Arrival/Check-In: I actually had two arrivals at the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul. I had been on an around-the-world trip, flying from Washington, D.C., to Dubai and then on to Seoul. This presented me with a weekend in Korea and an overnight in Seoul before continuing to Taiwan. I left a bag containing half of my clothing at the Four Seasons so I would be a little leaner on the rest of the trip before returning to Seoul. When I returned, the Four Seasons car service picked me up at Incheon International Airport and we headed to the property, dropping off a colleague at another hotel nearby (which took more negotiation than it should have). Arriving at the Four Seasons, I was greeted by the friendly staff and escorted to my lovely and beautiful suite, where my luggage was waiting for me without my having to say a word or show a ticket. That meant a great deal to me and is a sign of excellent service.
Guest Quarters: A long hallway led to a large dressing room on the right that featured a lot of space for clothing (and, of course, my stowed bag) plus a safe deposit box. On the opposite side, a full white marble bathroom provided all the necessary amenities including a double vanity, a soaking tub and a rain shower. Lorenzo Villoresi Firenze toiletries complemented the experience. But the beauty of the guestroom was a little powder room immediately to the right as you entered the room — allowing your companion free access to the full bath, a wonderful plus when you have two in the room.
The main room featured floor-to-ceiling windows in the corner, offering magnificent views of the city. A king-sized bed with Four Seasons signature bedding provided the focal point. On the opposite wall, a large, flat-screen TV encased in a frame swiveled out 180 degrees to enable watching while working at the desk. The desk faced the room, but the floorto- ceiling windows behind it offered a lovely view of Seoul. Proper motorized blinds and drapes darkened the room for sleeping.
Services/Amenities: The hotel, popular with locals, offers a vast number of top restaurants. Chef Sawada Kazumi, previously of Tokyo’s Michelin-starred Banreki Ryukodo, heads up the impressive Japanese restaurant Kioku. Boccalino offers Italian cuisine, and Yu Yuan serves Cantonese dishes.
Make sure you stop in at Charles H., a speakeasy concept bar named after bon vivant Charles H. Baker, who traveled the world between 1920 and 1940 discovering new cocktails. The bar is so hidden I had to ask for assistance to find the door. It’s a great concept and fills up on Thursdays and Fridays, requiring reservations — even at the bar. Boccalino also features a nice bar. It’s a little more sleepy and intimate, but the bartenders are top-notch and even make their own signature cocktail.
The Experience: Terrific property, top service and everyone tries hard to make every guest pleased to be at the Four Seasons.
[item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item check=yes]Separate tub and shower[/item]
[item check=yes]Large vanity[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality towels[/item]
[item check=yes]Powerful, unattached hair dryer[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality bed linens[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, flat-screen television[/item]
[item check=yes]Large desk with convenient outlets[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, complimentary laptop safe[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary in-room WiFi[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary bottled water[/item]
[item check=yes]Stocked minibar[/item]
[item check=yes]Ample lighting[/item]
[item check=yes]In-room coffeemaker[/item]
[item check=yes]Iron and ironing board[/item]
[item check=yes]On-site restaurant[/item]
[item check=yes]24-hour room service[/item]
[item check=yes]24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center[/item]
[item check=yes]Turn-down service[/item]
Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
97 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu
Seoul, 03183, South Korea
tel 82 2 6388 5000
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
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