Seoul Classic

The Park Hyatt Seoul (82 2 2016 1234), built two years ago, is a stunning hotel—one that Seoul residents even refer to as "our six-star hotel." The 185-room property has a hip, Zen-like ambiance and is flooded with natural light. The Park Hyatt Seoul is in the stylish Gangnam-gu district across the river from Seoul's city center. Gangnam-gu is a good example of the incredible economic growth South Korea has experienced. Back in the '70s, Gangnam-gu was an agricultural area—now it's a real estate powerhouse with one upscale high-rise after another. It's also the site of many corporate headquarters, making it a popular destination for business travelers, who account for 80 percent of the Park Hyatt Seoul's guests (although the leisure market is also growing). U.S. visitors account for 45 percent of the total guests and these are exclusively business travelers. The hotel has six meeting rooms, which cater to this type of clientele.

 The Diplomatic Suite has a clean design

The entrance is unimpressive for such a stunning hotel, although any doubts are quickly allayed when arriving at reception on the 24th floor. The lobby restaurant provides light Korean cuisine in a relaxed setting with city views.

The hotel has 10 rooms on each floor. The hallways are lined with white oak, and inset display cases exhibit Korean artifacts and antiques. The 138-square-foot guest rooms are also lined with white oak, and each room has two large floor-to-ceiling windows providing stunning city views and lots of natural light. Blackout curtains are standard in guest rooms.

"As far as which side of the hotel has the best views, that depends on the guest's preference of what they want to see," says Jennifer Lee, director of marketing, Park Hyatt Seoul. "The west side of the hotel offers a view of urban excitement, while the east side is less dramatic."

Guest rooms have a dining table, work area, high-speed Internet and a king bed with Egyptian cotton linens. Bathrooms have such perks as a granite bath with a rain shower, soaking tub, Aesop amenities, television and Yukata robe and slippers. "The bathrooms are like a spa," observes Lee.

Lobby view from the Park Hyatt Seoul

The hotel has a staff of 200 for its 185 guest rooms. Lee notes that guests give especially high marks to the hotel's service and quality of the food. A cornerstone is the hotel's signature restaurant, serving grilled meats and seafood prepared in wood burning ovens. Timber house is the main bar, offering light meals.

Guests of Park Hyatt Seoul have access to the 1,870-square-foot Park Club Spa and Fitness Centre, located on the 23rd and 24th floors. The spa, which utilizes Comfort Zone products from Italy, has three treatment rooms, sauna, steam, Jacuzzi and plunge pools. The indoor heated swimming pool features a floor-to-ceiling glass wall providing natural light. The hotel's spa manager is Ki-Jun Kim ([email protected]; 82-2-2016-11750).

Lee notes that travel agents can request special rates or fam trips through Hyatt's main office. Industry rate ranges between 20 and 30 percent off the rate of the day, depending on seasonality.

Jennifer Lee is also the travel agent liaison; she can be reached at 82-2-2016-1251 or [email protected].

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