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“Beautiful Hanok and great traditional experience!”
Review of Rakkojae Seoul

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Rakkojae Seoul
Ranked #18 of 952 Seoul B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Beautiful Hanok and great traditional experience!”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Stayed in seoul for a week and decided that on one night we'd stay in a Hanok for a more traditional experience. It was really a good idea and I'm glad we did. The place itself was beautiful and I'm glad we spent a bit more on this Hanok ( although I think there are quite a few more affordable ones) . Service was excellent, whoopi and the other staff were helpful and kind and flexible with eating times. Included in the room price we had dinner and also breakfast ...
There was a mud sauna we didnt have a chance to use.
During our night's stay they were filming part of a Korean show on kbs network... It was neat to watch and experience front row some Korean opera! A definite recommend!

I think it would be good for a night or two depending how long you stay in seoul... But I think I wouldn't have been able to do a whole week there. Just a personal opinion though. I like the comfort of hotels too much.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank kc_meow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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124 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2013

This is a wonderful hotel that provides an old world Korean experience in the heart of the only old part of Seoul. I stayed only two nights and wished I could have stayed longer. Sleeping on a matress on the heated floor was just fine. The bathroom in my room was small but had everything I needed from the heated toilet seat to the sit-in wooden bath. The food at dinner and breakfast was wonderful. I had the Korean breakfast both mornings and it was so Korean to have kimchi and abalone porridge (much nicer than it sounds). The hotel is an easy walk to two of the palaces and not far at all from Anguk subway station. Staff were friendly and helpful.

The only negative is that the taxi I took from the airport had trouble finding the hotel - we got close and then rang the hotel for final directions.

Room Tip: The patio room is probably the best one but all four (yes just four) rooms are good.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank robert_cumming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2013

Delightful experience staying in traditional korean house made even more wonderful by the hospitality of the manager, Whoopi. Previous reviews (thanks hellohaven) were very helpful. Ask Whoopi for recommendations for dining and sightseeing.

Room Tip: All rooms great - size varies.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank doc_joe_NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2013 via mobile

The place is in the quiet side of Insadong with many trendy cafes nearby. Its quite a walk up from Anguk. It may be difficult for some especialty after a full day walking as it is on a slope 10+ mins from the station.
Woody is brillant sharing the history and stories of the hotel. However, she could not be there during the whole duration of our trip.

Downside we experience are: curfew BUT their reason is perfectly understandable. Did not ask for western breakfast on the second day as we came back too late on the first day to arrange. But dissapointed nevertheless.

Still a 5-star experience thou. Would come back!

Helpful?
1 Thank Junfeng
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2013

My sisters and I stayed at Rakkojae for a week's vacation. The place is clean, well kept, beautiful, comfortable accommodations. The warmth and hospitality of the staff (Whoopi, Mr. Jung and Aska) exceeded any expectations I have.

One of my sisters had a medical emergency and the response of the staff especially Whoopi and Mr. Jung was over and beyond what is "true customer service". They treated us like family. They understood that there is a language barrier and there was no hesitation on their part to lend assistance in all possible ways. The staff truly made us feel home away from home.

My deep appreciation and sincerest thanks for their kindness, warmth, friendship and hospitality.

Rakkojae rocks! This will be the only place I will consider to stay at in my future visits to Korea!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Marinela C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna, Austria
Level 6 Contributor
353 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2013

For the last 3 nights of our first trip to Korea, my cousin and I wanted to treat ourselves to something special and chose to stay in an authentic hanok-style hotel. We can wholeheartedly recommend Rak Ko Jae and found it great value for money. Apart from the great building and central location, breakfast and dinner are included. If (like me) you can't eat a savoury/spicy breakfast, make sure to ask for the "continental" one. Super-nice staff and a great experience overall!

Room Tip: we stayed in the "Master bedroom", but if you can, go for the "Patio Room" as it...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marichan X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

If you want to experience staying in a traditional Korean hanok, Rakkojae is the ONLY place you should consider. All other Seoul hanoks are glorified hostels. Spend the money on Rakkojae or don't bother staying in a hanok at all.

HOSPITALITY: The best part of Rakkojae is the staff. In all my travels, I have never experienced such warmth and genuine hospitality. When we arrived, we were greeted warmly by Whoopi, who drank tea and had traditional Korean cookies with us. She sat with us for awhile and spoke candidly about a variety of subjects ranging from the history of Rakkojae to Korean culture. She helped us draw up an itinerary for that evening and the next day. Whoopi is a genuinely nice person; she was the embodiment of Korean graciousness. She really did care about our comfort and happiness. Jeong (I hope I am spelling his name right) was also wonderful and the Japanese lady who brought us our tea and breakfast was a sweetheart. I departed Seoul with a warm feeling in my heart for the Korean people, and the staff at Rakkojae was a big reason why.

LODGING: Rakkojae is a very beautiful place, but it is authentic. This means you shouldn't expect things like fluffy beds and television. I am not even sure if they have internet. You will be sleeping on traditional bedding which consists of a thin mattress on a heated ondol floor. I have a bad back and slept like a baby on my thin mattress and woke up feeling refreshed. However, my husband had trouble sleeping. Besides the thin mattress, I suspect it was because the heated floor kept him too warm, and he prefers to sleep in a cold environment while I like to sleep in a warm environment. The bathroom was small yet modern with a Japanese style tub/shower. At night there is a wonderfully scented mud walled sauna you can relax in. I highly enjoyed it until a Japanese tourist came in and started talking on her phone. In the morning we found a giant insect on the wall that my husband disposed of. Hanoks have sliding wooden doors that are sometimes open to the elements, so creepy crawlies can sneak in occasionally.

Please be aware that Korean hanoks aren't the same as Japanese ryokans; hanoks are a bit more rustic.

FOOD: Whoopi made dinner reservations for us at a traditional Korean restaurant whose name escapes me. The food was amazing and the private room we dined in was beautiful, but we had difficulty finding it. If you dine at this place during your visit to Rakkojae and don't speak Korean, be sure to listen very carefully to Whoopi when she gives you directions. In fact, write the directions down in English! Otherwise you will get very confused and will have to rely on the good graces of a Korean to help you find the address. The breakfast was traditional Korean style which isn't my cup of tea. In retrospect I wish I had requested a Western style breakfast.

LOCATION: We had problems finding Rakkojae. Seoul's streets aren't designed on a grid layout and the naming system is confusing, so it's extremely easy to get lost! Make sure you have the map to the hanok printed out ahead of time, and if you're taking the subway use exit 3 and come up the main road of Bukchon-ro. Rakkojae is situated in a very interesting historical neighborhood that I took great pleasure wandering around in and taking lots of pictures. There are also many cute shops and good places to eat and drink tea at nearby.

Enjoy your time in Seoul! I miss it already.

Room Tip: Make sure you have directions printed out ahead of time or you will get lost! Take exit 3 from the A...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank hellohaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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