Sunday, November 09, 2014

Galeum Guesthouse (가름게스트하우스) - My Review @ Seogwipo [Jeju Island, Korea]

I didn't check out any review / pictures / information on our Jeju accommodation prior to the trip although i did ask my sister how much it would cost us a night to stay at Galeum Guesthouse; a hundred dollars was her answer.

With that pricing, i am seriously thinking of more than just a room decked out in wood furnishing! My gut feeling told me this should be the equivalent of minsu (home stay), for which Misty Villa in Taiwan failed to leave a deep impression.

However, it did feel like home. My 'bed' back in Singapore is a foldable mattress too and this gave me such a sense of familiarity; i actually tidied up my bed in Galeum every single morning!

Basic amenities (dressing table with mirror, hair dryer, television which we didn't switch on) with a WIFI router for dedicated speedy wireless service! Do keep in mind the lack of a physical wardrobe!

Very fundamental setup for the bathroom / toilet. 

Now, let us rewind to our search for Galeum Guesthouse using the rented car. Getting to Seogwipo wasn't difficult but it took us a bit more time to find the narrow, unlit road that leads correctly to the guesthouse.

It didn't help our tired mind when we saw the main entrance which seemed to be more motel-like and didn't feel at all warm and friendly.

Guess you get our point.

There are just three levels and checking in was via the second floor.  With no elevator, i had to do the man's duty by carrying the luggage to the second floor, before realising our room was on the ground level. =_=.

A laundry room (open till 10 pm and came with detergent) is available on our level and this made it the very first time i washed my own clothes when i am overseas! I usually wouldn't have done that since time was seldom sufficient when i am travelling!

Let's fast forward to the next morning! Our room came attached with a balcony and a picnic table which we didn't utilise much as the weather had already turned chilly whenever we returned back at night.

We did make use of the clothes pegs and laundry lines at the balcony for our laundry though; a much better way than to dry them in the room!

It was only with daybreak that we could truly marvel at the uniqueness of this little guesthouse. Compared to the bigger Misty Villa, the smallness of Galeum was beneficial in creating the perception that i am staying in an exclusive bungalow!

There was even a pet dog housed right in the garden!

The lounge aka the place where you would check in. This would also be the place where you would mingle with fellow travellers and share pointers on popular places to go.

Complimentary breakfast was provided at the lounge even though we never had a chance to take it as we left pretty early on all the mornings (breakfast starts at 7 am i think).

Knowing many kiasu travellers would be making full use of their time to catch the sunrise, climb the mountains etc, provisions in the form of raw eggs, jam and bread were left in the lounge and you are free to prepare your own breakfast!

Oh, i forgot to mention there wasn't any mini-refrigerator in our room and that was because you can use the huge-ass one in the lounge! Just make sure not to pile up too much stuff that you could not even finish by the end of your stay.

Another thing missing from the room would be the electric kettle which has been replaced by hot and cold water dispensers located outside our room and in the lounge.

View overlooking the peaceful sea in the lounge. It's a pity there wasn't an alfresco section; if not, i bet many people would be seated right outside enjoying a cup of hot coffee while waiting for the sky to slowly lit up.

You may get a few books / magazines from the bookcases to read while waiting for the sun to rise. It would help if you understand the hangul since it covers over 99% of the available reading materials.

Need to stay connected? Power on the desktops and you are good to go!

The guesthouse might seem like it is in a secluded location but it really isn't; you can find convenience stores and quite a number of restaurants just a short walk away.

Yes, it is in a residential enclave which, in my honest opinion, is advantageous! Put it this way, you may find yourself chatting with the local ahjummas resting in the pavilion!

Brace yourself; the famous Jeju tangerines were also in abundance just a few doors away. Given my honesty and integrity, i only see, never touch, never steal.

Couldn't say the same about my sister; she could not resist plucking a ripe-looking persimmon from the tree at the carpark! Tsk tsk tsk!

The car park at the back can accommodate around ten cars and no parking fee would be imposed! It can be quite a challenge for a normal size sedan to drive along the narrow, dark lane. 

Barbecue pit! This would explain why there was a freezer in the lounge! I didn't know of its existence till the last day as most information was in Korean.

I have written a lot about the guest house above. Now's the time for me to inform you about the cons of staying in Galeum and this is coming from a person who could not understand a word in Korean, regardless of spoken or written.

My "bed" was next to the balcony and we could not seem to get the control panel to power up the air-conditioner in our room to get rid of the stuffiness; as it was already late, i decided to open up the balcony door slightly to allow the natural sea breeze to ventilate the room.

Everything was alright until the dear pet dog started howling and barking in the middle of the night! The above photograph would give you a better picture of our room's location; it's in fact right smack behind the dog's kennel.

I doubt i could stand another night in the same situation and hence proceeded to the lounge the next day to ask about the control panel. You know what's the best thing? He passed me a remote control. What the heck?!?!?!?! Shouldn't this be given to us right from the start?!!?!?

Staying in Galeum is akin to staying in a dormitory where backpackers would be better suited. Toiletries were said to be included but they would not be the type you find in a typical hotel; we found half a bottle of shampoo, a half tube of toothpaste and a bar of soap.

I could accept all the above; my main grouch was on towels! Only one size is available and they have the dimensions of a face towel! I walked up to the counter to ask for a bigger one and the answer is "obsoyo". To add salt to injury, he offered me another face towel which i could either rent at ₩1,000 or buy at ₩2,000 apiece!

Language barrier is extremely frustrating for all parties but i have to be fair to the guest house operators; there was a ton of complimentary notes on the bulletin board and reviews online were also generally positive. 

Maybe it just wasn't my day. 

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Location
1330, Beophwan-dong,
10, Beophwanha-ro9beon-gil,
Seogwipo, Jeju-do, Korea

GPS Contact Number
739-4499

Website & Pricing
http://www.galeum.com/. Do note that my sister bought the accommodation via Agoda and the pricing did seem cheaper than using the official website.

Additional Information 
For those interested to rent a car in Jeju, check out my post here


For the summary of my inaugural South Korea trip 
(Seoul and Jeju Island), click HERE.

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