Can't believe it has been nearly two years since I went on a media press trip to Seoul...feels like yesterday. This is a city on alert 24/7...an attack can happen at anytime. I can only imagine what the atmosphere in the city must be like now. During my stay, I recall the daily war practice sirens and the US military aircraft flying constantly overhead. At that time, the Ritz-Carlton Seoul and the Grand Hyatt, where I was staying, were quite well protected and only open for government officials and the media. The US military personnel are seen as celebs in the city- seen patrolling at every other corner. Every time an American soldier in uniform went past (I bumped into a few in coffee shops), you could not resist but wanting to shake their hand and say "very proud of the work you guys are doing...thanks for keeping us safe and may god bless America!". Let's pray for peace and harmony...and stability. That's all the world needs right now.
The rather novel Grand Hyatt, Seoul, with 601 well-appointed luxury rooms and suites, each offering priceless views over the historic and spectacular Mount Namsan and the Han River, is a masterpiece blend of excellent architecture and perfect Feng Shui. The hotel is located in tranquil settings on a hill in the prime setting of the Itaewon shopping district, close to the city’s most happening place. There are numerous high-quality bars and restaurants within a short 10-minute taxi ride. The hotel is under 60 minutes away from Incheon International Airport, 35 minutes from Gimpo Domestic Airport, and 20 minutes from the Samsung-dong business hub, with most all of the city’s key districts within close proximity of the hotel.
If you are visiting Seoul for the first time- especially on a business trip- then most likely you may have been whisked straight from the airport to the hotel, and then straight to your meeting room or office (and vice-versa). So when you are in an international bubble like this, it is difficult to enjoy the true colors and flavor of the real Seoul city. The hotel is a favorite for business travelers, families, foreign dignitaries and also for military personnel because the Yongsan Base, the famous US Military base, is located quite close. There are numerous foreign embassies dotted around the hotel’s area. It is perhaps the safest place to be at, too.
The first thing that strikes out about the rooms is that they are rather unusual compared to most other Grand Hyatt hotels around the world- perhaps only comparable to the old styled rooms because this was one of the first 5-star properties in Seoul. The bathrooms don’t have any rainforest showers, but the old fashioned bath tubs.
Every inch of the building is made to full use-this includes the bridge that connects the two towers’. The suspended bridge houses the “Guanxi Lounge” which is another innovation from the designers of the hotel building. Here you can just while away the evening while sipping a glass of, say for example, fine “2 Up Shiraz” or the in house, “G Wine”.
The gastronomical highlight of the Grand Hyatt Guangzhou has to be the exciting Paris Grill for European cuisine, and J.J. Mahoney’s Centre with 9 separate entertainment spaces. From the glamour of the culinary delights and the rooms décor comes the fine art of relaxing. They don;t call it grand for no reason, you know?
After a long tiring day nothing beats the feeling of going to the Spa for a wind down massage. The Spa offers a variety of exquisite treatment including pedicure, manicure and professional body massage services to cool down your heels after a long day. Having a relaxing foot or back massage after a long tiring day forms part of the culture in Seoul. Evidence of this can be seen with the numerous Spa houses scattered around every city and village. The Spa and Club Olympus recreation centre offer a sanctuary of calm, with specialized and personalized spa treatments, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis and squash courts and an ice skating rink. The hotel is proud that the tennis courts are one of the best facilities offered by any hotel in the city, and are regularly used for practice by major sports stars.
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