Traditional Meets Contemporary: Bonum 1957 Hotel, Seoul Review

As the private gates swung slowly open and I left the crowded streets of Bukchon Hanok Village to step into the hotel garden, I knew that there was something special about Bonum 1957.

In the heart of the concrete jungle, here I was met with nature, quiet and tranquility.
I so often shun hotels on my travels in favor of an airbnb so that I can have a local experience, however Bonum 1957 provided me with exactly that. As a family business, it was far from your typical, soulless chain hotel – it had a delightful, quirky personality.

Bonum 1957
Bukchon Hanok Village was previously known as the noble district in Seoul – housing some of Korea’s highest class citizens. The century old hanok, and its adjacent hotel are buildings passed down among a family through generations and they had been wonderfully preserved, and lovingly restored.
Bonum 1957

As I explored the property, every turn had a story to tell – the exquisite antique furniture within the hanok was hundreds of years old; the elegant chandeliers dotted throughout the buildings had been discovered by the grandfather of the current owner back in the 1950’s when he was travelling in London and loved them so much, he shipped them back to Seoul; all of the original wooden flooring had been preserved and polished. The attention to detail, and the adoration for the property and the family heritage it represented were very evident.

For visitors to Seoul, this location is perfect – Bukchon itself is home to quirky coffee stores and trendy boutiques and you are but a stone’s throw away from some of the most prestigious palaces in Korea – Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung as well as a short cab ride to traditional Insadong and shopping mecca Myeongdong.

Bonum 1957
My room was located on the second floor and it was everything you would hope for in a luxury hotel room – a comfy bed, a large flat screen TV, a stylish, modern en-suite with a tub and a large private terrace overlooking the gardens.

Bonum 1957
Bonum 1957
How relaxing it was to enjoy my breakfast and green tea in the morning from up there whilst looking out at Seoul’s skyline, and Namsan tower in the distance.

Bonum 1957
Not to fear if you select a room without an adjoining terrace however, there are loungers on the hotel’s communal roof top perfect for summer nights spent drinking wine, or summer days tanning, all whilst enjoying the views.

If you are looking for a more traditional stay, you can opt for a room or suite within the hanok where you can  make like a true Korean and sleep on an ondal style futon bed on the floor. (Much comfier than they sound! If you’ve been following my adventures through Korea you will know I am a big fan of these and they do wonders for your back!)

Bonum 1957Bonum 1957

The hotel offers free wifi throughout and a room service menu that offers you the opportunity to try a number of traditional Korean dishes. (I recommend Kimchi Jeon – a traditional Korean pancake. One of my favorite eats in Korea!)

The setting and amenities offered make Bonum 1957 the perfect place for a romantic getaway or a girl’s weekend. I am travelling through Korea alone (Who says you can’t treat yourself to a classy hotel on your solo trip?!) but I truly loved this opportunity to relax and unwind, and I actually felt right at home, which isn’t a quality you can often find at hotels.

When it comes to wining and dining in the evening, or brunching when you wake, the Uva Tea and Wine Bar next door offers a blend of global cuisines and wines in a chic, sophisticated setting.

All of the staff were extremely kind and friendly. The hotel manager is from New Zealand, and the Head Chef at the Uva Wine Bar is from Denmark so they are multilingual and foreign tourists don’t have to worry about language barriers.

Bonum 1957

Additional Information

Address: 53 Bukchonro, Jongnogu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: 010-9257-9584
Website: Click Here
Email: Click Here
Prices: Prices start from ₩300,000 a night. Check their Facebook page for regular discounts and offers.
Reservations and Enquiries: You can contact Bonum 1957 using the above methods, or online via Booking.com.

Disclaimer: As always, High Heels & A Backpack believes in full disclosure when it comes to writing reviews. I received a complimentary stay at Bonum 1957 in return for this article. That said, the account of my time there is wholly honest and I would certainly like to return in the future as a paying customer. I think that the photographs speak for themselves!

9 Comments
  1. Great post! I’ll definitely go for a more traditional accommodation whenever I plan to visit Korea – and the futon beds do look comfy!
    And Korean food…I love what I’ve tried in Korean restaurants in Europe, and I’m sure the authentic Korean food is even a hundred times better 🙂

  2. This looks like a really nice place to stay. I would totally opt for one of those traditional rooms with the bed on the floor, just to say I’ve done it! I’d probably wake up regretting it during the night (my back generally demands fairly soft and squishy beds), but it would definitely be an interesting experience.

  3. This place sounds like a hotel with a soul, something I really love myself. Just like you, I rather void hotels and prefer to have a more native and ‘personalised’ experience, though recently I started using this option as I find it quicker and less fuss, which is important as I need to work on the way and try to save as much time for sightseeing as possible.

  4. I am also a sucker for traditional accommodations. When I get to Korea one day, I would definitely love to stay in one of those traditional houses. Bonum 1957 would be perfect!

  5. Looks like a great spot to stay here. It must be relaxing to have your green tea in the morning while enjoying the views. The room looks clean and modern, and a good size. I also love that there is a wine bar next door! Sounds like a great spot.

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