Introduction: Finding my Seoul-mate
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Review: Conrad Seoul
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After a decent night at the ibis Styles Ambassador Myeongdong, I stayed in my hostel for the rest of the week looking forward to the highlight of the trip – the Conrad Seoul.
I had booked the Conrad Seoul during a Hilton flash sale and was initially booked into the King Premium Room with Han River views for a grand total of about 200,000 KRW. Not too bad of a price. The Conrad Seoul is Hilton’s flagship property in the Korean capital and it is located at the IFC at Yeouido station.
It took me a good hour from my hostel to get to Yeouido but thankfully I only had to change once from Line 2 to Line 5. If you’re taking the subway to get to the Conrad Seoul, just follow the signs towards the hotel from the station. From the station, it was a good 5-10 minutes walk to get to IFC Mall.
After walking through at least 200 metres of travelators, you’ll finally reach IFC Mall. Enter the mall, and look for the signs towards the hotel.
The hotel’s mall entrance is located one floor up from the floor you enter IFC Mall from.
You then have to take the lifts up to the lobby from the mall’s entrance.
The hotel occupies floors 1 to 37 of the IFC and the Executive Lounge is thankfully located on the top floor of this hotel which gave great views of the Han River. More on that later.
Once you reach the ground floor, you’ll be greeted by the nice looking lobby and the check-in counters are to the left.
I got myself checked-in pretty quick and have already been confirmed an upgrade into a Grand Corner King suite earlier that morning. The hotel was very reluctant to give upgrades based on reviews on FlyerTalk but thankfully I managed to
beg sweet-talk them into giving me an upgrade for my one-night stay.
Unfortunately, Seoul hotels are at a very high occupancy on the weekends and I was only given a 12.30 pm late check-out. Yes, you read that right a 12.30 pm late check-out.
After getting my keys and being informed of the perks a Diamond member receives at the hotel, I made my way up to my room. For those interested, here’s a letter stating all the benefits you will get if you are staying in a room with Executive Lounge privileges:
My room, 2405, was located on the 24th floor of the hotel which is relatively low. The lobby area was bathed in yellow light and was very soothing for some reason.
Since my room was a Grand Corner King suite, naturally it was in a corner and man, I had high hopes even before entering the room.
All my life, the suites that I have been given were rather meh. Not too big, yet not too small. But damn, this particular suite really impressed me.
Entering the suite, you’re greeted with a view of the living area that has a great view of the Han River. To the left of the entrance is the “guest” toilet.
Walking a few steps in, there is a connecting corridor cum wardrobe which is where you can find the ironing boards, hangers, and safe. This also connects to the main bathroom of the suite.
The Grand Corner King suite was huge in my opinion and although the living area wasn’t that big, I was impressed by the size of the bedroom. The mini-bar area is located beside the television that was equipped with a Bose Sound System that I did not know how to operate. Apple TV was also present in the room.
Thankfully, a Nespresso machine can be found in the room. I really appreciate a hotel room that has a Nespresso machine as come on, we’re living in 2019. The snacks and drinks in the mini-bar are ridiculously overpriced. Complimentary bottled water can be found both at the mini-bar area and in the bedroom.
Even though my suite was only on the 24th floor, it had a great view of the Han River and Seoul.
The television was large and the image quality was excellent with a good choice of international and local channels.
I did not make much use of the living area during my stay as I simply lounged on my bed. The bedroom was huge.
A daybed can be found in the room beside the window, making it very nice to just lay there and watch the world go by.
The bed itself was amazing and the mattress was just right, not too firm and not too soft and I had no trouble sleeping that night. The pillows were also super fluffy and although I was alone in this huge suite, I made use of all five pillows to build a pillow fort for myself.
On the right side of the bed, there was a room control console where you could lower the blinds and adjust the temperature of the air conditioning.
On the left of the bed, the manual buttons to control the lights can be found here. I don’t quite understand why they did not install universal power sockets here too but thankfully I brought along my 2-pin phone charger.
The work desk in the bedroom was your standard work desk with easily accessible power ports.
The bathroom in this suite is huge and I quite liked the design. One thing I did not like, was that the bathtub was in full view of the opposite office building. There are blinds that can be lowered so you will not have to worry about flashing other people that are working in the neighbouring building.
