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“Incredibly petty policy”

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JW Marriott Hotel Seoul
Ranked #13 of 472 Hotels in Seoul
Certificate of Excellence
New York, New York, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Incredibly petty policy”
Reviewed November 3, 2012

My family was stranded in Seoul on our return trip from China to New York City due to Hurricane Sandy and we decided to stay 2 days in Seoul to wait for our re-booked flight. We picked a familiar name, JW Marriott, to stay. We booked a concierge room for $480 a night. the room was nice and had a great river view. I would have given the hotel a 5-star rating but for this little petty hotel policy: The hotel charged us 25,300KRW (about $25USD) for a small tube of toothpaste! Motel 6 would have offered us free toothpaste. I laughed out loud at the casher behind the check out counter, but she doesn't seem to know what was so funny.

Make sure to bring your own toothpaste if you stay in this place.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Zhou Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JW_Seoul, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Seoul, responded to this review, May 13, 2014
Dear Reviewer,

Hello this is Matthew Cooper, new General Manager at JW Marriott Seoul. I appreciate your time to share your comments with us and look forward to your return in the future. Please feel free to connect with me before your next stay on contactus.jwseoul@marriott.com.

Kindest regards,

Matthew Cooper
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (213)
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English first
Arlington, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 1, 2012

There are many reasons this hotel is numero uno in Seoul!!! From my first encounter with the hotel staff, a welcome note from Ashley, to the goody-bye from Peter, the Guest Services Manager, every one at this JW tried to make sure this would be a memorable trip - and it was. The staff are uniformly friendly, yet very professional. The staff in the lounge wrote directions for us, in Korean, just in case we got lost. Every detail was attended to. The room was very comfortable and immaculate. Love the Toto commode - getting one for our house! Offerings in the lounge were excellent quality and introduced us to Korean cuisine. The Marquis is the best fitness facility I have ever used. The location is perfect - above a subway so you do not have to sit in traffic. My husband and I hope to be able to return. To the entire staff: Kamsahamnida!!!!

Room Tip: high floor give best view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank anitaafein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JW_Seoul, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Seoul, responded to this review, May 13, 2014
Dear Reviewer,

Hello this is Matthew Cooper, new General Manager at JW Marriott Seoul. I appreciate your time to share your comments with us and look forward to your return in the future. Please feel free to connect with me before your next stay on contactus.jwseoul@marriott.com.

Kindest regards,

Matthew Cooper
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
187 reviews
149 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2012

I had a short stay at the JW Marriott Hotel recently.

The hotel is conveniently located for central areas of Seoul, and sits right above a subway station. Options to and from the airport are a bit more hit and miss, but a taxi is not too expensive.

The room was very well appointed and very comfortable. The bathroom was of a good size and well fitted out.

It was the service though that made this stay for me. The concierge was excellent, and when my door handle broke it had been mended within minutes.

Marriott Rewards members can get free wifi - something many places still charge through the roof for. This worked fine in the room.

I'd certainly choose this hotel if I were to be in Seoul again.

Room Tip: Choosing a high room may offer a decent view. I was at the back though; assume the front would look...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank aber_james
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JW_Seoul, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Seoul, responded to this review, May 13, 2014
Dear Reviewer,

Hello this is Matthew Cooper, new General Manager at JW Marriott Seoul. I appreciate your time to share your comments with us and look forward to your return in the future. Please feel free to connect with me before your next stay on contactus.jwseoul@marriott.com.

Kindest regards,

Matthew Cooper
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
341 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2012

I stayed for 3 nights on a business trip, we didn't spend that long in the hotel during the trip, but I will give my experience of the aspects I did see.

First, breakfast - this was pretty good even by international standards I thought, wide range and good quality ingredients.

The room was ok, medium sized and well appointed. Took a couple of minutes to figure out that one of the lights could only be controlled from the alarm clock (which itself was a bit dated and not as modern as most hotels now offer). The bed was very comfortable, there was a fairly standard selection of TV channels and there was good connectivity to the TV with cables provided to connect your laptop etc. Bathroom was large with lots of mirrors and a control panel on the side of the toilet which was new to me!

