The Top Hotels in Seoul

Buddhist temples and grand palaces meet neon skylines in Seoul. The city’s hotels are just as varied, ranging from design properties with no-fuss amenities to over-the-top luxury resorts with Michelin-starred cuisine. Here are some of the highlights.

Highlights
11 Yulgok-ro 10-gil, Gwonnong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Amass Hotel may be located in the heart of one of Seoul’s most traditional neighborhoods, but its interiors are modern and industrial. Black-and-white rooms are compact yet comfortable (think heated floors); opt for a quad room for double the space and a private terrace with a covered long table and benches. The rooftop bar offers views of N Seoul Tower and the city’s skyline, and a downstairs café provides a convenient breakfast option, with many others within walking distance. The nearby Bukchon Hanok Village and Insadong-gil street are shopping hubs for souvenirs, folk art, and handicrafts, and the Changdeokgung Palace is across the street (best to buy tickets in the morning and return later for the tours). The hotel offers free bicycle rentals but is also very subway accessible.
Saemunan-ro, Sajik-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The Four Seasons earns its five stars for everything from its location—smack in the middle of Seoul’s most-visited palaces and landmarks—to its detailed amenities, such as customizable mattresses. Rooms overlook Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest and arguably most beautiful of the royal residences, or Cheonggyecheon stream, each a few minutes’ walk from the hotel. Its seven restaurants and lounges include a two-level sushi and sake bar, a Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant, and an exotic cocktail bar hidden speakeasy-style in the basement. The massive wellness center combines traditional Korean spa rituals with personalized beauty treatments and a 24-hour gym with panoramic views. An indoor pool and saunas, a virtual golf simulator, and a Lego kids’ lounge provide something for every guest.
South Korea, Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Nonhyeon 1(il)-dong, Bongeunsa-ro, 155
The Hotel Cappuccino may look like another Gangnam skyscraper hotel, but guests here will find a refreshing emphasis on value—and not just the monetary kind. Among the thoughtful surprises are the Angel Elevator, which makes a clean-water charity donation with each key card swipe, and an in-room Earn & Giveaway box that provides an amenity-traded option for a free drink voucher at the hotel’s café (or the opportunity to pay it forward). The design is vintage-industrial chic, from the metal bunk beds (each with its own TV) in quad rooms to the work stool in the gin-centric rooftop bar. A 24-hour gym, business center, and lifestyle boutique suit pretty much any fancy, and custom-made doggie beds and snacks are available for pets.
South Korea, Seoul, Yongsan-gu, Hannam-dong, 737-32
Despite its rather staid name, the Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel (not to be confused with its nonboutique, five-star cousin in Gangnam) has a fresh and fun approach to design, from the green vinyl swings in the lobby to the colorful pop-art murals in the white-and-glass guest rooms. On the ground floor, a Japanese restaurant serves rice and noodle dishes next to a Godiva chocolate shop, and the hotel can arrange for a halal breakfast to be delivered to your room. Guests have access to a gym but may prefer sweating it out on the dance floor downstairs at Club Made. Just don’t overexert yourself: The hotel is smack in the middle of Itaewon’s trendy bars and restaurants and a few minutes’ walk from the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, and Seoul’s contemporary art scene.
300 Olympic-ro, Sincheon-dong, Seoul, South Korea
Literally the height of luxury, Signiel Seoul opened in April 2017 in the 1,821-foot Lotte World Tower, one of the world’s tallest buildings. Sleek rooms feature murals of cherry blossoms on the walls and Diptyque bath amenitites, plus panoramic views over the Gangnam neighborhood and access to a gym, swimming pool, and exclusive guest lounge and library. The Evian Spa focuses on hydrotherapy and immersion water treatments, and an ice fountain turns the heat down after a visit to the wet or dry sauna. Once you’ve reached total relaxation, enjoy French haute cuisine and decadent desserts at Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno’s Stay restaurant or contemporary Korean at Bicena, then toast your good fortune at the largest champagne bar in Korea—all on the 81st floor.
6 Namdaemun-ro 9-gil, Myeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
A smart little art hotel in the buzzy Myeongdong area, Small House Big Door has 25 tidy rooms sandwiched between a bistro and gallery and a rooftop lounge. Each is a blank canvas for your vibrant K-pop adventures with stylish white-on-white color schemes, poured concrete floors, and minimalist unfinished-wood furnishings. Though amenities are as bare-bones as the accommodations, the restaurant serves a mostly international menu of salads and burgers with a few Korean specialties; there are many other dining options within walking distance. Depending on your mood, the peaceful Cheonggyecheon stream or the surging shopping streets of Myeongdong are just a short stroll away, and the Euljiro 1-ga subway station on line 2 is around the corner.
60 Jang Chung Dan-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
In the center of Seoul, the natural haven of Mt. Namsan and its namesake tower rising over Korea’s capital is the focal point of the city. Nestled amid the trees yet overlooking the sprawling urban landscape is the exclusive Banyan Tree Club & Spa. The resort, which covers 70,000 square meters, offers a relaxing respite from Seoul’s frenzied pace. The Banyan Tree is housed in what was once the Tower Hotel building, crafted in 1967 by Kim Swoo Geun—the same architect who designed the Olympic stadium in Seoul—as his commemoration of the Korean War. The Banyan Tree brand’s in-house design firm Architrave has since remodeled the hotel using inspiration from the five oriental elements of water, fire, metal, wood, and earth. The results are a luxury hotel that is equal parts tranquil, modern, and sophisticated—an alluring combination that draws a plethora of Korean celebrities to luxuriate in the exclusive surroundings.
10 Gukjegeumyung-ro, Yeoeuido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Located on Yeouido Island in the middle of the mighty Han River, the Conrad Seoul is a relatively new addition to the South Korean capital’s futuristic skyline. Opened in 2012, the hotel is situated in the bustling Yeouido business district (aka Korean Wall Street). The Conrad is one of four buildings that make up the International Finance Center designed by world-renowned architecture firm Arquitectonica. The firm is praised for its sleek and modern architecture, and Conrad Seoul is no exception. In fact, its asymmetrical design, avant-garde interiors—including a mesmerizing spiral staircase in the lobby—and impeccable service helped the hotel to win a prestigious World Luxury Hotel Award in 2014. Touches of the Far East such as a Korean-style sauna and Asian fusion restaurant add a sense of place to the luxury property, but the international and multilingual staff ensures that guests from every nation feel right at home. Begin your day with a swim in the 82-foot indoor lap pool, and end it with a sunset cocktail as you watch Korea’s capital light up the night sky.
527-2 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Situated along the bustling, tree-lined avenues of Gangnam, Hotel La Casa is a concept hotel created by one of Korea’s most popular lifestyle and furniture stores, Casa Mia. Known for clean lines and modern touches, the brand is the South Korean equivalent of Ikea. The welcoming lobby is decorated like a cozy study with book-lined walls, plush couches, and picture windows. The 61 rooms of Casa Mia’s flagship design hotel, which opened in 2011, look like pages of a catalog come to life. Rich wood, ample white space with pops of color, and kitschy decor items are meant to make guests feel right at home. Love your pillowcase, the bath towels, or the cute alarm clock next to your bed? The first three levels of the hotel are a massive Casa Mia retail store where guests can purchase items found in their rooms.
606 Teheran-ro, Daechi-dong, Seoul, South Korea
Standing tall in Gangnam—one of Seoul’s most exclusive neighborhoods—is the glass-encased structure that is the Park Hyatt. The hotel’s east-meets-west atmosphere was created by the Japanese design firm Super Potato, using elements of wood, stone, steel, and natural light to create a simple yet elegant space. The natural granite used to construct the bathroom in the Presidential Suite was flown in from China and Japan.

