“Out of selfishness, I wish I could keep the Rakkojae a secret and post the stay as poorly managed, noisy, and uncomfortable. Or maybe that the Rakkojae reminded me of a fake Hollywood set for a Korean drama. Or better yet, that Rakkojae is located in a completely inconvenient location with zero access to historic areas and their iconic shop-filled alleys. Selfishness loses this one. The host was too nice to ever wish anything bad for them.

Take everything stated and translate each into their polar opposite. That’s Rakkojae. The stay carries a physical and emotional warmth that can’t be described without using the word “”home.”” A super nice, quiet home with heated jade floors, and served breakfasts causing one to reflect upon why one needs energy and brain robbing sweet carbos to start the day. How about fresh rice, cured fish, panchon with amazing kimchi, rice porridge tea and a different secret dessert every day.

The Location
If you arrive in the evening, your cab driver will wonder if your address is correct. Once you take a final turn down a narrow alley, you’ll also begin wondering if you missed a digit on your address. But it’s oh, sooo right. Once you start walking to any of the sights, you’ll realize how perfect the location is for walking everywhere. Moreover, it’s close enough to the subway for jaunts into the city. In the main city or otherwise, the street food alleys will help you regain your faith in the idea of street food. Unique, scrumptious, and absolutely no digestive drama — other than various self-induce triggers from over-indulging.

Kids OK?
I have a feeling that if you have more than one child (we had our lone 8 yr old), and/or if your kids are typically loud and excitable, you might feel self-conscious because Rakkojae and the area is very quiet. The people are too nice to reject you for this, but you will be aware of how loud you actually can be. Ahhh. Peace and quiet. It’s the price we parents often pay for having our bundles of joy. In fact, in the historic residential area you’ll see more “”keep quiet”” signs than you’ll ever see in a dozen libraries. It’s not that kids can’t run amok with joy, laughter while screaming their bloody lungs with excitement, but perhaps limited “”happy drama”” on the Rakkojae premises will allow one to blend-in a bit. Frankly, our child had no interest in running and screaming amok on site. It’s so beautiful and peaceful that even a kid can feel odd belting the lyrics to Moana at 11p under such peaceful conditions. She saved it later for the streets. Sorry Seoul.

Our last days at the Ritz Carlton in Seoul were fine. But all of us would have traded it all to move back to Rakkojae in a heartbeat. Go. I’m Hawaiian, so I don’t promise anything, but the Rakkojae is a stay that will become part of your memory of the trip vs. merely being a cool place because they have bounce rooms for kids, mini bars and lots of people you could have met at some function back home. MOAAana!”

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