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Reviewed December 1, 2012

We spent a few days in Vabien 1 last week and I must say that the location was excellent. It is close to all the shopping areas like Dongdemun, Namdemun, and important land marks like Palace and Seoul tower. Even most of the embassies are very close by. The drive to airport was very comfortable (about 40 mins but expressway was not very crowded).
However, the furnishings were quite below standard. The mattress and pillows were very very bad and actually gave us horrible backache. We had booked the promotion price for 3 BHK, but later realised that the other two bedrooms had single beds.
There was no toaster.. but fridge was good. The trolley in dish washer was broken... and furniture in general was not in good condition.

I would probably not return because of poor mattress... we need to sleep well!!

Date of stay: November 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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4  Thank VaishaliBhutani
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2012

We stayed at the Vabien 1 (there are 3 Vabiens - which is very confusing) for almost 6 months. The room we were initally shown (clean, with rugs, bedside lamps, cushions and a double bed in the second room) was not what we got to move into and both the website and promotional pack given to us have very dated photos and not current.

The furniture is showing its age, scratched and rather second hand. Often the linen is stained, torn or has evidence of mould. The kitchen come with a few very basic utensils but we had to provide additional crockery, glass ware, pots, an iron and cleaning equipment. There was one bedside lamp in a 2 bedroomed apartment that flickered constantly and live electrical wires poking out of sockets when we moved in. The second room had a single bed in it only.

The unit had not been cleaned prior to our arrival, and was very dirty. Only the curtains had been dried cleaned (tags still attached). But here was 1/2 inch of dust and anothers belongings in cupboards, under beds, and under furniture etc. I spent the first few days scrubbing the walls, ceiling, cleaning food stains off the fridge and kitchen area, and washing windows and cupboards before I could unpack. (With my own cleaning products that I had to purchase). I spoke repeatly to the management during this time but was told there was nothing they could do.

Cleaning services involve the replacement of linen and towels, the removal of rubbish and a quick vacumm of the main areas. The bathrooms are hosed off with the shower spray and then wiped dried. For a long term stay, you will need to provide any additional services yourself to keep the place clean, dust free, free of mould and smelling fresh.

The Gym is part of the Vabain 2 - which means you have to get a pass from reception and walk about 300 m to the other building. Only one person per unit can use the gym daily, so that as a couple we could not go together twice a week but had to visit on individual days. The gym clients are mostly elderly who enjoy the driving range, the tea and biscuits provided and it is heated accordingly, especially during the winter months. A pity because the equipment provided is good and well maintained and personal training is available - if you don't mind serioulsy having to sweat it out!

There are no English instructions for any of the provided electrical goods. The rooms are spacious and there is a lot of storage and cupboard space. The separate area for the laundry area is great. Double fridge/freezer. You control the airconditioning in the summer and the floor heating in the winter.

The outstanding feature of the apartment is the provided breaksfast (which I believe is provided by an external contractor). They offer an excellent range of both Western and Korean foods, staff are wonderfully bright and helpful.

The location is excellent, close by to the subway, bus stops and an easy walk to Seoul station or City hall. The rooms are very quite and despite being located on a main room, you don't get any street noise.

The Vabien could be fantastic if rooms were refurnished, some new furniture purchased, some additional soft furnishings added (bedside lamps, a floor rug etc) and old linens removed from service as they become stained and worn. It has great potential.

If you consider it as a long term base - you will need to bring a lot of your own "home" things to make it more comfortable. Consider looking at the Fraser suites or Fraser place, for a similiar price you will get a smaller floor space but considerably more upmarket and the home comforts will be provided.

Visitors passing through for short term will get a very spacious apartment with basic furnishing in a great location and an good buffet breaksfast to start your day.

Room tip: For a longer term stay - ensure you ask lots of questions about what is actually provided within the room and get to view THE room you will be moving into first.
Date of stay: June 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled on business
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Thank Tallroundeyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2011

We stayed at Vabien II during April 2011. It was a very pleasant stay and very good value for money. A very spacious three bedroom flat, a little bit worn but great for a family with two children. The flat was cleaned and towels changed every day apart from Sundays. The location was great, just 10 minutes walk from Seoul City Plaza and about the same to Namdaemun. Airport bus from Incheon just around the corner and to Incheon outside Vabien I. We had breakfast included and it was also good value for money, both European and Korean style food. The staff was friendly and helped us with all our inquiries and as a bonus the restaurant on the ground floor served excellent Korean food. A great hotel for families!!

Date of stay: April 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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5  Thank AaseJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2010

We booked the 3 bedroom suite on the website http://www.worldhotel.co.kr/ For what we paid, I would give Vabien I a thumbs up. I do not think I can find another spacious apartment as such to accommodate my family of 5 for that price in Seoul.

I disagree about the furniture being dated, I think it's just the design. The kitchen was well equipped with diswasher, microwave, and a HUGE fridge. The washing machine had a dryer function but you will still need to hang the clothes out to dry for at least 12 hrs for them to dry completely. Do bring / buy your own laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid and a few more hangers. The Master bedroom had a queen bed & the other 2 rooms had a super single bed each. The master bathroom had a steam jacuzzi function which was fantastic for keeping warm while showering during winter. The ondol floor heating system was amazing. After placing our suitcases (with our clothes inside) on the floor for 2-3 days, our clothes were still warm 20 hours later (including a 6 hr flight) when we returned home. The windows were made from big pieces of glass, which gave wonderful views of the city.

The only grouse was that we were told that housekeeping only comes on Sundays, and even then, it was very basic. We were also missing chopsticks in the otherwise well-equipped kitchen.

Apologies, do not have any pictures of the large living room to show.

Date of stay: December 2010
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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6  Thank g0_f0r_it
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2009

i recently stayed at vabien 1 with my family. The main reason i chose this hotel was because of the price and the fact that it was a serviced apartment. The hotel was reasonably priced and the location is quite central. City hall is within walking distance and there is a metro located just a few minutes walk away from the hotel.

The rooms itself were just ok. The rooms aren't the nicest you could find but it was clean and had all the basic necessities. A plus is that the rooms are big so our stay there was comfortable. One complain i have is that the bed sheets while were not dirty were slightly yellowed so that was a turn off for me. The furniture is also slightly old and worn but clean.

Regarding the service, we hardly required any so i can't comment much on this. the little interaction we had with the staff, they were definitely polite and were helpful when we asked for directions. The staff even printed us a map showing us the way to our destination. one important thing to note is that the hotel basically charge for extra things. we requested for a couple more pillows and blankets and were told that we had to pay.

I definitely would not compare it with a five star hotel, but for the price you're paying, it is definitely worth it.

Date of stay: July 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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3  Thank dontknockny
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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