My stay at Lina’s Loft was an interesting and memorable experience: I had the opportunity to live like a local in a residential area (e.g. having to recycle, buying groceries etc…) and get to immerse in a “Korean” experience different from staying at a hotel. [Read about my impression of the apartment and review here]
The “NEST” (name of the building) is located within a residential neighborhood with a market, café, shops and food within walking distance. What appealed to me was the 5-10 minute walk to/from from the Gongdeok Subway Station (Singapore’s version of the MRT) and the linkage to Incheon Airport via the AREX.
It also is secure, with security at the main entrance of the building and a door that is password protected. The security ajusshi was really nice when DramaQueen needed something sharp (e.g. needle or pin) to take out her Singapore SIM card from her iPhone and replace it with the Korean SIM.
Recycling in South Korea, unlike Singapore, is practiced with religious fervor. In Seoul, trash is separated into different colored bags for different waste (e.g. yellow for food waste and white for normal trash). For more about what a typical separation consists of, please read this.
Being an apartment, there is no room service, so I had to keep the place clean and throw out the trash myself (which simply enriches the “Korean” experience as I got to do things that regular Koreans do on a daily basis). I am quite proud that
we I managed to ‘play house’ and kept the apartment clean (as possible) - it is a different matter when there is daily cleaning provided and when you have to maintain it yourself. ^^
Everything in the apartment worked well during my stay:
- the heated floors were nice and warm, easily lulling you sleep on a cool/cold night after a tiring day out
- electrical outlets were fine (and there even is one international plug should you need it)
- TV, fridge, kettle and hair dryer were clean and working perfectly fine
- Wi-fi signal as strong and a breeze to connect to and use
Things to note:
- do read the Guest Manual before starting on anything
- the toilet is a delicate thing, so flooding it with stuff other than toilet paper might result in a nasty regurgitation
- water pressure wasn’t perfect but it was manageable - it wasn’t strong, but it wasn’t weak either (it is located on a relatively high floor after all)
- the bathroom door is made of glass, so it might be better if you went with someone you are comfortable with
- as the apartment is facing a road it might get a little dusty and noisy (especially when some loud vehicle passes by)
- there is no phone within the premises so it would be wise to get a local SIM to order that take-away
- you have to clear away your own trash and clean up yourself
|Feeling peckish at night? Korea has a vibrant take-away/delivery culture|
Interaction with Lina was pleasant. She was very helpful and helped a lot (when ever she could). Sleep quality was comfortable, though those who are not used to sleeping on hard mattresses/the floor may find some difficulty.
Spring might be a cool season, but the nights can be cold (as low as 5-8 Degree Celsius) so sleeping on the ondal (heated floor) was a warm and comfortable experience.
|The warm welcoming bed on a cold night!|
Food was not an issue with bakeries, supermarts, eateries, restaurants, cafes and the market within the vicinity.
|Fruits for the healthy! :)|
After 6 nights in this cozy apartment, I not only enjoyed the unique experience but its location accessibility (e.g. near the subway, AREX and easy to catch taxi to other parts of Seoul) as well. Overall, it was an enjoyable and pleasant stay. I would highly recommend this place for those going to Seoul for the first time and want to maximize their cash for eating and shopping!
Be prepared for lots of walking up all sorts of slopes (from the mild to the very steep) and stairs (they are everywhere!).
Independent and/or first time travelers who
- are capable of handling themselves and are either traveling alone or with a friend/partner
- want a safe, clean, modern and unique ”living like a Korean” experience for an affordable rate with amenities such as (TV, Wi-fi, kitchenette, towels, soap/detergent, fridge, washing machine, drying rack, hangers, umbrella and other cleaning agents etc…)
- want a place nearer to Incheon Airport and (relatively) easy access to attractions such as Hongdae, the palaces, Dongdameun etc...
Not Recommended for:
- are in groups of more than 2 persons
- are uber fussy and expect hotel-like "service"
- expect that the host is obliged to run errands for them
Do note that this review is only that of Lina's apartment in Seoul using AirBnB, and not on all properties and hosts that are available on AirBnB. When booking other properties on AirBnB, please conduct your own research before booking anything. If you are interested in joining AirBnB and want a discount off your first stay, please sign up here!