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.
Situated in the heart of Seoul’s fashionable Gangnam district, The Ritz-Carlton, Seoul is the only Ritz-Carlton pretty in South Korea. The luxury hotel, with 375 well-appointed guest rooms, including 47 luxury hotel suites and 75 Club level rooms, is where South Korea’s innovative present and traditional past intermingles in an elegant, architectural wonder.
The only thing that one may find confusing is that from the outside it just looks like a normal tall building with very little exterior design or architectural element added to it. In a nutshell, from the outside it looks exceedingly boring and not quite the posh hotel one may be looking for. It’s a shame that such a lovely well-known high quality brand has not capitalized on using the finest of designs or architectural elements to make this building stick out like a sore thumb. However, once one steps inside then it’s another story altogether. Inside you’ll truly feel that this is the authentic Ritz-Carlton experience.
This was one of the first Ritz-Carlton properties in Asia Pacific and one can see that when you compare the slightly old-fashioned Versailles-inspired interior, such as the bathroom without the rain forest shower or the automatic air-conditioning, with most of the modern Ritz-Carlton properties in China for example.
The service, nevertheless, is nothing but exclusively of a Ritz-Carlton standard and authentically South Korean. As one of the most distinctive luxury Seoul hotels, The Ritz-Carlton invites you to relax and experience the unmistakable sights, sounds and flavors of South Korea. All the rooms are equipped with the latest technology, including a fully integrated TV and internet system, with video on demand, satellite television and high speed internet. For the most luxurious experience, why not pamper yourself in one of the suites where all the rooms offer a balcony that offers stunning views across the city with the N Seoul Tower visible in the distant on one side and Gangnam on the other.
After a day spent exploring, there is nothing better than to retreat to the impeccable hotel featuring an award-winning Presidential suite, an array of gourmet restaurants serving a repertoire of international cuisines, an 8-hole indoor golf course and driving range, and Asia’s first Pevonia Spa. There is also a cosmetic surgery located next to the Pevonia Spa, where guests can come and get their cosmetic surgery and then relax at the hotel until they make a full recovery.
The Ritz-Carlton, Seoul function space hosts gatherings from intimate executive board meetings to large-scale conventions. Among the hotel’s flexible meeting and event venues are the fabulous Grand Ballroom and generous pre-function areas. A team of talented chefs is on hand to present catered affairs both onsite and outside the hotel. Specialties include Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, and other international cuisines, and individual menu requests are easily accommodated.
Discerning guests staying at any one of the rooms at the Club Level can enjoy the access to the Club Lounge which offers complimentary food and drinks five times a day, plus complimentary access to meetings rooms, but above else offers the peace of mind that you can while away your time in quiet surroundings away from the hustle & bustle.
How to get here:
If you are arriving at Seoul Incheon International Airport, then take the clean, air-conditioned and efficient Limousine bus operated by Korean Airlines. It costs about $ US 16 one-way to go from the airport straight to The Ritz-Carlton hotel, and takes around 40-minutes. As with courtesy in South Korean culture, before I bordered, the driver bowed to me out of respect.
You may also use the very clean, efficient, and inexpensive metro. It is a one-minute walk from Exit 4 at Sinnonhyeon Station, subway Line 9. Gangnam subway station, on Line 2, is only a three-minute car trip or an easy eight-minute walk. Incheon International Airport is approximately a 60-to-90 minute drive from our downtown hotel, and Gimpo Airport is approximately a 30-minute trip on Line 9, making staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Seoul an obvious choice for international guests.
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