Happy kids, happy family!: Hotel Kids Clubs are here
Children’s vacation season has officially begun. With many busy Seoulites without the time to go far away for a vacation, a staycation seems like the right answer. Saving you the double trouble of time and being with kids, a number of hotels in Korea are presenting a variety of ‘kids’ lounges,’ exclusively designed for families with little ones. From a fairyland and a swanky racing park to a children’s camping zone where your kids can get away from the concrete jungle and run around, select Seoul hotels this season are full of family-friendly activities perfect for kids and hassle-free holiday destination for parents.
The Westin Chosun Seoul Lounge and Bar
Celebrating its 103rd anniversary this year, The Westin Chosun Seoul is back with a modern classic look, one that extends to the renewed bar. This may come as a surprise to many who are familiar with Seoul’s 5-star hotel scene; unlike its counterparts, such as the Four Seasons’ Charles H. and the JW Marriott’s The Griffin, the Westin Chosun Hotel Lounge and Bar come with a distinct name while being located nonchalantly on the first floor of the hotel. The Lounge & Bar has, however, distinguished itself by offering some of the most creative cocktails in the city. This is largely thanks to the leadership of bartender Kim Dae-wook, who has placed in the top ten in 2012, 2014 and 2016 at ‘World Class Korea,’ the regional version of the internationally-recognized cocktail competition. Kim’s creative cocktail list is now ten years in the making, indicating Kim’s dedication to crafting the best and most unique drinks. While the Milk Tea Cocktail, featured at the 2012 World Class Korea competition, is the bar’s signature drink, there’s another cocktail stands out from the rest: Chai Wallah. By infusing the traditional chai spice with Guatemalan Zacapa Rum, French Cointreau, fresh lime juice and whipped cream, the Chai Wallah offers a surprisingly excellent balance. Do beware of the unsubtle notes of curry in the drink, though. Aside from these cocktails, the bar also offers cocktails representing specific eras from the 1700s to the 21st century. Kim is also behind the moving bar
[New open] Hilton Busan
Tis' the season for pools and beaches. Especially for those of us living amid the hustle and bustle of Seoul, a heady oasis to retreat to is dearly longed for during the summer days. But as it’s often found to be quite far out of reach, few options remain for those who wish to remain in the peninsula and many end up resorting to an overseas destination. But from mid July, those who’ve been seeking a sleek environment and unrivalled hospitality won't have to look further than our beloved Busan, as the Old East Busan Tourism Complex (OSIRIA) of Gijang County welcomes the new Hilton location. Built right on the seafront, Hilton Busan showcases two infinity pools, an adult-only (13 years of age or older) pool, a kids’ pool as well as an indoor pool with an enticing view of the coastline offering a peaceful backdrop. As for the accommodation, the fresh watery paradise is equipped with 310 deluxe rooms and suites with the minimum size of 60 square meters. Many of them are sea-facing, offering a picture-perfect scenery of cascades and coastal sunrises, while featured in the mountain-view rooms is a bath with a large window letting in all the natural light. A contemporary getaway filled with sumptuous leisure facilities, the 10-story hotel features 4 restaurants and bars including McQueen's Bar & Grill offering a rooftop seats and an outdoor pool bar where you can sip cocktails and enjoy the sunset while you swim. Hilton Busan guests are also welcomed at the directly-connected Anan
Happy hour, 7 days a week: Unlimited wine and beer deals offered at select Seoul hotels
More than a dozen types of wine and beer paired with fancy bar snacks? These unlimited booze deals offered at select Seoul hotels are some of the best ways for some good ol' drunken merrymaking in Seoul. Happy hour, 7 days a week—that's plenty of hours to be happy.
Haute bingsu? Hotel bingsu!
A national dessert obsession, the bingsu (shaved ice) season is here. This summer, premium versions of the usual red bean and milk syrup bingsu are available at select Seoul hotels while a variety of rather outrageously decadent selections are also being showcased. Sure, spending several man-wons is crazy extravagant, but hey, YOLO, right?
