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“Thankyou Shin at Rakkojae”
Review of Rakkojae Seoul

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Rakkojae Seoul
Ranked #18 of 952 Seoul B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 236 helpful votes
“Thankyou Shin at Rakkojae”
Reviewed July 31, 2012

Hello,
I just spent a good few days at Rakkojae and loved it.
Other reviewers have identified some negatives and whilst I understand that we all perceive and experience things differently, I found no problems with that which was previously seen as problematic.
For example, if you follow the map and instructions on the website, it is an easy walk from Anguk station. I did have a lot of luggage but it wasnt too far. When leaving, the congenial manager Shin In Sook had me driven down the block to the airport express bus stop since it was hot - she even surprised me with an ice-cream!
The complex itself was beautifully restored, peaceful, clean, as well as functional. The dinners were delicious, and portions huge. The cold foot spa followed the traditionally aromatic woody and sage sauna each night was a lovely way to wind down the day and was surprisingly cooling after a hot day out.
In a city where little English is spoken it was a delight to have my laundry looked after and dinner cooked for me, and to come home to air con and a very clean space. I spent a good few days at Rakkojae and loved it. No, the staff speak little English but i used a translator on my ipad (yes, there is free wifi provided). The location was excellent too.
Shin and her 3 assistants were what made the experience for me. They were sweet, available and accommodating with all my needs.
Yes, this is not a cheap place, but this is not a cheap city, so it was worth every penny. I am not a young backpacker anymore and am happy to spend a few more dollars to have some luxury in a traditional space, rather than some boring modern place that looks just like back home (that sort defeats the purpose of experiencing somewhere different).
Thankyou Shin and ladies!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank turkiyem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RakKoJae, Owner at Rakkojae Seoul, responded to this review, October 18, 2012
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your stellar review of RakKoJae! I will be sure to let Ms. Shin know that she and our staff had been able to provide an excellent experience for you. We are ecstatic that our unique hotel has helped you relax after enjoying our beautiful city. We hope that you think of us again on a future visit to Seoul! Gamsahabnida.

Kind regards,

Woody
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124 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Kone, New Caledonia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2012

Beautiful hanok Well located in Buckchon area. Friendly staff but hardly no english. Word of caution : if you travel like us with a young child and some luggage, dont use the recommended limousine coach  for your transfer from/to airport (10,000 w per adult - 1 hour 1/2 trip) but rather get a taxi (95,000 w per trip) as there is some walking and no assistance from the guest house. On the commercial side, we were asked to pay a higher rate than the one agreed in the reservation email. During our stay we were supposed to move to a smaller cheaper room which was our choice, but the manager called us to ask us if we were happy to stay in the bigger room; he was a bit pushy and insisting than the other room would be too small - which we really didnt care. I was dismayed to see the other room was sold that night - hence the reason why he was pushy... For that reason, and the lack of assistance in helping us going to the bus station with our luggage, I was not happy to pay the full price and I consider it a slack commercial approach. For that sort of prices (275,000 w per night) you might expect better service and aid to/from airport

Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank ErwanMarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Rakkojae Seoul, responded to this review, July 10, 2012
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for choosing to staying with us at RakKoJae during your recent trip to Seoul.

First and foremost, we must apologize that our services were not to your liking. We always try to provide warm, family-like service to all of our guests and we usually are successful in exceeding our guests' expectations.

Indeed, taxi transfer from the airport is much more convenient than the airport limousine as there are no bus stops established within the Bukchon area. However, we recommend the limousine coach as the cost of the taxi transfer can be quite prohibitive to many travelers. There is a short walk involved to and from Anguk station and although it is not included within our services, we try our best to help our guests with luggage from the limousine stop whenever we have staff available.

With regards to your guestroom, the Patio room (the smaller room that you had initially reserved) is a single room that normally can only accommodate one occupant. We had made an exception to be able to host you and your family as this was the only room available on the final night of your reservation. However, during your stay, our manager felt that it would be highly uncomfortable as there was a large amount of luggage involved and your child was much older than we had expected. As such, we had asked the guests checking into the larger room that night to switch rooms as their travel party was much smaller. We apologize for the miscommunication in the room change that made you feel that we are very commercial.

We hope that you will return to us in the future and give us the chance to show you again what true Korean warm-hearted hospitality is like, without the aforementioned mishaps.

Kind regards,

Michael J. Ahn
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San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
91 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2012

Staying at Rakkojae is truly a once in a lifetime experience. In an extremely modern city, this traditional guest house is one of the last standing places where you can experience history and culture. The hotel is beautiful and the rooms are traditional, which makes them interesting (the mattress on the floor is quite hard but nice and warm from the heated floor). The location is great in a quiet, traditional neighborhood and close to the artsy Insadong district and the palaces.The breakfast options were continental or traditional Korean, both of which were very good. The hotel has a traditional spa, however it's only open for three hours in the evening.

