Hotel Group: Hyatt Hotels
Hotel Category: Cat 5
Hotel Status: Globalist
Booking Type: Cash & Points Stay
Room Type: Park Suite King
The Park Hyatt Seoul is a 5-star hotel located in the Gangnam district (southern part of Seoul) and was built in 2005. It occupies a stunning 24-story building with 185 rooms and 38 suites.
I had several different options for booking a Park King back in April for three nights. I could have paid the Standard rate of 405,000 KRW ($353 USD) per night or I could have redeemed 20,000 Hyatt points per night since this was a category 5 hotel (arguably the best category 5 in the whole Hyatt portfolio). But I wanted to accumulate the stay credits, so I chose to use cash+points, which came out to be 10,000 Hyatt points plus 139,810 KRW ($122ish USD) per night.
This hotel has a ton of standard suites, so I applied a suite upgrade at the time of booking and was confirmed in a Park Suite King. The suite was going for 555,000 KRW ($485 USD) per night, so by leveraging my Globalist status and applying points, I was able to stay in an almost $500 room for $122 a night. I was also able to get 3.6 cents apiece for my points, if we’re calculating the value of the suite, so that’s a pretty good deal if you ask me. I earned 3150 Hyatt points on my stay, making the redemption even better.
I’m a big fan of setting up transportation through the hotel when I’m staying in a country I’ve never been to before and where I don’t speak the language. Now, that’s probably the most expensive way to go about it, but the last thing I want after flying for 30 hours (LAX-DXB-ICN), is a hassle trying to get to the hotel. I contacted Hyatt Concierge on twitter a few days prior to arrival to set up transportation. The ride cost about $165, which is very high, but whatever. As soon as I got through customs I was escorted right to the car and I had a nice ride in a BMW to the hotel. The driver was professional, and the car had Wi-Fi, so that was huge. The only photo I got of the car was the inside.
I landed about 4pm so we had heavy traffic most of the way to the hotel. It took about an hour and 15 minutes, which felt like three hours, because I was pretty hung over from my airborne free-for-all, courtesy of Emirates first class.
On the way back to the airport I forgot to ask for a regular cab and they put me in a black taxi which cost about $85. A regular taxi would have been about half that so don’t forget to ask for a regular taxi when leaving the hotel.
I was immediately greeted by the bellhop when I arrived and my bags were taken. They escorted me to the elevators that take you to the 24th floor where the lobby and reception desk are.
As soon as the elevator doors open the reception desk is directly in front of you.
The receptionist wasn’t as friendly as I was expecting. She wasn’t rude or anything but not the friendly check-in processes I’m used to. Her English wasn’t great, so I just took it as a lost in translation kind of thing. After receiving my room key, she explained that the two right elevators go to the guest rooms and the two left elevators go back down to the ground level and the restaurants.
The one thing she did ask me while checking in was if I wanted the points credited to Mlife or Hyatt. I’ve never been asked that. I had recently stayed at the Bellagio, but I don’t know what that would have to do with it.
As I mentioned the lobby is located on the 24th floor. Just left of the reception desk and concierge desk is The Lounge. This is where they serve traditional Korean teas and afternoon dining and desserts.
The Lounge offers some great panoramic views of Seoul.
Just past The Lounge is the pool and fitness center but I’ll get into that a bit later.
I had room 1205. After getting off the elevators it felt very residential, like most Park Hyatt’s do. There are only ten rooms max to a floor so it’s very quiet and calming (for a lack of a better word). The art and artifacts located behind the glass in the walls were a cool touch.
The basic layout of the room is, you enter in the living area and to the left was the bedroom and then the bathroom. The pictures will pretty much explain the room. I’ll start with the living room.
I know you all are dying to see a close up, of the dining room table and fruit, so here you go.
As you can see the views were quite good at night. I had a great view of the Trade Tower.
The coffee and mini bar are located in the drawers along with the safe and a few miscellaneous items.
The mini bar prices were decent.
In the next room was the bedroom. The bed was on the firm side. I prefer a soft bed, but I still considered this to be very comfortable.
Above the nightstands were the controls for the blackout curtains, lighting controls, and the thermostat. I usually complain about there not being power outlets on each side of the bed but for some reason I wasn’t annoyed that this only had it on one side.
For all you TV watchers here’s the list of channels.
Just in front of the bed was the closet. It separated the bedroom from the bathroom. It was kind of a closet for both the bathroom and bedroom as you could open it from both sides.
In the drawers were the laundry kit and another robe. I don’t think it was a Hanbok, but I don’t really know, because I didn’t unwrap it all the way. It was definitely different from the robe hanging up.
And for the exciting stuff. Hang on to your seat! The laundry menu prices. Per usual with hotels they were high. They also offered shoe shining.
This part of reviews reminds me of Marianna saying it’s like reading Stereo instructions. Bored out of my mind! 😉 I think my Editor-in-Chef is the only one who keeps reading after this part.
Ok, let’s move on.
There are a couple things worth mentioning about the room. During the night this loud hissing would come on and wake me up. It sounded like it was coming from the water pipes. I couldn’t hear it in the hallway, just in my room. It happened ever night, pretty annoying. The blackout curtains worked great at night but when the sun came up they didn’t work so well. Not a big deal but worth mentioning. Also, the windows are not sound proof so noise from the road below can be heard easily.
The bathroom was great with a huge sink and vanity area and a walk-in shower with a soaking tub. The toilet was behind a glass door just to the left. The shower pressure was spot-on and hot water was immediate.
