**** NOW WE HAVE INTERNET/WIFI! (May 21, 2013) ****
++ NO "cleaning fee" (um...why should guests pay extra to have cleaned rooms/sheets/pillows/towels? it is strange that some hosts charge you an extra $20~25 for basics...seems misleading to me)
++ NO fees for extra people.
++ NO deposit.
++ NO hidden fees, charges, etc. .
++ NO coffin-sized "single" beds where your feet/limbs hang out! Our bed is a form-fitting pure no-allergins latex mattress, full Western King-sized.
++ Read my REVIEWS. 230+ guests have stayed at APT UNIT 1 or 2 so far.
Read the reviews below!
PLEASE (1) REVIEW ALL PHOTOS OF THIS ROOM, (2) READ THE DESCRIPTION OF THE ROOM BELOW, BEFORE MAKING THE BOOKING.
NOTE: I have another unit right next door to this one, same building and floor (AirBnB listing is called: "APT UNIT 2 hippest street in Seoul!" which you can search by clicking on my photo, then find the list of all my locations). If you have a larger group that wants to stay together, you can book both APT UNIT 1 and 2. Each can house 2 to maximum 3 adults (rooms are designed for 2 comfortably, but 3 has also been done numerous times if you will spend more time oustide exploring the city!)
*** You do NOT need to ask me first whether certain dates are available or not. The Airbnb calendar is up-to-date. Please check the calendar. If dates you want are shown as available, then please go ahead and book it. Thanks!
*** we have now NEWLY 100% RENOVATED BATHROOM, 100% repainted room and kitchen walls, and installed large fridge/freezer - photos uploaded! Please note that earlier user reviews are from guests BEFORE new additions and renovations ***
Well, in this ultra-hip neighborhood you will be out and about exploring the streets most of the time!! I live just down the street 3 min walk in my other listing: PENTHOUSE.
Located right in the heart of (literally 2 next street over):
GAROSUGIL (가로수길) in KANGNAM (강남, also written: "GANGNAM")
(=South of River)
district of Seoul, the newest, hippest, up-and-coming cafe/restaurant/fashion district in Seoul, Korea. Adjacent to 압구정 Apkujung (15 seconds on a taxi), 도산공원 Dosan Kongwon (3 min), 청담동 Chungdamdong (6 min), across the bridge from 이태원 Itaewon (15 min).
=================================== LOCATION IS EVERYTHING =======================================
Strange co-existance of hipsters, salarymen, fashionistas, wanna-bes, european models, foodies, sleep-deprived designers, more advanced tourists, brainy school children (this area is an elite school district), yuppies, poor starving artists and their wealthy nouveau riche landlords all drinking the same latte...
some branded stores but mostly clothes designed by local Korean boutique designers, many in their early 20s. and witness daily how a neighborhood transforms from a predominantly niche hangout of the hippest of the hip (late 90s to early 2000s) to a more main-stream-yet-yearning-to-be-alternative locale. not a day goes by without the next grey residential cul de sac being razed, remodelled, and converted into the cafe-of-her-dreams by the local art student or interior designer... it is Korean, yet it's not, it is a version of the West, but perhaps perverse, or comical. It is a street being designed by Koreans' perception of foreign cultures, snippets of experiences from our travels abroad (whether it be schooling, or vacations), it's make-believe... but it is so earnest that it's fun to watch. Like a 10 year-old pretending to be an adult? Well, you be the judge.
Beware! All other Airbnb listings for Seoul claim to be "in heart of Kangnam/Apkujung" but so far (as of 9/13/2011) no other listing is actually in the heart of action. Kangnam technically includes any area south of the river! They are in residential apartment jungles or bland inner streets of wanna-be Kangnam areas. Location is everything. Do not stay at a 10 minute bus ride and miss out on the experience of walking deep into activity every morning....
========================== BATTLE OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS ===========================
So, I am (very much) into up-and-coming neighborhoods. If you are unfamiliar with Seoul, staring at 5 year old Frommers/Lonely Planet guides is not going to give you a fair picture of how things are. As for some other neighborhoods in Seoul, if you want to avoid the disney-landesque touristy, and want much more local genuine crowd, Garosugil is the best.
Not to diss some of the other neighborhoods... but for instance, let's take Seoul TOURIST TRAP top 3 places:
ITAEWON ------------------ I fail to understand why tourists coming to Korea for the 1st time would even spend 1 minute going to Itaewon (other than tour company busses taking them there like herds of sheep). Until very recently (perhaps last 1.5 years?) this was not an area you saw Koreans go - ever. It is rows of tacky counterfeit stores, seedy/sordid clubs, prostitutes, and other "western" things (e.g., mediocre western bar food). To be fair, the place is changing slowly. It's fine for we Koreans who live here to go there now and then, but why would someone from outside want to go here? And, It is generally a rather disgusting neighborhood (sorry to be harsh, but that's the truth, I cannot think of other adjectives to describe it). Go there when you get here and you will see what I mean. I am embarassed that many times foreigners form predominant impression of Korea based on Itaewon. Everything is in English and there are no good Korean restaurants here (um, what's the point coming all the way to Korea then????^ ^).
