My husband’s company is a corporate customer at Grand Hyatt Seoul, yet my husband always choose to stay in this hotel. I have no idea what Lotte is (for all I know, it’s a brand of chewing gum ….), but after staying there myself I can totally understand why it’s my husband’s best choice for hotel in Seoul. And here’s why:
Can’t beat the location. My husband can walk to his company’s headquarter near Insadong. Insadong itself is an area filled with shops and restaurants, a popular place for tourists and locals alike. Between the walk from the hotel to his office, he would walk through a man-made river that is also a public square with all kinds of activities from concerts, flea market, night-time food stalls, water fountain shows, etc.
Lotte itself houses a huge shopping mall with all kinds of branded goods, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and all kinds of Korean food. A walk around the area will give you everything from nail spa, massage house, Korean fast food, pizza, convenience stores to street-side snack sellers (you have to try this! Korea has one of the best street food!).
There is a subway (MRT, underground, whatever you call it) station right outside the hotel. Popular places like Namdaemun, Dongdaemun, Nanta Theater and Deoksugung Palace is an easy stroll away with subway from Lotte hotel.
From location standpoint, I can’t see a better five-star hotel in Seoul – whether you’re a business traveler or a tourist like myself. The location itself is enough reason for me to go there time and time again, especially knowing that traffic can be bad in Seoul during rush hour.
The room and bathroom is super spacious, with a great view of downtown Seoul. We were there just before winter in 2007, and of course the bathtub, sink and toilet seat could be super cold. It therefore came as a pleasant surprise to find the toilet equipped with seat warmer and warm water (excuse me) butt washer! 🙂
The bathroom’s size is very generous. If you open the blinds, You can have a view of downtown Seoul from your bathroom.
The concierge spoke good English and gave me a lot of useful information, from how to travel around in Subway, purchasing tickets in an all-Korean ticketing machine, to how to get to Nanta Theatre in Gangbuk. Check in and check out is totally painless. In addition, they know that my husband is a frequent customer there, and the hotel gave us free morning and afternoon tea (with snacks) in their club lounge even though breakfast is not included in the price. That is nice 🙂
I can’t be the judge of this. Korean food doesn’t necessarily taste better when you pay a higher price, so we stuck to eating street food and visiting local restaurants, giving the hotel food a miss. But I remember their morning and afternoon tea, which is quite nice although I can’t say it’s great …
Price is about the same as other five-star hotels in Seoul, which I find quite surprising because you would think that a local chain wouldn’t charge as much as a global hotel chain. However, I think it’s definitely worth it, given the location and the fully decked-out funky toilet seat 🙂