I’ve had a chance to visit several clubs in Seoul. Two of them were to celebrate friends’ birthdays. When it comes to clubs, there are good clubs and there are bad clubs. The bad clubs are largely clustered in Itaewon and feature too many guys and not enough girls. Also, the dance floor is usually swarming with American GIs looking to get rowdy.
The clubs below are the best of the best and I give them my stamp of approval. Here they are:
This was the first and best club I visited in Seoul. We were there to celebrate my buddy Luke’s birthday and reserved two tables.
True to its name, Octagon’s design revolves around the octagon shape. All the tables are octagons, the dance floor is a giant octagon, and even the hand rails are octagons.
There are three levels to the club, each surrounding a large pit area like an old Roman gladiator arena. To reach the pit, you must either walk down a stairway in the back or take an elevator down. My only complaint about Octagon’s design was that the bathroom is small and the line can get quite long.
If you look at the Club Octagon website, they boast about having an indoor pool. However, as far as I could tell, people were not allowed to wade into the pool. It existed only for decoration and to serve as a barrier between the lower level tables and the dance floor.
I decided to go to Club Ellui with Raj and Jens. The line was very long but moved fast. Unfortunately, I didn’t check out the Club Ellui Facebook page for a coupon and ended up paying 4x the admission price. However, I did get a free drink coupon, stickers, and a CD out of it.
Personally, I like the layout of Ellui more than Octagon. The club is more spacious and is divided into three areas: the main floor, black room, and white room. There are also separate dance floors. If you want a more quiet, chill experience, you can get a table in the black room. For special VIP treatment, go to the white room.
However, Ellui’s sound and lighting system isn’t as good as Octagon’s. To make matters worse, the cooling system doesn’t circulate cold air across the entire dance floor. So you’ll get hot very quickly.
Overall, the vibe I got from Ellui is that it’s more laid back than Octagon. It’s easy to see why this is the #2 club in Seoul. The people at Ellui don’t look as posh as Octagon’s crowd, but they appear more genuine, i.e. less plastic surgery, more urban fashion, and more ethnic diversity (Japanese, Americans, Chinese, and even some Indians).
If you’re visiting Seoul and want to go to the best clubs, you simply must visit Octagon and Ellui.