MYONGDONG --------------- Myongdong is where truck loads of package tourists unfortunately get dropped off so that they can run into hordes and 100s of other tourists to buy the same crap that you can get at home, same generic, globalized things. Everything is written in English, Japanese, Chinese. I think the closest thing you will get to this in the U.S. might be Disneyland. No, it's not normal to have store signs in Korea subtitled in other languages, haha.
INSADONG ----------------- is the same way, for the most part. it used to once be the center of arts in Seoul (that would have been 15 years ago). Now you can buy nice little plastic souvenirs that no right minded koreans would ever buy.
These are 3 areas locals try to avoid, just as someone living in NY generally does not go to the heart of Time Square for dinner. I cannot remember the last time I went to Myongdong or Itaewon.
For a simple analogy,
ITAEWON and MYONGDONG-equivalents in other cities:
-Time Square in NY (faux/touristy/plastic, 90%+ non-locals/tourists) but perhaps close to Penn Station for the grittiness
-Patpong in Bangkok (yup, exactly...)
-Cameron Road in TST of Hong Kong(90% tourist mobs, 10% locals that work there, 0% hip)
-Roppongi Strip in Tokyo (both neighborhoods are of the same background/history basically...80~90% of people you will see will be other foreigners/tourists...it is as if a HK or Chinese tourist was staying in Chinatown while visiting NY or SF, or an Italian person stayed in Little Italy when visitig U.S. for the first time - yes, what's the point???!!!)
========== PEOPLE-WATCHING NEIGHBOURHOOD ==============================
5 seconds away from a gazillion 24-hour restaurants, cafes, bakeries, izakayas, bars, lounges, newest clubs (double eight, hall, glam, ellui, answer, boss, i), live jazz clubs, movie theatre (multiplex 5 min walk), fashion boutiques, and mobs of beautiful 20~30's Korean men/women that gather on this street everyday and every night to eat/date/play/walk...
But the apartment is extremely quiet all day/night despite proximity to center of Garosugil street.
Check out the below restaurants list on Wingspoon (Korean equivalent of Zagat guides):
I am a major foodie, so just to name a few...!
+ Formal Korean (hanjungsik, korean rice with 20+ side dishes)
+ Korean BBQ (all kinds, from chicken, beef, pork, korean style fried chicken)
+ Korean 24 drinkeries (aka pochangmacha)
+ Korean snack/street foods (ddukbokki, soondae)
+ Korean stew (shabu shabu, sullongtang, jigae, samgyetang, all noodle dishes)
+ Korean rice (bibimbap specialty, congee specialty, and every other combo imaginable)
+ US style brunch (pancakes, omlettes)
+ 'European' brunch/snack (waffles, patisseries)
+ Spanish (2 places)
+ Japanese (izakaya, udon, sushi, curry, donburi, tempura, rameon, yakitori, dessert you name it)
+ Vietnamese (3 places)
+ Italian (I count at least 15 places in a 1.5 mile radius, although only 4-5 are good)
+ American (burgers, USDA steak houses, delis, new american cuisine, NY style pizza)
+ Chinese (Cantonese, Shanghainese, Korean-style Chinese)
+ Spanish (tapas bar)
+ Bakeries (japanese, french, generic dessert shops, and two 24 hour bakeries)
+ French (not the best neighborhood for French, but 3 specialist French dessert places)
+ TexMex (including a new Korean-style burrito place)
Neighborhood has similar vibe as:
+++Daikanyama / Omotesando (Tokyo)
+++East Village / Astor Place / Lower East Side (NYC)
+++SoHo / Sheungwan (Hong Kong)
+++Surry HIlls, Paddington (Sydney)
+++Chapel St. (Melbourne)
+++Newbury Street (Boston)
+++Melrose Avenue (Los Angeles)
+++Marina District / Noe Valley / Haight (San Francisco)
11 min walk from Han river (biking, jogging).
Police station is literally 3 buildings away!! Super safe.
