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Hotel Park Hyatt Busan Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
51, Marine City 1-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea Busan, South Korea -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The bar set by the Park Hyatt brand is placed pretty high but with their 31st property in Busan, they have really outdone themselves. Situated in Haeundae-gu, in the south east of Korea's second city, this newly built (2013) property is one of superlatives. Arguably the main pull factor is the breathtaking views of the ocean, Marine City and Gwangan Bridge which can be enjoyed from all of the extremely generously-proportioned, superbly-appointed guestrooms. As one would expect, the level of service is absolutely irreproachable while the interior design is fresh, uncluttered and ultra-refined with bounds of natural light to highlight it all. With several high quality dining options and an impressive fitness and wellness facility, the Park Hyatt Busan sets the standard for luxury accommodation in Busan.

A top quality, full-service hotel with out-of-this-world ocean views, impeccable service and spacious accommodation.

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    Location 5.36 /10

    The Park Hyatt Busan is situated in Marine City in the Haeundae-gu area of the city. It is just across the road from the water where you will find several bars and restaurants, although Haeundae Beach, arguably the most famous in South Korea, is around a 10-15 minute walk away. Unless you are in town to relax on the beach or for boating then there is not much else going on in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. In order to get to downtown Busan you will need to take the subway, which will take you around one hour, or you could take a taxi which would take half the time depending on traffic. Gimhae International Airport is around a 45 minute drive away from the hotel while the KTX train station should take around half an hour to reach by taxi.

    NB: Like the majority of guests at the Park Hyatt, we arrived by taxi. However, we presumed that our driver would know exactly where the hotel was. This was not the case. We ended up driving round and round Marine City trying desperately to find what we know was a huge tower, repeating incessantly the address to the driver. We eventually found the Park Hyatt, but only after the price on the meter had gone up by probably half between the moment we arrived in Marine City and the moment we go out the taxi. So, before you get into your taxi, make sure the driver knows where the hotel is. To be fair we visited after only 2 months of the hotel being open ? hopefully by now the its whereabouts will be common knowledge.

    Accommodation 9.90 /10

    The hotel's room inventory comprises 200 guestrooms and 69 suites. To be honest though, the standard rooms would be considered suites here in Europe, measuring an average of 45m². All rooms have an ocean view, with many also looking onto the marina and the city of Busan through the floor-to-ceiling windows which stretch along one complete side of the room. The bedroom itself is fitted out almost entirely in light-coloured wood with the parquet flooring a slightly darker tone. The king bed is dressed meticulously in crisp white linens with the mattress placed on a relatively low base, itself resting on a cobalt blue rug. Either side of the bed is a bedside table with reading lamp, telephone, clock and control panel for lighting and the curtains and blinds. On the opposite wall is a long writing desk with your flatscreen television, choice of plug sockets and plenty of storage space. There is also a lengthly sofa with foot rest and an occasional table with bowl of fruit. Other amenities include a minibar, coffee-maker and DVD player.

    Then, in the first half of the room you will find a separate Japanese-style loo and sink to the left-hand side and the closet and bathroom to the right. The walk-in wardrobe, which is sectioned off by latticed panels, boasts plenty of storage and hanging space and is where you will find the safe, bathrobes, slippers, shoe kit and iron and ironing board. Out the other side of the closet is the sumptuous granite bathroom. It features a double vanity, each sink with its own mirror flanked with lighting strips, a deep soaking tub with rain shower tap and flatscreen television integrated into the wall and a walk-in monsoon shower. There is of course a hairdryer and make-up mirror as well as a stool to make applying make-up easier and the toiletries are Bergamote 22 from Le Labo. Note though that bathroom is open plan and so there is no privacy from the bedroom.

    The suites offer much more living space with separate salons in very much the same style as is found in the standard rooms. Some suites enjoy a corner position and therefore spectacular views of the ocean and city, while others boast spacious dining areas as well as the living space. The very largest suites on the top floors of the hotel have luxurious salons with great views and the bathrooms too, with their free-standing tubs, enjoy natural light through the floor-to-ceiling windows. They also have extras such as mini-libraries, objets d'art and oversized walk-in closets. If you can stretch that far financially, then these suites really are worth the expense.

    Overview 9.20 /10

    The exemplary service at the hotel starts from the moment your taxi pulls up to the gleaming tower which houses the Park Hyatt. In true South Korean style, you will be greeted warmly and sincerely at the car and accompanied to the lifts just inside the light-filled entrance of the hotel. To the right-hand side as you walk in is the interiorly-illuminated guest services desk manned 24 hours by the most professional and likeable members of staff who will arrange all transportation needs and answer any questions you have about the city and how to get around it. In the centre of the space is a large bench in the same style as the aforementioned desk while around it are several tall plants. At the far end of the entrance hall is a spiral staircase while in the corner is Patisserie, a luxury outlet selling exquisite French pastries, chocolates, pralines and beverages all made in-house.

