I went to Seoul during the peak travelling season during Christmas! I had to pay a lot more for the plane ticket than the regular non high season. So, I of course have to save money on accommodation. That's why I booked a studio on Airbnb. Actually, I like Airbnb more that regular hotels because you can choose to look at listings that's an entire apartment. If you travel to Seoul, the hotel rooms are TINY! For a fraction of the price, I can get an apartment that's 2 or 3 times the size of a regular hotel room. One down side about Airbnb is that anyone can post on it, so it's really hard to tell if the apartment is true to its pictures or not. You need a lot of patience in searching for the perfect place and read as much review as you can to make sure you are really getting what you want.
This particular apartment/studio I booked is only around USD$90/night! There's a queen size bed, a sofa bed, a kitchen, washing machine and a pretty big washroom. Remember this is during Christmas time, so it's practically impossible to get a hotel room with this price.
This apartment is in a pretty new building (at least it looks pretty new on the outside) with an elevator. So, I didn't have to worry about dragging my luggage up the stairs. The building is literally 10 steps away from the Hongik University Station exit 3. On ground floor, there is a Travel Depot, a 24 hour CVS and a coffee shop that I think is also 24 hour. The Travel Depot seems to have the best currency exchange rates and they also have luggage storage. However, I prefer the luggage storage in Hongik University station near exit 7. They have cheaper rates. The apartment seems to be a group of people they call themselves Seoulians. They have quite a few listings on Airbnb. The host was very helpful and answered most of my questions almost immediately whether it was about the apartment or not. I just love this place. Of course, you can't really compare this to a 5 star hotel as there isn't any room service. However, you get so much more space and the location is pretty much perfect! As mentioned, it is right next to the subway station and just 5 minute walk away from the center of Hongdae where all the shopping, food and clubs are.
Hongik University is connected to the airport All Stop Train line. It's about 45min ride on the train from Incheon Airport to Hongik University. Faster and cheaper than the limousine bus, I'd say.
A little down point about this place is that the sofa bed unfolds to be a tiny bed that suits someone under 5 feet tall. I had trouble sleeping on this tiny little sofa bed.
And a downside about the washroom is that there is a little gap in the glass wall for the shower, so some water do leak out, making the washroom floor a little wet. Also, the toilet is a little wobbly. I felt like It was going to fall apart each time I sat down.
Here is the link to the listing if you are interested:
The studio is located at point r