The staff were all gracious, hospitable, and very pleasant, but I did have a difficult time with the fact that no one spoke English during my three days there. I had to seek out other guests who spoke Korean or Japanese to help me communicate with the staff (and once we resorted to calling the owner who is not onsite, when there were no other guests around to help). This was challenging, as it was my first time in Seoul and I was really hoping for some help to navigate the city, like a map, local recommendations, etc. and none of that was possible. However, I found the tourist office down the street and was able to get this information and more.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Moonbathing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Rakkojae Seoul, responded to this review, July 9, 2012
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for joining us at RakKoJae for a "once in a lifetime experience"! We are ecstatic that you recognized the historical and cultural value of our traditional hanok hotel.

We understand that your previous stay with us must have been difficult without any English speaking staff. We normally do have English speaking employees but it appears that you visited us during a staffing change. I am happy to inform you that we have since hired a new manager that can speak four languages, English being one of them!

Hopefully you will decide to make it a "twice in a lifetime experience" and join us again in the near future!

Best regards,

Michael J. Ahn
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Sunland, California, United States
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2011

My sister and I and two of our friends stayed at Rakkojae for 2 nights during our first ever trip to Seoul. We stayed at the 2 bedroom separate house and we had the best service from the lovely omonnis at the guest house. It felt like we were family and we were at home and in our own beds. The rooms are warm and cozy, and the living room is very spacious. The separate house has 2 bathrooms which is very convenient for 4 ladies like us. The price might give you second thoughts but the warm welcome, personal touch, and craftsmanship of this guest house is by far better than staying in large hotel chains. Would definitely stay at Rakkojae again next time we are in Seoul.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank itz3sha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Rakkojae Seoul, responded to this review, July 9, 2012
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for staying with us during your first trip to Seoul and your glowing review of RakKoJae! We are delighted that you enjoyed the unique traditional Korean experience that we provide. Your comment that we provide "the best service" is the highest compliment that we could ever receive. Thank you!

We truly hope to be able to welcome you back to RakKoJae the next time you are in Korea.

Best regards,

Michael J. Ahn
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2011

Stayed for one night in October on our honeymoon trip. We booked the far bedroom via email with Woody and we received prompt replies & answers to our queries about Hanok.
When we reached Rakkojae, we had difficulty checking in as the place was undergoing some renovations and the staff were busy serving lunch in the restaurant (they could not hear the door bell).
The dinner and breakfast were good, however we were not informed whether the marinated crab served for dinner was raw or cooked.
The service was great and full of smile. Mrs Park and her lovely colleague provided us with robes for sauna and they even did our laundry for us. We were able to leave our luggage with them for the morning after we checked out.
The entrance door is located next to master bedroom, so it's a very short walk (a few steps) from the wooden floor that linked the far bedroom and master bedroom. Also, please follow the map on the Rakkojae website: get out from anguk-3 station exit 2, keep walking straight, pass by the info centre and right after the school, turn right and keep walking, Rakkojae is on your right. We went to the info centre for help to get to Rakkojae, and was given a map & verbal directions, which led us round and around the neighbourhood. :(
We were informed that hanok is weak to noise, which is very true. However despite noises from other guests, we had no problem sleeping as the 'beds' were warm and cosy.
Pros:
1. traditional hanok experience
2. complimentary dinner & breakfast, and drinks in the fridge
3. modern toilet and bathroom (luckily, couldn't imagine traditional toilet and bathroom!)
4. air-con and floor heater available
5. wardrobe available (but we did not use)
6. great service with a smile
7. cosy and warm 'beds'
8. complimentary sauna and laundry
9. beautiful room and scenic view
Cons:
1. No room and door key (have to ring the bell and wait for someone to open the door---unlike hotels which you could enter straightaway; the room could not be locked from outside so luggage safety?---there are other guests and restaurant patrons as well)
2. small bath'tub' or limited shower space
3. the wooden bath'tub' seemed a bit mouldy
4. no exhaust fan in the toilet & bathroom so after shower it could be misty, wet and slippery
5. not sure about the complimentary tea ceremony that was on the website???
It's definitely a great experience, we would return but only for short stays (as we still prefer modern hotels with TVs & 'normal' beds).

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank garlicon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Rakkojae Seoul, responded to this review, July 9, 2012
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for choosing to stay at RakKoJae during your honeymoon! We are delighted that you could create lifelong memories with us while in Seoul.

I am glad that you enjoyed our traditional hanok experience and that our staff provided great service to you on your special trip!

