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!
- 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