If you are into clubs, APT UNIT is close to Korea's newest/swankiest dance clubs:
+Eighty Eight (1 min walking distance just across the street)
+Hall (5 min walking distance)
+Glam (now a hiphop club called Phantom affiliated with a famous korean producer 용감한형제) (4 min walking distance)
+Ellui* (one of the 3 newest/hottest clubs in Korea) (3~5 min taxi ride)
+Answer (a.k.a. La Blanc Nuit or Question Hall) (3~5 min taxi ride)
+Heaven (now known as Junkie) (4~5 min taxi ride)
+Eden* (4~5 min taxi ride)
+Ocatgon* (one of the newest and currently hottest club in Seoul) (3 min taxi ride)
+Holic** (one of the newest clubs in Seoul) (45 second walk, just across the street)
+Money Lounge (one of the newest clubs in Seoul) (2 min walk)
+Volume (7 min taxi ride)
========= TRANSPORTATION ======================================
+++6 minutes' walk from DIRECT, NON-STOP Limousine bus stop to/from Incheon International Airport (Bus Stop: 미성아파트 Misung Apartment or 신사동 Sinsadong stop), bus comes every 15~25 minutes. I have VERY DETAILED maps and instructions to email you, step by step instructions from the airport to the door, once you book the room.
+++4 minutes' walk Sinsa (신사) Subway (line 3).
+++6 minutes' walk Apkujung (압구정) Subway (line 3).
+++Too many bus lines + taxies to count...
======== THE APARTMENT ============================================
A basic, no-frills, private, quiet, empty independent apartment unit (1 bedroom, 1 kitchen room, 1 bathroom - shower only, without bathtub) is available in a residential building that I own. Completely stand-alone independent units (NO shared facilities, all separate entrances). Other tenants are designers/artists/students/office workers who work or study nearby.
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY. What you see in the photos is exactly what is in the room. Nothing more, nothing less. Do not complain later^^
1 air conditioner (new)
1 new dehumidifier (for summer).
1 10 inch fan,
1 clothes rack (NOT IN PICTURE)
20 wooden clothes hangers (NOT IN PICTURE),
1 full King sized (western) mattress bed,
1 large full king sized down blanket (or, if in the summer, several summer blankets),
2 trash cans,
1 full/large fridge with full freezer,
1 comfy leather chair,
2 bar stools,
1 bar table,
2 pillows with covers,
new toilet paper,
1 small lamp,
1 washing machine,
1 gas oven,
1 large coil-based space heater (quiet, safe, you probably won't need it due to floor heating but just in case),
Floor heating (korean style heating of the floor, it is very warm),
Hot water (gas-powered).
Very bright halogen ceiling lamps.
Separate kitchen room with gas oven.
Number lock so no lost keys to worry about.
Because the mattress is full Western Kingsized, rest of bedroom is relatively small (size is as indicated). PLEASE CHECK THE PHOTOS.
Just to be 100% clear, we do not provide following:
-utensils/cups/pots (don't stay home and cook, if you need to do this, then this is not the APT for you, and you are not my type of guest, you are better off staying at a less hip location in the outskirts. there are 100+ restaurants/cafes/convenience stores/bars just seconds away by walk, the point is to be out there and exploring).
-disposable toothbrush/toothpaste/shampoo/soap (i have a major environmental issue with these being provided).
-bottled water (water is boring. either buy the beverage of choice at the nearest 24 hour cafe/bar/izakaya, or, filtered water is free at all these places).
-no TV, cable, ESPN etc.
-no butler service, no breakfast in bed, no massages, no champagne on ice, no...
yes, the point is simple... i just want you to be out there and absorbing this vibrant neighborhood, and not be stuck at home... I don't want people complaining about what was never promised.^ ^
========== ROMANTIC....? ===========================================
Curiously enough (no pun intended) this APT UNIT has been rather popular with young couples both from Korea and visiting from whereever. Have you ever watched THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON? There is a scene that made an impression on me, towards the 2nd half of the movie. Benjamin gets rid of all his possessions (save his motorcyle I think), and the couple moves into a townhouse in New Orleans in 1963, and starts life (anew?) in an empty house. (here it is from the screenplay....)
We see Benjamin and Daisy sleeping on a mattress on the floor in the living room...
Benjamin Button's Voice Over:
"We vowed never to fall into a routine, to go to bed or wake up at the same time. It was life on a mattress..."
And we just see that, a short film of two people who can't get enough of each other living on a mattress... Daisy and Benjamin at various times, while they are fixing up their apartment. They either sleep, or talk, ... or ___ love (censored by airbnb), on the mattress on the floor...
All of us, including myself, have had (or will have!), similar experiences in our lives, simpler times when all we cared was that we were with that other person, and it did not matter whether we were in a tent, or in an empty room, or wherever. Just a cozy, private space for two of us, without interruptions of the internet, or tv, other things, distractions. You will not find lots of amenities here (what you see in the photos is exactly what you will get, no more and no less, so please do not complain after you arrive that you do not have a tv. if you want to watch movies on tv all night, better to get a room in a love motel nearby). If you know what i am talking about here, you may have that moment again here...
