Westin Chosun Seoul - Master Thread

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by Chad, Feb 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Chad
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    Chad Silver Member

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    Westin Chosun Seoul
    Just prior to Christmas I had a four night stay at this hotel. My booking was for an Executive Level Room and I was given a platinum “upgrade” to an executive level office room.

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    (front of hotel)


    Arrival
    I had booked a transfer with the hotel and everything went extremely smoothly. As soon as I cleared immigration/customs I was led to the Westin desk where the check in procedures where undertaken. Room key in hand, I was then escorted a short distance to the waiting car. The whole process was extremely professional and hassle free. The only minor annoyance was that I was told I had been upgraded to the executive floor – when this was what I had booked. This is one of my pet peeves, but nothing of any consequence.

    Room
    First impression – well appointed, good condition but very small. I had been upgraded to an "office room” which basically appeared to be the same as a standard room but with a huge desktop replacement style laptop on the desk. Lack of meaningful upgrade aside, I was actually unhappy with the room I was assigned for two reasons. Although it had a very pleasant view over the adjoining temple – it was very close to the landing area for the elevators – I could already hear significant noise outside in the hall – but most importantly it was a connecting room. Despite what various hotels have claimed I have never stayed in a connecting room that is properly soundproofed. A quick trip to the Executive Lounge and I was re-assigned to a different room. This room, while identical was at the corner at the end of the corridor, so had an extra bank of windows and was much quieter.
    Also worth mentioning is that the bathroom is also very small – and contains a shower over the bath. I can’t recall the brand of toiletries but they were not the standard Westin Brand – I’m thinking maybe Elemis.

    Big toothpaste runs South Korea so it is apparently illegal for a hotel to provide a dental kit. As I don’t carry my own supplies any more, I went downstairs to see what could be done about this. The front desk was quite happy to sell me a dental kit, however I was able to deftly exploit inter-country rivalry and by innocently musing how hospitable they had been in Japan – a land where the toothpaste is joyfully shared – I was discretely given a free kit. Hopefully nobody went to jail because of this – chad 1/big paste 0. Of course the next day I had to buy some supplies so chad/big paste 1 all.

    The room also contained a good sized flat screen TV, nespresso coffee maker and mobile phone for use. A basket of fruit was also provided. The internet connection was blazing fast.

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    Executive Lounge
    Located on the top floor is open for most of the day serving breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktail hour. Platinums can have breakfast at the buffet downstairs so I never had breakfast in the lounge. Cocktail hour consists of free alcoholic drinks and a few hot dishes and standard canapé type snacks. It is also self serve, I find making my own G&T somewhat tedious, but I know some people do prefer self serve. Despite the lounge being quite large, during cocktail hour it was very crowded – this hotel has a lot of floors with access to the lounge. Free wifi is also available in the lounge.
    South Korea is a land of technology and the lounge appears to be manned by some sort of cyborgs. When you approach the entrance to the lounge they smile politely but are fixed in place – you swipe your key over the reader on their desk – if it turns greens the cyborgs spring to life. I assume if it turns red – lasers are somehow involved.

    General Thoughts
    All my travel is leisure – and for a leisure trip the location simple cannot be beaten. Walking distance to key shopping and dining areas, several palaces within comfortable walking distance and a subway station nearby, the location is the strongest positive about the hotel.
    The breakfast buffet (included for Platinums) is very good – however as a late raiser I would barely make it before closing time and many dishes would be empty.
    Staff were generally ok, but getting some minor things organized with them could be somewhat trying.
    Shoeshine and laundry serves were very prompt and efficient.
    Turndown was literally that – the corner of the bed was turned down. Bins weren’t emptied, towels weren’t replaced, heck even the mat and slippers weren’t put out. I mentioned this to the front desk where I was somewhat dismissed. However the next evening prior to turndown I did receive a message asking if I required another full servicing of the room. So even though the front desk gave me the impression I was ignored it was followed up.
    The hotel was at near full capacity for my stay and this did appear to push the staff.
    Also there is a nice European style cafe on the lower level of the lobby which sells some very nice cakes & pastries.

    Conclusion
    Overall, although I can’t point to any specific issue, although the small bathroom and shower over bath were key dislikes, I wasn’t a big fan of this hotel. If the price was right I may consider returning – just for the location. If I was to return to Seoul I would consider the W Seoul or Park Hyatt as alternatives.
     
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  2. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Location is everything in Seoul and should be one of the first (if not the first) items to consider when booking a hotel in Seoul. For a tourist, I agree, the Westin Chosun is in a fantastic location.
     
