on December 7, 2005
The Grand Hyatt Seoul is located at the foot of Mount Namsan, in the district of Yongsan-gu. A convenient location for those on a business trip, as it is also adjacent to the city centre and the districts of Jung-gu and Gangnam-gu (where the pricey and upmarket Apgujeong area is located).As befits its reputation, the Grand Hyatt is an international 5-star hotel (note that Korea has its own system of hotel ratings, which do not necessarily equate to international hotel ratings). Hence it has the usual amenities - posh F & B outlets (with equally expensive prices to boot), tennis courts, a spa and fitness centre, business centre and the Club Floor.We stayed in a Grand View King Room; the fittings and furnishings were classy and elegant, and we had a great view of the Hannam (Han River) and Hannamgyo Bridge. However, the size of the room left much to be desired. We found it to be a shoebox compared to a standard hotel room in a typical 5-star establishment. My husband (who is 6 feet in height) found the bathroom to be a real squeeze - forget about sharing it as it can accommodate only 1 person at a time, such was its size. Definitely not enough room to swing a towel, much less a cat! The mattress was quite uncomfortable and small for a supposed "king-sized bed" (it definitely wasn't king-sized), which we thought was also strange given that the rooms were priced at a premium - ours cost close to KRW300,000/night (almost USD$300, including taxes).Strangely enough, tea/coffee making facilities were not standard...though Housekeeping obliged me with a kettle and a couple of cups (at no extra charge) after I made a request. No complimentary tea or coffee though! We were also charged an extra KRW20,000 (about USD$20) per night for an "additional occupant" (me!), though the room was a double room to begin with and only my husband and I were occupying it. These left us with the impression that the hotel was more interested in charging their guests as much as they could, without providing the extra services which would be expected in return.Service was generally polite but rather impersonal (maybe even bordering on snobbish). All in all, it wasn't the best Grand Hyatt that we'd stayed in--it was overpriced for the amenities and room offered and the service could have been more friendly and personal - considering that we stayed there for 7 nights. Then again, perhaps the hotel is aware that there are only a few international 5-star hotels in the city centre and hence, could explain the pricing and service levels.
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