Seoul is full of glassy, slick, impersonal hotels. Charmhouse Hanok in Jong Ro is not one of them. The enchanting homestay is located in Bukchon, a 600-year-old Korean folk village with roots in the Joseon Dynasty. Night is the best time to meander the hamlet’s maze of sleepy alleyways; in daylight hours, they fill up with selfie-snapping tourists, many driven there by its appearance on Korean TV shows “1 Night 2 Days” and “Personal Taste.”
Charmhouse’s guests, of which there can be only two at a time, sleep on roll-up futons in private quarters (just beyond the door pictured above) and wake up each morning to a delicious Korean breakfast like grilled mackerel with sticky rice, white kimchi, and kongjaban. Affable host MyKyung Kim is a world traveler and a terrific conversationalist; you’ll get plenty of face time with both her and co-host Jack the Dachshund. The AirBNB is a 15-minute uphill hike from the subway, but walking distance to Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, and Changgyeonggung palaces, the Jongmyo Shrine, and numerous art galleries, shops, and restaurants. (Bukchon’s excellent Cha Masineun Tteul teahouse is not to be missed.) Accommodations start at $79 USD per night.