The bars - mixed bag here, fairly expensive but pleasant. In the piano bar in the atrium there was a live pianist and double bass combo on the first evening who were quite good. This bar closed at 1, and bar rouge downstairs closed the latest at 2, I was surprised that a hotel of this level didn't have a 24hr bar.

On our last evening we went in to the piano bar at about 12:20 but were almost warned away with the waitress telling us it was closing at 1, we only really wanted a snack and a coffee before bed and figured that 40 minutes was plenty of time but the waitress didn't seem to agree! We were also told that we couldn't order any food as they stopped serving at 11, luckily I had seen the room service menu and knew that all of the items on the bar's snack menu could be ordered 24hrs a day to your room, and after offering to go to my room and order the food to be delivered to the bar they relented and allowed us to order some food. They didn't have coffee on their menu though and refused to get it from anywhere else.

Room service - I ordered a burger one evening before we went to the basketball, when ordering they forgot my coke and couldn't give me any more of an idea about how long it would take other than reading out the "up to 45 minutes" line that I had already seen in the menu. The Marriott Burger was really good though, as were the chips that accompanied it. It didn't seem too expensive either considering.

The view - in a hotel this tall I expected it to be pretty amazing but there is no bar/public area on the higher floors of the hotel so staying on the 10th floor (out of 34) I was a bit disappointed with the view. A bit of exploring turned up a window in the stairwells at each end of the hotel and although this is a bit obscured on the 24th floor it's fine on the 33rd floor. Not really anywhere to sit and watch it, but enough to see it and take a couple of photos.

Sports facilities in the basement were impressive with a large pool and gym. Shorts and t-shirts were provided too which was new for me.

Check-in was fast enough and I was enrolled in the Marriott Club so I could get free wifi at the suggestion of the assisstant which was a good touch. Check-out was smooth too, although there was no option for express check-out by e-mail or paper like many hotels have these days.

Overall, the hotel is probably worthy of 4/5 but the service let it down so it only gets 3/5.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank paulwilkinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JW_Seoul, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Seoul, responded to this review, May 13, 2014
Dear Reviewer,

Hello this is Matthew Cooper, new General Manager at JW Marriott Seoul. I appreciate your time to share your comments with us and look forward to your return in the future. Please feel free to connect with me before your next stay on contactus.jwseoul@marriott.com.

Kindest regards,

Matthew Cooper
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yokosuka, Japan
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2012

I lived in Seoul for several years before leaving in 2004 and have been back multiple times. We decided to stay at the J W Marriott because it was actually cheaper than the other comparable hotels. The quality of the rooms are on par with the Chosen, Shilla, Intercontinental, Hilton, Hyatt. The service was excellent, a concern because in general I felt that customer service in Korea overall had fallen... From taxis to dining. The staff's English ranged from fair to excellent. Only rarely did I have to use Korean in order to communicate.
I called in advance and was able to have flowers ready for my wife, a rollaway bed was prepared as requested, and the wifi was free with a Marriott membership, with sign up at the front desk.
The location is difficult to beat, aside from the hotel restaurants, the hotel is attached to Shinsegae department store... Very upscale... And to the Seoul Express Bus terminal with all of the smaller shops, coffee houses, cheaper restaurants and convenience stores. There are some nicer Korean restaurants (but not overpriced) in a neighboring building. The only thing missing is a casino and a duty free shop. If these are more important to you, you can stay at the Lotte (lower quality hotel), the Intercontinental ( in the convention area, more expensive, smaller rooms) or the Sheraton Wlaker Hill / W (way way out of the way). The Marriott is located south of the river a short distance away from both the COEX convention areas and the downtown / cultural / shopping area in the other direction. For military folks, it is just across the river from Yongsan base... Not more than $3-4 taxi ride.
The only negative thing I can mention is the exchange rate at the hotel is pretty bad... You know it's bad when the rate is better at the airport and at the casinos.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CheukinJapan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JW_Seoul, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Seoul, responded to this review, May 13, 2014
Dear Reviewer,

Hello this is Matthew Cooper, new General Manager at JW Marriott Seoul. I appreciate your time to share your comments with us and look forward to your return in the future. Please feel free to connect with me before your next stay on contactus.jwseoul@marriott.com.