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  3. adexpert
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    adexpert Silver Member

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    I stayed at this property over a weekend in early December and it was very busy up in the executive lounge. I had no problem with the self serve bar although it was a bit chaotic to say the least.

    For anyone looking to find the subway from this property, go out past the front desk and hang a left. At the bottom of the driveway go right (across the drive way) and right to your right in that structure is a starbucks sign. Go down the stairs and follow the signs through the pedway. I'm drawing a blank as to the station and the signs to follow in the station if you're lookin to get back from the train to the hotel. The signage for the Westin doesn't start until about half way there.
     
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  4. CIPAS
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    CIPAS Silver Member

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    I prefer Westin Chosun vs W Seoul. (same cat.)
    Although, I prefer Sheraton vs W Seoul/Westin Chosun (different cat.)
     
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  5. bakedpatato
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    bakedpatato Gold Member

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    If you don't want to arrange a pickup with the hotel you can take the KAL Limousine Bus directly from ICN or take the A'REX to the Hongik University Station(which is Seoul Metro Line 2) and then...(Line 2 is a loop BTW)
    For GMP you can take the A'REX as well.
    Super late but it's Euljiro 1-ga on line 2,the second to last stop(last stop being the City Hall before looping around). From the subway, its quite a bit of a walk. Keep heading towards the exit, don't go to the KTX station. You'll pass a hotel and a set of doors leading to a underground shopping mall. From there, keep going until you see the Westin sign. Go up the stairs,then you'll see the Starbucks. Take a right, watch out for cars and there's the front door!
    Also,you can also go straight out the front door, take a right and go down a set of stairs on your right. It's behind the Starbucks. (the same way you came in if you followed my directions)
    The W and the Grande is in Wakerhill...which is in frigging nowhere! The Chosun is right in the heart of the city, perfect for tourists as stated before.
    I went into the lobby of the Grande and it did look nice...
    One More Thing:
    The gym has very modern Life Science treadmills/ellipticals/bikes with HDTVs(alas, HD Korean channels only) and USB/iPod connections. Plus the pool is great.
     
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  6. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    agreed.

    IIRC, the W & Grande do have a shuttle to a 'nearby' subway stop but combine the times the shuttle runs w/having to commute on the subway and as a tourist I for sure would rather stay at the Westin Chosun unless the W & Grande were substantially cheaper.
     
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  7. misterbwong

    misterbwong Silver Member

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    Anyone know the probability of getting upgraded in this hotel as an SPG Gold? I'll be travelling in Mid-March.

    Also, I've heard that there's the possibility of a paid 1500pt or $50 per night upgrade to the executive level rooms. Is this still available and is it even worth it?

    TIA!
     
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  8. misterbwong

    misterbwong Silver Member

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    So I just came back from Seoul and had an amazing time. Stayed at the Chosun and had a great experience.

    Pros:
    1. LOCATION! This hotel is right down the street from the heart of Myeongdong, which is my favorite district in Seoul. It was great being able to walk there at any time and browse/shop/eat/people watch.
    2. Accesibility. There's a direct access underground tunnel to the shopping/eating/metro area right outside the back entrance of the hotel. VERY convenient, especially because it rained while we were there. Also the KAL limo bus drops you off right at the hotel from the airport. Definitely worth the extra 5000 won over the regular bus/train to the airport.
    3. Service. The people were very helpful and knowledgeable. Every person we spoke to in the service area spoke English, which was great because I can't say anything but "Hello" and "Thank You" in Korean!
    4. Facilities. On the whole, the hotel felt very new even though it is actually quite old. The room was more spacious than I thought it would be given the fact that a lot of reviewers said they were small. I'm guessing this was a result of the recent remodel.
    5. Cell phone provided. This was a life saver for us when a taxi didn't happen to have a navi and needed to phone a friend for directions.
    Cons:
    1. The Internet service was HORRIBLE! It wouldn't let more than 2 devices on per room (we had 2 iPhones and an iPad) and was unusably slow around 6-9P. It would also "kick off" my devices every time they went to sleep and say that we've already used up all our devices. I think I had to "purchase" the 4 day pass 30 times during the week I was there. Good thing it was comped for Gold members-I might be out $2000 if I wasn't...
    2. No gold upgrade. TBH wasn't expecting one since it seemed like it was really busy, but it would have been nice to get an upgraded view room.
    Well there you have it. Great hotel in a great location but if you're thinking about using the internet in the evening, you're better off finding a cafe with wifi. Let me know if you have any questions and I'll be happy to answer!
     
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