Review: Hongdae Guesthouse

posted in: Daily | 11

This week I’ve challenged myself to writing at least one entry per day! : ) I hope I really get to do this! Haha ^^ I come with a review of my favorite guesthouse/hostel in Seoul, HONGDAE GUESTHOUSE! ^-^ This is actually long overdue! I have been wanting to write a review since the first time Katie and I stayed there back in October 2010, but it slipped my mind; Before anything else:

I love Hongdae. It’s where Dad and I stayed during our first trip to Korea in October 2007. Back then to me it had everything that I liked — quirky cafes, art supply stores, interesting shops and displays, and it’s home to the best arts and design university in Korea (which I had dreamt of attending). I fell in love with it because of these things. That I couldn’t wait to go back. :3

I honestly did not see the “clubbing” side to it, because hey, I was with my DAD, and so on my first trip, I totally missed out on that. (And that is definitely okay) Haha : ) 

I wanted to take Katie there for her first trip in July 2009 (because my sister is really the artsyfartsy one and I was sure she’d love Hongdae too), but we ended up staying at a different guesthouse located in MyeongDong  (for Mom’s convenience lol).

And so for our first trip together WITHOUT either of our parents, I promised we would stay in Hongdae! I first contacted Mr. Lee who owned Lee&No Guesthouse (from our stay in October 2007), but he said that they were already fully booked and recommended that we stay at Hongdae Guesthouse.

And so we booked there and… Here goes the review : D

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  Location & Accessibility

Hongdae Guesthouse is located at the 3rd floor of the Paradisetel building, Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu in Seoul. (It also has two sister guesthouses called Yellow Submarine 2.0&3.0)~

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It’s right in front of the Hongdae Bus stop, and also right above Hongdae Station, which is VERY, VERY convenient. The building is connected to the subway station, so it’s really easy, especially for people who are always on the go : D

Katie and I personally loved that we can go straight to our floor from the subway station, no need for long walks as there’s an elevator from the station connected to the building ^^ So we can leave and go back without a hassle!

The building itself has a Dunkin Donuts branch at the first floor, and is also close to G25/Family Mart and other convenience stores ^^

Rates & Rooms

We stayed at the 8-person dormitory. That was the first time I stayed in a dorm *_* In our previous trips, we usually got private rooms.

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  • The dorm is a loft type and had 6 double-decked beds on the first floor, and on the second floor, there are cushions lined for three to four more people.
  • It had high ceilings, which I really liked! The window is also of the same height and it’s really very nice and bright in the morning! ^^

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  • I was scared at first, but Mary, the manager assigned us to an all-girls dormitory! YAY! ^^
  • The standard rate is 21,000won (June onwards) a night per person.  Rates may vary depending on the season, and they give discounts if you’re staying for two weeks or longer ^^

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(There are also private and family rooms! Better check their website for rates for that ^^)

Facilities

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  • BEDS – Very comfortable, and they make sure to change the sheets daily! (You might want to request for an extra pillow though, because there’s only one provided per person~)
  • HEATER – The beds all have personal heaters, and huu I love this. It makes for such a good night’s sleep, especially during the reallyyy cold nights!

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  • BATHROOM – Each dorm has a bathroom, and it’s cleaned daily^^
  • FREE WIFI – CRYIIIING. Probably my most loved part of it all! Wifi in Korea is damn fast, and this lives up to that! (I’m talking about 10 minutes downloading time for a 1GB file!)

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  • COMMON PC – Each dorm also has a PC for everyone to use! Very convenient if you didn’t get to bring your laptop~

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  • FREE WATER – This might not seem much, but it’s so nice that they provide water dispensers in each dorm room^^ One thing off your worries!
  • FREE BREAKFAST – Breakfast is self-service at the main office~ Apart from that you get to spend good time with the really friendly staff and other guests : )
  • KITCHEN IN THE HOUZEE – Okay, in the dorm, and so yeah, if you’re with friends and you feel like cooking food, it can be done!
  • LAUNDRY – If you’re staying for a week or more, you can do your laundry for free! Just ask the staff about it^^ (Katie and I didn’t get to do this before, we were a bit shy and also wedontknowhowtodoourownlaundry >< But now we do. =3)

Service

What can I say? I. LOVE. THE. STAFF!  There are new ones since our first stay in 2010, but even then the Hongdae Guesthouse staff have always been very warm, accommodating and helpful towards their guests.

I would also like to comment the owner and Manager, Mary! ^^ She is such a great host! Very caring towards everyone, and so easy to talk to. With her around, you’ll feel at home ^-^

If you’re interested in local events or tours, the staff can also recommend places to go to, as well as which tours to take : ) ^^  The Hongdae Guesthouse staff will make sure that you enjoy your stay!

Overall

I recommend Hongdae Guesthouse for those who plan on going to Seoul either with friends, or alone and wouldn’t mind rooming with others. It’s a pleasant place to stay at and has very easy access to transportation and stores! ^-^

I love this guesthouse so much :3 That I have recommended it to all my friends who went to Seoul! And of course, I stayed there again with Trisha dongsaeng and Shine unnie last April : D

For more information on Hongdae Guesthouse and how you can book, visit:

A little bit of an update:

So far in our succeeding trips, we have also stayed at Hongdae Guesthouse:

  • April 2012
  • October 2013
  • April 2014
  • July 2015
  • October 2015
  • December 2015

The facilities have worn off through the years, and to be honest needs a bit of a renovation. What is unchanging is the very kind and hospitable service that the staff provides, which keeps us coming back to stay. 🙂

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  • Thanks for the review! (I’m intending to go to Korea next summer, so these things are nice to read.) ^^

    • candysky

      You’re welcome! 🙂 ^^

  • Shedritesheds101

    Thanks for a nice post! I like both Both Asian and Western flavors especially for houses like this… and the convenience it can give to travelers or those who need a homey and cozy feel…

  • jabe123

    Thanks for a detailed review of Hongdae Guesthouse. I’ll be travelling to Seoul this October together with my mom and sis. I’m soooo confused where to stay. I’m thinking Namsan Guesthouse or Seoul Backpackers (Myeongdong).

