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Upscale business hotels in Seoul

Functionality meets goose-feather bedding in the new wave of business hotels. Here’s our guide to the best…

ABACAPRESS/Raphael Olivier
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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 working space can settle at one of the lobby’s communal tables.
 
This past March, Hotel Ibis Ambassador opened its doors in Myeongdong. Located in the old movie district of Chungmuro, the Ambassador will make you feel like you’ve just stepped onto a movie set. The Ambassador has styled itself as the most chic of the Ibis hotels, with tasteful color palettes and an artistic touch.
 
Homegrown brands are getting in the game, too. The Shilla Stay in Seodaemun uses 100% Hungarian goose feather bedding and stocks each room with amenities from Aveda. Following the Seodaemun location, Shilla Stay will open a Mapo hotel in September, and another next year in Gwanghwamun, totaling three Shilla Stays in the country, a hotel line that continues to receive a steady stream of positive reviews. Another popular chain is the Lotte Hotel, which opened Lotte City Hotel Guro last year, and hasthree locations in Seoul. Lotte is planning to open two more locations, including a new hotel line, L7. The new L7 opening up in Myeongdong this coming December is a lifestyle-oriented hotel that emphasizes elements of design and utilitarianism.

Recommended business hotels

Courtyard Marriott Seoul Time Square

Opened in 2009, the Courtyard by Marriott is in close reach to all your shopping needs at Times Square mall. There are 283 rooms that occupy the hotel. Downstairs, you're first greeted by a large lobby decked in modern interior.

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Ibis Styles Ambassador Myeongdong

Global hotel conglomerate Accor has started a designer line called Ibis Style to cater to those looking for a class up from Accor’s budget brand, Ibis. Hotel ibis Styles Ambassador is the conglomerate’s first chain in Korea and has already established itself as a reasonably-priced business hotel with its personality and quality service. 

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Jung-gu

Shilla Stay Seodaemun

Shilla Hotel has started a new line of business hotels called Shilla Stay and the fourth location following Dongtan, Yeoksam and Jeju finds us in Seodaemun. Built on expert know-how of hotel management and quality service, Shilla Stay boasts affordable accommodation fees as well. Just a ten minute walk from three main palaces, the beds and amenities in each room are also impressive. Many guests have raved about the 100% Hungarian goose feather bedding and the Aveda toiletries. Other design details include the metal sliding door, which divides the bedroom from the bathroom, and the natural light that permeates every part of the suite, including the bathroom. In every way, Shilla Stay can really be called a "mini Shilla Hotel". 

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Seodaemun-gu
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Four Points By Sheraton Seoul Namsan

Don't be surprised if your Korean friends may not recognize the brand Four Points right away. The line of hotels has yet to make its mark within the country. However, the lack of recognization doesn't make for a lack of quality here. Just minutes away from Seoul station at the heart of central Seoul, location is key to why the venue is often sought after. The staff is known to be friendly, the rooms rather spacious and parking is rumored to be easy to find. 

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Yongsan-gu

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