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“Living up to the name”

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Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas
Ranked #30 of 471 Hotels in Seoul
Certificate of Excellence
Penang Island, Malaysia
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Living up to the name”
Reviewed January 12, 2013

I stayed in 2 hotels during this trip to Seoul. I just like to explore the old part of the city and the new Gangnam CBD. Gangnam is a very modern city, with wide street compare to the other side of the river. People are more up trend and dress up to the occasion. As the hotel name it's self said, the hotel is really Grand. From the time we set our foot out from the taxi, a well groom tall Doorman in his tall hat like any other luxury hotels have, welcome us with smile and greeting. The service from bell, reception up till the Club lounge were very courteous. As an ambassador member, we were upgraded to junior suite. Room is very spacious, well equiped and even has a iPhone for you to bring along. Only fault i found was the living room standing light power socket was damaged and exposed, it was dangerous to my kid. Housekeeping should pick this up when checking the room, obviously someone was not doing a good job. Just personal preference, I prefer new automatic bidet system with seat warmer than the convention one. Few things I don't like about the room, the sound proofing of the floor is very poor. I can hear our neighbour and upstair guests movement, especially the one staying above our room always wearing her heels walking around, even at 6am. The hotel piping system is building through the living room wall behind the TV. I can hear water draining whole night long. The room is using 2 pieces of vertical blinds for each window, this doesn't shade the room well. I was always woke up by the sunlight in the morning. Nonetheless, the room and bed is very comfortable. I don't think the flooring has warming system, it's freezing during winter. The club lounge breakfast selection is limited. Food are served through the day there. Try the pastry from the pastry shop, the buns are delicious and filling.
Hotel location is very convenience and easy accessible. It's connected to subway at the basement. Another good thing is the hotel is a KAL shuttle pick up point. You can buy the ticket and charge to your room at the hotel reception. It takes almost an hour ride to Incheon airport.

Room Tip: The additional cost for the club room definitely worth the spending, if you don't want to wake u...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank RainManPL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (146)
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Montreal, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2013 via mobile

I know, I know...it's an intercontinental...if you need to ask the price you can't afford it. Well yes...and no.
This hotel is definitely up there with the brand...classy service, excellent and easy check-in, attentive staff, great rooms at not-unreasonable Intercontinental prices (ie, $300 range) and if your a Platinum Priority Club Priority member you get the expected and always welcome upgrades etc. But once you're settled in to your luxury digs you're in for a bit of sticker-shock.

As usual with the ICG Range of hotels the more upscale the hotel the less is included. Stay at a holiday inn and you'll get free wifi, stay at the exponentially more expensive Intercontinental and expect not!

But this was not a great surprise and they do offer a package wifi/breakfast option for those of us booking through the online PC site which at $70/room of 2 includes wifi and the breakfast buffet which is positively enormous and a great place to stuff yourself stupid on all sorts of oriental exotica and other delicacies you're unlikely to stock in your fridge at home.The 'normal' rate for this feast is $45/person so if all your 12 year old child wants to eat is a bowl of cornflakes this might not be the place for you.

However, the biggest shocker is the cost of room service. Now I'm not afraid to drop a few sheckels on decent room service...afterall you pay for the convenience right? But I was not prepared whatsoever for the room service prices on display here...it felt like buying from an art-gallery: plate of fries $15, a soft drink $15, small cheese plate $40, large cheese plate $80, most plates of food in the $40-$50 range, $25 retail wine sold at $100 here. Quite the mark-up!
The large cheese plate may indeed have come on a 'large cheese plate' but the word 'large' did not apply to the rather airline-sized portions on offer. Breathtakingly overpriced...or am I being naive? Afterall, Seoul is the second most expensive city in Asia after Tokyo and even though the currency tricks you into believing you're in Thailand or Vietnam it is cruelly deceptive. Those 1000 won notes look cheap but they're worth a $ each so 40,000 won for a mediocre chicken curry is indeed food for thought.

So my advice, dont order room service or eat at any of these 5-star hotel restaurants unless you're on expenses. Eat locally and you'll pay $8-$10 for a plate of perfectly good noodles. Excellent wine can also be bought in a supermarket for normal money.