Thank you for pointing out some of the minor limitations with our traditional facilities. We will try to address these issues during a future renovation. With regards to the tea ceremony, we provide a self-service tea set in your guestroom, with a simplified tea ceremony upon request.

We hope to be able to welcome you back on your wedding anniversary!

Best wishes,

Michael J. Ahn
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Napier, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
221 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2011

We didn't stay at the hotel in Seoul but we did have a wonderful visit in Hahoe village near Andong, south of Seoul. Trip Adviser doesnt have the Hahoe Village hotel online...but we can highly recommend it. It is set in the most wonderful location, calm, serene and charming. The rooms are beautiful and even though we weren't completely used to sleeping on the floor the whole experience was magical. Woody was a fabulous host and he and his wife made us feel really welcome. Breakfast was delicious. I would HIGHLY recommend this place as a special treat and a way of enjoying your time in Korea

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bluekakariki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RakKoJae, Owner at Rakkojae Seoul, responded to this review, September 7, 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your fabulous review of RakKoJae Hahoe! We are truly happy that you enjoyed our countryside location!

We will continue to make improvements and hopefully we can make your experience sleeping on the floor a little bit more comfortable next time you decide to visit us again.

We also hope to welcome you to our Seoul property during your next visit to Korea!

We look forward to welcoming you back.

Best regards,

Michael Ahn
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Brisbane, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2011

First time staying in korean traditional house(hanok) and we found rakkojae..My friend and I had stayed in Rakkojae for one night~both of us staying in a far room and we paid 275,000 won for one night~yea~most of the people gave me the first expression was "wow! so expensive!!"even korean..At first,I thought it was acceptable because it's included breakfast,dinner and sauna.however,when I got into rakkojae,I felt a bit disappointed because I was expected too much~I can't deny that the atmosphere in this hanok was nice..one thing my friend and I dislike was the meal they provided.It's not worth for the price.their service was good..Also,they keep luggage ~so don't worry if you leave your luggage there and go out for a walk after you checked out~overall is okay~but if you ask me,I would say it is not worth for that~staying one night is enough if you really want to stay in this hanok~if you are traveler who on tight budget and really want to try staying in hanok,do consider others:)

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank cecret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RakKoJae, Owner at Rakkojae Seoul, responded to this review, July 4, 2011
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for staying at RakKoJae!

I am happy you enjoyed our beautiful atmosphere and good service. We are very proud of it and will ensure that this continues into the future.

However, I do apologize that you did not enjoy our dinner. We have since upgraded our dinner offering to include more items, such as beef bulgogi. I hope you can join us again to experience the new offering!
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Additional Information about Rakkojae Seoul

Property: Rakkojae Seoul
Address: 49-23, Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03056, South Korea
Location: South Korea > Seoul > Samcheongdong / Bukchon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 952 B&Bs / Inns in Seoul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Meaning "a place where one can enjoy the traditions of times past and rest one's soul," Rakkojae Seoul is a Korean traditional culture space with a history of 130 years. It was renovated by Human National Treasure-Master Carpenter Young Jin Chung in 2003 and has since received international acclaim. Here, the harmony created between traditional Korean architecture and nature has created on opportunity for the true beauty of Hanok to shine. Upon passing the graceful main gate, one can see neat cozy Hanok. The bamboo and pine trees scattered in the garden add to its natural beauty and the rubber shoes placed on each terrace stone bring back the scent of old memories. Standing in a square formation around the yard, the elegance of ancient noblemen can be felt in each crevice of Rakkojae. The pavilion, lotus pond and patio that past scholars enjoyed were carefully revived to draw out the beautiful elegance of traditional Korean architecture. The Patio, in particular, adds to the beauty of the Hanok's refreshing empty spaces. When sitting on the patio like scholars of the past, time itself seems to slow down and the smallest sounds coupled with the cool breeze become special. In slowly looking up, one can only see the blue sky and white clouds-while the complications of life in today's modern society seem to become insignificant. As the place to enjoy the true elegance of Korean traditional culture, Rakkojae also offers the opportunity to experience the traditional beauty of Korea. One can encounter such beauty through savoring a traditional Korean course meal, experiencing a tea ceremony, relaxing in the yellow-mud sauna, trying on a Hanbok, or making your own Kimchi. Reminiscent of an aristocratic house of the Chosun Dynasty, Rakkojae's accommodations are as tidy and as comfortable as those found at top class hotels. Going above and beyond, we offer our guests a healthy voyage by sleeping on a natural jade ondol floor or relaxing in a yellow-mud sauna that is heated with firewood. Create unforgettable memories by experiencing Korea's beauty through the simplest of scenes, such as the faint moonlight sinking into your room through a door left ajar. We are confident that a night at Rakkojae will deliver special inspiration. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rakkojae Hotel Seoul

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