The standing shower had excellent water pressure and the toilet was in its own room (?). The bathroom is also connected to the walk-in wardrobe. A Dyson hairdryer was also present in the room and I had fun drying my short hair with it. Cause well, it’s a Dyson.
Oh and, the toilet had an electronic bidet. *winks*
The bathroom featured dual-sinks and forever alone me, took turns to wash my hands in both sinks during my stay. Bath amenities are provided by Shanghai Tang which is the new brand standard for Conrad hotels. I kind of miss the Aromatherapy Associate branded ones.
Oh and if you are wondering why is there a remote in the bathroom, see the little opaque-ish square at my belly area? That’s a display for you to watch television while answering the call of nature.
The Executive Lounge of the Conrad Seoul is located on the 37th floor of the hotel. Having Hilton Honors Diamond status, I automatically had access to the Executive Lounge which helped me save a few dollars in dinner money that day.
The lounge was quite spacious and had plenty of seating. Soft drinks and bottled water are available in the fridges at the back of the lounge.
I appreciate executive lounges that have fridges where guests are able to take their own drinks themselves.
When I popped by the executive lounge in the afternoon, a small selection of light bites was available as part of the Afternoon Tea “meal time”.
I retreated to the comforts of my room for a short nap before returning again at 5.30pm for the evening cocktails. Being the kiasu Singaporean that I am, I arrived exactly at 5.30 pm only to see that the lounge was packed. Thankfully, I was alone (sobs) and the staff was able to find me a seat easily.
The spread wasn’t very big, but it was definitely sufficient for a dinner substitute if you aren’t fussy.
The alcohol selection was pretty standard and nothing particularly stood out to me. Or maybe it was because I had 2 glasses of Cava.
As you might have expected, watching the sunset from the lounge was pretty awesome.
After having dinner in the lounge, I went down to check out the gym. The gym at the Conrad Seoul is huge and I dare say one of the biggest I have come across so far. The gym is fully equipped and is open 24/7.
A heated indoor swimming pool is also available but since it was the summer months, the pool was packed and I couldn’t get a good picture of it. On the same floor as the swimming pool and gym, was an indoor golf simulator. Ah, Koreans.
When I came back to the room, the room was already turned down and a pair of slippers were placed at the bedside with the curtains drawn. The bottle of water and the glass cup on a coaster is also a nice touch.
As the night was still young, instead of lazing in bed I headed to Vvertigo, the hotel’s bar. Drinks were slightly on the higher side and I got myself a Gin and Tonic as well as a side of truffle fries which might be the best truffle fries I had in my life so far.
The next morning, I decided to first have breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant Zest before heading up to the lounge for round 2. When I came down for breakfast at 9am, the restaurant was full and I was given a queue number. What I was impressed with was that the hotel had set up a small spread of pastries and juice for those who were waiting for a table.
If there was one regret I had, it was that I did not steal the large Conrad bear.
The restaurant was large inside and the spread was good. It definitely does not compare to what we are used to in South East Asia but it was still good in my opinion. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Oh and, yes there was kimchi at breakfast. A-mazing.
I got myself an egg white omelette cause, fitspo.
Near the entrance of the restaurant, there was also a Kids Corner with “kid-friendly” food available. The Conrad Jr bear was so cute.
After assembling my breakfast, I gobbled it down with 20 minutes before breakfast ended in the lounge and headed upstairs to the executive lounge for round 2.
The spread at the executive lounge was pretty good in my opinion but I’d still head down to the main restaurant for one round of food first before coming back up to fill my stomach.
Bottled soy milk, fresh milk, and orange juice were available in the fridges. The eggs and hollandaise sauce on the eggs benedict was okay but the muffin was a complete letdown. For some reason, they had Portuguese egg tarts on offer but they butchered it into quarters. The nerve.
I had an excellent stay at the Conrad Seoul overall. If there’s one thing that I did not like, it was the location. The rooms are spacious, breakfast was good and the staff were nice. I definitely will come back to the Conrad Seoul in the future when I’m back in Seoul, especially since Hilton frequently runs 50% flash sales from time to time.
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