our luggage outside to the dining area when we were packing our stuff.
Our room didn’t have a lot of floor space. The steps leading to the upper bunk beds and spaces between beds were made into storage spaces
I loved that our room was right next to the kitchen. The fridge was stocked with food for guests and we helped ourselves every morning for breakfast.
Location: 21-1, Wausan-ro 29ra-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
I enjoyed our stay in all these guesthouses. They had almost the same facilities at different price points. But if I had to choose my favorite, it would be Bunk Guesthouse. We felt most comfortable there and the atmosphere was so fun and welcoming due to the guests and staff members. When I go back to Seoul, I think I’ll stay there again. 🙂
My favorite space at Bunk Guesthouse
However, I think that no matter where you stay in Hongdae, it would still be walking distance to the subway station, restaurants, cafes, shops and bars. And have more or less the same amenities. It’s just a matter of finding the hotel or guesthouse which suits each traveler’s personality.