    Well now, Hongdae Guesthouse won because of its accessibility (direct access to the subway). I’m “protecting” my mom from all those long walks and stairs. But hmmm, when you were there in Korea with your mom, you stayed at Myeongdong for your mom’s convenience. Is it because it’s near the shopping area?

    • Mish

      Hi! I’m glad you found my review of Hongdae Guesthouse helpful ^^

      In 2009, when I went to Korea with my Mother, I still didn’t know about Hongdae Guesthouse. The only hostels I knew of that had good reviews Lee&No’s Guesthouse and Seoul Backpackers. I opted not to stay at Lee&No’s because it was far from the subway and my mom really hates walking. I was trying to choose among the different Seoul Backpackers branches, and at that time, Myeongdong Guesthouse was just new. I thought of giving it a try since the facilities look good (they do!), but upon reaching the location, my mom did not like the environment : (

      Where Lee&No Guesthouse (in Mapo-gu) was very homey in location and area, Myeongdong Guesthouse’s surrounding area was very messy and crowded. It was also located on quite a steep hill, so it wasn’t as accessible as I thought it would be. The subway station was a bit of a hassle too, because the stairs were a long/high climb. My Mom who has a spinal problem (and therefore shouldn’t be exposed to anything strenuous) got totally worn out every time we’d come back. It’s also across Namdaemun Market, which means there are always large crowds. And the downside is that we didn’t even check out Namdaemun Market at all =/ So that was a total fail for me, choosing MyeongDong Backpackers. (P.S. It will also be hard, because the airport limousine stop to and fro the airport is quite a long and hilly walk from the hostel ;_; ) By the way, don’t be fooled by the name, because it’s not directly the Myeongdong Shopping area you’ll be seeing, it’s still one stop away :3

      Just to make it clear, MyeongDong Backpackers has very good service and facilities^^ It’s only their location and surrounding area that we really did not like, and wasn’t also good for my Mom’s condition^^’

      I hope my explanation helped^^~ And yay, Hongdae Guesthouse! ^^ Hope to see you there in October! ^^ Enjoy your trip! And thanks so much for commenting : D

    • candysky

      Hi! Thank you as well~ I’m glad you found my review of Hongdae Guesthouse helpful ^^

      In 2009, when I went to Korea with my Mother, I still didn’t know about Hongdae Guesthouse. The only hostels I knew of that had good reviews Lee&No’s Guesthouse and Seoul Backpackers. I opted not to stay at Lee&No’s because it was far from the subway and my mom really hates walking. I was trying to choose among the different Seoul Backpackers branches, and at that time, Myeongdong Guesthouse was just new. I thought of giving it a try since the facilities look good (they do!), but upon reaching the location, my mom did not like the environment : (

      Where Lee&No Guesthouse (in Mapo-gu) was very homey in location and area, Myeongdong Guesthouse’s surrounding area was very messy and crowded. It was also located on quite a steep hill, so it wasn’t as accessible as I thought it would be. The subway station was a bit of a hassle too, because the stairs were a long/high climb. My Mom who has a spinal problem (and therefore shouldn’t be exposed to anything strenuous) got totally worn out every time we’d come back. It’s also across Namdaemun Market, which means there are always large crowds. And the downside is that we didn’t even check out Namdaemun Market at all =/ So that was a total fail for me, choosing MyeongDong Backpackers. (P.S. It will also be hard, because the airport limousine stop to and fro the airport is quite a long and hilly walk from the hostel ;_; ) By the way, don’t be fooled by the name, because it’s not directly the Myeongdong Shopping area you’ll be seeing, it’s still one stop away :3

      Just to make it clear, MyeongDong Backpackers has very good service and facilities^^ It’s only their location and surrounding area that we really did not like, and wasn’t also good for my Mom’s condition^^’

      I hope my explanation helped^^~ And yay, Hongdae Guesthouse! ^^ Hope to see you there in October! ^^ Enjoy your trip! And thanks so much for commenting : D

  • paradise

    wow~ good posting i live in same BD. 🙂
    whenever visit seoul~
    welcome to korea!!

  • riris

    I also stayed in hongdae guesthouse last may. and i agree with you, this guesthouse is highly recommended!! great location (near subway exit and there is escalator. since there are exits which don’t have escalator), nice and helpful staff. and when we stayed there, mary upgraded our room to family room in high floor. big comfortable room and nice view!

    I’m going to try the hongdae guesthouse 2.0 next year because the price for its private room is cheaper 🙂 hope it is also great like it’s sister *crossing my fingers*

  • kel

    hi! i tried going to their website you shared, and also tried googling for hongdae guesthouse but to no avail~ is there smth wrong with the website or smth? ~

    • candysky

      Hello Kel! ^^

      The site still working: http://www.hongdaeguesthouse.com/

      Make sure that in your browser, the CandySky URL doesn’t get attached to it ^^

      Let me know if it has worked for you : )

      Thanks!

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