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14 Best Hotels in Seoul

Written by Freddy Sherman
Jun 26, 2019

Seoul is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city filled with quite a wide range of hotel options. Where to stay can depend on why you're visiting. If you're here on business, the best place to stay might be Gangnam or Gwanghwamun. Visitors with more of a tourist agenda may find the best place to stay is Myeongdong or in the Dongdaemun area. Mid-range and cheap hotels can be found throughout the city center and Itaewon hotels are also a particularly good option for those wanting to experience the Seoul shopping scene.

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Best Luxury Hotels in Seoul

1. Four Seasons Hotel Seoul

Photo Source: Four Seasons Hotel Seoul

The Four Seasons Hotel Seoul (the first Four Seasons in South Korea) is in Gwanghwamun, a business district refreshingly away from the crowded Gangnam area, where most of the city's other luxury hotels are located. It gives guests a more authentic Seoul experience as you're surrounded by locals not tourists.

The accommodations are ultra-chic and luxurious, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gwanghwamun Plaza, and neighboring Seoul Creek. Golfers will love the luxury hotel's indoor screen golf center, with a full, state-of-the-art screen golf system. There's also a putting green and full pro shop. The Four Seasons has three indoor pools (a big lap pool, heated vitality pool, and kids' pool) and a full fitness center.

Also, for the kids there's a special LEGO play area. It's a great hotel for foodies, with multiple dining options on-property. There's Boccalino, an authentic Italian fine dining restaurant, as well as an eponymous dining space with chef Akira Back, featuring Japanese and Korean cuisine. You can get a Michelin-starred Cantonese experience at Yu Yuan or authentic Korean food at Maru, their Korean cafe. The hotel also has a large market and buffet area (designed to replicate a European market hall) with a range of food options.

Address: 97 Saemunan-ro, Sinmunno 1(il)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel Seoul

2. InterContinental Seoul COEX

Photo Source: InterContinental Seoul COEX

Seoul's InterContinental COEX is a part of the massive COEX mall and convention center. The mall is so big it's home to two InterContinental hotels, the InterContinental COEX and the InterContinental Grand Parnas. The InterContinental Seoul COEX is an ultra-modern high-rise hotel with 654 rooms. It's on the COEX property, with direct access to the exhibition center and the mall. Guests are treated to views of the Gangnam skyline and also of the Bongeunsa Temple, which is across from the convention center.

The rooms are modern in style with a dark palette. Traditional Korean Ondol rooms (with traditional bedding and underfloor heating) are available for an authentic overnight experience. More than just a gym, the hotel has a full fitness center. Like many luxury hotels in Seoul, the gym sells outside memberships to local residents. There are five restaurants at the hotel, serving Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, and Arabic food.

Another benefit of the InterContinental's COEX location is the CALT City Airport, a satellite airport terminal. You can clear immigration here, airlines have ticket counters, and luggage may be checked in at this remote location, making the trip to the airport easier and faster.

Address: 524 Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Accommodation: InterContinental Seoul COEX

3. Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas

Photo Source: Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas

Seoul's other InterContinental property is also in Gangnam on the opposite side of the giant COEX development and has a more old-school luxury style and vibe. It's a more formal experience, with greeters throughout the hotel dressed in traditional Korean outfits. Service is a highlight here, with a dedicated, caring, customer-focused staff.

Try for a room on the club floor as the hotel's Club InterContinental lounge is large and luxurious. It also offers a range of time-saving services, including check-in and check-out. A lavish breakfast buffet is served here, and snacks are available throughout the day. An evening hot and cold hors d'oeuvres service is also presented (there's enough food served to make a meal of it). Getting back to the hotel's formality, children are not allowed in the club lounge.

Rooms and suites are nicely furnished but may feel a bit dated compared to some of the city's newer luxury hotels. The Grand InterContinental has a full fitness center with free classes (yoga, spin, aerobics) and a large indoor swimming pool. When you get hungry, there are five different dining options: a lobby cafe, Chinese restaurant, Japanese restaurant, an upscale buffet, and a gourmet foodie market designed like a jewelry store.

Address: 521, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Accommodation: Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas

4. Park Hyatt Seoul

Photo Source: Park Hyatt Seoul

Consistently ranked as one of Seoul's best luxury hotels, the Park Hyatt Seoul is a smaller (185 rooms) property in the heart of the exciting Gangnam neighborhood. Rooms and suites have floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing guests to take advantage of the amazing city views in every direction. The accommodations have luxe features, including spa-like bathrooms with rain showers and deep soaking tubs.

The Hyatt boasts a luxury residential style, which makes it a very comfortable place to stay, compared with some of the more corporate-style competitors. There's a cool indoor infinity pool along with a full fitness center. The Hyatt has a wellness-focused spa and also offers a menu of wellness activities including hikes, temple stays, taekwando, and yoga classes.

