If you are a traveler who likes really experiencing the culture of a place, you probably don't want the same old Americanized corporate chain hotel. If you want to enjoy the Korean style of travel and life, then you will love the 126 Mansion Guest House in Seoul.
This hotel is run by an amazing family. There's mom in the kitchen and the three sisters who make everyone welcome in their establishment with Asian grace and genuine human laughter. The 126 Mansion is very new, having opened its doors to guests only this spring. The rooftop garden is not yet finished and the rooms are still being finessed, but the enjoyment of the place and its owners has meant that they are already getting loyal repeat customers who want a hotel with a great location and a good atmosphere.
The rooms are set up in the Korean style. This means a mattress on the floor, which for some Americans is an automatic no. But if you want the Korean experience, sleeping on the floor is a part of it. Likewise, there is no closet. They have a few hangers, but no dresser. If you travel with a full wardrobe, again, you are not going light and easy in the Asian style. The plus in all this is a collection of rooms that are simple in a very lovely Zen way. Not bare, but clean and spare. So there will be a beautiful tea set on the table, or a small painting on the wall, but no clutter.
There is a cafe on the ground floor that serves breakfast. You can order your meal American style with eggs, bacon and bread. Or you can order it Korean style, and enjoy an enormous savory meal that will keep you full until late in the afternoon. Breakfast isn't served until about 8:30. Mom is up early preparing the food, but she doesn't speak much English or work the espresso machine. You have to wait for one of the sisters, none of whom are early birds. On the up side of this, the gals are all extremely interesting and talented.
One is a clothing designer, one is a writer, and the youngest is a visual artist. There is art work all over the hotel that was made by her. The location of the 126 Mansion is ideal for visiting the city. I walked to almost every attraction from the nearby museums to the shopping at the outdoor Namdaemun Market. The immediate neighborhood is know for its galleries, and many art dealers will stay here because they can easily wander and visit the galleries from here. If you want a pleasant Korean vacation in Seoul, you should see if the 126 Mansion has a room available for you. 126 Mansion www.126mansion.com [email protected]