As with most fine hotels I’ve stayed at in Asia the toilet is also a bidet. If I were in college and needing a theme for my thesis I would write about how great bidets are. Best invention ever. The controls were located on the wall next to the telephone and don’t get me started on toilet telephones.
The toiletries were from Aēsop. I put these right up the with Le Labo. Some of the best soaps you’ll find.
The bathroom came stocked with shaving and dental kits, but in case you forgot something, they’ll gladly bring you almost anything you need. Here’s the menu.
As you can tell I love menus. Bet you can’t wait for the 14 page room service menu coming up soon in the restaurant/food section. It’s a real game changer.
The fitness room is located past the pool on the 24th floor. It was decent in size, not huge but not small. The equipment was from TechnoGym.
As you can tell the views were good. Even though it was hazy that day.
Beside the entrance was the water, headphones, and towels.
The heated infinity pool located beside the gym is made of Granite. This is not a kid friendly pool. Kids under 6 can’t use it at any time and from the hours of 7pm to 10:30pm kids of all ages are not allowed to use it. I applaud these rules. Damn kids get off my yard. This is more of a lap pool. So, don’t expect to be throwing a beach ball around. One interesting thing about it is guests in The Lounge can see into the pool area. So, you’re kind of on display doing laps. I didn’t mind but some might.
As you can see the pool is simple but at night is when it really shines. I find Park Hyatts do pools very well.
They have a safety and hygiene standard plaque on the wall explaining the pool a bit.
Park Club Spa
The spa is located on the 23rd floor. It can be accessed by a stairwell between the gym and pool. I don’t think there’s elevator access because when I left I had to go back up the steps through the lounge and use the elevators in front of the reception desk. I was in my robe but was told it was ok. Some people might feel weird, about strolling through the lounge while business men and women sip tea and have lunch, but I didn’t care.
At the bottom of the steps they have a citrus bar.
To the right of the bar and down the hall is where the men’s locker room is located.
The men’s locker room has a hot tub, cold plunge, showers, and an area to relax.
They provide you with sandals and a swim suit if you don’t have one. The swim suit, let me just say, they were not my typical trunks. Little on the tight side.
I was hoping to get a photo of a treatment room, but the associate I encountered spoke no English, so I didn’t push it.
Here’s the spa menus.
The hotel has three different restaurant concepts. The Lounge, Cornerstone, and The Timber House, as well as room service.
Cornerstone is an Italian restaurant located on the 2nd floor. It’s also where they serve breakfast at until 10:30am. I had breakfast here every day. It had a ton of people in it every time I arrived, so I was unable to get all the photos I wanted but I managed a few.
The breakfast spread was a mix of Korean and American I guess you could say.
You can also order off a limited menu. As you can see the buffet and menu are $45 but it was free for me being a Globalist with Hyatt.
I never had dinner here, so I can’t speak on that, but the breakfast offerings were exceptional.
Let’s move onto The Lounge. I’ve already covered most of The Lounge but one day I did have tea and ice cream. The ice cream was fantastic.
Let’s move on to The Timber House. I could write-up a whole review of this place but I’m going to keep it short. The Timber House is located on the lower level. You can access it from the elevators or from the outside entrance.
They call this place an entertainment restaurant and bar. It has a sushi/sake bar as well as a cocktail and whiskey bar. I sat at the bar on two different occasions. The first night I was there they were playing Frank Sinatra and Michael Bublé music over the speakers. Reminded me of being in a steakhouse. The second night was a little better when they had a person playing the piano.
The service here was excellent. The first night I arrived the gentleman I assume was a manager greeted me and served me my first drink and introduced himself. The second visit, which was two nights later, he remembered my name and welcomed me again. The cocktails were very expensive. About $25 a pop but this should be expected when you go into one of the best hotels in the city. The food however wasn’t too badly priced considering. Here is the bar menu.
I ended up having dinner here one night. I had the Sashimi salad and the Korean pork Ramen with garlic oil. Both were great.
I consider myself pretty good with chopsticks but in Korea they use metal chopsticks and it was a struggle eating wet noodles. I looked like an amateur.
Overall, I thought the restaurant was well done.
Last one, room service. I ordered room service the moment I arrived at the hotel. I was super tired from my flight and just wanted something quick, so I could go to bed so I ordered two different noodle dishes. It was an over-order big time, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. The noodles were good and the side of kimchi was probably the best I’ve ever had.
When I called for room service, as with most fine hotels, they greeted me by name and when they brought the food up I didn’t sign any bill which was maybe a first for me.
Now, for the show stopper. For the one person who will actually look at the room service menus. Here ya go.
And for shits and giggles because I’m on a roll with menus, here’s a menu for all the things you could buy at the hotel.
I’ll give service an 8.5. Just because the receptionist wasn’t very friendly. But I can’t say enough about everyone else I encountered, especially the gentleman at The Timber House and the lovely associate working on the bottom level helping with taxis. Her name was Dasom Gu. She was extremely helpful and made sure the taxi guys knew where I was wanting to go. Here is a picture of the taxi card they give you when you leave the hotel.
I’ve stayed at five different Park Hyatts now and I think I have a good idea about how they like to run their hotels. I can say I was very pleased with this stay. From the moment I arrived, besides the receptionist, I was impressed with the small details. Even riding the elevators was quite enjoyable. The lighting would change every few seconds to a different color.
I can’t believe this place is a category 5 hotel. There’s no doubt it would be a 7 in the states. I would recommend it to anyone and I would be very surprised if there was a better hotel in Seoul.
One thing I would recommend is stay away from black taxis. They are expensive, and the regular cabs, are just as good.