Korean antiques and works by local artists are displayed throughout each floor to help guests immerse themselves in Korean culture during their stay. The best part about the Park Hyatt is where water meets sky at the 24th-floor infinity pool. The hotel’s concierge recommends a swim at sunset, when the golden light melts away and the lights of the city take their place in Seoul’s skyline.
South Korea, Seoul, Jongno-gu, Gahoe-dong, 계동길 49-23
Meaning “a place where one can enjoy the traditions of times past and rest one’s soul,” Rak Ko Jae certainly lives up to its name. Styled after a Chosun Dynasty–era house, the 130-year-old hanok (traditional Korean house) was used by a secret society during the Japanese occupation of Korea before World War II as a place to study and preserve Korean language and culture. In 2003, a master architect, designated by the Korean government as a “Human National Treasure,” renovated the hanok, and now it’s one of the most picturesque places to stay in all of Korea’s capital. Stepping through the gate into the peaceful courtyard feels like going back in time, and the lotus pond, yellow-mud sauna, and traditional Korean cuisine only add to the anachronistic feeling. Guests staying at the small and intimate Rak Ko Jae can take part in many elements of traditional Korean culture such as making kimchi, trying on a hanbok (traditional Korean clothing), or experiencing an afternoon tea ceremony.
177 Walkerhill-ro, Gwangjang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Starwood’s W Hotel chain is known for its contemporary style and design, and the W Seoul-Walkerhill is no exception. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Mt. Achasan—a popular hiking destination in the area—and overlooking the Han River, the hotel is located in a peaceful location rather than amid the chaos of downtown Seoul. Opened in 2004, the W Seoul-Walkerhill has earned a reputation among trendsetting locals for hosting some of the city’s best events. Fashion shows, DJ parties, and design fairs are just a smattering of the happenings you can expect to experience during your stay. The hotel’s futuristic Woo Bar has been featured on countless Korean television dramas, and it’s a popular place for young celebrities to see and be seen. Got a smartphone? Use it to check in upon arrival, and throughout your stay as your room key.
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