Our first time to Korea, and we decided to indulge ourselves with a splurge on hotel. arrived very early and took KAL limousine to the nearby Shilla Hotel as suggested by Banyan Tree staff. Instead of taking a taxi from Shilla to Banyan Tree we dragged our luggage up the slope to the hotel.. took us around 20min with the loading, but wasnt too exhausting.
Arrived at around 9.30am. It was too early to check in so we stored our luggage at the hotel and headed for breakfast and some sight seeing. returned at around 4pm and checked in our room at the hotel wing. it was everything the website boasted: panoramic namsan view with N Seoul Tower right outside the window, then the city view unobtrusive from the bathroom window. very spacious room with king size bed, coffee machine, bottled water, welcome snacks, banyan tree amenities, big tub and sauna / shower room. very lovely.
We stayed for 4 days, and always had breakfast at the lobby lounge. selections were few but enough. i love their korean breakfast selection, particularly the beef soup set. instead of fresh juice, they have several juicers and a selection of veges / fruits for DIY. Mind you, it can get messy!
Try to catch the shuttle bus to closest subway station to save time, but otherwise the way down is a very easy walk and talks about 10-15min. the hotel is right across from one of the entries to Namsan Park. we had a seoul pass so basically for in-and-out we took the specific buses that circulate namsan park. for us who appreciates some tranquility and off the beaten track when travelling, we love this location and its relative remoteness.
We tried the spa and the club restaurant (a buffet). both are of very fine quality, but i'd say it can get very exp. staff were very helpful. we sought help to arrange some bookings and train schedules and we were very satisfied with what we got. They were generally bilingual but some of their english were very accented and hard to understand, but we didnt find that a big problem. everything was smooth and nicely executed.
Now the missing bits. while they were all very well trained and facilities very nicely operated, we sort of felt that it failed to go beyond the service. 1) there are basically no proper waiting area at the lounge, and the toilet is at the banquet hall which is way out of the lobby; 2) we were stared at when we redeemed our coffee for filling out the customer survey; 3) we had wanted to use the outdoor ice rink but we had no information about whether its open or not, we checked out the place and saw no ice, so we thought it must have been closed, then came sunday when we saw cars of ppl heading that way, we had no clue.. we certainly feel that this hotel operates on a very functional level, where the hotel, the club and the MICE team are doing their job separately. i doubt if the hotel is their core business here..
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul is the first urban resort of awards-winning Banyan Tree Hotel & Resort. Banyan Tree on the land of 70,000 square meters is located in NamSan at the center of Seoul and you can enjoy sound resting and private time away from daily life. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Banyan Tree Club And Spa Seoul
- Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul Hotel Seoul