Kindest regards,

Matthew Cooper
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
277 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 221 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2012

Decent Hotel but Negative Negative Service (Part 1)

We stayed at the deluxe executive suite for 10 days in october. 80sqm with a nice
big luxurious bathroom and a powder room in the living room. Also has a nice
kitchenette sink, useful for washing simple things like fruits and etc. Views from
our room : the main Hangkang River meanders directly from our room on the tallest
34th floor.

Location :
This is right in the middle of the luxe Gangnam area, on top of the subway and the
express bus terminal. It also connects to the massive Shinsagae dept stall next door
which has prob everything under the sun incl more than 10 restaurants on the 10th
floor. The prices here are reasonable compared to paying usd40 for sweet and sour
pork in the hotel restaurant. For usd40, you can eat at any of the fancy restaurants
for the whole family. But we did encounter problems getting a taxi back to the hotel
lobby, somehow, a lot of them got lost looking for the specific hotel driveway round
the massive estate. Unless there's a reason to be in the business or financial
district, it would be better to stay on the Myeondong side of the river to avoid the
daily jams crossing the river,,,esp as most of the attractions are on the other side
of the river.

Ambience : this hotel caters mainly to the business crowd as the lobby is filled
more with people in suits than tourists and services seemed more geared towards that
segment. There is only 1 cartoon channel and its in korean, reflecting the non-focus
of the hotel on foreign tots. Lobby is elegant but filled with strange statues and
somehow the decor is not consistent throughout, missing that glam factor. Looks a
bit tired. Would rate the hotel more as a local 5 star like the Lotte Hotel rather
than a international 5 star.

Concierge Service : Concierge service was certainly below expectations during our
long stay. First, the hotel-arranged limo left one of our bags at the kerbside when
he was loading our bags. Then he claimed he only had 3 bags (vs our 4 bags). Guess
what, the 4th bag was still at the kerbside (as where left it) when he went back to
look for it.

When we asked which stretch of the popular Cheongaycheong stream is the prettiest to
walk (being one of the most popular night spots in Seoul), it took them 10mins to
searching by internet and still gave us the wrong answer. The nice spot is at the
beginning of the stream where the waterfall, the wishing well, the LED lights and
the stones crossing the stream are. Instead they pointed us to the Nandamun area
which is so far downstream and hardly anybody walks that far down anyway and its the
least boring side.
Another request is when we asked for the easiest way to go to Everland in Suwon.
They told us the dedicated non-stop Everland shuttle frm City Hall is the most
convenient. Well it took us 30 mins by taxi to city hall and 1 hour to reach
Everland frm the city hall, and then another shuttle from the car park to the
entrance (which took us another 20mins). Total time taken 1 hour 50mins and which
meant we reached there at noon and must start leaving at 430pm to catch the same
dedicated shuttle back to Everland. Total for 2 adults and 2 kids = krw80,000. On
way back from Everland, we decided to just take a taxi from outside Everland, it
took us all of 30mins and krw42,000. We felt peeved at being pointed the wrong way
and the big waste of time going this long roundabout way.

And to make the worst possible experience to end, after arranging a limosine through
the concierge desk and being charged krw125,000 upfront (whereas a limo taxi ony
charged krw75,000), we were held up by the driver at the airport on the premise that
he hasn't been paid by the hotel and he wanted only his fare of krw75,000. This
heldup took us 15 mins outside the airport whilst they clarified. Really really
embarassing. And after finally receiving the confirmation from the hotel, then did
the driver relented to let us go.

So the concierge staff needs to be better kept up-to-date of basic info abt
popular tourist sights,,,big BIG area for improvement here, esp since the hotel
claimed to have won some best Global Marriot award,,,I would rate our experience as
a 2/10.

