Westin Chosun Seoul
Ideally situated on the cusp between major financial, retail, and historic districts is the Westin Chosun Seoul. Built during the Japanese occupation of Korea, the hotel survived through World War II and is the oldest in the country. Originally the Chosun Hotel, it was designed by German architectural firm Goetheland. Constructed in 1914, the European-style building was unique among its distinctly Asian counterparts. The Chosun was known for opulence and imported luxury goods from Europe and North America: a crystal chandelier from Tiffany’s in New York, silver dining utensils from Germany
, and linens from Ireland
. The hotel was also the first in Korea to build an elevator, host a ballroom dance, and serve ice cream. Most of the original building was demolished in 1970, and the modern hotel was rebuilt in its stead. Fortunately, the view hasn’t changed in a century. The hotel overlooks the picturesque Hwangudan Temple (“Temple of Heaven”).