The Grand Hyatt is an emblematic hotel of the city of Seoul, overlooking Namsan Park. The building housing the hotel is somewhat charmless but is fitted with every necessary facility: 6 restaurants, sports amenities, a spa and 2 pools. The outdoor pool and terrace are turned into ice rinks every winter.
The hotel is located in the pretty Namsan park, with a direct view of the N Seoul Tower. As it is a little far from the city centre, the peace and quiet of the surroundings do make up for the distance. Incheon International Airport is 36 mi away, so allow an hour and a half for transfers.
The Grand Hyatt Seoul has a free shuttle taking guests to the city centre (Myeongdong) every hour, which is ideal as public transport isn't very convenient (mostly because transfers are involved). Although the clientele mainly consists of people on business trips, this hotel does know how to care for holiday-makers, thanks to numerous amenities and a good location. The park can also come in handy for a jog or a stroll.
The Grand Hyatt Seoul is aptly named as everything here is grand: 20 floors overlook the park, giving guests a breathtaking view of the city or the hill. A guaranteed surprise is awaiting you on arrival when you walk through the swinging door and see the view on the other side of the hotel. The lobby is very bright, thanks to a large panoramic bay window. Sports amenities are to be found in every corner of the hotel via the Club Olympus, which is a sports centre with both an indoor and an outdoor pool, a spacious gym, 3 tennis courts, 2 squash courts, an outdoor ice rink (in winter only) and a sauna with different facilities for men and women. The spa consists of 14 rooms where body and facial care as well as massages are performed according to the European tradition (skin nourishment, energizers and relaxation), but also according to the Korean tradition, where 6 year old ginger is used for its extraordinary virtues. Of course, you will also find a few boutiques, such as Ermenegildo Zegna, Baccarat or Givenchy. Moreover, on a more practical note, a flower shop, a car hire agency and a travel agency are available.
The 601 rooms and suites have a predictable albeit pleasant decor - contemporary, with simple colours: light grey wood, straight lines, nothing shocking. Many room categories are available, starting with standards, then club rooms and suites (more traditional in style) or still, the presidential suite. They are all equipped with a desk area, individual air conditioning, a mini bar with a welcome tray (2 bottles of water changed every day), and a safe. The bathrooms are very neat and fully equipped with a bathtub as well as a shower (from the 'grand deluxe' category on), a hair dryer, bathrobes and slippers.
This hotel's main asset is of course the view. It is important, therefore, that you request a room on a higher floor or reserve one from a superior category - it really is worth it!
The hotel has 7 restaurants. Akasaka and Tenkai are two Japanese restaurants where a complete range of sushi and grilled food is served. The Paris Grill was inspired by a Parisian brasserie, serving European classics - it is actually more popular with the local middle class than with European guests. There is a Chinese restaurant. Then there is the Terrace, most exceptional place to eat, as its location offers a beautiful view of the Han River in the warm season (light cuisine: buffet, salads, sandwiches, pasta, etc). The Barbecue is only open in summer, giving guests the opportunity to have an original 'waterside' meal. The JJ Deli serves simple meals. The bars are another one of the Grand Hyatt Seoul's top features, with no less than 4 including 1 night club: the Lobby Lounge - decorated in a colonial style, the Paris - with its breathtaking view, the Helicon - a karaoke bar with 6 highly luxurious private rooms, and the J.J. Mahoney's - the night club offering nine different ambiances, extremely popular with the local golden youth.
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Mark out of 10 for geographical location