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Seoul is a vast, sprawling urban landscape that can be difficult to comprehend, let alone find your way around. It’s well worth the effort, though, to explore this city, and getting a little lost and bewildered along the way is half the fun.
Picking a comfortable place to rest up at the end of a long day—a refuge from which to process everything that you’ve experienced—is essential. Here are some of the best places to stay in the South Korean capital.
Grand Hyatt Seoul
Despite a number of worthy new hotels, the old Grand Hyatt remains one of my favorite places to stay in Seoul. Set on top of a hill with rooms overlooking just about the entire city (and the mountains to its north), the Hyatt is a perfect spot to sit and take in the enormity of this metropolis. Newly renovated rooms, classic Grand Hyatt design touches and exemplary service round out the package.
The Shilla Seoul
The Shilla is another old Seoul standard that has aged very well. A Korean brand that knows how to do understated luxury, with a central location in the midst of wooded parkland, it’s hard to beat. Don’t miss La Yeon if you stay here—a Korean restaurant with three Michelin stars.
Four Seasons Seoul
If you’re in the mood to splurge, the Four Seasons Seoul is a perfect choice. Traditional Korean design meets contemporary styling in this city’s ultimate hotel. Set in the Gwanghwamun district, it’s a two-minute walk from the nearest metro.
The RYSE is the newest property in Marriott’s Autograph Collection. Located in Seoul’s artsy Hongdae neighborhood, this contemporary luxury hotel is unique in a neighborhood where weirdness and quirkiness are the norms. The 274-room RYSE features a colorful and modern decor with panoramic views of the city. All rooms have large beds, elegant bathrooms and comfy seating areas. Extras like Bluetooth speakers, walk-in rain showers and plush bathrobes speak to the luxury of this property. Plus, it’s surrounded by the city’s hippest art galleries, trendiest restaurants and most eclectic boutiques. There’s also a choice of four restaurants and bars to satisfy any gourmand.
Alcove Hotel Seoul
Operating under the aegis of AccorHotels group, the Alcove is another chain hotel that doesn’t feel like one. With understated, clean interiors and compact but thoughtfully laid-out rooms, it’s a great choice in Seoul’s Seonjeongneung area. Don’t miss the rooftop bar.
La Casa Hotel Gwangmyeong
Set a little out of the center of Seoul, La Casa Hotel Gwangmyeong is for those who want a bit more peace and quiet but accessibility to the hustle and bustle of the city center when the mood strikes. The hotel promises eco-friendly products and design. It also boasts beautiful interiors throughout.