The room did not comewith a basic disposable shaving set (strange as I though even 4 star hotels
worldwide come with a std/basic shaving set). I thought I need to ask specifically
but imagine my shock, when they said they would have to charge me for a disposable
shaver. For a suite that costs almost usd1k a nite, to charge for a disposable
shaver,,, this must be the first I have encountered. So went downstairs and paid
usd1 for a disposable shaver after 4 days,,,,Perhaps we are so used to being
pampered by Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons that certain services and knowledge we
have taken for granted. The initiative, the warmth, the pride and the sincerity of
the staff here just not on par with what we are used to.

Room Tip: Stay at a different hotel,,,,
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank vincentlau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JW_Seoul, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Seoul, responded to this review, May 13, 2014
Dear Reviewer,

Hello this is Matthew Cooper, new General Manager at JW Marriott Seoul. I appreciate your time to share your comments with us and look forward to your return in the future. Please feel free to connect with me before your next stay on contactus.jwseoul@marriott.com.

Kindest regards,

Matthew Cooper
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2012

We have stayed at JW Marriott for five nights (October 19-24). Without asking they upgrade us as reward gust to an executive room with free Wi-Fi internet service for all of our devices. Moreover, all of our requests e.g., high flower, extra towels … etc has been provided.
Room is great spacious and clean with comfortable bedding. Bath room is also great. Lobby is fantastic as well as great well trained staff.
Breakfast is overpriced and doesn’t worth that money paid except if it is included in the room rate which wasn’t our case. However you can get a nice customized breakfast in the adjusting fantastic shopping mall/area.
Everything you will need can be easily found either in the department store or in the hidden public shopping outlet just when you exit from the rear area behind the hot food corner.
My wife and I did a lot of shopping and like it more than lotto department store and the down town shops. If you have a little baby like us and don’t speak Korean I believe this area is not suitable for you, using the metro could be painful for you in such a case your only choice is riding a taxi in this case a traffic jam would bother you and cost of taxis may empty your pocket.
Despite the entire of the above if coming back to Seoul I will stay elsewhere (in down town). I would like before ending this review to mention that there service as well as the house keeping is indeed great!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dr_Almussa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JW_Seoul, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Seoul, responded to this review, May 13, 2014
Dear Reviewer,

Hello this is Matthew Cooper, new General Manager at JW Marriott Seoul. I appreciate your time to share your comments with us and look forward to your return in the future. Please feel free to connect with me before your next stay on contactus.jwseoul@marriott.com.

Kindest regards,

Matthew Cooper
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about JW Marriott Hotel Seoul

Property: JW Marriott Hotel Seoul
Address: 176, Sinbanpo-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul 06546, South Korea
Phone Number:
Location: South Korea > Seoul
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Seoul
#5 Spa Hotel in Seoul
#10 Family Hotel in Seoul
#10 Luxury Hotel in Seoul
#27 Romantic Hotel in Seoul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — JW Marriott Hotel Seoul 5*
Number of rooms: 497
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set your sights on unparalleled luxury here at the JW Marriott Hotel Seoul. With a perfect location in Central City, an extensive multi-purpose complex, we provide the backdrop for truly memorable visits. Gorgeous rooms and suites are filled with luxury perks - from high-speed Internet access and flat-screen TVs to marble bathrooms and plush bedding. Many showcase terrific views of the Seoul city skyline or the river. Start your morning with a workout in our three-floor gym, or a dip in the indoor pool. Our hotel also offers a luxury spa, so you can pamper yourself during your visit. Delicious on-site dining options include a steakhouse and an Italian restaurant, as well as a Japanese eatery with a sushi bar. Those hosting events in Seoul will be thrilled with our flexible venues, which offer natural light and audiovisual facilities. And thanks to our convenient location, you're just steps away from shopping at Shinsegae Department Store, Famille Street, and much more. Visit us at the JW Marriott Hotel Seoul! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jw Marriott Seoul
Marriott Hotel Seoul
Marriott Seoul
Seoul Marriott

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