+++two 24-hour convenience stores 10~15 seconds walk radius from door, two 24-hour bakeries for your breakfast needs.
|Room type:||Entire home/apt|
|Bed type:||Real Bed|
|Extra people:||No Charge|
|Minimum Stay:||3 nights|
|Monthly Price:||$1477 /month|
|Check In:||2:00 PM|
|Check Out:||12:00 PM (noon)|
It truly was a basic, no-frills unit. But more importantly, it was clean and quiet and in the most convenient location ever - a short walk to the Sinsa station and an even shorter walk to the heart of Garasogil. Sam also provided his number in case of any emergencies and was quick to respond to any queries on email.
Sam was very attentive and sent prompt responses to my emails and also communicated often to see how we were doing. The place is a cozy studio size apartment. If you need a place to just crash and sleep, this would be perfect. If you are looking to entertain, this place might be small. For us, this place was awesome. It was warm, private and most of all, the location was superb. It was close to many eateries and places to hang out but still in a quiet spot so my husband and I could rest. The queen size futon was comfy. The main reason why we chose this place was location.
My husband and I were in Korea to visit friends and they helped find the place. It was night when we arrived and we were glad to have someone there to meet and show us how to use the keypad lock, etc. I am happy to have stayed here as it was very convenient. Next time we are in Korea, I would definitely choose this place again.
Stayed at Sam's and it was really convenient! Arrived past midnight, Got a bit lost, tried calling Sam, but there was something wrong with my phone connection. Subsequently, found the apartment, and didn't call Sam again. To ensure we actually reached, he sent someone down the next morning to check if we are ok. Thanks Sam! Was a bit hungry when we first reached, and even though it was past midnight, we still managed to find food easily available around the vicinity. I really like Garosugil, its a really nice neighbourhood!
The place was in a fantastic location. Sam gives great details about how to get around and we had no problem finding the place, getting in, getting on wifi, etc. We loved the heated floors. The place is very small, which was expected, but still kind of shocking. The only real downside was that it was a closed in basement unit so there was no natural light and the supplies were limited (only one towel each and no dishes, etc.). But it is a great affordable place in a good spot for exploring the neighborhood.
hi ginny thank you for staying with us. we are sorry the room was smaller than you expected. we hope the photos are representative of the space, and we have taken photos from many angles to ensure this, but we do realize it may not always look identical. regarding the dishes, yes we do make it clear on the listing description that we do not provide anything other than exactly what's listed on the description. finally, we sincerely apologize about the towels - we always provide 4 full-sized bath towels, but it appears you only received 2 from the review? if you ever need more, we are more than happy to provide extra towels, we wish you would have told us earlier when you arrived... that was a mistake on our part, please accept our apologies. sorry about any inconveniences that may have caused.
Booked sam's place for a friend and the place was just like it was described. Also, Sam was super helpful in providing all the info needed!
Simple room in a great location. Very minimal, just a room, but all the utilities work and the location is very quiet.
This place is pro! Searching for an Airbnb can sometimes be a gamble but staying at Sam's apartment was straightforward and easy. The apartment's location was perfect, super close to the main Garosu-gil drag but not loud or noisy at all. We did have an issue one morning with construction and the water being turned off, but Sam's manager showed up immediately, explained what was going on (we didn't understand the neighbors!), and even took us out to breakfast! We had a great time overall, thank you Sam!
Sam has provided a nice simple room in the heart of Garosa Gil. Many cafes and restauraunts are about. With many serving Korean food. So if you're into bulgoogi and galbi. You should try staying here.
Room was clean as stated in the picture. Hot shower and heated mattress, and air conditioning as well. No wifi though. However free wifi is available when you're out and about.
Sinsa station is located about 10 minutes away. So easy to get around Seoul. Excellent place to stay at!
This studio is located in a great area. I would say one of the best areas to stay in Seoul. The Gangnam area has a lot to offer. The place is small but has a really comfortable bed and also a good washing machine. It is decorated in a very basic way but we had a great time in this place. I can recommend it to anybody who wants to have a great time in Seoul!
This apartment makes you feel like a temporary resident rather than a tourist. I stayed at Sam's on April 2013 and my over all experience with him and the apartment was great. Location is perfect! very close to cool streets with great restaurants, cafes, and clubs, plus sinsa station is within 5 min walk and a great way to get around to other parts of Seoul. From and to the Airport I would actually recommend taking bus 6009 next to the sinsa station exit 6 (the bus comes every 15-20 min, is the 1st stop from the airport and last to it and you can wait for it at beansbins coffee shop so you can use wifi while waiting for the bus).
About the apartment, I suppose the only complaint or thing that bothered me was the lighting, I have sensitive eyes so the very bright lights of the kitchen and room area (the restroom light was yellowish tone so much better) did discomfort me but since most of the time spent there was for sleeping it wasn't that big of a deal plus for the average person the light might not be a problem. Anyway try it for yourself , I am sure you will like it!!!