It's been a while since we last wrote. (Sorry.) We've been busy with work, renovations (yep, we are actually growing up, it's daunting) and resting when we can.
What better way to start the blog rolling again, than to introduce you to the one place we always tend to stay in Seoul? :)
Annyeong, Chungmuro Residence! Recently, some sites shared that these serviced apartments have been renamed Global Inn Seoul Chungmuro Residence and Hotel. There is so much to fall in love with at this place that we were quite shocked that there seems to be some negative feedback going around in Agoda. However, if you are a simple traveler like us, not hard to please, this place would be such a haven in Seoul.
First up, the place has its own mini convenience shop! Yes, this little thing thrilled us (mostly Kayos) to no end! (I just like popping by whenever we come back from exploring.)
Need a quick hot coffee? What about small toiletries you somehow forgot to pack? Yep, just go downstairs. You can do a quick dash in your pajamas provided you're not shy.
Location wise, the residence is less than 100m away from the Subway station; a direct subway line which makes it a few stops away from must-see places Namdaemun, Myeongdong, Dongdaemun and Insadong.
Other sweet spots which are just a short walking distance include:
1) The entrance to a local university opposite the hotel, like, just across the road! Unlike the famous Hongdae and Ewha, this University is rather discreet. Or perhaps we were at one of the many entranches. You will find a Lemon Mart (such a quaint minimart with great finds!), a mini Paris Baguette (great for breakfast or tea), Bonjuk (a halal-friendly porridge place) and a hole-in-the-wall fries 'bar', Pomme Frites.
2) Namsangol Hanok Village (do check out the openign hours before heading down). Walk down towards the subway station and everything starts opening up. There's a mini cinema, rows of shops (which includes our favourite bingsoo, Sulbing) and more!
3) Cheonggyecheon stream. Nothing says you're situated smack in the middle of Seoul unless you are near the stream. Great for morning walks!
Accommodation is cosy and lovely. Normally, we would get the triple and/or family rooms. These rooms come with huge windows (oh hello lovely daylight!), split floors with heated flooring, ensuite toilet, a big fridge and cooking area (remember to bring your sabun sertus people!) as well as an in-room washer! That lost item sealed the deal for us!
Just to let you in on our little hack, the floor heater usually doubles up as a clothes dryer for us. Just lay the clothes flat on the floor after washing and in about 2 hours, it’s dry and toasty! (Actually quite shiok :P )
Some cons (hey, we have to be fair):
1) Toiletries are not replenished. But since you're in the land of cosmetics and beauty products, and there is a minimart downstairs, that's barely an inconvenience.
2) Service is basic. Some online complaints include non-friendly counter staff. But in all honesty, nice begets nice. Perhaps some of the counter staff may not be very fluent in English and are more self-conscious, but in our experience, they have been lovely.
3) No air-conditioning during winter. Really? We've been here in autumn and spring so we didn't really notice this. But open the windows slightly and ohmahgerd, it is freaking cold. Fresh air there you go.
4) Location may not be known to most taxis and food deliveries. For taxis, keep your eye out for the building and you should be okay. We normally grab a few namecards off the reception which has the address in Hangeul and a map, for future taxi rides back.
5) Metro stairs. Chungmuro station has f.l.i.g.h.t.s of stairs. Not a problem if you are young and fit, but a heads up if you have seniors or are with young children as it gets rather taxing at the end of a long day out. As Chungmuro area is rather elderly packed, seniors below 60 (especially if they are baby-faced or wear the tudung, hence no white hair) may still not be allowed in the elevators.
For food deliveries, we would recommend you to ask the counter staff for the exact address and perhaps offer the counter number to the delivery as well, just in case. Let the counter staff know in advance :)
All in all, we just love the location, the cleanliness and accessibility of the place. Worth a try if you're planning to stay in Seoul for more than 3 nights. Use the savings to buy more stuff! :)
Update: As of February 2016, Chungmuro underwent a facelift (we noticed the exterior of the building as we drove past) and now has an outstanding orange exterior. Probably done to ease finding it! :D
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Drop us a line and credit "kayos kronicles @ www.kayoskookies.com"
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