I've averaged about 10 trips to Seoul per year over the past 8 years and this is my favorite place to stay. I've stayed at almost every major hotel in Seoul and in my opinion, you can't beat the GHS in terms of location, facilities or service. For years, I faithfully stayed at the Westin Chosun hotel, but its location (north of the Han River) became a problem as more and more of my meetings took place south of the river. Seoul has bad traffic - not as bad as Shanghai or Mumbai, but worse than Tokyo. Staying at GHS has saved me 60-90 minutes per day in transit. You notice the difference in the mornings when you leave and in the evenings when you come back. Those who say location doesn't matter in Seoul are either delusional or lying. The hotel is located on a hill just north of the river; next to Seoul Tower. It has easy access in either direction as well as to Itaewon (a popular shopping and entertainment district for foreigners; close to the US Army base) which is a short 10-15 minute walk down the hill. The rooms at GHS are not as big and nice as the rooms at the Park Hyatt, but it's comfortable, clean and functional. I usually stay in the deluxe room at the end of the hotel. They are a bit far from the elevators, but they are bigger and quieter. If there is one complaint I have, it's the thin walls. If you have loud neighbors, you will hear them. If you are indiscreet, your neighbors will hear you. Personally, I would never stay in a standard room. The floorspace, bed and bathrooms are simply too small. I stand about 185cm (6'1") and the beds are too short - I need to sleep diagonally. If you are tall or need space, step up to the deluxe room - you will be much happier. I think rooms with a river view are nice, but the premium they charge over mountain view cannot be justified if you are on a tight corporate / personal budget. Do it once just to see the view in the early morning / night - it can be stunning at times. Overall, the facilities are very nice. I like to workout in the mornings and after work and GHS has a great gym and pool. In the mornings, I swim in the indoor pool which is a bit tricky. It's slightly longer than 25m and curves slightly to the right so if you're a regular swimmer, you will need to adjust your stroke / turn. When the weather is warm, you can swim in the outdoor pool which feels like its 30-35m long. There's always people sunbathing out there so it's a nice atmosphere. The gym (Club Olympus) is one of the nicest hotel gyms you will find. They have everything - free weights, machine weights, all types of cardio, yoga room - even a squash / racquet ball court. It's actually a private sports club open to hotel guests. If you like to work out when you're on the road, this is a great place for you. There is no better hotel gym / pool in Seoul. The restaurants and bars at GHS are nice. If you're meeting friends for coffee / tea, the lobby lounge is very nice with a great view of the river. In the evenings, they have live performances which is a nice touch. If you need more privacy, the Paris Bar downstairs is a nice place for drinks. The restaurants are all good; nothing over the top. I usually pick up a sandwich at the deli after my work out and eat it in my room before I head out for the night. Here's a good tip for budget consumers - deli food like sandwiches and pastries are 25-50% off after 7pm. JJ Mahoney's is a bar featuring live music located on the basement level. It caters to an English speaking crowd and on Thursday nights, it's jammed packed with young people. The business center is first rate. Meetings rooms are great and so is the staff - they can do just about anything. Be forewarned though - the services there are not cheap. Housekeeping staff is always courteous and keep the room very tidy. I usually tip the ladies 3000-5000 won per day and they make sure I am comfortable and have everything I need. Front desk staff is helpful and also very courteous. I've used the concierge a few times and they are adequate. Here are a few tips that you should know.
(1) Book early. This hotel hosts a number of conferences throughout the year so you may not get the room / rate you want. If you book early enough, you can actually get a great rate for a deluxe room. The hotel has very liberal cancellation policy so you can always cancel.
(2) Taxi lines in the morning / evening / rainy days can be very long so plan accordingly. The line at 1-2am on Thursday night (after JJ Mahoney closes) can get insanely long.
(3) Christmas at GHS is very festive. They put up a big tree in the lobby lounge and install an ice rink in the back. It's a nice touch for western guests.
(4) I am a fairly deep sleeper so instead of an alarm, I use wake up calls. The ringers on the phones are fairly quiet (because of the thin walls) so sometimes I miss them. My solution is to order breakfast before I go to bed and have it delivered when I want to wake up. Those guys never fail to wake me up.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Grand Hyatt Seoul, in the heart of the nation’s capital, is set amidst 18 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens at the foot of historic Mt. Namsan. Commanding breathtaking views of the Han River to the south and Mt. Namsan to the north, the hotel is only minutes away from the downtown commercial district and within walking distance of Itaewon, one of the city’s renowned shopping areas. The hotel is 70 minutes away from Incheon International Airport, 50 minutes from Gimpo Domestic Airport, 20 minutes from the Samsung-dong business hub, with most all of the city’s key districts within close proximity to the hotel.Hotel accommodations include 601 contemporary, luxuriously designed rooms and suites, using a selection of natural woods and fabrics to create a comfortable, residential ambience. The hotel hosts The Spa and Club Olympus recreation centre, a sanctuary of calm offering spa treatments, indoor & outdoor pools, tennis & squash courts and an ice skating rink.As a “multi-functional lifestyle destination”, cuisine plays a focal role at Grand Hyatt Seoul. The hotel boasts some of Seoul’s most magnificent 11 restaurants and bars, each showcasing its unique style and authenticity. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hyatt Seoul Hotel Seoul
- Seoul Grand Hyatt
- Hyatt Seoul
- Seoul Hyatt