Arrival/Check-In: I arrived in Taipei on a Sunday afternoon from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and hopped in a cab. The Grand Hyatt Taipei is located in the Xinyi district (the city’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan district), directly next to Taipei 101, Taipei World Trade Center and Taipei International Convention Center. Many shops and entertainment venues also reside nearby — talk about a convenient location for a luxury business and leisure traveler. Upon my arrival, hotel staff warmly greeted me and escorted me to the front desk in the grand, open lobby. After a fast and smooth check-in, up to the room I went. Francis X. Gallagher, CEO and publisher, Global Traveler, had arrived from Dubai earlier that day, and we met in the Grand Club Lounge to catch up over a drink. Guest Quarters: My Grand Club Premier King room made a great first impression. The newly renovated room offered a chic East-meets-West contemporary design and sweeping panoramic views of the mountains and Taipei 101. Measuring about 540 square feet, the room included a living space and a separate bedroom. An oversized work desk and complimentary wireless high-speed internet made it easy to get work done. I found the modern marble bathroom with separate tub and walk-in shower both beautiful and convenient and the extensive closet space impressive. The bathroom offered June Jacobs amenities. Cozy, high-quality bedding and pillows made the king-sized bed comfortable. Services/Amenities: Grand Club access provided quite a nice perk during my stay at the Grand Hyatt Taipei. Fran and I not only met for a drink at the Grand Club Lounge, we also ate breakfast here each morning before our long days of meetings. The lounge boasts great service and satisfying culinary options. The Grand Hyatt Taipei features 11 restaurant options; we chose to indulge in a beautiful dim sum lunch at Yun Jin restaurant. It did not disappoint! I especially enjoyed sampling the hairy crab, only available during that season from a certain part of China. Before our days began, I utilized the 24-hour gymnasium at Club Oasis and enjoyed great workout sessions. Multiple rooms offer a wide range of exercise equipment in addition to amazing views of Taipei. The Experience: The Grand Hyatt Taipei provided a wonderful stay, and I would absolutely return. Conveniently located for business and leisure travelers, the hotel provides anything guests might need during their stay.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
Arrival/Check-In: I flew into Seoul from Taiwan on a Tuesday evening and stayed at Lotte Hotel until my departure Saturday. Lotte Hotel is located downtown in the heart of Seoul near Myeongdong, Seoul’s Central Business District, among other business and tourist attractions. I had a good feeling about this 5-star luxury property from the minute the Mercedes-Benz car service approached the hotel. The outside was beautifully decorated with white lights for the holiday season — a delightful effect that got me into the holiday spirit. I was escorted to the front desk, where check-in took less than 10 minutes, and then guided to my suite. Guest Quarters: My Club Floor deluxe suite in the Main Building featured views of the city. I knew I’d be staying in a suite, but I had no idea it would be bigger than most U.S. apartments (at least those in Santa Monica, Calif., where I live). Needless to say, this suite comfortably accommodates more than one person. Lotte Hotel knows how to deliver a massive, newly renovated and stylish luxury suite. It impressed me at first glance. The grand suite entrance opened on a hallway leading to the living space, with the first small bathroom to the right. The living space included a sitting area with a couch, chairs, a coffee table and a flat-screen television. A dining table with seating for six provided ideal space for those traveling with family or hosting a business meeting. An executive writing desk along the windows included all things necessary during a business trip. I found all the office supplies quite useful during my stay. The bedroom, a completely separate room, featured another sitting area. The spacious closet included some laundry amenities. Lotte Hotel uses he:on brand bedding, which is becoming popular among global markets. I slept well on the king-sized bed thanks to the bedding and pillows. If I could replicate the bathroom in this suite at home, I would. The layout of the double vanity sink, makeup area, separate shower, bathtub and toilet was just right. Services/Amenities: The hotel features two establishments: the Main Building and the New Wing. The New Wing offers a 3-Michelin-star restaurant, Pierre Gagnaire à Seoul. There are six restaurants on property, including a tasty bakery. The Club Lounge on the 31st floor of the Main Building lays claim to the largest exclusive business lounge in Korea. I enjoyed a delicious breakfast here nearly every day during my stay. Room service dining offers diverse options of Korean, American, Japanese and healthy cuisine, appealing to most international travelers’ taste buds. Other on-site amenities include a business center, a salon, a fitness center, a sauna, the Sulwhasoo Spa and an indoor pool. All guestrooms include free WiFi. Meeting and wedding venues are available. The staff speaks Korean, English, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese. Tourist attractions in walking distance and accessible by public transportation include Lotte Duty Free, Namdaemun Market, Insadong, Gyeongbokgung and Deoksugung. The Experience: Lotte Hotel Seoul is perfection. I did not want to leave my suite. I was beyond comfortable and content during my stay — I was ready to move in! The design of the suite screams luxury and clearly caters to VIP clients. The Lotte brand is globally recognized for its luxury, class and sophistication. Lotte Hotel Seoul represents this world-renowned reputation well. Staying at Lotte Hotel made my first trip to Seoul even more memorable.