In this review, we’ll check into an establishment offering simple accommodations at the heart of Suncheon. The rooms are basic and the neighbourhood bland, but the location is excellent for wider sightseeing – that is, if you can figure out how to use the bus network!
Welcome to the Suncheon 24 Guesthouse.
Accommodation name : Suncheon 24 Guesthouse (순천24게스트하우스)
Alternative name : 24 Guesthouse – In Hotel
Address : 44, Yeokjeongwangjang 3-gil, Suncheon-si, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
Date of stay : 24-27 January 2020 (3 nights)
Room type : Double Room with Private Bathroom
Room rate : KRW 180,000 (total for entire stay)
24 Guesthouse is less than 10 minutes’ walk (pace dependent, of course) from Suncheon Station (순천역, Suncheon-yeok). The station is served by the high-speed Jeolla KTX – which offers connections going as far as Seoul – as well as by conventional trains of the Gyeongjeon and Jeolla Lines.
If you’re travelling by city bus, the nearest stop is 중앙초등학교 (Jungang Chodeung Hakgyo, “Jungang Elementary School”), from which the guesthouse is just 2-3 minutes or so away on foot. In addition to various inner-city services, this particular stop is served by bus numbers 96 and 960, which travel to/from Yeosu Airport (taking about 30-40 minutes each way; 1,250 won if paying by transport card).
Although its immediate surroundings are rather dull, 24 Guesthouse is conveniently located for sightseeing in/around Suncheon. Using the bus stop named earlier (중앙초등학교), I was able to take either direct or connecting rides to/from such places as the Naganeupseong walled village, the Suncheon Bay Wetland Reserve, and the Suncheon Bay National Garden.
Now for a travel tip. In order to make commuting easier, I’d strongly recommend downloading one (or both) of the two major homegrown navigation maps: KakaoMap and Naver Map. (Check the App Store or Google Play for the version that will work on your device.) There’s a useful comparison of the two apps on another blog, and I’m in general agreement with many of that author’s observations, except that I personally rely on KakaoMap more as it has advantages if you can read Korean (he leans towards Naver Map as it’s more English-friendly). Quite often, I use both apps when planning routes and fine-tune based on differences that might pop up between the two.
Staying at the guesthouse
The chap on duty at reception spoke very little English. Proficient speakers may be available at other times, judging from reviews I’ve read.
Even so, check-in was smooth and painless as it’s all standard procedure: provide reservation details (a printed booking in my case), pay for the stay (I used a credit card), receive room keys (or rather key-cards). The receptionist also gave me some discount coupons for the in-house café, which also serves as the breakfast area every morning.
Speaking of breakfast … I never took advantage as I was always out the door before service began, but the room rate includes a simple do-it-yourself breakfast. Nothing fancy from what I’ve read: just a few staples like bread, eggs (cook them yourself and clean up afterwards), jam, and so forth.
Note that there are both private and dormitory rooms on offer, so it’s possible to go a bit more basic (and cheaper) than I’ve done if your budget requires it.
Let’s have a look at the room now. Mine was up on the 5th floor, but there’s a lift so access wasn’t a problem.
Down the hall and through the door.
Before we glance at the sleeping area, let’s turn our gaze back. Observe the small tiled area just inside the door – a useful feature as one could leave shoes behind (along with any dirt on them) before stepping up onto the floor.
Incidentally, the floor is heated during winter. This was a great comfort as I could pad around in bare feet even whilst the outside temperature was hovering at single digits.
To the left of the mirror are some of the room’s modern conveniences: a flat-screen TV, an air-conditioning unit, and a small refrigerator. (We’ll get to the contents of that mysterious white box next to the fridge in a moment.)
And now we come to the sleeping area.
Double room, hence a bed big enough for two – but I was travelling solo and all that real estate was mine to enjoy.
The bedside table is equipped with a hot water kettle and two ceramic mugs. Fixed onto the wall above is a clothes rack with hangers.
Note the power outlets on the wall above the bed. These, like the rest of the outlets in the room, are designed for Korean-style plugs with two round pins.
The glass panes on the left side of the picture are part of the bathroom wall. For reasons still unclear to me, glass-walled bathing facilities are rather common in this part of the world – something that travellers from elsewhere should be aware of (especially if sharing rooms with other people). Such walls would often be fully or partly frosted, but that won’t suffice for complete privacy; thankfully I was travelling alone.
The bathroom fixtures are a little more conventional. Bear in mind that the shower is fitted above the toilet and sink, rather than in a separate stall, so the entire room will be drenched every time you wash.
That pretty much sums up the room … except for one interesting feature.
Remember that white box on the floor, next to the refrigerator? Pop open the lid and you’ll see a neatly coiled rope with harness.
No, this doesn’t mean that the previous occupant was a rock climber who’s left behind part of their kit. This harness, together with the stout metal bar fitted next to the window…
…is meant to save your life in an emergency.
Apparently, if there’s a fire (or some other catastrophe) and a rapid evacuation is warranted, you’re supposed to hook the harness onto the bar and swing out of the window, then escape down the side of the building to safety. It’s standard-issue equipment for Korean hotel rooms – can’t say they’re everywhere but I’ve certainly seen this sort of thing in various establishments, from basic guesthouses to starred properties. Sometimes tucked away in a not-so-obvious corner, sometimes out in the open as here … but it’s probably there somewhere if you need it.
Of course, one should hope that the need never arises!
A simple place offering simple quarters, neatly straddling the gap between bare-bones hostels and full-service hotels. Conveniently located for sightseeing in the Suncheon area – provided one can come to grips with the local bus network, of course. The basic complimentary breakfast is a nice bonus, even if I never took advantage of it myself.
All things considered, I was satisfied with my stay at the Suncheon 24 Guesthouse and will be happy to stay there again.