Trip Report: The Plaza Hotel, Seoul

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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.

Plaza Hotel is situated right in the heart of Seoul

The Plaza Hotel is situated right in the heart of Seoul, across from the city hall

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!

seoul plaza hotel lobby

The lobby of the Plaza Hotel – the check in desk is at the far end of this photo

another view of the plaza hotel lobby

View of the lobby facing the other direction

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.

plaza hotel hallways

The dark and mysterious hallways of the Plaza Hotel in Seoul

double-door entryways in the plaza hotel seoul

Each room had a double-door entry. I’ve never seen that in a hotel before.

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.

plaza hotel premier suite main room

The main room of the Premier Suite in the Plaza Hotel

premier suite furniture

The furniture in the Premier Suite was quite stylish and far more different than what you’d see in a chain hotel

desk and wall-mounted TV

The desk and wall-mounted TV in the main room of the Premier Suite

plaza hotel premier suite entryway

The main entryway showing the double doors from behind

plaza hotel map

Here’s a closer look at the hotel map on the door.

premier suite closet space

Just off to the side of the entryway was a closet with blood-red materials. I’m not going to lie – this creeped me out a bit!

Premier Suite bed

The Premier Suite bed

plaza hotel suite bedroom tv

There’s another TV in the bedroom, which I thought was highly convenient

bathroom door in the plaza hotel premier suite

The entrance to the large bathroom was located in the bedroom

premier suite bathroom

The bathroom was spacious and bright, with an equally large shower

huge tub in the premier suite at the plaza hotel in seoul

The tub was gigantic, though I didn’t get a chance to try it out.

premier suite toilet

That toilet was amazing – it was fully automatic with heated seats and an adjustable bidet feature. I want one at home!

touch screen room controls

Everything in the room was controlled by this touch-screen interface beside the bed. Very convenient!

view from the plaza hotel

The view from the back side of the Plaza Hotel isn’t that great, as it looks straight at the windows of an adjacent building. But if you turn your head, this is what you can see from the main room windows.

view from the bedroom

This is the view from the bedroom

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).

the plaza hotel is located in the middle of seoul

This is the view right out side of the main entry at the Plaza hotel. As you can see, the location can’t be beat!

If you’re traveling to Seoul and want to be right in the heart of the city, you can’t beat the Plaza.