Just before the school starts, a friend of mine asked for a hanok stay recommendation in Seoul. Well, to be frank, I never stayed in a hanok in Seoul before. However, as I mentioned in my previous postings, I am a fan of anything vintage with a modern twist, my interest in hanok renovation, hanok architecture and hanok interior design was established long ago. I have been collecting information every now and then. That being said, I am pretty confident in recommending a couple of beautiful hanok stays in Seoul.
A hanok (한옥) is a traditional Korean housing. Many of these traditional houses are former homes of powerful aristocrats, noblemen, and high-ranking government officials. These hanok houses, which are usually found surrounding the palace are now preserved and transformed into guesthouses, restaurant, gallery or cafe.
I reckon hanok with an elegant mix of tradition and modern would be nice for anyone looking for a place to be pampered. Hence here are the top three recommended luxurious hanok stays in Seoul. Price per night might not come cheap. However, judging from the pictures and the positive reviews from their guests, I would say the experience is one-of-a-kind. I have yet to try them out personally, but these are definitely on my list if I were to book a room for myself.
A jewel of contemporary and traditional hanok architecture, Chiwoonjung is top of my list so far. Marketed as a boutique hotel, Chiwoonjung offers its visitors a glimpse of past without compromising the convenience of modern living. The lavishly renovated bathroom with a wooden tub is perfect for a relaxing soak. It is located up on a hill, providing its guest an exclusive and spectacular view of the beautiful rooftops of Bukchon Hanok Village! For some of you who do not know yet, this place was previously the home of the former South Korean president Lee Myung Bak!
KRW 327,000-1,100,000 per suite per night. For bookings and information, check here.
An old Korean traditional house with a rich history of 130 years, Rakkojae is a perfect example of a harmonious mixture of Korean architecture and nature. Renovated by South Korean’s Human National Treasure — Master carpenter Young Jin Chung, the hanok itself is a remarkable piece of art. The private garden with pine trees and bamboo, together with the 130-year-old hanok facade in the background created an unpretentious, tranquil atmosphere. Rooms are equipped with jade stone ondol floor, even yellow mud sauna facility is available. Guests will be able to enjoy various cultural immersion programs including traditional tea ceremony, trying on royal costumes or joining a Kimchi making class.
KRW 250,000-450.000 per room per night. For more information about Rakkojae, check here.
Cheongsongjae 청송재 . 능소헌
A reborn of modern adaptations to old architecture, Cheongsongjae is the place one should check out if you are interested in modern hanok interior design. It remains as a private residence of the renowned architect for various generations. Cheongsongjae is a model of two hanoks combined into one. Visitors will be living in one of the hanok while the owner and his family staying the other. The living room, kitchen, and other common areas are shared — I would say it is a unique experience since it is a rare opportunity for a foreigner to stay under one roof with a Korean family!
KRW 495,000 per night. For booking information, check here.
So far, I only came across these three hanok stays in Seoul with a luxurious touch. I will continue to work on the list if I discover more. If you have any place to recommend, please let me know ; D
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