It was a pleasure to stay at this guesthouse. The owner, James, is very helpful with trip planning. The room was cleaned and cared for daily and the facilities were excellent. One very minor quibble was the constant amount of little flies and flying insects coming into the first floor dormitory on hot days. However this can be solved by closing the windows and keeping the air conditioning on. Overall, this is one of the best hostels I have been to.
Facilities are on par with what is expected at this price point, but what makes this hostel great is DJ, Ella, and the rest of the staff. They will go out of their way to make you feel welcome. I enjoyed spending time in the common room, sharing food with staff and other travelers, playing foosball, and having a good laugh. The Wednesday hike to the top of Mt. Bukhansan with DJ and Bibambap lunch afterwards were both magnificent. If I get the chance I would definitely stay at Pencil 5 again.
This is a crowded hostel with many people moving in and out at all hours of the day. If you are looking for a busy/lively/crowded atmosphere, then this hostel is for you. Lockers are provided, though you must bring your own lock. Room keys are given, but the other travelers never locked the room. Location (adjacent to Sinchon and Hongdae) is perfect for nightlife. Cleanliness is a bit lacking, but all basic amenities are present. At their price point everything is as expected.