Note: Every so often I’ll try to highlight a hotel experience and share my thought process for choosing the hotel.
Last year my wife and I took a trip to Seoul, South Korea and chose to stay at the Renaissance Seoul Hotel. It was an easy, competitively priced, and had a lounge. We have since been back to Seoul and tried another hotel out – will share that next week.
Reason for Choosing
For this trip, we were only going to be in Seoul for two nights, arriving in the afternoon, and leaving the day of checkout before breakfast (we had an early flight out). For the first night I was able to use a Marriott Rewards Credit Card Annual Certificate (Category 5 or below), which made the $266 price tag for the second night more palatable. One of the key discriminators for me in choosing was the lounge; I really appreciate lounge access, and being able to relax in the lounge with a drink (gratis) after a long day of touring a city.
The last reason was location. The Renaissance Seoul Hotel is in the Gangnam Business District. I thought this would be nice because there was mass transit nearby, which provided a great connection to where we wanted to see.
Lobby and Check-in/Check-out Experience
Much of the time when I check into a Marriott, it is in the lobby (as opposed to Hyatt which will sometimes make you go up to the lounge). Here the front desk was easily found, and the lobby overall was well laid out with a cafe, bar area, and conveniently placed elevators. Overall, Check-in was quick enough, and at Check-out we were able to purchase tickets for the KAL Limousine (bus service to Incheon International Airport (ICN)).
Where the hotel stood out
The Executive Lounge met expectations for the spread, but stood out with some of the desserts (see photo below), which were particularly good. The drink selection (also below) was also more than sufficient.
The bed was one of the better beds we had experienced, but I will caveat this with us being pretty exhausted both nights (the first we traveled, and we spent the entire second day touring the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and city).
The breakfast spread. The Renaissance Seoul Hotel serves breakfast for elites and club level guests in their “Club Horizon” which is a nice area with a great view of the city, and a reasonable breakfast spread for Asia (I’d compare it most readily to what we’ve seen in Hong Kong verse what we’ve seen in Southern Thailand).
While we didn’t choose to stay here our second trip, we really did enjoy our stay and would stay here again. The proximity to mass transit and in general being in a walkable area was a big plus for us.
If you’re interested in more information about Seoul, this is a great resource, and I would also highly recommend a DMZ tour – it was very moving for me.