Being a massive Depeche Mode fan, my friend had to see DJ Fletch (aka Andy Fletch, co-founder of Depeche Mode). He was doing a world tour and one of his stops was at Club Eden at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the Gangnam District.
Club Eden is without a doubt one of the poshest clubs I’ve ever been allowed to enter. I mean, it has been voted one of the best clubs in Seoul and even Justin Bieber has partied it up there (and actually made headlines for allegedly assaulting someone!).
The bouncers at the door looked really serious – they all looked like they were on a secret spy mission for the CIA. No friendly smiles there. I felt lucky to be let in.
We walked around the club as it was still empty. It had a big dance-floor and an amazing lighting system (Koreans and technology go well together). As is standard, I like to check out the bathrooms and to my surprise, they were quite full even though the club itself was empty. There were lots of seats and lots of ladies sitting on them – in the bathroom! I was a bit puzzled as to why so many people would sit in a bathroom but it all made sense later.
Once the club started filling up, we hit the dance floor and as we normally do, put our bags and jacket in a little heap on the floor. Before I knew it, some scary bouncer was gesturing at us, telling us to pick it up and put it away in their cloakroom. We put our stuff away and the woman manning the coatroom insisted on us putting our bags in there too. That was downright weird. I never part with my bag but I told myself, this isn’t South Africa so just go with it. This is what I meant by the place being controlled – there were no bags/jackets on the floor. No smoke in the air. CIA-type bouncers were walking up and down constantly monitoring what’s going on. The air con was on so high that things felt a bit clinical.
DJ Fletch was quite cool. The man is in his fifties but he knows how to “depech” rock a place.
The big shocker came after an hour or two of dancing. Sore feet meant that we wanted to sit for a little bit but we couldn’t find any chairs. That’s when it dawned on me that there were very few chairs in the club. There were lots of lounge areas though – so basically, if you want to be able to sit down, you need to go sit in the toilet (if you’re cheap), pay for a lounged area (all of them were decked with fruit and champagne) or go flirt with someone that will allow you into their lounge area.
We chose the fourth option which was to find an empty lounge area (as the people paying for it were on the floor) and try to blend in. The CIA guards watched us very suspiciously. Eventually, one of the people that paid for the lounge came back and we asked if we could sit there for a little. He let us do so for about ten minutes. When his friend came back with a bevy of beauties he’d found on the floor, he told us to leave.
The crowd in the club was also interesting. They were mostly Korean and trendy. There were lots of foreigners. One group I remember quite distinctly. There were a group of about 20 to 30 male and female models (I am sure they must have been models). They looked like they walked straight out of a 90’s Calvin Klein advert. I was struck by how young some of them looked – basically like 13 year old, fresh-faced models. They took over the club but seemed to be oblivious to anyone else that wasn’t in their crew.
Not to mention – there was a whole other floor that we did not have access to. The sad life of the poor…
So, it was a bit of a weird night where if you don’t have money and are not willing to flirt (or steal), you just might need to go sit in the toilet and party there.
– RifNeed to know Club Eden Address: Ritz calton Hotel, 602 Yeoksam-dong, Seoul,Gangnam Station, 135-080 Phone+82-10-5219-9928 Website: www.eden-club.co.kr