It’s been a while since we’ve been to Asia, and Seoul is a great place to start. It offers a mix of everything we love from culture, bustle, and dining to that warm service that seems to be a regional specialty. While where you stay in the Korean capital could be based on avoiding the city’s traffic jams, all of these suites are worth at least a look.
1. The Shilla Seoul
Forbes Travel Guide reports, “The massive structure stands behind Seoul’s medieval city walls, abutting the city’s central Namsan Mountain, and is located in the heart of the bustling metropolis of 10 million. Though it’s the oldest luxury hotel in Seoul, the Samsung-owned Shilla is an up-to-date, modern treasure with world-class amenities.”
The South China Morning Post writes, “Blond woods, creamy taupes, sliding rice paper screens, and understated neutral wall coverings bring a coherent look to the 464 Western and Korean rooms and suites. The exceptions are the two-bedroom classical (plush carpeting, crystal chandeliers, Rococo furnishings) or contemporary French-style presidential suites. Rich dark woods, oversized leather seating, and a central fireplace bring warmth to The Library, which offers guests everything from a range of fine whiskies and traditional high tea, and the Michelin-starred fine dining includes Chinese (Palsun), Japanese (Ariakee), French (Continental) and Korean (La Yeon).”
Presidential Suite, North Wing
One of two Presidential Suites, this 3,121 sq. ft. features two bedrooms, a large living room, a dining room, and an office with views of Namsan Mountain and the city from its 22nd-floor perch.
More suites at The Shilla Seoul.
2. Four Seasons Seoul
The Times writes, “Just across the road from Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jongmyo Royal Shrine, and Bukchon Hanok Village, this cosseting luxury hotel combines the warmth of traditional Korean hospitality with every cool contemporary comfort. The public spaces are both opulent and inviting — decked out in smoldering bronze tones, with white-gold armchairs and beautiful floral displays — and there’s a restaurant for every night of the week (look out for the artifacts unearthed below the Market Kitchen). The room to book is the Palace View Executive, which comes with club lounge access and views of the royal complex.”
Forbes Travel Guide adds, “The new 29-story, glass-and-steel Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, designed by Su Sin Tao of Singapore, is meant to look like an ancient Korean palace of old, but stylized and brought into the 21st century. The main lobby lounge is built around a large circular fireplace, cast in an ancient bronze map of Korea, that details the country’s mountains, villages, and rivers. More than 130 Korean artists are displayed throughout the building, including Ran Hwang, who used hundreds of ivory-colored buttons to produce a three-dimensional Korean ship for the lobby wall.”
Presidential Three-Bedroom Suite
Spanning 4,419-sq. ft. on the 29th floor, the Presidential Three-Bedroom Suite offers skyscraper views with a curated art collection featuring sculptures, blown glass, and paintings from celebrated local and international artists.
3. Signiel Seoul
The Times reports, “Set between the 76th and 101st floors of the 123-storey Lotte World Tower (Korea’s tallest building at 555m), a stay at Signiel Seoul comes with showstopping views of the South Korean capital. What’s inside is equally ravishing; ultra-luxe rooms, in cream and lilac with floral flourishes; a world-class Evian spa with steam rooms, saunas, and hydrotherapy pools; a contemporary French restaurant helmed by star chef Yannick Alleno and a bar with the largest selection of champagnes in the country.”
Forbes Travel Guide writes, “Located in one of Seoul’s most elite districts, Signiel Seoul offers an elevated experience. The luxury hotel literally towers above the rest from its location within Lotte World Tower, the tallest building in South Korea and the sixth tallest in the world. Suffice it to say, the property affords the best views of the capital. Even beyond the stellar service and sophisticated cuisine, the all-suite hotel takes pride in providing a relaxing stay. Every space seems to exude a calmness. But when you have sleek lines, neutral tones, and massive windows at nearly every turn, a sense of peace is easy to come by.”
The 3,799 sq. ft. Royal Suite offers panoramic views of the Seoul skyline with a separate living room, dining room, private office, and meeting room.
