In densely populated cities, competition for hostels can be high and the choices can be overwhelming. It’s really hard to decide when looking at hundreds of choices. However, after much searching on sites like Hostelworld.com, I had finally decided to stay at The Closest Hostel in Seoul. Here are a few reasons why I thoroughly enjoyed my stay:
1) The Bedrooms
I stayed in a double room, and the mattresses were very comfortable. It was so hard to wake up each morning and roll out of bed. There was a lot of space in each bunk to comfortably lay about. Additionally, each room has air conditioning (no limit either), lockers, and chargers.
2) Small Homey Feeling
This is really unique of this hostel. It is not a party hostel and not a large hostel. So if you’re looking for an experience to get crazy, this place is not it. Staying at the Closest hostel felt like you were staying at a good friend’s apartment. It’s small and cozy, but is simple enough to make you feel comfortable. It’s perfect if you enjoy a little more privacy and a quiet stay.
Hongdae is one of the most popular places in South Korea, as people all over love to come to the area to eat, shop, and party. The hostel is only a 3 min walk away from the nearest subway station, which happens to be the central place of Hongdae. The exit for the hostel is a little further away from the craziness (which is great) so you feel more safe and less bothered by the crowds. This was definitely one of the best locations I’ve been in for a hostel.
4) Super Detailed Welcome Message
A couple of days before my arrival, I got a very detailed email message from the owner. It was extremely detailed about the location of the hostel, his contact number, and tour information even on the DMZ. You can tell there was a lot of personal effort put into the message and it reinforced the homey, staying with a friend type of atmosphere. No big hostels would ever do this or even spend the time to write an email like this. Above and below are examples of detailed images that were provided in the email.
5) The Owner – Rick
Rick is a super cool guy. You can tell that he really cares about his hostel and his guests’ experiences. He really does make an extra effort to welcome everyone and help you out. When I was the only one checking in that day, he offered to join me for dinner so I wouldn’t have to eat alone, as the other hostel guests were out. Again, staying at this place was like staying with a friend. It was a very personal experience. There were some hostel reviews that I read about people not liking their experiences, but I would caution people to take those reviews with a grain of salt. The over friendliness of the owner is genuine and not intended to try and rip off guests in any way. It’s hard to sometimes remember that when traveling for so long and having to constantly be wary of getting scammed. But Rick is seriously a nice guy and his extra efforts at providing a good experience are definitely appreciated!