So, we used Airbnb again for our Seoul accommodation..
During our last visit to Seoul, we booked an Airbnb accommodation. Well, I may have had a few “bad” experiences with some Airbnb hosts but I can’t scrap off Airbnb altogether. Of course, the accommodation cost is one big factor – especially if traveling in big groups. Apart from that, the convenience of having the amenities as if you are staying in your own home (ie laundry facilities) is another HUGE plus! This is most important if traveling with a toddler for long duration trips.
For a change, I was in-charge to look for our Seoul accommodation. I decided to take over the Airbnb booking this time because I want to make sure the “proper feedback” be created for the host’s profile – ASAP. I do not want to commit the same mistake of “waiting for compensation” (or false promises from the Airbnb host). This time, I want to personally ensure MY feedback is view-able thru Airbnb!
So let me start the review by saying that I was, unfortunately, unable to capture photos from our stay. I thought of doing it upon arrival but jetlag and a bit of laziness got the better of me – I pushed it until it was too late. So before further ado, here goes my review of our Seoul Airbnb accommodation and our host (Justin)!
Prior our arrival, I was already communicating with our host (Justin). He seemed very accommodating even thru chat and always reassured me off my worries. So from that moment, I had high hopes that maybe, he would break the “bad Airbnb hosts spell” we’ve had from our previous vacations!
We arrived at 12 PM in Incheon International Airport. There was some minor cause of delays – so it took a while for us to get going. The moment we finally got inside a cab, I texted Justin immediately that we were on our way. The cabbie spoke VERY little English so I had to show the instructions Justin gave us after my booking confirmation. A few moments later, Justin replied and requested he speak with the taxi driver. It was good since it gives us an extra assurance we are on the right path. After a few bouts with traffic jam, we saw Justin waiting at the corner for your arrival.
The moment we got off the cab – he was all smiles. He was so quick to pick up our luggage to carry – my husband almost did not do any lifting! He quickly showed us around his home and asked when the rest of the gang will arrive. I replied by telling him that my sister will arrive the next day and my parents the day after that. He didn’t seem to mind.
From the first encounter, he seemed genuine, friendly, and accommodating. Despite struggling sometimes to speak in English, he tried his best to tell me where to find the nearest convenience store so we can buy for “extra essentials”. Note that I put in there the word extra. That was intentional because if you only needed the basics like shampoo, laundry detergent, or coffee/tea making facilities – HE HAS IT! Apart from that, he had eggs, bread, milk, and the occasional fruit/pastry/treats – he even gave us some soju, too! This is just the beginning but over our stay, I have gotten to experience his hospitality and concern for our well-being, too.
I could go on and on about the nice things to say about Justin – this might end up too long! So for the purpose of this entry, I’ll focus on instances where it left a huge mark for me.
We were (expectedly) jetlagged on our first evening. We woke up hungry at 1 AM. So, I went to the kitchen to prepare something. Justin had a canister stove and being a complete noob that I am – it didn’t turn on. I changed plans and cooked something different using the microwave. While doing so, I left Justin a message (for the next day) thinking I might forget to ask him. A few moments later, lo and behold – Justin was on our front door at 1 AM!!!! I was so embarrassed I said sorry a lot of times. He quickly showed me how it’s done and just smiled and told me that he is always available for ANYTHING as he lives upstairs.
Apart from that, he was very, very, VERY apologetic when there were renovations done in the apartment on top of ours on the second week of our stay. Well, it was noisy and inconvenient. But I personally didn’t mind as renovations can happen even in hotels. He regularly leaves me a message in the morning telling me of the “noisy” schedule. But being a gracious host, it came to a point he bought a cake to “apologize for the inconvenience!”. To be honest, there wasn’t any since we were out almost the entire day – so we only hear the banging sounds while our morning preparation. So, the cake was a very nice gesture and yummy, too!
Apart from being such a gracious host, Justin’s apartment is very convenient. It is a three bedroom (I think it was originally a 2-bedroom apartment converted to have another room to make it 3) apartment. We were able to sleep conveniently in the evening with enough beddings and pillows to get us through the night. Very accessible location, too! There is a bus stop just 2 minutes away from his place that you can take to go to famous tourist spots like Gyeongbokgung palace or MyeongDong. A convenient store is also available right across the street, too! Plus, a market (Tongin) is very accessible by foot – the location is superb!
Needless to say, I was so satisfied with our Airbnb booking and host this time around. I hope that I will be as lucky in the next trips and have more hosts like him, too!