Situated in the heart of Bukchon Hanok Village, Bonum 1957 prides itself on its ability to merge the ancient traditions of Korean living with luxurious, modern amenities.
I spent an evening there this past Chuseok and upon entering the hotel gate, I found myself instantly enamored with the place. As I passed by the century-old hanok in the tranquil garden and continued into the hotel and up the marble staircase, I realized there was something special about this place. My assumptions were only confirmed when I entered my second-floor room, which offered a fantastic view of N Seoul Tower and the tiled roofs of the surrounding traditional Korean houses.
My room was beautifully decorated and incorporated Korean themes in a subtle way. The wooden floors, sheer curtains and high-end bath fixtures created a contemporary yet relaxing atmosphere. But despite the modern amenities, there's a ton of history intertwined into the details of the hotel.
These can be found in the chandeliers, which were purchased in London in the 1950s by the current owner's grandfather, a gentleman who resided there throughout the mid-twentieth century. Or the boulder that sits in the garden, which took numerous laborers months to transfer from Bukhan Mountain when the former owner realized he had to have it. Or the hanok's gorgeous antique furniture, which is over a hundred years old.
In fact, history is an important part of the hotel, especially considering the neighborhood where it is located. Nestled in between Gyeongbok and Changdeok Palaces, Bukchon was once the residential area of yangban, or noble-class citizens. Nowadays, it maintains its old-world charm through its beautifully restored Korean homes, many of which have been converted into upscale boutiques and charming cafes.
Just across from the hotel is Gahoe-dong, where visitors can participate in traditional craft workshops led by artisans whose families have carried on the traditions for centuries. It's also within walking distance of Insadong, and a short taxi ride from shopping mecca Myeongdong.
This makes Bonum 1957 a fantastic place for those looking to explore the attractions of downtown. Couples, too, will love the romantic atmosphere the hotel offers.
Although I wasn't on a date, my friend and I enjoyed some much needed girl time at Uva, the hotel's restaurant and cafe. Offering tasty items like sandwiches and pastas, it's the perfect spot for a relaxing lunch in a modern setting. Or, if wine is more of your thing (which was the case for us) you can enjoy a glass (or bottle) on Uva's open-air rooftop. They also do an amazing cup of coffee.
After enjoying a glass of wine, my friend and I brought a bottle of red up to the huge patio attached to my room. We sipped and chatted under the bright harvest moon, which only added to the already perfect atmosphere. By this point, the hotel's hanok was illuminated in all its glory and the towering skyscrapers in the background provided an interesting contrast.
For those staying in rooms without balconies, there's also a communal rooftop with lounge chairs and even a splash pool in the summer. It's really the perfect spot to unwind after a long day of sightseeing.
To wrap up the night, I took a long soak in the tub before hopping into the incredibly comfortable bed. I considered watching a movie on the big-screen TV or connecting to the free WiFi to do a bit of work, but instead opted to crash. This was, after all, a staycation... I couldn't feel guilty about getting too much sleep.
Bonum 1957, with its character, history and attention to detail is a wonderful alternative to the larger, chain hotels that dot the city of Seoul. Furthermore, its convenient location makes it a wonderful option for those looking to be steps away from the city's most treasured landmarks and popular attractions.
More Information: Bonum 1957
Address: 53 Bukchonro, Jongnogu, Seoul, South Korea
Website: Click Here
Email: Click Here
Prices: Hanok Suite - ₩550,000; Junior Suite - ₩490,000; Double Deluxe - ₩410,000; Double with View - ₩300,000. Check out their Facebook page for ongoing discounts!
Reservations: Call, email or reserve through Booking.com
Words and photos by Mimsie Ladner of Seoul Searching. Content may not be reproduced unless authorized.