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“Well-round business hotel in the heart of Gangnam District” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas

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Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas
Ranked #27 of 469 Hotels in Seoul
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
60 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Well-round business hotel in the heart of Gangnam District”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

This is a good hotel that is well-known and located conveniently next to the entrance of Samseoung subway station and connected to the COEX convention center and COEX mall. The surrounding area is filled with plenty of restaurants, shops, and department stores. I took the KAL Limousine bus from Incheon airport and it took 1 1/2 hours to reach the lobby of the hotel where a host stood ready to greet and help you. The hotel is the last stop of the KAL bus so don't get off when the bus stops at Intercontinental COEX because it's a different hotel (though only separated by 10 mins walk).

My first impression about the hotel is it is definitely grand in size. The decor is tasteful and it is very clean and spotless. The check-in process was very swift with the receptionist smiling and saying thank you all the time. The receptionist was also very informative about the benefits that I can get because I had the access to Club Lounge. However, he was also very apologetic with the fact that the swimming pool, sauna, and fitness center being renovated for one full year. It seems that the hotel is indeed undergoing a major facelift as I saw many shops, some facilities, etc were closed to public. The temporary fitness center is rather small but quite well-equipped with free weights, bench press, squat machine, static bicycle, water supply, clean towels, even shoes and gym clothes for those who forget to bring one. I find it very thoughtful from the hotel.

Speaking about the room, the size is okay though I would say it is rather on the small side of the spectrum. I'd say around 30sqm max. The bed is perhaps also not a king-size bed, maybe a queen size would be more appropriate. The TV is attached to the wall and can be positioned by using the telescopic arm for more comfortable view from the bed. What I found very nice is I could change the type of pillow according to my liking (though I didn't opt for this service). The free pressing service for one suit is a nice touch too. The bathroom is roomy and all made from high quality marble. Toiletries are exhaustive and the complimentary mineral water bottles are stocked every day. My room had the view of the COEX convention hall and the Seoul Trade Center. Perhaps the other side of the building will give more commanding view of Seoul than the one I had in my room.

I made use of the cocktail happy hour at the Club Lounge almost every day as it was a nice experience to be there. Beverage is extensive. You can even get some traditional Korean makoli which I enjoyed very much. The Lounge Manager was always very courteous, informative, and happy to assist you. Once I inquired about the ingredients of the korean makoli and she made a little investigation and gave me a report on my question. I still didn't know what makoli is made off (she mentioned some strange plant in Latin words) but I was impressed with her attentiveness. There were two drawbacks that I noted. The food selection was not very extensive and didn't really vary day-to-day. This was not just for the cocktail happy hour. it is also for the breakfast service. Perhaps going downstairs will give justice on what Grand intercon offers to their guests. The other being the fact that the Lounge was perhaps understaffed as I only saw one or two waiters working during my visits. Sometimes there were used plates and glasses still on the tables.

In summary:
+ Clean and spotless
+ Staff is kind, helpful, and attentive
+ The extra benefits for having Club Lounge access

+/- Location is right next to a subway station and the hotel is served by super convenient KAL limousine bus. But the hotel is also very far away from Incheon airport and popular tourist attractions like the Royal Palace, Insa-Dong, Dongdaemun, etc
+/- The hotel is expensive. I am lucky I got free wifi, breakfast, etc. Otherwise, it would be very costly
+/- Room is nicely decorated, well-equipped, and clean. But the size is quite small

- It's quite dark in the hotel. In the lobby, in the foyer, in the aisle to leading to your room. I don't know if it is meant to be that way or they are trying to save on electricity bill
- The swimming pool is closed
- COEX mall leaves nothing to be desired. There are plenty of better shopping malls, department stores, and shops in Seoul compared to the COEX mall.

All in all, I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel especially if you are on a business trip. Consistent service, professional staff, and easy access in Gangnam area.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on higher floors and facing Teheran street so you can see the mountain and Gangnam di...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank NLY39739
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (145)
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English first
Fort Myers, Florida
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2013

I stayed at this hotel 14 years ago for the 1st time. I stayed in this hotel for 3 weeks when I traveled for business. I stayed here again in January for 3 nights and 4 days also for business. I love the hotel. The rooms were awesome. Being a Intercontinental Ambassador i was blessed to get an automatic upgrade. The rates were not bad. Much better than the Intercontinental in Hong Kong. I will say their breakfast buffet was very weak. Not one of my favorites! It was free with the room, so who can complain. The location is great it is in the heart of Gangnam, Yes, the infamous area that the Asian rapper raps about. The area is like the Beverly Hills of South Korea. It's clean, and safe to walk around at night, and there is a lot of shopping at your fingertips. The Hotel's location has a lot to offer. The staff is amazing and always very very accommodating. Their lounge area is very very nice. Great place to have after dinner drinks, or just hang out and listen to the piano. They do not have a great wine selection, but I hear they have amazing Mojitos !

