See TJ's top recommended places to stay in Seoul - a hot spot for foreign travelers, and a superior stay in Seoul!
A Superior Stay in Seoul
The Westin Chosun
The Westin Chosun Seoul is Korea’s first international hotel. This classic hotel was built in 1914 with the first running water, elevator and ice cream in the country, attracting celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Bob Hope. Rebuilt in the 1960s and fully renovated since then, The Westin Chosun is within walking distance of the headquarters of major international banks, local government offices, historic landmarks and thriving shopping districts.
The hotel has 462 guest rooms and 40 suites with the Westin Heavenly Bed, anti-allergy carpets, self-serve espresso coffee machines, mobile phones and high-speed Internet access. Guests can access a business center with state-of-the-art conference rooms and a drug store, barbershop, beauty salon and souvenir shop as well as the City Athletic Club, a Pilates studio, a swimming pool, steam and dry saunas and whirlpools. For corporate events and weddings, there is the Grand Banquet Hall, six mid-sized banquet halls and conference rooms.
In all my stays at The Westin Chosun, I have found outstanding rooms, service and food. Simply put, my stays have been exceptional.
Dining and Entertainment
The hotel has six restaurants to choose from: Aria (international buffet with 10 different cooking stations), Hong Yuan (Chinese), Sushi Cho ( Japanese sushi), The Circle (pastries and drinks), The Ninth Gate Grille (international-style brasserie) and Vecchia e Nuovo (deli). I recommend the rack of lamb at the Ninth Gate Grille, where seating offers a beautiful view of the Wongudan Altar next to the hotel.
The hotel is located near the Lotte Department Store, Sogong Underground Shopping Center, Myeongdong (banks and shopping), City Hall Park, Deoksu Palace, Shinsegae Department Stores, Namdeamun Open-Air Market, National Museum and The Blue House (Korea’s White House)
The Westin Chosun Seoul is located approximately 30 minutes from Incheon International Airport and Gimpo Airport in downtown Seoul. You can check in to The Westin Chosun directly at Incheon International Airport and then go directly to your room when you arrive at the hotel.The Westin Chosun Seoul87 Sogong-DongJung-gu, SeoulSouth Korea 100-070TEL: +82 2 771 0500FAX: +82 2 752 1443www.westin.com/seoul
Seoul's Hot Spot for Foreign Travelers
The Grand Hyatt
The Grand Hyatt Seoul is a hot spot for foreign travelers to Korea. Built in 1978 and fully renovated since then, the hotel is at the foot of Mt. Namsan and overlooks the Hahn River. It is in Seoul’s famed Itaewon shopping district where custom-tailored clothing can be made in as little as a day and good food can be had at many international restaurants.
A problem with the Hyatt, though, is that once you arrive you don’t want to leave. You can fill your weekend at the hotel’s bars, restaurants, gym, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and sauna, and by checking out the live entertainment. The Grand Hyatt Seoul has had a host of famous visitors from Queen Elizabeth to the Prince and Princess of Wales, George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton.
The hotel has 601 rooms and suites. All rooms have either mountain or river views, plus high-speed Internet access. Guests can access the business center, hotel shops, a barbershop and a beauty salon. For the fitness-minded, there’s the Club Olympus Fitness Centre, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an ice rink and squash courts. For corporate events and weddings, there is a ballroom that can be divided into three meeting rooms, seven meetings rooms, 10 boardrooms and a pre-function and social function space.
Since 1988, the Hyatt has housed J.J. Mahoney’s, arguably the hippest nightclub in Seoul that plays a wide range of music. The club is made up of two bars. There is a dance club for young people playing the latest music, and a stage for live bands doing everything from the classic tunes of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s to today’s Top 40. As it is such a classy location, J.J. Mahoney’s is a coveted place for bands to play. Entertainment is on seven nights a week. There’s also a poolside terrace and garden with capacity for over 100 people.
Dining and Entertainment
In addition to the Hyatt Grand Club lounge, there are 12 restaurants: Chinese, contemporary continental, sushi and tepanyaki, Japanese grill, buffet, summertime barbecue, European dining, and a European-style delicatessen. Bars include J.J. Mahoney’s (live bands and discotheque), Helicon (karaoke), and The Paris Bar, which provides a view of the city.
Visitors will find the Namsan Park and walking trails near the hotel as well as the Gyeongbok Palace, Biwon Secret Garden and Duksu Palace.
Located on 18 acres of waterfalls and landscaped gardens at the foot of Mt. Namsan, the Grand Hyatt Seoul is 60 minutes from Incheon International Airport, 35 minutes from Gimpo Domestic Airport, 20 minutes from the Samsung-dong business hub and 10 minutes from downtown and the Itaewon shopping district. Most of the city’s key districts are close to the hotel.Grand Hyatt Seoul322 Sowol-roYongsan-gu, SeoulSouth Korea 140-738Tel: +82 2 797 1234Fax: +82 2 798 6953 http://seoul.grand.hyatt.com
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