During my trip to Seoul in July and August of 2023, I stayed at 2 different hostels. 3 night at Philstay Ehwa Boutique – Females Only and 4 night at H Hostel Itaewon. A hostel is a popular form of low-cost, short-term shared lodging where guests can book a bed, usually a bunk bed in dormitory style room with 4-20 people. There is usually a shared lounge and usually a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex and have private or shared bathrooms. Staying in Hostels is a really great way to save some extra money, while having the chance to meet people from all over the world. I have stayed at many various hostels all around Asia, and there has never been a time that I have felt unsafe, and if you are a solo traveler, I really recommend staying in hostels. This is my personal hostel experience in Seoul.
Address: 56-126 Daehyeon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
The first Hostel experience in Seoul I had was Philstay Ehwa Boutique. Philstay actually has 2 hostel locations in Seoul, one in Myeongdong and another in Itaewon. I stayed at the Philstay Ehwa Boutique – Females Only location in Itaewon in a 6 Bed Dormitory for 3 nights, costing $55.36 total. (~$18 a night). A great thing about this location, is that gave me a great peace of mind since it only for females.
The hostel is located in a great location, and very close to the Ewha Woman’s University station. The hostel is close to many universities, like Ewha Woman’s University Station and Yonsei University, which makes the neighborhood, Sinchon, a fun and lively area. The hostel is located on the 3rd floor of an olive young, and has no elevator, which makes it hard for those who have multiple or large luggages. The overall location was really great and has many nearby shops like convenience stores, cafes, restaurants & pharmacies.
Common areas are a really important part of a hostel since its one of the only places you can relax. The common area in Philstay Ehwa Boutique was quite small, and I personally found it quite hard to relax. However, a really cool thing about this hostel is that they had a little area that had free kpop albums in the common area that are left by people who didn’t have enough space to bring it home. They even had new albums, and I was able to give a home to a Zero Base One album. This is also where breakfast can be eaten. Breakfast is provided, which includes cereal, bread, milk and juice. It’s enough for breakfast and other meals, but not the best for relaxing.
The beds were average and there is curtain provided on each bed on all sides so there is a good amount of privacy. The sound within the hostel travels through the rooms and my room was the closest to the common room, and at night, I was able to hear every person talking in the common area. Throughout the night, I was also able to hear the sounds of the doors opening and closing of other rooms as well.
I was there in the end of July, and in the rooms, there were no windows and proper ventilation, and it felt very stuffy. During my stay there, all three nights I got attacked by mosquitos. I couldn’t go to sleep with the constant noise of mosquitos flying around the room and biting me. Throughout the night, I also heard mumbles from other people complaining about it as well.
There are 5 washrooms and every morning, it was a struggle to find one that wasn’t occupied. They give us single doses of shampoo, gel and towels. You can also use the washing machine and detergent for free as well.
Overall, this was an okay hostel for the price. It was safe, and in a fun local neighborhood that has many places to explore. If you are looking for a budget friendly place just for a bed at night, (and maybe not the summer) this place might be good for you.
Address: 103-2 Bogwang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea, 04391
H Hostel Itaewon is the second hostel I stayed at during my stay in Seoul. This is definitely the better Hostel experience in Seoul. H Hostel Itaewon is actually a recently opened hostel with great facilities, and I stayed in their 4-Bed Dormitory for 4 nights at $113.44 and for (~$28 a night).
The hotel is located right in the center of Itaewon, and just a few minute walk from the Itaewon train station. Itaewon is also great for nightlife, and has many nearby dining options, entertainment, convenience stores, and many different bus routes that go through the area. Although it is very close to Itaewon Station, which is known to be a party area, the area around the hotel was very quiet and nice! The hostel is located on the 2nd to 5th floor, above a bakery and had an elevator for easy access throughout the floors. The 5th floor is the lobby of the hotel and where check in happens. Floors 1-4 are all guest rooms and the 6th floor is a beautiful rooftop observation deck.
The common area was the whole 5th floor area, and it closes at 10 p.m daily. The area was really big with many places to sit and relax, and this is where breakfast is located, There was even a huge 75 inch TV as well! There are also 2 common bathrooms located here, and the doors to a staircase that leads you to the rooftop observation deck. The daytime view is beautiful, but the night view was even better. In the mornings, I loved to sit outside and admire the views before starting the busy day ahead.
Breakfast is from 8a-10am and is a buffet style, and you can fry eggs and bake toast. Don’t forget to wash dishes by yourself after you are done. If you are lucky, they sometimes bring bakery goods from the cafe on the first floor. Be sure to get to breakfast early to get the goods! In addition, most of the people staying there are Westerners, and in the common areas, they are all very enthusiastic and will say hello, maybe you will make a new friend here!
The rooms itself was very spacious, and the bathrooms were connected to each room. Since there were only 4 person to a room, there was never a time when it was occupied when I needed to go. The bathroom and shower are in a combined bathroom, which may seem odd, but common in Korea. The beds were very comfortable since it was an actual bed, unlike most hostels. Each bed was separated by walls with a curtain by the edge of the bed by the feet. It somehow felt like my own tiny room, or a capsule hotel. The comforters they had was also very nice, and the quality of sleep felt like a good quality hotel. The room also has a table, two chairs and a refrigerator. You can also use the washing machine and dryer for 100 yen.
Overall, H Hostel Itaewon was a really great Hostel experience in Seoul, and I really recommend it for anyone who is solo traveling on a budget in Seoul. It was such a comfortable stay, and was so close to the bus stops and train station, making it so convenient to get around Seoul.
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