Just came back from a 6-night stay on Lotte Hotel World, which is housed in a mega-complex that links to the Lotte World Adventure indoor theme park, Lotte Department Store (including restaurants and duty-free shopping), Lotte Mart (supermarket which conveniently closes at 12mn), a theatre and the Jamsil subway station. In short, a very convenient all-in-one location, albeit further from many of the Seoul city attractions (Gyongbokgong palace, namdaemun street market, etc.) that are north of the river (Lotte Hotel World is south of the river that divides Seoul into two). But there is a free shuttle bus that runs both ways between this hotel and Lotte Hotel Seoul (north of the river and nearer the various attractions) at 9am, 10:30am, 12nn, 3pm, 4:30pm and 7pm. Though reservations are not strictly required, it's helpful to let the hotel staff know in advance what time you'll be taking the shuttle, so the shuttle will be expecting you (do the same at the Bell Desk when returning from Lotte Hotel Seoul).
I traveled with my dear wifey, 3yo daughter and 7months old son. We took advantage of the hotel's airport receiving and sendoff service (290000KRW, which you can request when booking the room on their websit), which was a bit pricey but just the hassle-free solution we needed when travelling with two young children and plenty of luggage. You will be met at the arrival hall and ushered to your own private minivan. Takes about 1.5 - 2 hrs to and from the Incheon airport, depending on traffic. Drivers were courteous and patient in answering whatever questions we had. There's even free wifi on-board (via an olleh wifi egg).
Check-in was hassle free. We arrived at around 11am, well ahead of the 3pm check-in time. The hotel managed to get our character room ready by 12noon. In the meantime, we had lunch in one of the restaurants at the 11th floor of the adjoining Lotte Department Store. The room was pleasantly appointed and came well stocked with everything we requested... extra pillows, baby cot and even a large milk bottle sterilizer! Our first four nights were in a room facing the exterior of the hotel. For our last two nights, we requested to change to a room facing the Lotte World Adventure park (costs 34000KRW extra per night). Well worth the view! Room was exactly the same, but you get to see directly into the huge indoor section of the theme park. They even provided a pair of binoculars by the window for you to spy on the action below. You can catch the daily parade and the multimedia show in the evening. Only thing is you don't actually get to see any sky/sunlight as your window is facing the enclosed indoor park.
In terms of getting around, there was always a smiling hotel staff at the lobby waiting to assist us in giving us directions and helping to communicate with the taxi drivers on where we wanted to go. Be sure to get a card of the hotel which you can show the taxi drivers (most do not speak much English) when returning. (Though usually most will understand if you say 'Lotte World' and 'Jamsil'. Just make sure they are not confusing it with Lotte Hotel Seoul.)
Oh and we also borrowed two strollers from the front desk for use throughout our stay. Free of charge, and very convenient (even for pushing our bags and piles of jackets) so you don't have to bring your own stroller to Seoul.
We made two separate day trips to the Onemount snow park and the Everland theme park. With two little kids we took the taxi to those locations instead of the bus/subway options. According to the hotel staff, only the black/premium taxis will go to these areas which are out of town (cost slightly more than the regular white or orange taxis). About 1-2 hours each way (varies widely due to traffic), which costs about 55000-60000KRW. What we found really helpful was that the taxis were willing to pick us up for the return trip as well, so we didn't have to worry about finding transport back to the hotel. Went at around 12noon and the drivers were willing to wait to pick us up at 6pm. YMMV - Just be sure to communicate clearly (through the hotel staff) your expected return time and pick up point before getting on the taxi. Helpful to also have the address and phone numbers of the locations, so that the taxi drivers can enter into their GPS.
In terms of eating options, there was plenty... from the more upscale restaurants at the Lotte Department Store, to fast food options at the basement levels. Do try the Lotteria fast food joint, which is almost like their version of McDonalds with burgers, nuggets, etc. Then there is also the Lotte Mart supermarket. Be sure to try their banana milk and the really yummy MarketO brownies. We got more of the brownies which are great as souvenirs. Comes packed in a box with 4 smaller boxes with 7 brownies in each box. The outer box is sturdy and good for packing into check-in luggage without the smaller boxes getting squished. And some cute pororo-branded stationery too as presents.
As I mentioned in the beginning, the convenient thing is that the department store, restaurants, theme park, supermarket and the Jamsil subway station are all linked, so you don't have to worry about stepping outdoors (esp. in the Dec winter... which can be about 1-5 degrees celsius and chilly for the little ones). But do note that the department store (which links the hotel and the other places) closes at around 8:30 or 9pm each day. So you'd need to take a detour through the Jamsil subway to get back to the hotel. (There's a nice Krispy Kreme outlet at the hotel end of the subway that opens till late too!)
I'd like to end off this review by giving my deepest appreciation to the manager and the staff on duty on 5 Dec afternoon. We returned to the hotel via taxi and I discovered shortly after that I'd dropped my camera in the taxi. Rushed down to the lobby frantically and the staff asked if I knew the taxi number. I didn't... So the manager on duty and his staff immediately combed through the CCTV recording, made out the taxi number and called the taxi company. Managed to locate the camera and the taxi driver kindly delivered it back to the hotel. (Lesson learnt... always note down the taxi number! But of course, be careful with your belongings to begin with!)
Will happily recommend this hotel to anyone holidaying in Seoul. Has almost all the facilities/amenities you need in one place, so its an excellent base from which to explore Seoul and the surrounding attractions, especially if you're travelling with kids. Made our first trip to Korea a very memorable one. Will certainly be back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Lotte Hotel World is located in Jamsil, the center of the south of Seoul, providing easy downtown access and convenience. Lotte Hotel World, a resort-type business hotel, is directly connected to the beautiful Seokchon Lake and the Lotte World Adventure, one of the world`s largest indoor theme parks. You can feel more special in our character room decorated with the Lotte World Adventure characters "Loti" and "Lory". Equipped with world-renowned international conference halls and banquet halls for special days, Lotte Hotel World is an urban hotel where guests can experience everything from various amusement and rest, adventure and romance, and business and sightseeing at once. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lotte Hotel Seoul