Two of the four nights in which I stayed in Seoul — as part of an unintentional trip around the world where I visited Hungary, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, South Korea, China, and the Philippines before returning to the United States — was at the Grand Hilton Seoul hotel property.
Location, Arrival and Checking In
I had already been in Seoul for two days; so I simply took the subway to get to the hotel property. Exit 4 from the Hongje station on Line 3 — which is the orange train — is the closest to the hotel; but you will still have to walk approximately 20 minutes to the hotel, which is perched up on a hill near the Naebu Expressway. Part of the walk will be underneath and alongside the elevated highway; but it is not a bad walk at all.
The hotel property is not exactly in the most convenient or central location; so keep that in mind if you intend to do some sightseeing in Seoul. Leave yourself some travel time — depending on where you want to go. You can be in downtown Seoul in fewer than 30 minutes by subway.
If you are arriving from Incheon International Airport, you can take the 6005 airport limousine bus to the hotel property for 15,000 South Korean won, which is less than twelve dollars. The route is an express route with several stops along the way; and the bus station is located at a simple small shelter at the bottom of the hill adjacent to the driveway entrance to the hotel. I used the airport limousine bus to return to the airport. Leave yourself at least an hour of transportation time. You can also take a taxi cab for 60,000 South Korean won if you are willing to pay almost 47 dollars; but note that traffic can be horrendous during rush hours and tolerable at other times.
Because the reservation I booked was for a King Executive room, access to the executive lounge was included; and that meant that I was to check in at the manned desk located just outside of the executive lounge instead of at the counter in the lobby. Members of the staff were pleasant to me and would do whatever they can in response to any of my requests.
At approximately 388 square feet in area, the King Executive room was large, stylish and clean — albeit rather dark, which did not bother me.
A modern lamp luminated the large desk with a telephone and a calendar. Below the calendar was a door which opened, revealing a hidden panel with two universal electrical outlets, an Ethernet connection, a USB connection, an HDMI connection, and more.
The bed was quite comfortable, as I slept well. There was a control panel with a touch screen conveniently located next to the bed where you can control the lights, climate, music, privacy option, wake up to an alarm — as well as have access to other options.
There was a nice sitting area with a couch, a chair and a lamp; and awaiting me on the coffee table was a plate of fresh fruit with a card welcoming me to the hotel property. There was also a box containing six assorted — and very tasty — chocolates which did not last for the duration of my stay.
I never did use the large flat screen television in the room; nor did I use the area with the minibar, coffee station, wine and glasses. There were two complimentary bottles of water available; but I had access to as many cold bottles of water as I wanted in the executive lounge.
The closet was an average closet, equipped with an iron and ironing board, bathrobes, slippers and other items and features.
I also enjoyed the views from the room.
There was a sliding door comprised of decorative glass which separated the bathroom area from the main part of the room.
Aside from the spacious shower stall and a nice assortment of amenities housed in a cubbyhole near the sink, the bathroom was nothing special. It was clean and had everything I needed.
The toilet had a control panel; but it was inoperable. No matter which buttons I pressed, nothing worked. No big deal.
I did not dine at any of the restaurants on site at this hotel property; but I did have access to the executive lounge, which is nicely furnished and open all day long. Breakfast is in the morning and is comprised of hot and cold items. Snacks during the day include small pastries, crackers and fruit. There are enough offerings at dinner time to comprise a meal. Beverages — such as assorted juices, soft drinks and bottled water — are available throughout the day.
Cost and Summary
The total of 139,150.00 South Korean won — which included a special room rate of 115,000.00 South Korean won due to a “flash” sale in which the rate cannot be cancelled or refunded plus a tax of 21 percent — is equivalent to approximately $108.00.
Self parking appears to be free of charge — I did not rent a vehicle while I was in South Korea — but having it valet parked will cost you 15,000 South Korean won per day.
If you are into keeping fit, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself active — including but not limited to a fitness room, a swimming pool, a jogging track, and basketball.
Pets are not allowed at this hotel property.
353 Yeonhui-ro, Seodaemun-gu
Seoul, South Korea 120710
All photographs ©2014 by Brian Cohen.