Grand Hyatt Seoul
No prices found through our partners. Please contact the business directly or check some of our recommended alternatives.
How has this hotel rated in the past?
TravelPod Member ReviewsGrand Hyatt Seoul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Grand Hyatt Seoul
Luxurious, but rooms & location are not so good
Earlier reviewers had it exactly right: this is a fantastic hotel, except for the surprisingly average rooms and the inconvenient location. I stayed there for 4 nights in November 2005, with a standard room. If you want to stay in a luxurious hotel, not walk around much, take taxis, go to the bar, enjoy the views, and just crash in your room, it might fit your bill.
There are many positives to the hotel. The service at the hotel is superb: very attentive, helpful, and fluent in English. Every imaginable amenity is available, with long hours (e.g., 24 hour massage). The hotel is perched on the side of Nam-san mountain, with spectacular views of Seoul, the Han River, and surrounding mountains. The lobby, lounge, pool, and restaurants are beautifully appointed and designed to maximize enjoyment of the views. The bars and restaurants are excellent (although a bit lacking in breadth). Room service is reasonably priced, efficient, and gorgeously presented.
Like many Grand Hyatts, the clientele tend towards executive businesspeople, dignitaries, and well-heeled expats and tourists from around the world. In my laid-back Seattle wear (khakis, polo shirts, and tennis shoes), I felt like an oddity, and got the impression that some other guests disapproved (too bad for them). The location is quiet (located off a couple of winding roads), and the lack of traffic noise was refreshing for a major Asian hotel.
Unfortunately, the hotel is a *steep* 10-minute walk to a subway station and Itaewon area, and there is relatively little to do around the hotel itself. There is a free shuttle down the hill twice each hour, but if you have to wait to catch the shuttle *back* up the hill, you'll just have to wait on the street in Itaewon. Itaewon itself is a famous tourist area for foreigners, but I can't tell why (a few stores and restaurants catering to foreigners are nothing special - go to Gangnam for a better area). I guess it will remain a mystery to me.
Now we get to the rooms. They are adequate: nicely decorated, equipped with several phones, broadband, mini-bar, marble bathrooms, etc. They also have fantastic views, like the rest of the hotel. However, they are lacking in several areas. First, they are small by Seoul standards; they are more like Japanese hotel rooms. As mentioned, I stayed in a standard room with a queen bed. The bath was cramped (room for only one person to stand, wedged between the bath/shower tub, toilet, and counter), and the room only has lounge seating for one person (in a standard room).
Second, the bed was hard, hard, hard. We're talking wake up in the middle of the night with shoulders sore and neck stiff (same as the Grand Hyatt in Beijing). The pillows and sheet-covered down comforter are nice, but the bed is so unyielding that it is incredible. I can only imagine with pain what activities other than sleeping would be like, on such a piece of concrete.
Third, the room was overheated and the air conditioning was off for the season! I stayed there in November, when highs in Seoul are generally in the 50s. When I arrived, my room was about 75 degrees. Too hot for me, so I tried to turn the air down. It wouldn't go down, and I called housekeeping, who informed me that air conditioning was off for the season. Come on, sometimes people like air conditioning to cool off a room, reduce humidity, etc., etc. Some of my relatives keep their house in Texas in the low 60s year round, and they would be sorely distressed here! I expect a decent hotel to have both heat and cooling available year round, according to guests' preferences, regardless of the calendar.
A last minor gripe is that there seemed to be no decent Italian restaurant in the hotel. The generic hotel restaurant serves a couple of unimaginative pasta dishes, while the signature restaurants are Chinese, Japanese, and "continental" with a heavy emphasis on meat. It's nice when traveling to have my favorite "Italian comfort food", and that is a relatively standard fixture of luxury hotels.
Tip: the deli behind the elevators on the first floor is excellent: wines that are not terribly overpriced, desserts, cheese, sandwiches, etc. That's a great choice for a smaller, less expensive meal or snack, with less hassle than dressing up and going to one of the restaurants.
