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“Unique experience with old-Korean architecture”

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Sa Rang Chae Guesthouse
Ranked #8 of 106 Gyeongju B&B and Inns
Reviewed October 11, 2010

Family stayed two nights in their family ondol room.

ATMOSPHERE. You know that "if you stay in one hotel, you've stayed in them all" feel? This place doesn't have that. It feels VERY unique with its old-Korean architecture.

VIBE. Very backpacker. People clutching their Lonely Planet guidebooks as they arrive. We were the only family with kids staying there, but the owners made us feel welcome and we never felt uncomfortable or out of place. Owners spoke great English.

THE ROOM. We had the family ondol room - spacious with ensuite bathroom. No air conditioning, but plenty of fans.

SHARED FACILITIES. Plentiful eggs and toast for breakfast. Only one computer with internet access. No wireless.

LOCATION. A little hard to find because it's tucked in with houses and homes. Fortunately, being the only hotel/guest house in the area, locals were quick to point us in the right direction. The guesthouse is also in a neat location, right alongside Tumuli park. Plenty of restaurants in all directions.

VERDICT. How often do you get to stay in an old-Korean house? Great price and a great atmosphere.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with family
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Thank EugeneLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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68 - 74 of 112 reviews

Reviewed September 26, 2010

I booked this guesthouse with much anticipation given how positive the reviews were. here's the break down:
service: its a husband and wife team. seems like the wife is running the place - enough english to communicate with travelers and their needs. beyond that, good luck with communication - call the tourist hotline. The wife is nice. Now the husband. Since the time i checked in at 3 pm till 8 pm, he was sitting in the courtyard drinking. When I first arrived and asked for the owner he just motioned me to his wife. First inkling that something was wrong.
cleaniless: yes this place is basic and old. But there are several things that should be a given such as a bug free room and a clean mattress. The source of my negative review all started with the mattress. The mattress i received was old, dingy, and its stuffing showing through several tears. There were even a cluster of what looked like to be black ink spots. could be bed bugs fecal stains.. But I figured i was being paranoid. Anyway went out and came back and decided to sleep on the floor. moved the matress against the wall to have some more floor space when I found a worm/(larvae?) wiggling out of the mattress. Now thats absolutely disgusting.
From bad to worse: I showed the wife who just killed the worm/larve and shrugged her shoulders at the black spots even when i showed her bedbug stains on the internet. here the language barrier starts becoming evident. She then calls her husband over who speaks angrily with the wife and removes the mattress. As I'm trying to communicate with the wife that I would like another room, the husband mentions in korean about having me leave to the bus terminal. Aghast, I then confronted the wife who just told me to ignore him. I decided to figure out my options. As i'm trying to figure out my options the husband orders me to come out of my room. He then motions me to look at the mattress when he placed in the middle of the courtyard on the table where he even has a magnifying glass. As i'm using my friend in seoul on the cell as a translator to explain to her my concern. the husband is snorting and even motions for another korean tourist to take a look at the mattress and telling her my "story". Even though i don't speak korean (understand a few words), body language is universal. He obviously thought I was crazy.
at the conclusion: i left. there was no need to deal with an owner who was uncooperative, unfriendly, and most of RUDE.
PROS: the wife despite her limited english was friendly and attempting to keep me calm. Was nice enough to call for a taxi and not charge me for the room when i left at 8PM.
location: excellent, though the hostel is hard to find at first by foot from the bus terminal. The map that is given has store names in english that is not always on advertised on the stores.
Conclusion: not sure where all these positive reviews came from. The wife was nice but the husband was a jerk.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled solo
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Thank jenni98c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2010

This guesthouse is a great option, and a great experience if you are prepared for the basic, traditional Korean accommodation. We loved it, but others might find it too much like roughing it! Traditionally Koreans sleep on blankets on a heated floor and that's what you get here. We were there in the summer and it was very hot, so no heated floor. There is no air con either, though there are fans in the rooms. Our room was en suite which was clean and generally fine. There is a communal courtyard where you can sit out in the evening (or any other time) and a communal kitchen which you can use to cook if you wish, and make breakfast - the owners provide bread for toast and eggs but you have to make the breakfast yourself. This accommodation is a lovely place to stay, and is near the main historical sights in Gyeongju so it very convenient. It is also very cheap - it cost 2 of us £50 (approx) for 3 nights.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ascreenname187069
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2010

This was a great stay. It's incredibly basic but that's what's great about it. As others have mentioned, you sleep on blankets on the floor (which is heated) and have an en-suite bathroom. It's so incredibly cheap as well, it's really worth staying here for a least one night just to experience a tradition Korean room. The owners are really lovely and when we had to cancel our second night at very short notice (on the actual day!) they wouldn't take any money for it. When we insisted, they asked us to give the money to charity. Lovely people.

Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
1  Thank LondonTealady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2010

This was a lovely place to stay to absorb the Korean culture and certainly enhanced our traveling experience of this ancient city. The owners were obliging and very kind to assist you in anyway possible. He arranged our call taxi and a takeaway one evening when we were too tired to venture out in the evening.
The only drawback was that his website does not explain nor shows picture of all the accommodation available. We were given a tiny room with an equally tiny ensuite which I think is suitable for a solo traveler, definitely not for 2 people who are above the average height. There are 2 rooms with ensuite, ours was the smaller one which made our stay uncomfortable. Therefore, if you are a couple and wanting an ensuite - request for the larger room. The ensuite does not have a shower as such,it has a shower on handle and no divide so everything in the bathroom ends up wet.
As for the types of accommodation available, there is a spacious room for the family with a bunk bed and if you want privacy there are 2 rooms in the corner of the property tucked away. The 2 rooms with ensuites mentioned earlier and other rooms without ensuite which were bigger than ours.
I am not sure how the owner allocates the rooms, I think it has a lot to do with people's request which I failed to do. In any case, we had a wonderful experience even though our expectations was probably unrealistic considering the value of this guesthouse.

  • Stayed: July 2010
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1  Thank sydneypianist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2010

We stayed in the room with a bathroom attached. The room itself was clean, but as I'm used to staying in 3* hotels, this doesn't really match that level of accommodation, but it also shouldn't be expected. The staff was very friendly and accommodating and the accommodations were as described. The bathroom in our room was ok, although it was just one big room with a shower. The water wasn't hot, but wasn't cold either.

The location was great, as we were a short walking distance to the park and not too far from the town.

I would recommend this as a place to stay as long as you realize it really is more of a place for backpackers and you set your expectations accordingly.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank uandmfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2010

I can tell you that during our 2 weeks of Holiday in South Korea, it has been the best place to stay: the poeple are friendly, there is always evenign activity, we met friendly people even korean people...
In this area, this is the best one.
Advice: make sure to book in advance a room. It was full during our stay (3 nights)

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank minajo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sa Rang Chae Guesthouse

Address: 238-1 Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea
Location: South Korea > Gyeongsangbuk-do > Gyeongju
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 106 B&Bs / Inns in Gyeongju
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Sa Rang Chae Guesthouse Hotel Gyeongju

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