Room Tip: If you can try and ask for a room upgrade, and if you can afford it, and are a frequent traveler who...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Quovardis1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes
Level Contributor
46 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2013

I arrived here on a business trip. The hotel 1. charged me 40% extra for the checking in three hours earlier even though the room was ready. and 2. I also paid US$48 for a package to have internet and breakfast - very expensive per day so you may want to check when you make your reservation what is most cost effective.
The rooms are big, clean and comfortable, but the hairdryer didn't work in my room in the bathroom, so i had no mirror against which to dry my hair so pretty much had bad hair days in the office each morning. There was no ironing board or iron in the room. I didn't ask for it, because i was working very long hours in the office, i was too exhausted to come back and go through that hassle and then start ironing - i managed however i could.
they do provide complimentary bottled water. The breakfast is very good (but i wouldn't expect any less for the price), you do hear the cars if you are facing the main road. i was on the 12th floor so if you are a light sleeper, you may want to ask for a quiet room. The rooms and bathrooms, whilst clean and somewhat modern do look a little run down now and in need of uplifting.
The Japanese is pointless for vegetarians. All the noodles are cooked in chicken stock. If you like beef, and sushi it is a good option. The Italian is okay. We loved the Asia Live restaurant at the Coex intercon - sister hotel - 10 min walk. They have Chinese, Korean and Indian menu - the food is amazing! If you book a table you can be seated in your own private room. The price is also reasonable for a 5* hotel - i paid US $45 for an indian curry, which came with rice, naan and pickles and popadom. Service is excellent.
There is a massive underground mall attached to this hotel. next to it is a big dept store - Hyundai dept store. Shopping is okay but not the best. The individual concessions in the dept store get quite annoying as they harass you as soon as you enter their area. It is an okay shopping experience. There are other, better places to shop. Not many tourist type shops if you are looking for local authentic gifts. Insadong is a better place to get local gifts although the prices are quite high. The underground area also has loads of eating areas - chinese, italian, (and pizza - loads of them), thai, korean, etc. Some reasonable quality restaurants as well as some dives, as well as the all American influence - pizza hut, macdonalds, Quiznos, dunkin donuts and so on.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BeansMiltonKeynes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas, responded to this review, July 16, 2013
Dear BeansMiltonKeynes,

Thank you for leaving a comprehensive review, highlighting not only the bad but also the good. We are so pleased you liked the cleanliness of the room accommodations you received and the convenient location of our hotel in the area. We would like to apologize for the over all experience you had that fell below your expectations. We take our guest comments very seriously and always strive to provide comfortable and friendly accommodations. Your review will be used to consider improvements needed and we hope that you can give us a chance to show what we have done.

Sincerely,

Anthony M
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
45 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

I have travelled regularly to Seoul since 1999, a few times a year, and while the trips are long and tiring, the Intercontinental has always been the high point of the trip. To me, it is the ideal business hotel, for the following reasons:

Pros
BIGGEST for me-- it is so simple to take the KAL shuttle to-from Incheon. I always stress about transportation in cities, but the shuttle couldn't be easier. It's about 70 minutes (more, in traffic) and is reasonably priced-- and it drops you off right at the hotel. Regular stops for drop-off and pickup, every 30 minutes. Feels very safe and couldn't be easier.

The buffet breakfast is a-ma-zing. Just fantastic-- including Asian, American, and Euro options. Omelette station, sushi, dim sum. Delicious. And for some reason, the coffee they serve is especially good (and I'm a coffee snob.) The service is perfect-- always available but never intrusive.

Coffee press/hot pot in the room (I bring my own coffee.) Very handy. Also large TV with reasonable channel selection (not always available in Asia.)

Concierge is helpful and makes everything easy.

Convenience store off lobby, with soda, a few snacks, and small gifts, nice late hours.

Connected to the COEX/mall-- very near the food court and other mall stores.

Giant bar area off main lobby is comfortable and feels very safe, even when I've been there alone.

Gym is very nice-- beautiful large indoor pool (which is rarely used), plenty of cardio machines looking out onto the Korea World Trade Center, a few weight machines, yoga room. Towels and water always available.

Cons
Again, not really a con for business travel, as it is paid by my company, but the cost is substantial, at least compared to my normal company hotels. Plus, they charge over $40/day for internet, which is frustrating to me-- especially because in many of the rooms, the wireless does not work (although the wired version is always available and very reliable.)

I've seen some comments on the views, but this is a hotel in the downtown of Seoul-- so you get the view of the Gangnam area, which is ideally located for business.

The service is truly excellent-- employees are very nice and attentive.

Highly recommended for the business traveller.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank WaveMachine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OC
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2013

I was in Seoul for the weekend and stayed 1 night here recently. The hotel is in a great area and connected to Samsung station so it was very convenient to get around Seoul. I didn't really get to explore the hotel at all. I was only in and out of the room but the room was very spacious and I had a great view of the city being on the 23rd floor. I had a king size bed which was very plush and comfortable. The bathroom however was not as nice. The tub and shower seemed a little outdated. There was a sitting area with 2 chairs which was nice. It was my first time at a InterContinental establishment. I usually stay within the Marriott family and I have to say that the JW Marriott is a notch better especially in the bathroom area.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Stellaness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
43 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2013

Seoul with snow was very nice. After one hour by bus from Incheon Airport, it was a plesure to have a so warm welcome upon arrival in the hotel.
I reserved in Club IC and it was a good choice.
Fruits in the room when arriving and very good service and offer in club lounge at breakfast and evening coktails.
All the staff is very pleasant and ready to help you.
Nice swimming pool.
Bonus is the situation at less than 50 meters to the Airport City Terminal where you can check in with a lot of airlines and also doing the immigration formalities.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank alain71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Vernon, Ohio
Level Contributor
58 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2013

What a fantastic place. One of my favorites. Rooms are clean and up to date. It has a great location for walking around, lots of shopping around the corner. Pricing is a bit steep though for food and drinks, but maybe it’s just me being frugal. One of the big things in my book, they have freshly brewed coffee 24/7 in the lobby, great when you get up at 3 am after a long flight and jet-lag.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BalaShark
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
#22 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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