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“Love it here”
Review of The Shilla Seoul

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The Shilla Seoul
Ranked #14 of 472 Hotels in Seoul
Certificate of Excellence
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Love it here”
Reviewed November 5, 2012 via mobile

The hotel is beautiful. The service impeccable. It's a close walk to shops and restaurants. The evening snack buffet makes for a full dinner. The breakfast buffet is fresh and tasty. I just love this hotel.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank Cpsadp2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
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English first
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2012

I had been staying at this hotel extensively while living in Hong Kong and visitng Seoul. Now I am living in Seoul but I still visit this hotel quite often for meetings. Shilla reminds me of Okura Hotel in Tokyo. Both hotels are landmark hotels known for great services and aging facilities. The hotel lobby is very impressive with traditional Korean ceiling but the rooms are in bad need of refurbishments. They may be comfortable, but hardly luxurious, especially compared to newer rivals such as Park Hyatt. If you expected some "Wow" factor from the price category it belongs to, you may be disappointed.

The location of this hotel, Jangchung-Dong, is in the middle of nowhere. You could take the ever ubiquitous Seoul taxi and travel easily to everywhere, but you are not exactly within a walking distance from any particular attractions. Climbing up to the front lobby area from the street level would take a good exercise. This is a huge hotel located at a hill top.

The strength of this hotel lies in services and restaurants. The Japanese restaurant is one of the very best in Seoul at least, with great sushi and sashimi dishes -- I guess the chef must be a top one from Japan. Services are impeccable. There is a nice duty-free shop in the hotel site as well.

There is an inhouse French brand spa ("Guerlain") with very nice views from the windows and facilities, but I was less impressed with the techniques of the therapists or the results especially considering the steep price. This is a decent spa, but there are better brand spa options in town such as the famous SKII spa (I have written a detailed review on this spa) if you do not mind travelling to Gangnam area.

All in all, I would rate this hotel between 3 stars and a half and 4 stars. With some renovation, this hotel has the potential to become much better.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank Danielle E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2012

The Shilla is a very stylish and nice hotel.
The hotel is very nice and clean, the service was fantastic, the rooms all seemed to have a nice view and the gym/pool/spa was top of class.
I came on business and took the business package option. The extra price was very reasonable and deifinitely worth the extra money.
Next time around, I will stay at the Shilla again.

Room Tip: They are all good, but if you are travelling in connection with business, I recommend to choose the...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank hbj1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seoul, South Korea
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2012

This is my first review on tripadvisor. I usually don't leave any reviews due to my laziness however I felt obliged to write something about the Shilla hotel.
My husband and I stayed there sometime at end of July in a club room. I would like to believe perhaps it was the school holiday period that the hotel reminded me of some kind of busy market place.
First of all the hotel still uses the old key system and they declined my request for an extra key/card for us.
I didn't understand why every single staff dressed up as CIA agent with earphones was constantly following me around and asking me where I was going and that I should be somehow directed everywhere I wanted to move inside the hotel until I realized that the hotel still uses this old key system so they were trying to control people from basically going up to the club floor.
The entire staff kinda annoyed me like hell with their pretentious smile as if they were trying to help me out by controlling every single move I was making inside the hotel.

Here is the list of the rest of the things that made my stay at Shilla as annoying as possible.

1. At the time of check we were told that the room was booked for one guest only. Fair enough this can happen. We sorted it out then when we got to the room and we realized that we had an extra bed made for us. So total 3 beds.

2. Since there was no card system the house keeper entered into our room without even knocking on the door twice in the afternoon while I was trying to get some sleep.

3. The swimming pool reminded me of an overcrowded public pool jam packed with screaming children and their parents. The pool area was invaded by the families with children from top to bottom.

4. Instead of having one large club lounge for all the guests the Shilla club lounge is kinda available on every club floor so the lounge is quite small and was ALWAYS full (even with young children). My husband and I had to go up and down the floors to find a lounge that had empty seats available.

5. The staff in the club lounge is again very controlling. You can't get the drink yourself. You have to wait until they bring it to you. If you don't listen to them, you will be told off (in a passive aggressive way). I asked if I could take a can of coke with me to the room, the staff told us that we are not allowed to take any drinks outside the lounge. (very inflexible)

6. Shilla duty free shop next door was like a jam packed night market. I got dizzy after 10 minutes in the shop. Will never go there again.