Having said all that, this is a five-star hotel in Gangnam-style and definitely lives up to the Intercontinental brand so if someone else is paying, or if you use reward nights, eat out and don't ever use the internet it's a relative bargain :-)

Finally, if you are visiting Seoul you must take a visit to the DMZ. It's a great trip and infinitely fascinating. If you want to visit the Pamunjeon village however you need to plan at least a week in advance...you cannot just turn up. All the other 'attractions' are included in the very well-organized...if hurried...bus tours that you have to take when you arrive there. It's a miracle that South Korea has become the thriving economic powerhouse it has become when you visit the DMZ. And note as well the barbed wire fences and lookouts along the river as soon as you leave Seoul heading north on the highway...all there to defend the city from a very real chance of attack.
It's a sobering thought indeed to think that you're only 50kms from World War Three as you tuck into your cheese-platter.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank NeilOakshott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kiev, Ukraine
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
93 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Stayed at this hotel for 3 nights during business trip to Seoul. Check in process was smooth, fast and efficient. My room was located on 24th floor: very big, well kept, with fantastic view - towards river and mountains at the back, with COEX complex in front. Super comfy bed with feather pillows; huge bathroom, with walk-in shower and separate bath tube. Aveda bath amenities, bathrobe and slippers (of very good quality). Room was equipped with big flat screen TV, mini-bar, free coffee and tea making facilities, iron and ironing board, free safe. Breakfast was really very good - good variety to choose from, high quality of products on every taste (incl. International and Korean dishes). Swimming pool (25 m long) - almost empty at all times I've been visiting it, good fitness center. Public areas spotlessly clean and up to the high standard of the hotel in general. Very friendly and helpful staff trying to fulfill every single guest request. Small example: I did ask for late check-out and as Priority club member was easily given check out till 3 PM, while after sightseeing returned to hotel only around 3 so asked for another hour if possible - was done with the smile! Location: hotel is very conveniently located if you would like to spend some time shopping and entertaining yourself at COEX (adjacent to the hotel) or Lotte World (only few metro stops from hotel), also a lot of restaurants nearby, metro station Samseong (219) is less than a minute from hotel. At the same time you have to be prepared for 35-40 min trip to the historic center of Seoul (which is located on the other bank of the river). All in all high class Interconti hotel in good location which definitely can be recommended for both business and leisure stays..

Room Tip: Ask for upper floor rooms facing the river/COEX
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank VitaliyS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
188 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

The hotel is located next to the subway station, called Samsung station. The hotel room is spacious, but seems a little bit old. The bed was comfortable. The staffs are kind. The hotel is far away from tourist attractions.
I stayed at the odd-numbered room, which has a view of the back of the hotel. The even numbered room will have a better city view.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chul A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012

I have been there a few times, and I have never been disappointed. Service is courteous, always available, and never annoying.I forgot some clothes, they sent them back very diligently without asking for anything.The rooms are great, last one was a mini-suite with all the perks you need and more. The executive lounge at the top for breakfast, or interviews or private talks is also well mannned, with all the assistance you may need in a country that still resists English..And if you like smoking a good Habannas, they have a cigar lounge, well insulated so non-smokers don't get polluted, while afficionados enjoy their passion, the best of both world> The only downside might be the breakfast room, that looks like more a cafetaria...quite surprising for such a hotel.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GilPic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mesa, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
130 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2012

We stayed here at the Interncontinental Grand Seoul for 3-nights and found the hotel room spacious and very comfortable. The front desk service was good with quick check-in / check-out, friendly and helpful. The hotel breakfast buffet was excellent in quality and selection but quite expensive. We also had lunch at the hotel Cafe Espresso which as a nice atmosphere, good food but also expensive. One of the main reasons that we had selected this hotel is its location - directly connected to the huge, underground COEX Mall and close proximity to some of the most popular tourist attractions in Seoul (National Folk Museum, Gyeongbokgung Palace, etc.).

One of the entrances to the popular COEX Mall is just steps away (downstairs) from the hotel main lobby area - very convenient since you do not even have to go outdoors to visit the Mall. At the Mall, there are many restaurants and shops to select from. We found the restaurants at the Mall very reasonably priced and quality of food at the places we had visited to be good as well.

Overall, the Intercontinental Grand Seoul hotel is a very nice hotel for visiting Seoul and I would highly recommend it for its great location, spacious and comfortable rooms and good service.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AZCasualTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2012 via mobile

This is no doubt a good hotel, but as compared to other 5 stars in seoul similar area, it is quite expensive. Service is good, breakfast is lavish, but again quite expensive. Bit old style, but the suite was good.

Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Rohitkale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas

Property: Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas
Address: 521, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06164, South Korea
Phone Number:
Location: South Korea > Seoul > Samseongdong / COEX
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#19 Business Hotel in Seoul
#21 Luxury Hotel in Seoul
#26 Romantic Hotel in Seoul
#36 Family Hotel in Seoul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas 5*
Number of rooms: 517
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Seoul, the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas is an ideal place for business travellers thanks to the hotel's proximity to KWTC, COEX, CALT, DFS, department stores and theaters. Operating with 517 spacious rooms, the hotel has completed a 10 month project of lobby, restaurants and banquet halls to look more glamorous. The new Grand Ballroom, the largest and the most updated in Korea is perfect for any event, while exquisite cuisines await you in all five hotel restaurants. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Intercontinental Seoul Parnas Hotel Seoul
Intercontinental Seoul

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