More suites at Signiel Seoul.
4. Park Hyatt Seoul
The Times writes, “Surrounded by skyscrapers in the heart of Gangnam — immortalized in song by Psy for its fashionable, upmarket vibes — the Park Hyatt Seoul is one of the slickest five-stars in the city. Through the windows of pale, pared-back rooms you can look out across a forest of high-rises clad with enormous LED screens projecting images of K-pop superstars. It’s a future-shock view that can also be enjoyed from the rooftop restaurant, granite infinity-edge swimming pool, and relaxation rooms at the Ocelas Spa.”
Forbes Travel Guide says, “Among the glistening skyscrapers of the Gangnam district, Park Hyatt Seoul is a discreet resident — its presence so subtle, it’s easy to miss. The porte cochère, tucked away from the street, creates an entrance that is free of fanfare. Board the elevator, head for the stunning sky lobby, and take in the scale of the city with panoramic views. Designed by Japanese firm Super Potato, Nippon influences are found everywhere in Park Hyatt Seoul’s interiors: clean lines, natural materials, and attention to the smallest details that are both surprising and comforting. A stay within this luxury enclave feels more like returning to your own personal pied-à-terre rather than checking into a tower in one of the world’s most bustling cities.”
The 1,712 sq. ft. Presidential Suite is located on the 22nd floor with views of Gangnam via floor-to-ceiling windows.
More suites at Park Hyatt Seoul.
5. Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul
Forbes Travel Guide writes, “Surrounded by the stunning nature of Namsan Park, Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul is an urban oasis in Korea’s bustling capital. Owing to its location on the slopes of Mt. Namsan, it is easy to forget that you are still in one of the world’s largest cities. The mountain air is fresh and crisp, and the views of Seoul below are breathtaking. There’s a lot to love — a gorgeous, sceney pool is considered a hot spot during summer months, a luxury spa is frequented by the city’s elite, and there are extensive sporting and fitness facilities.”
The two 3,003-sq.ft. Presidential Suites feature panoramas of Seoul framed by the Namsan Mountain and its surrounding nature reserve. Each duplex is divided into a common use living area with a dining room, living room, and pool for relaxation, and a bedroom with two beds and ensuite bath.
More suites at Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul.
6. Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel
Conde Nast Traveler writes, “Everything about this hotel screams grandeur. From the moment you step inside, you’re faced with a towering statue of Daniel Arsham’s Blue Calcite Eroded Moses while getting a whiff of the hotel’s signature perfumed scent, and you immediately know that you’re in a space of affluence. Apart from the interior and the art, the service team—including valets, doormen, concierge, and everyone in between—has such a high level of attention and service at all times, it can almost feel overwhelming.”
Josun Grand Masters Presidential Suite
The 4,422 sq. ft. mammoth suite features two bedrooms, a living room, a separate dining room, a conference room, and a study.
More suites at Josun Palace.
7. The Westin Josun Seoul
Forbes Travel Guide says, “One of Seoul’s very first luxury hotels, The Westin Josun Seoul has been setting the standard for exclusive travel in the Korean peninsula since 1914. The original premises were built by the Japanese to host royal dignitaries from Japan and Europe, and the modern-day, rebuilt property follows this example by aiming to attract and delight the most high-profile of guests. As a result, The Westin Josun is the hotel of choice for royals, politicians, and A-list celebrities. Located in the center of the bustling Korean capital, the hotel is well-situated for both business and leisure travelers. The hotel boasts 462 spacious guest rooms, including 36 one-bedroom suites and two two-bedroom suites. The chic contemporary design of the hotel is simple yet elegant and effortlessly stylish. Whether you’re in town for business or pleasure, don’t miss a visit to Sushi Cho, an acclaimed sushi spot featuring seasonal ingredients along with premium sakes.”
The two-bedroom Royal Suite spans 1,905-sq.ft. features a separate dining room, living room, and kitchen, making it perfect for entertaining.
More suites at The Westin Josun Seoul.