On the 87th floor to the 101st floor of Korea’s tallest building (the Lotte World Tower), is the all new luxurious Signiel Seoul hotel. Designed using aesthetics from both east and west, the hotel consists of 235 guest room, 42 of which are suites. Each room offers a fantastic panoramic view of Seoul and is equipped with a super-premium bedding system that will help you get the sleep you deserve. Located on the 81st floor are the STAY, Modern Restaurant run by 3 Michelin Star chef Yanick Alleno and the 1 Michelin Star contemporary Korean find dining restaurant BICENA. Also on the same floor is BAR 81, a champagne bar known to have the most extensive champagne collection in Korea. Other services open to hotel guests are the Salon De Signiel (a lounge), the Evian Spa and also the emerald colored indoor swimming pool overlooking the Han River. Signiel Seoul hotel is the ultimate luxury experience Seoul has to offer.
Vista Walkerhill Seoul, freshly opened on Walkerhill-ro
Vista Walkerhill has finally opened its doors. It's what was previously known as W Seoul Walkerhill has detached itself from the W brand and started fresh as Vista Walkerhill after completing its large-scale renovation. The all-new Vista Walkerhill promotes "sustainable luxury" and it can be felt upon entering the lobby complete with an 800-year-old olive tree, which has been brought there all the way from Sicily by world-renowned “plant hunter” Seijun Nishihata. The collaboration with the Walkerhill marks Nishihata's very first curation project in Korea. On the ceiling above the impressive tree is a digital project showcasing projection mapping twice a day. It is a digital art piece led by Art Center Nabi, robotics art group Team Void and media artist Gamja and Chips. There is yet another area within the hotel that boasts the sense of sustainable luxury. It’s the 4th-floor outdoor botanical garden which has been named SKYARD. The green garden includes a foot bath with a scenic view of the Han River an acupressure walking trail, a yoga deck and a terrace bar. For those who are wondering what happened to the bar—W Seoul’s Woo Bar has now been transformed into Re:Bar. Still overlooking the Han River, the upscale lounge bar has a fresh addition, the 18m-long bar table. The breakfast and lunch buffet restaurant Del Vino along with authentic Japanese restaurant Moegi are part of the hotel’s list of eateries. Other amenities include V Spa, a luxury spa operated by the Swiss cosm
‘Asian Live’ Restaurant Renewal Opening @ the Intercontinental Seoul Coex
The Intercontinental Seoul Coex’s Asian Live has gone through a major renewal project, and will reopen its doors on April 6th. Offering Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Arabic cuisine all in one spot, the restaurant will also feature a special open kitchen. Indian and Arabic cuisine is a rare sight at Korean hotels, but the Intercontinental now has skilled chefs from India who will present a diverse range of authentic dishes. The all-new Sushi Bar at the center of the restaurant is set to host some entertaining and absolutely delicious events: each week, on a designated day, 8 lucky guests will be able to feast on highest-quality sushi. Last but not least, the hotel’s 6-year-old project to promote locally-sourced ingredients will continue at the refurbished venue.
Pet friendly Hotel Cappuccino
Officially launched in December, Hotel Cappuccino is very similar to the Ace Hotel in many ways. They both have a vintage vibe that flows throughout the café, restaurant and rooms. They even have pet-friendly rooms and they both have a section where you can buy souvenirs at the check-in desk. Hotel Cappuccino makes a stronger impression with its modern and simple interior design, but what makes this place particularly special is that they are the first hotel in Korea to incorporate a share value system program. If you use the elevator with the image of an angel on it, 500 won will be added to your hotel fee every time you use it. When you check out of the hotel, that money can go to charity. Each room has a E&G (Earn & Giveaway) box, and if you don’t use any products in that box, the price it cost to put that box together is also donated (unless you exchange that for a free coffee coupon, but would your conscience allow that?) Ordering an “angel menu” from the restaurant, café or bar will allow you to donate a certain amount of money to water.org, founded by Gary White and Matt Damon.
Wei Lou at the InterContinental Grand Seoul Parnas
Located on the top floor of the 34-story hotel, Wei Lou is a modern Chinese restaurant run by head chef Yang Su-in and a team of chefs from the restaurant Quanjude in Beijing. The Peking duck and the savory Shandong dishes here are the perfect way to enjoy high-end Chinese dishes. The Qing Hua (blue-and-white) porcelain, the china that stole the hearts of many royal families of the Ming Dynasty, Qing Dynasty and even ones in Europe, is a beautiful detail in the restaurant’s interior design. For 34 days, in honor of their grand opening, they will be offering a free Peking duck if more than four people order from the dinner menu.