In short, if you want to live the high life in public, or if you simply want to enjoy luxury and don't care so much about your room, the Grand Hyatt is a good fit. If you want to luxuriate in your room, explore the city by foot and subway, or experience more of the "real" Seoul, it's not a good choice.
Awful Honeymoon Evening
We wanted to stay at the best hotel in Seoul for our honeymoon. We were sadly disappointed. Although we specifically noted on the reservation that it was our honeymoon and wanted a quiet room, we got a room near the elevators and were awaken by loud laughter in the hallway at two in the morning. To top it off, the bed was incredibly uncomfortable. The supposed "double-bed" was basically two twin beds put together side by side and covered with a thin sheet. What was to be the best night of our lives turned out to be the worst. We will never stay at the Hyatt ever again.
Not what I have come to expect from Grand Hyatts
I have little to add to the excellent previous comments, but I will sum up a few things:
Rooms: I was on the executive floor and my room was painfully small. There is a three-inch step (Why? Beats the heck out of me.) up to the bathroom from the rest of the room. It is very solid - like marble. I stubbed my foot probably fifty times in a week. So annoying, I can't even tell you. The bathtub is very deep (nice) and very small (not nice). I'm not a large man, but found the tub to be just very odd. Finally, I agree with the previous comments about the fan in the room. Your choices are loud or no air circulation. By the way, non-smoking rooms smell of smoke if you don't run the fan.
Soundproofing: Nonexistent. As I was on a business trip, away from my gorgeous wife, the very clear and loud nightly sounds of my neighbor's "extracurricular" activities were somewhat frustrating, though they certainly seemed to enjoy each other. Again, lack of soundproofing isn't a first in a hotel, but it is for me in a Grand Hyatt.
Service: It's okay. Not great by Seoul standards. Very distant but polite, I would say.
Fitness Center: Poorly laid out, crowded (it's also a popular private club, so it's not just for hotel guests). The outdoor tennis courts are world-class...truly magnificent playing surface, and I've played high-level tennis on some of the best courts in the world.
Overall: Let me preface this by saying that I have not yet stayed at Seoul's Park Hyatt and I love Park Hyatt hotels. That being said, I would strongly suggest a room on the executive floors of the Grand Intercontinental Seoul. Simply put, it is head and shoulders above the Grand Hyatt.
Great for some, not so for others...
I am a business traveller and have stayed at pretty much all 5-stars in Seoul (both north and south of river) for an extended time. Grand Hyatt is at the top of the list for most categories, but decidedly inferior in one.
Best view - situated on top of Nam San, great view looking down at city (or greenery of Nam San)
Best facilities - great pool, great gym, and an ice skating rink (very romantic)
Best bars/lounges - Club, live-bar, lounge bar all great (probably best you can do north of river, hotel or otherwise)
Great meeting rooms/ball rooms - One of the best (Shilla and Walkerhill also quite good), and one of the most expensive
Great restaurants - Wouldn't say best (Shilla's cuisine slightly superior), but Hyatt is very good also. Japanese (sashimi, but also a small yakitori spot hidden in the corner) and French top-notch
So why wouldn't everyone stay at the Grand Hyatt? Because despite all these great qualities, the Hyatt has the worst guestrooms of the 5-star hotels in the city (was going to say one of the worst, but it really is the worst). Room small (really). Bathroom small (no separate shower stall). TV small and old (looks like it was gotten at a flea market). Fridge small (probably sourced from same place as TV). Bed hard (maybe good for posture). Air-conditioning makes loud noises (faced with unenviable choice of enjoying air-conditioning or enjoying peace and quiet, but not both). No sound-proofing - can hear every word from next room (and corridor). Really seemed like when the hotel developer allocated the budget, they splurged on bars, lounges, pools, and restaurants, and ran out of money for the rooms.
So if you are the type of traveller who (1) does not stay in the room much and (2) is either too tired or drunk to care when in the room, then Hyatt is the place to be, because in all other aspects the hotel shines.
