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Thanks to iceprinxess’s recommendation, our first accommodation in Seoul before heading off to Jeju was Seoul Mansion Guesthouse, located within the Hongdae vicinity and a short walk (within 10-15 minutes) from the Hongik University subway station and its surrounding neighborhood. Getting to Seoul Mansion Guesthouse from Incheon Airport was a breeze via the AREX. MX and I were able to find our way from the subway station, thanks to the map and information sent prior to our arrival and to MX for her great sense of direction! It was fortunate that our flight arrived in the morning, when the sun was out and about.
During our time there, Seoul Mansion Guesthouse provided daily breakfast, along with a free laundry service and complimentary Wi-Fi access (which were bonuses!).
|Seoul Mansion - our accommodation for the next 3 nights|
For people who are are klutzes when it comes to directions (like me), printing out all the necessary information and maps, and placing them in a file lessens the pain. Anyway, we found the location of Seoul Mansion quite easily after following the map and without the need to ask anyone for directions.
|The stairs leading to the reception area and common area|
Since Seoul Mansion Guesthouse consisted of a whole building, the feeling was like a homey boutique hotel with the host ready to assist with any queries we had. There were places within the guesthouse (and outside our room) where guests could relax, such as the shared lounge and balcony (where the barbeque facilities were at), and a tour desk where impromptu (or not) travel arrangements could be made. In addition, the guest house also provided a shuttle service (at an extra charge of course), which can come in pretty handy.
When we arrived, we were warmly greeted and offered some oranges and bread. The receptionist has good communicative skills, and her English was surprisingly good. Not to mention that is is very polite and helpful too. As soon as we arrived, (and the fact that we were too early for check-in which starts at 3pm) she handed us the subway station map and introduced to us to the places around Hongdae to wile the time away.
So with map in hand, we left our luggage with at the reception and started on out first day adventure! Before we left on our adventure, we were politely reminded that the office closes at 10pm.
After our exploration attempt, we were back to check-in and were informed that we would be placed on the 3rd floor, which was all good... except that there was no elevator, only stairs. Thankfully we did not have that many spoils from shopping with us and our luggage was mangage-able up those stairs (very good exercise haha). We were given a security card for us and password for the room and main entrance door. Throughout our stay, safety was not an issue.
It was actually our first time staying at a guesthouse, so we were pleasantly surprised at the cosy-ness (and cleanliness) of it all. Our room was a twin room which came with, well, twin beds and was equipped with an air conditioning / heating system, an en suite bathroom with a hairdryer, a water purifier and kettle (for ramen!... or tea/coffee).
|The room door|
|Pantry / Mini Kitchen: rather small but clean and equipped with basic utensils|
Note: One of the advantage of staying here is that there is house keeping everyday and we can change towels everyday.
Our room might not have been the biggest, but it was a relatively good size and comfortably warm in the cold autumn weather (especially at night). The bed was a little firm (as with most beds used by South Koreans, but hey I slept on the floor the last time I was in Seoul), so those not used to hard beds might want to take note. The 2 beds were located directly outside the bathroom, making it a pretty compact but live-able room. On a side note, there is not much of a view.
|My clean and comfortable bed ^^ Despite the lack of more pillows, my sleep was sweet|
MX slept on this bed near the main door, with a rack for hangers, towels and even a pair of slippers.
The toilet was clean and shampoo, lotion and shower gel were provided. Being a compact room, the space for the toilet was also a tad small, but it did not bother me much.
|Simple basin and a small shower area.|
Despite being a compact room, a desk, chair and TV managed to be placed between the beds. There was not much variety for TV programs, but it was alright as we were out most of the time.
Morning breakfast at Seoul Mansion starts at 9am daily at the ground floor common space / lobby.
|The breakfast table with simple yet delectable spread of bread, famous tangerines and coffee. We can use the toaster to toast the bread and placed them on a tray before carrying back to our room.|
|Juices, coffee, milk and the microwave|
Overall, our stay at Seoul Mansion was good: the guesthouse was clean and comfortable (just like our own home), and the service rendered was on par with a hotel. Also, despite being in such a ‘lively’ environment, the guesthouse is kept off the main road and away from the ‘noise makers’, to give you good night’s rest. Just be sure not to mess up the place and be considerate of other people.
I would definitely recommend Seoul Mansion Guesthouse if you are looking for somewhere near the subway/AREX and in the vicinity of the vibrant ‘youthful’ Hongdae (aka Hongik University), especially if it is your first time to Seoul and you want to explore the area (and not have to worry about catching the last train/bus back), and you have a budget (the pricing is reasonably affordable, we each paid about S$44 per night). Whether you are a solo traveler or traveling in a group/family, if you are looking for somewhere you can call ‘home’ with helpful friendly staff to assist you in your travel planning or queries (on the spot), Seoul Mansion is one place you can consider staying at during your time in Seoul! Of course, it would be better if they had an elevator.
From Incheon Airport, there are 2 options (3 if you consider taking a taxi, but that shall not be included here)
- AREX – it is about an hour away if you take the AREX and alight at Hongik University Station (Exit 3). From exit 3, simply towards the guesthouse (about 5 minutes, 150m away).
- Limousine Bus 6002 – Alights at a stop near the guesthouse and also takes approximately the same amount of time.
Price: Averages from about S$80-100++ per night (depending on room type)
First Impression for Seoul Mansion Guesthouse (Twin Room) - Hongdae
Do note that this review is only that of Seoul Mansion Guesthouse 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, sign up here!