01. Introduction: San Diego to Seoul on United, Air China, and Asiana
02. United Airlines economy class San Diego to San Francisco
03. United Global First Lounge San Francisco
04. United Airlines Global First San Francisco to Beijing
05. Air China First Class Lounge Beijing
06. Asiana Airlines business class Beijing to Seoul
07. Hyatt Regency Incheon
08. Three days in Seoul
09. The Plaza Hotel Seoul
10. Air China business class Seoul to Beijing
11. Air China business class Beijing to Los Angeles
12. United Express (Skywest) economy class Los Angeles to San Diego
The taxi ride from the Hyatt Incheon to the Plaza Hotel in central Seoul took about an hour, even though the taxi driver drove like an absolute maniac on the freeway. Seriously – he was passing other cars like they were parked, and if I spoke Korean I would have told him that there was no need to worry since I wasn’t in any kind of a rush. As a matter of fact, I was trying to kill as much time as possible since it was still before 1pm and I wasn’t sure if they would let me check in that early.
My reasoning for choosing this hotel was simple. I basically went to hotels.com and searched for the best rated hotels in central Seoul – and the Plaza was one of the top results. Since I don’t hold status with any hotel chain, I’m free to chose whatever I like and not be forced into a property that doesn’t look ideal. It also lets me choose boutique hotels like this one over the chain brands – so by being a “free agent”, I get to choose some pretty interesting hotels during my travels.
As soon as I walked in the lobby, I knew this wasn’t a chain hotel. The ambiance was dark and mysterious, and it had a very Asian feel to it with heavy use of gold accents. I liked it! The staff said it was no problem checking me in early (it was 1pm at that point) and they processed my information quickly – and I was once again escorted to the hotel by a staff member just like at the Hyatt Incheon. Guess it’s a Korean thing and I’m not the rock star I thought I was!
My overall impression changed as soon as I stepped off the elevator and started the walk down the dark hallway to my room. The decor was definitely…different. It actually reminded me of a nightclub without the loud music. Hmm.
I had reserved a Premier Suite, which is the middle ground between the standard room and the top of the line Presidential Suite. I had high expectations going in…
Once inside, I didn’t really know what to think other than the fact that it was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. A “suite” in Asia must mean something different than it does in the US, as I had visions in my mind of two large rooms and a bathroom. What this was, in fact, was two small rooms and a really big bathroom. Was I disappointed? Not really. It was still very nicely designed and felt really comfortable. The furniture was quite interesting as well. Very unique, and quite stylish.
By the end of my two-night stay, I was feeling like I made a really good choice with this hotel. The location couldn’t have been better, the room was very comfortable, and there were a wide variety of dining options that looked quite tasty. I only tried thier all-day dining buffet/restaurant (the Seven Square), but it was excellent if not a bit pricy (as all hotel restaurants usually are).
If you’re traveling to Seoul and want to be right in the heart of the city, you can’t beat the Plaza.