Excellent luxurious hotel
My husband and I stayed at the Grand Hyatt and enjoyed the superb service, amenities, and clean, comfortable room. We stayed on the business floor and enjoyed a gourmet breakfast each morning. The room was immaculate and had the amenities you would expect in a high-end hotel (cotton sheets, duvet, robes, entertainment system). The lounge and nightclub were fantastic. The pool area was very nice but got very crowded.
First-class all the way
The Grand Hyatt in Seoul is a great hotel, even for the most discerning traveler. They have beautiful facilities, and a gym that real people from Seoul pay good money to belong to. If it's warm outside, you can enjoy an area with pools and nice landscaping. They also have grass tennis courts.
In addition, they have some of the best restaurants in the city, right there in the hotel (the Chinese restaurant is great). One of the best bargains in town is a lunch buffet, served on Saturdays (and maybe on Sundays?). For about $40US, you get beautiful food stations....a seafood station with shrimp and lobster, a sushi station, a Korean food station, and stunning desserts along with the regular hot food (grilled fish, perhaps an Indian dish, etc.) and a salad bar.
I am a business traveler, and I must say that having touches such as these makes being away from home much more bearable, even a treat. The rooms are clean, the high-speed internet service is reliable and fast, and the concierge is exceptionally helpful. The Club Floor is about $50US more, and serves up a top-notch cocktail party with hors d'oeuvres.
The Itaewon shopping district is about a 10-minute walk (or a free hotel shuttle bus ride) down the hill. It's kind of fun shopping there, and much like shopping in New York's Chinatown (except a lot less chaotic). It's amusing enough for a day.
The only small complaint that I have is that the Hyatt's location, in Itaewon, is really close to Itaewon and not walkable to anything else. If you're there for any length of time, you can start to feel a little isolated. However, taxis are cheap and plentiful so you can always get to the center city.
The better hotel in seoul
This is THE one in Seoul.
Have tried several 4 and 5 star hotels in town but none offers you the peace, view, comfort, service, facilities and choice of decent restaurants and bars you'll find at the Hyatt.
The clientele is also a notch above the rest (mix of upper grade expats, diplomats, locals and traveling execs).
Have been there several times now and am not going to change and wil be back next month.
TripAdvisor Reviews Grand Hyatt Seoul
Travel Blogs from Seoul
Well we both arrived tired and ready for a sleep, although I had many naps throughout the flight. Gorgeous hotel, down to the bidet and heated toilet seat. Just got back from a lovely buffet dinner and the worst coffee I've ever had, but waitress was so lovely, I felt bad leaving it. Ready for a good nights sleep before we do the next leg to London …
... about 15 different kinds and the veggies before were really good too. My favourite dinner in China. We finally get to our Hotel Hilton and it is a fancy one. The weather was warmer than expected. On day two the visit to the TERRA COTTA WORRIERS , there is a lot of walking involved. Again a long drive to get there and Maggie is telling us a lot about this history. The Terracotta Warriors are very interesting and we take a lot of pictures of course. These ...
... 47196; 형부와 조카 승민이를 볼 생각에 마음이 들뜬다. 다들 바쁜 관계로 저녁만 먹고 해어질 계획이었는 ;데 어쩌다 보니 예기가 ...
... I truly believe it takes all sorts to make this world turn).The passenger list was a real melting pot of nationalities and there was no sign of a screaming child to be seen..Yes!! I walked the jetway and onto the plane. The first thing that struck me were the hostesses. They were all stunning.. Impeccably dressed and groomed. I got myself sorted in my seat.. I had the one directly behind the toilet, so there was a wall in front. This was actually a good thing. So much leg ...
... me off! Of course photos of them were a definite no, no! I left the tour feeling a sense of concern at just how serious this Korean thing actually is and being around it makes you really think.
The day finished around 2, so I had more time to check other things out, which of course I did. Still liking Seoul ...