South Korea: Where to Stay

Modern tourist hotels in Korea in major cities and tourist areas are registered with the government and graded: super deluxe (5-star), deluxe (4-star), first class (3-star), second class (2-star) and third class (1-star). The Korea Tourism Organisation can provide a list of yogwans, reasonably-priced motels where rooms usually consist of a small mattress and a firm pillow on the ondol, Korea's traditional floor-heating system. Some may have Western-style rooms too.

South Korea: Where to Stay


If it is traditional accommodation you are looking for, your best bet is to head for the Folk Village of Hahoe, where if you are lucky you could spend a few days in a local persons’ home, or aminbak. There you are not supposed to wear your shoes in the rooms, and your sleeping arrangements is a mat on the floor. In traditional Minbaks the floor is heated with an underground heating system which keep you snug at night (in the Korean War one way of torturing someone was to stake them to the floor and heat the ground up to the hottest level).


Despite a recent recession, the 2002 World Cup has caused many hoteliers to hike up their prices. The result is that Seoul is not such a cheap place to visit – in fact it’s been hailed as the world’s 10th most expensive city – so for most visitors a cheap option for accommodation might be to find out one of the many ‘love hotels‘ that exist in the city. With house prices at an all time high, many children cannot afford to leave home at a young age like they do in the west. As such, there is a booming trade in short-stay hotels where courting couples can enjoy time together, by the night or more cheaply by the hour! Many of these love motels can be found in the budget area of Seoul, just to the north-east of the Shinch’on subway station and sell many. This sort of motel is locally known as a ‘yogwan’ and in Seoul’s a maze of alleys you often find these incorporating a public bath house as well.

If you can afford it, though, the best place to stay in Seoul is the Grand Hyatt, a luxury hotel to beat them all.

Grand Hyatt
747-7 Hannam-Dong
Seoul 140-738,
Tel: +82 2 797 1234
Fax: +82 2 798 6953,


Like the capital, Geongju has a whole range of accommodation on offer but if you want to splash out check into the Hotel Hyundai and enjoy an overview of the lake to die for.

Hotel Hyundai
477-2, Shinpyeong-Dong,
Gyeongju City,


This is a bustling international city with a host of hotels and guestrooms to look out for. If you want to enjoy the beach-life, though, the Busan Marriott Hotel has a prime position on the city’s coast line. Check it out!

Busan Marriott Hotel
12405-16 Jung-Dong,


Oriental Hotel – + 82 64 752 8222
Lagonda Hotel – + 82 64 758 2500

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