From the upper floors on the north side of The Plaza hotel in central Seoul, this is the view up Sejong-ro, the city's historical main axis.
Reopened in 2010 after extensive renovation and redesign by the Italian designer Guido Ciompi, this is Seoul's luxury boutique hotel in the middle of it all. Toward the end of our trip to Korea, my wife and I decided to splurge on a night here.
We didn't have time to enjoy all of the hotel's amenities, but the spa and artisanal French bakery were on our list. In room, everything (including drapes and curtains) was remote-controllable from a bedside touch-screen phone.
Perhaps one of The Plaza's greatest amenities is its central location. After my wife's spa treatment, but before catching the direct bus from the hotel to the airport, we were able to go for a walk in the garden of 15th-century Deoksu-gung palace across the street. (The basement of the hotel also connects to underground-shopping-arcades and the subway.)
Specifically, the view from above looks over giant television screens on the sides of skyscrapers, over monument-dominated Gwanghwamun pedestrian plaza, on to Gyeongbok-gung Palace (built when Seoul was established as the capital in 1392), and finally The Blue House on the flank of Bugak-san mountain, the official residence of the South Korean president.
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