Great experience to stay in a typical Korean house with Ondol rooms. Although the room was not large, it was sufficient for us and the underfloor heating (“ondol”) was just perfect to keep us warm.
To get there from Incheon Airport use the Airport Limusine bus 602-1 to Anguk station, then walk a few hundred meters following directions in the map (available on the internet).
Or by Subway Line 3 to Anguk station, exit 3.
Rates are (Feb/2005):
Single W30,000 without bathroom
Double W40,000 without bathroom
Family W100,000 with bathroom.
all without breakfast.
Unique Quality: Unique qualities: Public Phone, Refrigerator, Internet, Cable-TV, Toilet, Shower, Kitchen (All outside the room), Private lock.
The Seoul Guest House is a traditional Korean inn located right outside of the Insadong neighborhood. The rooms are very simple - just a bed, a TV (with 60+ channels), and a rack to hang your clothes. The floors are heated, and you are not allowed to wear shoes inside any of the buildings.
There is only one bathroom and it is shared. The problem with the bathroom is that it is in the same building that the owners of the inn relax and sleep in. It becomes difficult to wake these people up just to walk through their room to the bathroom. They were always very polite about it though.
There is internet access in the form of a simple computer system (no printer) also in this same building. You are allowed to use it for free 30 minutes at a time, and you can not use it after 10 PM.
There is a kitchen with a roof over it, but it's still outdoors (hard to explain). The kitchen was very dirty during our stay, I would not recommend using it.
There was construction going on while we were there in March 2005, which made the courtyard look pretty bad. I can imagine that in the summer, without construction, it's beautiful.
Nearby is a Dunkin Donuts, and an excellent little restaurant with an English sign in the window that says "Chicken and Beer." They serve... chicken and beer. They have an excellent staff and are open late. There is a small grocery store close by, and a salon where the ladies will be happy to give you a new 'do.
Unique Quality: Okay, there was only one problem with the Seoul Guest House. Actually, there were two.
During our stay, there were two fires that took place overnight on the same night. The fire was in the greenhouse, which is directly next to the kitchen. Apparently something went wrong with the oven in the greenhouse. My friend and the two owners of the Inn spent about 45 minutes putting the first fire out with cooking pots full of water. The second fire broke out 2 hours later in the same place, around 4:00 in the morning. This one was put out quickly.
We checked out of the Inn that morning. The lady would not let us pay, and apologized profusely for the fire. We felt awful for her.
Although my experience was not the best one, I trust that they will solve the greenhouse oven problem very quickly. And on that note, I would definitely recommend this Inn to anyone looking to stay in a historic Korean inn in a very old neighborhood. I would also recommend it to budget travellers, as it was only $20 USD per person per night to stay here, and you receive free internet access.
Directions: Take the airport bus 602-1 to Anguk station (about an hour ride). Call MIJA LEE, the owner, when you arrive. There is a pay phone across the street. Mija will send someone to pick you up - on foot - and then you will walk about 5 minutes to the Inn.
199-33 Eulgiro 2-ga, Jung-Gu, Seoul
1 Songong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul
19-3 Banpo-dong Seocho-gu, Seoul
202, 2-Ga Jangchung-Dong Chung-Ku,, Jung-gu, Seoul
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Address: 135-1 Gyedong Jongro-gu, Seoul, South Korea