I have known the famous Pedro Kim for over a year and I can tell you that he's a pretty awesome fellow. He recently opened Gwangju's newest and finest guesthouse. I have no idea how to write a guesthouse review, but I had a great time staying there and I want to support this new, local business, so here goes!
If you're looking for a great place to stay in Gwangju, let me suggest Pedro's House! From the moment you walk in the door, you immediately feel welcome. The house itself takes on the personality of the host: it's cheerful and inviting. The living room is warm and cozy and clean. The kitchen is bright and cheerful, well-stocked and modern. It's a capital place to stopover. If you've decided to stay at Pedro's House, you have made a good choice. (How am I doing, guys? Does it read like a real review yet?)
Pedro's House is pretty easy to find. It's in Ssangchon-dong, right near Sangmu-jigu, which is one of my favorite areas of Gwangju. It's not too far from the inter-city bus terminal and it's right along Gwangju's subway line and several bus stops. It's off the beaten path, so you won't have major road noise, but it's close enough to the hustle and bustle of the city to be convenient. There's a lovely reservoir about a 20 minute walk away, with tons of coffee shops, restaurants, clubs, and a movie theater nearby.
Find directions to Pedro's House on the website, www.pedroshouse.com, or visit the facebook page here. The website is easy to use and provides instructions by taxi, subway, and bus. It's very clear and easy to navigate!
As you walk through the gate to the house, you walk up a tree-lined walkway, up a narrow flight of concrete stairs to a stoop with a silver door with a big green frame. You've arrived!
You walk into the living room first. The living room has a vintage-looking orange couch covered in brightly-colored cushions and fabrics. There's a lamp in the corner next to a bookshelf that is absolutely covered in travel books about places all over the world. I read up on Thailand last time I was there, while my friend checked out the Lonely Planet: India on the shelf.
Pedro provides tons of information about local Gwangju things: maps, guides, fliers for upcoming events. There's a PC to use and he provides the wifi password for your iPhone and other devices.
There are 3 guest rooms attached to the living room and kitchen. The men's dorm has 2 beds (one bunk bed), the women's dorm has 4 beds (two bunks), and the third room is a private room with a queen bed. There are lockers provided for locking up your valuables.
The furniture is quality, the bunks are wooden and new. There are clean linens on the hard Korean mattresses- fitted sheet, top sheet and/or blanket (seasonally), pillow with pillowcase, and a towel.
There is only one bathroom, but it's a good size. It's pretty basic with a toilet, sink, shelves for your clothes, hooks for your towel. There is a shower curtain to keep the sink/toilet area dry. The shower head is still connected to the sink (as is usually the case in Korea), so you'll need to remember to turn the knob to use the sink again. On the wall outside the bathroom, the hot water heater has a sticker to remind you which button to press. There is a sign to sign up for the next shower on weekends with many guests. It's a pretty good setup!
Ok, so this isn't a 'feature' or anything, but Pedro's House smells really good! That's one of those little things that can make or break a guesthouse experience. The new wooden bunks lend a cedar scent to the air that blends with the vintage-y fabric on the couch cushions and the coffee grounds in the kitchen. It's quite pleasing! It generally smells clean and homey, like a cabin in Colorado would smell. I like it.
There is a veranda outside the big window in the living room, which is a nice place to sit in the evening. There's also rooftop access if you want to hangout on a beautiful day! I have only been there at night and on a rainy day, but if the weather was nice, I'd string up a hammock, throw some meat on the grill, and chill with a nice drink. There *are* buildings on all sides, so I think the roof has a more pleasant view. Grab yourself a Corona from the well-stocked fridge, add it to your tab, and head up to the roof for a nice evening.
Pedro himself is a great host! He shows you around, explains everything. He's very helpful and eager to please. Pedro really works to make his guests feel like guests.
I've stayed in plenty of guesthouses around the world where it was a simple business transaction: hand over money, sleep in the bed. That's not the case here! Pedro strives to meet and visit with his guests. He's genuinely interested in travelers and their stories. He has plenty of stories to share as well, so do yourself a favor and have a drink with him if he offers! He's a cool guy to get to know. If you're lucky, he'll make soju cocktails. Whoa nelly! Yum.
Like I said, I have known Pedro over a year. I have taken trips with his travel business, Lonely Korea, and they are well-planned and efficient and fairly priced. He's clear about the trip itinerary and he has good connections. He's good at what he does. I'd recommend them to everyone in Jeollanam-do, especially when you're new and/or want to meet people and/or are tired of your day to day routine and/or just want to get out and see some of Korea!
I hope you enjoyed my assessment of Pedro's House. I love it, I'll stay there again, you should too! If you want to read more reviews, check out Join Chase: Pedro's House review. It's a good review with REALLY GOOD PHOTOS of the place! Click it! Here's the link again. I wish I'd gotten such nice pics! Camera envy... skills envy... eish. You should also check out The Gwangju Blog: Pedro's House review.
Again here's the link to the official Pedro's House website.
Here's the link to the facebook page once more.
Here's a link to reserve a spot at Hostelworld.com. Do it. Doooo it.
If you're looking for a great place to stay in Gwangju, stay at Pedro's House!