606, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Park Hyatt Seoul gets our nod as the city’s "best" hotel, with stunning contemporary rooms styled by Japan design powerhouse, Super Potato, and an unbeatable location in the heart of Gangnam’s central business district.
The hotel lobby is situated (a bit oddly) on the top floor, which means you have to take one elevator up to check-in, and another down to reach guest rooms (this is very typical of Park Hyatts in Asia). The hotel’s standard rooms, at 44sqm, are just about perfect in our book. There’s a dining table (because who likes to enjoy room service from a desk?), a good size work area, and a reclining chair (with footrest) that is as stylish as it is comfortable.
Styling is contemporary European meets modern Japan, with sleek oak floors and accents of Myanmar stone. Bathrooms are granite, both raw and polished, and feature what we think are the best bath amenities in the hotel business—Australia’s Aesop. The room’s best feature, however, is the view, which is hard to miss from the floor-to-ceiling windows (a note here—the lovely view actually goes both ways, meaning people can see into your rooms, especially at night. So bathrobes, please!).
Park Hyatt Seoul occupies a shimmering 24-story glass tower across the street from Seoul’s main conference center, COEX, and is a short walk from the Hyundai Shopping Mall. It’s another two or three kilometers to reach the more hip and edgy part of Gangnam, where you’ll find all the cool bars, restaurants and shops.
There’s a heated indoor infinity pool on the 24F and an excellent spa (also using Aesop products). Cornerstone is the hotel’s main casual dining restaurant and features a wood-burning stove and plenty of Western and Asian options. It’s solid, but not worth writing home about. Cornerstone is also the hotel’s breakfast spot.
Our favorite dining venue is the stunning Timber House on the lower level. Designed to look like an old hanok (a traditional Korean wood house), Timber House is almost like a gallery space with comfy chairs and several drink options—a sushi/sake bar, cocktail bar and whisky bar.
The only fault we can find with the hotel is the sky high rate—probably the highest in the city. But with so few truly exceptional hotels in Seoul (for now), we can somewhat understand this. For a similar experience with a better value quotient, consider the newer Conrad Seoul in central Yeouido or the gorgeous JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square.
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