The New Yellow Submarine in Hongdae is part of the Hongdae Guesthouse right on top of the Hongik University station, but has its own style and price classification. It is relatively easy to find and has its little perks with laundry, bar and breakfast.
In the midst of the bustling city district of Hongdae with the in-crowds shopping underneath the twinkling neon lights until midnight and partying after, you are sure not set in a boring area with the New Yellow Submarine. Just a 5 minute walk from the Hongik University metro station and hipster street markets, you are sure well connected to explore the city and edgy lifestyle of Korean students and 20-somethings alike.
A drawback of the location is, however, the cost. Since it is such a popular area, the prices can be a bit higher than in other areas. One more thing of note, I was asked to mention that in front of the hostel is a big construction site that has produced nothing short of a few pavement stones for a “park” in the last 5 years. There is dust and noise coming from it, but actually this has never really bothered me.
No party level is existent; it is more like a homely place where the guests hang out at night on the couches around the TV or enjoy the weekly BBQ downstairs near the in-house bar. The TV is on every evening and depending on the guests, you might have to watch the daily K-Pop shows. It’s a hostel after all.
The guesthouse looks colourful and fun from the outside, with a bright facade and an outdoor terrace. Inside, the different couches and hint of feminine romantic style that shows in the wall decorations and the floral extras are quite a nice touch. But I would wish the same for the kitchen area. The taped stairs to the basement, where the kitchen is inside and the laundry, underneath the entrance stairs outside, need a makeover.
Using the laundry is for free and clothes hangers are available on the first floor next to the computer table. The hostel has several bathrooms/toilets but only two have sinks and if people are showering in the toilet rooms, there is no sink left. It has a kind of stale smell to it as well, but I found that a common thing for Korean hostels. Keep that in mind.
Downstairs is the bar, where you can grab a beer, chill out with other guests on the terrace and take part in the weekly BBQ nights for 5000 WON and there is free toast and spread available every morning. One more thing, the house hosts a resident kitten, which is super cute.
There is room for improvement. I pointed out the extremely dusty surface of the computer table as well as the microwave that was brown inside. The staff got to it instantly. However, when I pointed out how sticky the floor in my room was, the staff needed 3 attempts to actually clean it instead of simply swooping over it. It might have been due to the language barrier. The hoovering goes as follows: everything is hoovered over, including couches, without detaching the brush which had hoovered away tons of hair before.
Rooms are unlocked. But there are lockers, which are rather tiny and have rust crumbling off their hinges. Otherwise, it seemed to be quite safe with an entrance code needed to enter the house in the first place.
My overall experience was based on misunderstandings but that did not excuse the lack of willingness on the side of the manager to give me her full attention in listening to what I wanted to discuss with her. The staff were extremely friendly at all times, very laid back and happy to help.
If you want to stay in a homely looking place near one of the most exciting districts of Seoul, you might want to check out the New Yellow Submarine. It is one of the closest hostels to the station but slightly pricier than other hostels. That said, other hostels charge for using the laundry machine and you can have free breakfast toast as well, which helps reduce costs.
Hongdae Guesthouse 3.0 ( 2.0 ) aka New Yellow Submarine
서울특별시 마포구 동교로29길 14
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Writing this review was hard. First, it was not the place I was actually supposed to review since second, everything about it was a big misunderstanding in so many respects. I will explain as it is linked to my stay and will remain neutral.
First off, the Hongdae Guesthouse was recommended to me so I had arranged for a 3 nights stay in exchange for a review. I arrived there, wanting to check in. The hostel was easy to find but the entrance, which turned out to be the office, was a pile of boxes. I was told I had come to the wrong hostel and was supposed to wait for a member of the staff to take me to the other hostel, waiting for which took over 30 minutes.
Finally, arrived after a mere 10 minute walk, which I could have managed myself, I was able to check in and wanted to pay for the other nights I had arranged prior through our mails to stay longer on my own pay. I did so and when coming down the owner wanted me to pay extra as it was April and that meant price increase. I introduced myself, referred to our deal and that no such thing as an increase in prices was ever hinted at and seemed rather unfair. We settled on a discount but I still later decided to reclaim the money and move out after the agreed period for the review.
I had the manager called and she said I needed to move to the other hostel after all because now she realised who I was and why I was here for. We agreed on a meeting. She arrived nearly half an hour late and tried to chit chat. I made it clear that we had a deal and that I wanted to move out to which she responded she would only give me the money after seeing what I would write. Despite my protests of keeping business and private separate, she only agreed to return my money if I at least showed her some photos.
The next day she arrived in the happiest of moods, apologising over and over, chit chatting away. I showed her the pictures, she was happy and I got my money back. From then on she was over the moon and gave me lots of tips for sightseeing the country, wanted to set me up for other hostel gigs (e.g. of the hostel I was to review initially), give me another free 3 nights stay and then she gave me sweets. I moved out after the three nights stay nonetheless. If really this was all a misunderstanding and I was mistaken for a guest, I still felt slighted in the miscommunication.
Disclaimer: This post came to be through a three nights stay at and sponsored by the Yellow Submarine Hostel.