Families traveling with kids get special amenities and have a decent range of activities to choose from. The hotel even has a VIB (very important baby) program for infants. Two dining options are available: The Lounge is not a lounge but a tea room and modern Korean cafe, and Cornerstone is the hotel's very popular Italian fine-dining restaurant.

Address: 606 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Accommodation: Park Hyatt Seoul

5. Banyan Tree Club and Spa Seoul

Photo Source: Banyan Tree Club and Spa Seoul

This luxury urban resort (and country club) is perched on Seoul's Mt. Namsan, offering sweeping views of the city, the Seoul Tower, and surrounding mountains. Although a bit outside the city center, it's only a short ride to popular tourist or business destinations. The beautifully styled rooms and suites mix classic Korean design with modern luxury. A stay in one of the rooms with its own private relaxation pool (like a huge bathtub) is highly recommended.

There are a few dining options, including a healthy restaurant (perfect for those on wellness retreats), a contemporary Korean restaurant, and several cafés, all with sweeping mountain views. The Banyan Tree's luxury spa offers a wide range of Korean-inspired treatments and experiences, including a menu of massages and treatments for couples. The resort offers a lot of romantic experiences, making it the best place to stay in Seoul for couples.

Address: 60, Jangchungdan-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul

Accommodation: Banyan Tree Club and Spa Seoul

6. Conrad Seoul

Photo Source: Conrad Seoul

Conrad is Hilton's luxury brand; the hotels are more luxurious than a standard Hilton property. The Conrad Seoul is on the newly built Yeouido Island development and is part of the Yeouido Business District. It's connected to a large mall and a subway stop. It's closer to the airport than hotels in Gangnam, and the riverside location gives the rooms and suites some beautiful views of the city (and river). It's also close to the IFC Seoul development.

Stylish rooms and suites boast floor-to-ceiling windows, premium bed linens, and spa-like bathrooms with rain showers and separate bathtubs. The bathrooms also have TVs inside the mirrors. Rooms also have an Apple-based multimedia and entertainment hub.

The Conrad Spa offers massages, facials, and a range of hydrotherapy treatments. More than a gym, the hotel boasts an entire Wellness Zone, which includes a fitness center (open 24 hours), a large indoor swimming pool, plus a whirlpool, steam room, sauna, and free fitness classes. Dining options include 37 Grill, a contemporary restaurant on the hotel's top floor; Zest, a casual all-day dining spot; Altrio Italian cuisine; and 10G, the market pantry and café. There's also a fine-dining Korean grill place called Kyungbokkung and Sapporo for modern Japanese.

Address: 10 Gukjegeumyung-ro Yeouido Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul

Accommodation: Conrad Seoul

7. JW Marriott Hotel Seoul

Photo Source: JW Marriott Hotel Seoul

One of the best hotels in the Seoul city center, the JW Marriott Hotel Seoul provides a good combination of luxurious accommodations, excellent service, and a wide range of amenities. Guest rooms are large with marble bathrooms and premium bedding. Try for a room with a river or skyline view as some lack them. The hotel has an especially large gym and full fitness center (the largest hotel gym in Korea), which also features a whirlpool and a big indoor, heated pool.

The JW Marriott has a compact but very luxurious spa. When you get hungry, there's an Italian-inspired café, a Japanese restaurant (with a sushi bar), a French-style deli and patisserie, and a buffet restaurant. There's also a fine-dining restaurant with a menu focusing on beef and seafood.

The hotel is in the Gangnam District, a bit away from many tourist sites. On weekends and holidays, they have a free shuttle that runs between the hotel and Itaewon, Myeongdong, and Namdaemun. It's next to the Shinsegae department store and above a luxury shopping mall.

Address: 176, Sinbanpo-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul

Accommodation: JW Marriott Hotel Seoul

8. Signiel Seoul

Photo Source: Signiel Seoul

Located inside the city's newest icon, the LOTTE World Tower (currently the fifth tallest building in the world), the Signiel Seoul is Korea's first home-grown luxury hotel. Part of the LOTTE group, the hotel's rooms and suites have unparalleled views of the Han River and the entire Seoul area. The hotel is not huge, there are only 235 rooms and suites, but all share jetliner views of the city.

The hotel is home to Korea's only Evian Spa, which offers a wide range of treatments, many focusing on hydrotherapy. There's a full fitness center with a whirlpool and sauna and an indoor pool, which also offers spectacular city views from its location on the 85th floor. There are two restaurants available to guests: STAY, a modern French restaurant, and BICENA offering modern Korean cuisine.

Address: 300, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, 76-101F, Lotte World Tower, Seoul

Accommodation: Signiel Seoul

Best Boutique Hotels in Seoul

In a crowded city like Seoul, a stay at a boutique hotel can offer a more personal experience than you get at a large, corporate property.

1. JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square

Photo Source: JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square

Seoul has two luxurious JW Marriott properties, and with only 170 rooms, the JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square qualifies as a luxury boutique hotel. Located in the heart of the city's design district (and popular shopping area), the hotel is also near the Great East Gate, once part of the city's fortress wall. Some of the accommodations have direct gate views. Guests may want to splurge for one of the hotel's Sky View rooms or suites, which feature glass-encased private patio areas.

There's a full fitness center (with a juice bar) and a big, indoor heated pool. The hotel is also home to the Provence Spa by L'Occitane. Dining options include an Italian restaurant and an American-style steakhouse. There's also a lobby deli and bakeshop. The JW Marriott's central location makes it easy to get to or get around Seoul, as it's directly connected to the Dongdaemun subway station.

Address: 279, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Accommodation: JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square

2. RYSE, Autograph Collection

Photo Source: RYSE, Autograph Collection

This luxury boutique design hotel is in the Hongdae District of Seoul, home to a lot of galleries and art studios. The hotel (part of Marriott's Autograph collection of unique boutique properties) bills itself as a home for creative individuals and looks to provide a place to both work and play. The rooms and suites are ultra-modern, with a loft vibe, highlighted with original works of art created for the hotel.

There are a lot of work and hangout spaces in the public areas, encouraging creative collaboration. RYSE embraces old-school books and print (and vinyl records) with its own Print Culture Lounge library space. This is also a foodie hotel with a branch of San Francisco's famous Tartine coffee shop and Long Chim, considered Seoul's best Thai restaurant. The hotel's art gallery and music performance space host a variety of exhibitions, artists, and performers. Guests have access to a full fitness center.

Address: 130 Yanghwa-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Accommodation: RYSE, Autograph Collection

3. Aloft Seoul Gangnam

Photo Source: Aloft Seoul Gangnam

This boutique design hotel (part of Marriott's Aloft group of budget boutique hotels) is in the heart of the exciting Gangnam District, not far from the COEX convention center. Guests get cool amenities like free high-speed Wi-Fi and luxurious, modern, casual rooms. They also have the hotel brand's signature beds, separate showers and bathtubs, and Bliss Spa bath amenities, not to mention 42-inch LED TVs with easy plug-and-play device connectivity.

To keep healthy, there's a well-equipped fitness center. The Aloft has a casual cafe open all day called Nook, along with a 24-hour pantry in the lobby. There is another Aloft hotel in Seoul's Myeongdong area offering a similar guest experience.

Address: 736, Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Accommodation: Aloft Seoul Gangnam

4. Amanti Hotel Seoul

Photo Source: Amanti Hotel Seoul

The Amanti may be a cheap hotel price-wise but it's a nice boutique hotel in terms of accommodations and amenities. The hotel is centrally located in Mapo, near the city's big university. It's a short walk to the shopping and art galleries of Hongdae. Rooms at the Amanti have hardwood floors, free Wi-Fi, free bottled water, and bathrooms with a separate bathtub and shower. They also have a big flat-screen cable TV.

There's a small fitness center and an outdoor pool, which is only open during the summer months. The hotel has a business center and a front desk, staffed 24 hours, providing concierge services and currency exchange. The rooftop area has a jogging track and a nice garden. It's a good place to relax and escape from the energy of the city below. The Amanti has a buffet restaurant and a lobby café, both open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (on weekends, both close at 3:30pm).

Address: 31, World Cup buk-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Accommodation: Amanti Hotel Seoul

5. Hanok Guesthouse 201

Photo Source: Hanok Guesthouse 201

Located within walking distance of the Bukchon Hanok Village (a popular tourist destination in Seoul), this hanok or traditional Korean guesthouse, allows visitors to experience an authentic cultural experience. This family-owned bed-and-breakfast is small, basic, and inexpensive, but the friendly owner is on a mission to ensure each guest experiences wonderful Korean hospitality.

Breakfast is served in a communal dining room, and some rooms have shared bathrooms. Accommodations are traditional, which means you sleep on several mats on the (heated) floor. It's easy to get to, close to the Anguk train station.

Address: 40-3, Bukchon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Accommodation: Hanok Guesthouse 201

6. Makers Hotel

Photo Source: Makers Hotel

Another creative boutique design hotel, the Makers Hotel offers a great location, friendly vibes, and helpful amenities. Rooms and suites are hipster chic, with exposed brick walls and mid-century modern furniture and accents. There are a wide range of room sizes, from big suites to tiny, almost dorm-like spaces.

The Common is the hotel's coffee shop and performance space with a changing program of exhibitions and performances. The hotel is in the Myeongdong area, a short walk from the Hanock historic neighborhood and right across the street from a subway stop.

Address: 33, Donhwamun-ro 11-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Accommodation: Makers Hotel

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