    Check-in is conducted on the 30th floor in the hotel's spectacular lobby. Lofty, bathed in light coming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows and with a sweeping view of the ocean, your first impression of the hotel could be no better. Here you will find both the reception and concierge desks whose staff is as impressive as their colleagues back on ground level. In fact those working at the latter of these spent what seemed to be far more time than they probably should have making various reservations and arrangements for us and did so with genuine pleasure and courtesy. You will notice the aesthetically-pleasing mix of materials and surfaces in the lobby with stone, wood and plenty of greenery (there are several patches of soil where trees almost as tall as the space itself grow), the idea being to bring the outside in. The rest of the floor is taken up by seating and the Lounge, the most casual of the hotel's eateries (see 'Food and Drink').

    In order to get to the room, one must take the elevator down to the guestrooms floors (the top few floors are taken up by the lobby and the two restaurants (see 'Food and Drink'). They arrive pretty quickly and are smooth and spacious and clean. The corridors are equally user-friendly being wide, bright and tidy and with excellent indications.

    Despite the hotel's size and scale, it remains a calm, quiet and discreet place to be with a high quality clientele and a service to match.

    Food and drink 9.90 /10

    It is hardly surprising that for a hotel of this standing there are several superb food and beverage options, with which it is almost impossible to find fault. The hotel's signature restaurant, Dining Room, is located at the very top of the hotel on the 32nd floor. It of course enjoys the same breathtaking views of the sea and the city as can be seen from elsewhere in the hotel but its interior design is of a different style, with more emphasis on the hotel's home city. The space, which was conceived by Japanese design agency super potato, is decorated with many traditional Korean objects displayed in highly original ways. Our favourite feature however is the internal wall made entirely of used books and newspapers. At the centre of the restaurant is the extensive open kitchen where you can watch as the talented chefs prepare fish and meat dishes from the Western/Korean menu. There is also a separate counter within the space dedicated to the preparation of sushi and sashimi where you can sit round the bar and watch as the fresh portions are made before your eyes. Also of note is the impressively sizeable walk-in wine store which contains over 200 wines. Dining room serves breakfast (which comprises a substantial buffet), lunch and dinner as well as a set menu with optional wine pairing.

    Living room is the hotel's casual dining, all-day eatery, but which is just as elegant as its upstairs neighbour. Here, rather than having three separate menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there is a breakfast buffet (also extremely varied) plus à la carte options and then one single menu offered throughout the day. In addition, like at Dining Room, there is a comprehensive drinks menu as well as a brunch menu at weekends. Although just as elegant as Dining Room, Living Room is more contemporary, with softer colours and a more laid back and fun atmosphere reflected through the choice of furniture and upholstery. But fear not, you still experience the same views, indoor greenery and sense of space that you do elsewhere in the hotel. In terms of the fare, you will find some of the same dishes as upstairs, but there are also some lighter options in the form of pastas, sandwiches, salads and healthy options. A kid's menu is also available while a traditional afternoon tea is served between 2:00pm and 6:00pm.

    The third outlet is located at lobby level and is known as the Lounge. It consists of a round bar in the far corner of the hall, slightly set down from the main floor with a few stools pulled up to the counter and a couple of rows of seating facing outwards towards the view. Perfect for a pre- or post-dinner drink or an informal business meeting, the Lounge serves wines, spirits, beers, soft drinks, tea and coffee as well as the typical Korean dessert bignsu.

    Spa 9.7 /10

    LUMI Spa and Fitness is spread over 2 floors and boasts 7 treatment rooms, a relaxation room, a 20-metre indoor pool (no charge), sauna, steam room, plunge pool, jacuzzi and gym. The spacious entrance features more of the same materials as are found throughout the hotel, although we feel that something a little warmer might have been preferable for this facility. Nonetheless, it is all very impressive and the atmosphere is spot on. The treatment rooms, of which 2 are especially for couples, each have their own bathroom and views of the ocean, while there are also separate male and female saunas, steam rooms and fully-equipped, smart locker rooms. Treatments, which are carried out using Kirstin Florian products, include the LUMI light massage (Swedish massage + organic lavender + rose stone therapy), a caviar facial (which firms, tones and rehydrates) and a French pumice treatment which uses chamomile flower oil. 2-hour packages are also available at relatively cheaper rates.

    The fitness centre boasts top-of-the-range equipment as well as a studio and even an indoor golf simulator so you can practice your swing. Personal trainers are on hand throughout the day to give advice.

    To know

    The hotel was opened in February of 2013 and was the 31st Park Hyatt worldwide. The entire hotel is accessible to guests in a wheelchair and there are 2 guestrooms adapted for use by wheelchair users.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      sauna, hammam, spa

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      fitness

    advantage

    • Spectacular views of city/coast
    • Spacious, well-appointed rooms
    • High quality dining
    • Impeccable service
    • Fitness/wellness facilities
    • Proximity to Haeundae Beach

    disadvantages

    • Distance from city centre

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10