By Ron Bernthal
The lobby lounge of the 185-room Park Hyatt Seoul is on the 24th floor, the top level of this modern, glass box in a business district of Seoul. There is lots of Japanese Aji stone, leather seats and Myanmar oak tables, and the lights of the city below are framed in 20-foot floor-to-ceiling windows. Look through one glass wall and you can see the hotel’s 50-foot indoor heated pool in the Park Club Spa, suspended over Seoul in its shimmering glass envelope.
Checking-in was so visually pleasurable that I would have been happy sleeping in the sky lobby, but my room on the 17th floor was just as spectacular. A wall of windows made up one side of the bedroom, and the bathroom as well. Both the huge, square ceramic “soaking tub,” and the glass “rain shower” stall, are placed directly next to the windows and overlook the city, including some office towers a few blocks away. Yes, by using binoculars, I am sure a nosy office worker could have invaded my privacy, but I kept the blinds up anyway, enjoying the novel experience of floating above the city in my glass environment.
In addition to the bedroom 32-inch flat-screen, there is also a remote controlled 15-inch flat screen in the tub/shower area, imbedded in a glass wall to keep the screen from getting wet. Very cool looking. I kept slathering the wonderful smelling Aesop bath creams on my face until I almost suffocated in herbs and essential oils, but revived myself later in the spa steam room and plunge pool.
The dining options include Cornerstone, the hotel’s signature open kitchen restaurant on the second floor, with its oak wood-burning oven, walk-in 3,000 bottle wine cellar, and fresh food selections for breakfast through dinner, and The Timber House, styled after a Korean country house, and offering whiskeys, sake, the traditional Korean alcoholic beverage Soju, and Korean and Japanese bar menus.
The three-year old Park Hyatt is located on the south side of Seoul’s Han River, near the Convention and Exhibition Center, World Trade Tower, and COEX Mall. It is also within steps of the Samseong subway station, where fast and frequent trains run to all districts in the city. Microsoft, Quaalcom, Samsung, and LG often have small board meetings on site. I am sure that the trend setting Japanese firm, Super Potato, responsible for the hotel’s innovative design, will not get insulted if guests lower the blinds while bathing.
Park Hyatt Seoul
995-14 Daechi 3-dong
Gangnam – gu
Seoul 135-502, Korea
tel 82 2 2016 1234; fax 82 2 2016 1200
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