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South Korea’s capital city, Seoul, has something for everyone. You’ll love the bustling shopping districts Dongdaemun Market and Myeong-dong, and you can marvel at the cultural and historic highlights of the city, including Gyeongbokgung Palace, built in 1395; it was the first royal palace built by the Joseon Dynasty. Make sure you take a trip to the top of Namsan Seoul Tower before you leave, from here you’ll have the best view over this thriving and dynamic city.
Best Overall: Grand Hyatt Seoul
Located close to many attractions, this hotel also provides a free shuttle to make touring the capital even more convenient. The 601 rooms and suites at this five-star gem feature neutral tones, modern decor, sumptuous soft bedding and complimentary Wi-Fi. You'll find a range of services and amenities here, including a beauty salon, indoor and outdoor heated pools and even an ice rink. For dinner, visit the popular steakhouse or enjoy fresh sushi at Kauri. After a day of touring the sights, relax and recharge by reserving the golden ritual at the spa, which features a full body polish and massage.
Best Boutique: Rosana Boutique Hotel
Close to the banks of Seokchon Lake (a perfect spot to enjoy nature and observe the cherry blossoms), this boutique hotel features double, twin and triple rooms, as well as Western suites and Korean accommodations. Expect to find LCD TVs, complimentary high-speed Internet access and tea making facilities. Enjoy a meal in the brightly lit second-floor buffet restaurant with views of the city. The lobby lounge is a comfortable spot to enjoy a coffee or pastry as you read the newspaper or plan your day’s sightseeing tours. Friendly service is the hallmark of the Rosana and more than makes up for the small lodgings.
Best for Families: Oakwood Premier Coex Center
Conveniently located close to the Korea World Trade Center and major subway stations, the COEX shopping mall can be accessed right from the hotel by using the elevator. Choose between one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments decorated in a modern and cozy style. All units come complete with LCD TVs, central heating and air-conditioning and fully equipped kitchens. Unlike many Korean accommodations, there is more than enough space here for large families to spread out and relax. The on-site Oak restaurant is a great alternative when you don't feel like cooking in the apartment, serving up both Western and Korean dishes in an elegant environment. An indoor swimming pool and golf driving range will ensure everyone in the family is entertained, while the fifth-floor children's center provides a safe space for the youngest members of your clan to play and hang out.
Best Romance: Hotel28 Myeongdong
If you’re in the city for a little romance, book into the cultural and arts Hotel 28 for a luxury boutique experience in the Myeong-dong area. The Director's Suite is a sexy, chic room decorated with textured wallpapers and luxurious throws. You’ll find yoga mats provided to complete some side by-side-asanas, and there's also a separate sitting area, a minibar and free Wi-Fi. Enjoy a romantic meal at Wolhyang restaurant showcasing and elevating Korean food with the tagline “tradition is trend” before visiting the onsite art gallery and cinematheque. Both hold a variety of exciting events and make for the perfect date night. Later on, head up to the rooftop for a view of the city and a quiet place to enjoy each other's company before bed.
Best Luxury: Signiel Seoul
This hotel is located on multiple floors of the iconic Lotte World Tower, the highest landmark in the Seoul skyline. The 235 rooms and 42 suites offer amazing views of the capital; book the Royal Suite for an experience like no other. It features a dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city, a sumptuous bedroom and a luxury marble bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. Free Wi-Fi is provided in every room of the suite and premium bedding creates a super soft sanctuary to cozy up in and watch the world below. Five bars and restaurants are on offer, including Stay modern restaurant, which is helmed by three Michelin-starred French Chef Yannick Alléno. Spend a day relaxing at the Evian Spa, featuring heat and water treatments, including a steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi and pool.
Best Nightlife/Best for Singles: Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel
The bright primary colors of IP boutique hotel’s facade command attention in the middle of Seoul's entertainment and shopping district. Inside, the decor is just as captivating with ornate chandeliers, multiple TV screens and art installations. Rooms are cool and clean with pop art touches on the wall. Expect to find 32” LCD TVs, a handy smartphone, a complimentary city guide and a dolce gusto coffee machine in any of the 133 guestrooms. If you have forgotten your toiletries, don't worry, because there is a selection of products (including toothpaste). Grab dinner at the Hibarin restaurant, which is open all day serving a rice, noodle and katsu menu. A cafe and Godiva chocolate shop are also on site. Keep fit during your stay, especially after eating all those chocolates, by visiting the IP gym open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Best Business: InterContinental Seoul COEX
Corporate travelers will find the InterContinental Seoul COEX conveniently close to meeting and convention venues. Be sure to check out the nearby DFS casino or head up to the top floor sky lounge at the InterContinental Seoul COEX for an enviable skyline view. Executive Suites here are reserved exclusively for business travelers in mind and include entry to Club InterContinental. Choose from five bars and restaurants, including the Brasserie, which has eight live cooking stations where you can watch close up as chefs make culinary magic. A fully staffed business center ensures you have everything you need for that next big meeting or presentation.
Best Hostel: DW Design Residence
Located in a student area close to both Hongik University and Yeonsei University this hostel provides 14 bright and clean rooms. Each has refrigerators, LED TVs and free Wi-Fi. Expect private bathrooms with showers and complimentary toiletry products.
A communal kitchen is provided where you can meet other guests and save money on the cost of eating out. Breakfast is included in the room rate each day and a TV is also provided in the common area. There's also an outdoor terrace and garden (it's a great spot to drink a cup of coffee and plan your day’s tour).
Best Budget: Hotel Migliore
Right across from the Dongdaemun shopping area (and occupying two floors of the Migliore Mall), this hotel provides clean, comfortable yet very small rooms. Fortunately, the price is pretty tiny, too, and since you are in such a central location you'll likely only return here to sleep. Rooms feature a refrigerator, coffee pot, slippers and free Wi-Fi, as well as an LCD TV. Staff are happy to arrange a variety of beauty treatments, including skin care services, massage and facials. The restaurant serves a European breakfast daily.