I Love Hotels ❤ Conrad Seoul
Located in the heart of the Yeouido financial district, Conrad Seoul forms part of the International Financial Centre (IFC) Seoul development which apart from the hotel houses three office towers and the three-level IFC Mall, completed in 2012. Connected to the Yeouido subway station, this mixed-use commercial complex spreads an entire city block covering more than eight acres, attracting workers, shoppers and tourists alike.
Opened in November 2012, Conrad Seoul is a five-star luxury hotel featuring 434 contemporary rooms spread throughout 38-stories designed by LRF who took inspiration from Gingko trees around the area. A stunning spiral staircase in the lobby connecting to the fifth floor really sets the scene.
There’s plenty of space to lie around or work if you have to in the generously sized room, one of the largest in Seoul at 48 sqm. It features an Apple-based multimedia entertainment hub which I was too lazy to figure out since the in-room WiFi was enough to keep me occupied with my own devices. There’s also a Nespresso machine with a few flavours to choose from but not sure why you’d bother when it’s made and served to you in the Executive Lounge.
Apart from the rain shower, double basin, the best feature in the really functional bathroom has to be the TV in the mirror! Our room on the 35th floor had fantastic views of the fourth longest river on the Korean peninsula – the Hangang River.
Located on the top floor, level 37, the Executive Lounge is truly an exclusive retreat of luxury and serenity with wraparound views of Yeouido. Buffet breakfast, snacks, cocktail and canapes are served in the lounge which opens all-day. The welcoming atmosphere, cosy ambience and friendly staff make it a perfect place to start the day or recharge after venturing out.
Zest is the all-day dinning spot at Conrad Seoul which serves an amazing breakfast spread over an “intersection” with an abundance of choice so whilst the Executive Lounge is great, Zest is the place to be for breakfast.
The 24-hour fitness centre is massive and the luxurious swimming pool, sauna and steam room is spectacularly invigorating. Directly connected to the the IFC Mall, unlike the typical Korean mall, there is no department store here but rather 100 brands spread over 40,000 sqm. There are a good selection of restaurants, food court and a cinema but no major supermarket is to be found. If you want all the above, head to the nearby Times Square Mall at Yeongdeungpo.
Comparing to a handful of 5-star hotels in Seoul we’ve stayed in, Conrad Seoul is undoubtedly one of the best offering luxury, “home-away-from-home” accommodation complimented by impeccable customer service to create a special stay. As a new hotel, Conrad Seoul however does feel less refined than it’s siblings such as Conrad Hong Kong and Conrad Tokyo.
Yes, the hotel is not the closest to the more traditional tourist areas but the subway is extremely convenient and easy to navigate in Seoul or hop onto a taxi as it’s relatively economical but do get the concierge to write you the hotel’s address in Korean as most taxi drivers speak little English. And if you need ideas on what to do in Seoul, see one of my earlier posts – One thing you must do in Seoul.
Speaking about transportation, I had to throw in this little side to talk about the the Equus – Hyundai’s flagship full-size luxury sedan aimed to compete with the likes of BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S Class. If you’re from ANZ, it’s hard to relate Hyundai with luxury but the Equus limousine is surprisingly well built and definitely no less comfortable than travelling in the rival Beamer or Merc. Conrad charges 132,000won (AUD$137) for a one-way airport transfer.
I love staying at hotels, new and luxe ones that is. Met with a warm welcome as you enter a grand lobby and opening the doors and seeing the sophisticated and thoughtful interiors of a fresh immaculate room…’I ❤ Hotels’ is a series where I share hotel experiences that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.