7. There is an extra lounge area for club guests downstairs. We wanted to check the place out since they had more variety of food. As we tried to enter I was told one of us was not in their system so instead of them trying to sort out what happened to the booking, they told us to kindly go back up and sort the business out before we could enter to their lounge. (pathetic service)

8. My husband was smoking in THE LIBRARY (the bar downstairs), brown colored cigarette and the staff told him he was not allowed to smoke cigars. We told her it wasn't a cigar.

Overall, I just remember being super uncomfortable with the pretentious staff who were constantly following us around and trying to control everything we did. There were more things that they told us they could not accommodate us than anything we were allowed to do.

I really did not enjoy my stay there. No matter how stylish the interior/decor was, they should really learn what 5 star customer service should be. It goes beyond someone wearing a nice uniform and showing off their language skills.

The Shilla is just over rated, pretentious and uncomfortable. Unless someone offered the room for free or change the management system, I would not return there again.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9 Thank sol0509
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2012 via mobile

As mentioned by other posters, the service was great. Checked in at 3am and still was provided an excellent service.

As an architect and interior designer, i know when i say that the room (or at least the one we stayed at) needs to be refurbished. Compare to the nice looking public areas, the room seem a bit out dated.

Being a fan of cigar, i was relieved to see davidoff store in the lobby, but unfortunately, there was no place for me to enjoy my cigar. Either i take it outside or don't smoke. Understandable, but not enjoyable.

Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
1 Thank kai h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2012

Not sure I can add much that hasn't been said about this hotel. The service of this hotel is outstanding, you can tell that all, from front desk to bell hop to the lady in the cigar shop truly pride themselves in service, which is being very rare these days. Even at the top end of hotels, you can always find a little service issue somewhere, but I couldn't find any. They seem genuinely eager and happy to serve. How does Shilla do that?

The hotel is NOT right on the street, but getting taxi was very easy and quick and the taxi here is inexpensive (there are 2 classes, the better class is 2x the rate, but still very reasonable for a big city). Don't expect to walk out from hotel door to right on the street, it's a 5 min walk to the street, but no need to walk, the bell hop is quick to get you a taxi right to front door of hotel. Namsan (cable car), Myongdong area (shopping, street vendors, street foods) and IsoDong area (crafts shops, street vendors and street foods), and also a few of the palaces are all 10 min taxi ride away from hotel.

There are a few issues I have, one is the the breakfast included if you stayed on the executive floors can be a bit of a zoo and the variety is low (compared to Shangri-la breakfast), but the service staffs were very prompt and apologetic when we couldn't find seats (they put us in a conference room next door and apologize profusely). Second is the concierge, although very helpful, wasn't very versed on the details of the National Chuseok holiday schedule, they told us that there were going to be changing of the guards at one of the palace and we went there and waited and waited and gave up after an hour. Finally, some of the furnishings in the rooms we were in were worn and need replacing. The room our children stayed in had heated bathroom seats and ours didn't.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank MVagusta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2012

A 5 star hotel with traditional korean decoration. The room was not huge but it was way big enough for me by myself. very nice hotel set on a small hill!
I would recommend this hotel if you are able to get a bit of discount.

Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
Thank Shanghaisingapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Shilla Seoul

Property: The Shilla Seoul
Address: 249, Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul 04605, South Korea
Phone Number:
Location: South Korea > Seoul > Namsan
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Seoul
#6 Family Hotel in Seoul
#8 Romantic Hotel in Seoul
#11 Luxury Hotel in Seoul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Shilla Seoul 5*
Number of rooms: 464
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Shilla Seoul represents the best hotel in Korea, with contemporary design blending well with traditional patterns and style used back in the Shilla Dynasty. Next to the main building stands the former guesthouse that was once used to welcome special guests from around the world. The main building is replete with restaurants offering outstanding international cuisine, a shopping arcade featuring global brand goods, a pool, and a luxurious spa while in a separate building within the property lies a grand duty-free shop. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Shilla Seoul Hotel Seoul
Shilla Hotel Seoul
The Shilla Hotel Seoul

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