Featured hotel news
Time Out Seoul editor's guide to hotels
Can’t choose what hotel to stay at? Having travelled and written on various hotels around the globe, editor of Time Out Seoul Lee Dong-mi gives expert advice to those in need. Experience what it feels like to sleep at a boutique hotel or a six-star luxurious hotel.
Hotel Rooftop bars? We've got great ones here in Seoul!
Fancy the rooftop bars in Manhattan, Marina Bay in Singapore and Bangkok, with sweeping skyline views? We're happy to let you know that Seoul's checked another box as an exciting metropolitan city. In addition to the hotel terraces that have been transformed from existing outdoor space, a number of well-known hotels in Seoul have opened up new space with the sole and serious purpose of spectacular views. Unextravagant yet astonishing skyline of Gwanghwamun, N Seoul Tower's presence right in front your eyes, and thrilling night views of Gangnam—they're all included in this list. Enjoying a moment high above the city, you might fall in love with the city all over again.
Best hotels by theme
The most luxurious 5 star hotels in Seoul
Who doesn't love to be pet and pampered for a while? Let these luxury hotels do the work for you while you enjoy their well decorated, first class rooms. Here, everyone's greeted with a smie and you don't have to open a door if you wish. Dining means meals prepared by world renown chefs. Recreational activities include pristine swimming pools and fitness centers that you thought only Hollywood could dream of. These are the best luxury hotels in Seoul and they're here to serve your every need.
The best romantic hotels in Seoul
Movie, dinner, talk, repeat. There comes a point in every relationship when you really feel like you're doing the same thing all the time… and no matter how much chemistry you have, and how much you really love each other, it honestly gets a bit boring. So how about spicing things up with some nights at a hotel? If you have kids, get a babysitter. If you're working, turn off your phones. Come to these romantic hotels, slip on something comfortable, and enjoy the view, the city and each other's company.
The best 5 star business hotels in Seoul
Those that travel often for business know that while they may seem glamorous at first, business trips often get tiresome and really, it's the hotel that can make or break that experience. These 5 star business hotels give you everything that you could possibly want out of a great business hotel - close proximity to main attractions, good location and excellent service that can cater to all of your needs. Inside the hotel are often facilities that you want out of everyday life such as good, clean food and a gym, while meeting halls are often located within these hotels making it incredibly convenient.
The best family hotels in Seoul
Spaghetti sauce on the countertops, laundry piled up high and dishes on the counter—all of that can become too much and even though you want to be with your family, you just don't want to be with them in the same ol' space everyday. These are the best family hotels in Seoul and they can come to your rescue when you're in town. Offering child-friendly activities without losing out on luxury, they are a home away from home (minus the dirty laundry).
Upscale business hotels in Seoul
These days in Seoul, it seems like a new hotel pops up every day. Take your search online and you’ll find overwhelming numbers: Agoda has 546, Expedia has 733, and booking.com has 971 results. Naturally, the problem is that it’s not easy to pick just one. With so many accommodations rated 4 to 5 stars, you can‘t simply rely on “star power.” Brand name is another point of reference that travelers use, but following that is the slippery slope of high prices. Many of the hotels built recently in Seoul fall into the category of “upscale business hotel.” In other words, they may not be exactly luxurious but they are still quite nice. You can expect accommodations like quality mattress and equally impressive breakfasts. Not average love motel mattresses, either you’ll generally find that upscale business hotels are priced up to 150,000 won per night. The first of its kind to come into the Korean market was the Marriott. The Courtyard by Marriott Seoul Times Square first opened in 2009 with 283 suites, a spacious lobby with a contemporary interior, and a young, dedicated staff. Take note of the open kitchen and modern décor in the Marriott‘s MoMo café for affordable fine dining. On May 1st of this year, Four Points by Sheraton Seoul, Namsan joined the ranks of Korea’s business chains. A convenient stone’s throw away is the transportation hub of Seoul Station. True to its mission, Four Points has several conference rooms, but solo professionals looking for a more casual worki