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Review: The Westin Chosun, Seoul

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Nestled in the heart of the Seoul, the Westin Chosun Hotel already had something going for it before I arrived—its prime location around restaurants and shopping automatically puts the hotel in a favorable position for those visiting Seoul for business or pleasure.

But location is not everything. While I have yet to have a bad experience at a Westin, a hotel must also offer a comfortable room and good amenities to earn my praise. Even though the hotel was under construction during my stay (construction which is now complete), the hotel staff was excellent, my room was comfortable, and I add the Westin Chosun to my recommended hotel list.

Search The Westin Chosun Availability



First, if you are coming to the hotel from Gimpo Airport via bus, be warned: the limousine busses do not make a stop directly at the hotel (whereas the Incheon Airport bus does). Get off at the Ibis hotel stop and walk down one block. The hotel will be on your left.

Check-in was in a temporary lobby (I could have proceeded directly to the top floor Westin Executive Club to check-in, but wasn’t sure where it was at the time) and I was promptly checked in. I asked for a dinner recommendation and was given the name of a Korean BBQ restaurant just around the corner from the hotel. It was a rainy evening and by now it was pushing 10pm, so I wasn’t exactly in the mood to go out, especially after the dinner on the ANA flight from Tokyo Haneda, but decided to go anyway.

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I was assigned a room on the executive level, which gave me access to the club lounge, offering an extensive breakfast buffet in the morning and snacks and drinks during the rest of the day. The room itself, a standard room, had  a nice view and maximized the space nicely. The sitting area near the window added a nice touch to the room—making the room a little more cozy.

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A specially labeled bottle of Chilean red wine from the Westin Chosun was sitting on the coffee table along with some fruit, mixed nuts, and cheese.

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After relaxing for a bit too long, I left the hotel to find the Korean BBQ recommended by the girl who checked me in. It did not take me long to find the restaurant, but it was now ten minutes before 11pm and I was told that it was too late for seating. Unfortunately, most restaurants seemed to close at 11pm and I was turned away at a number of  places before finally settling on fast food.

I had an excellent night’s rest and awoke to the soft patter of rain the following morning. It was the kind of weather that makes you pull up the comforter and go back to sleep—which is exactly what I did. With my DMZ tour cancelled, there was not urgent need to get up. I slept another hour but was cognizant enough to realize that I only had until 10am for breakfast in the lounge.

At 9:30a I made my way upstairs and was pleasantly surprised to see a wide selection of hot and cold and breakfast items in what could only be described as one of the classiest hotel lounges I have ever visited. With a mesh divider hanging from the ceiling, each table was semi-private and there were a couple lounge/conference rooms with TVs and comfortable couches.  Two concierge members and plenty of wait staff were on hand to assist guests in anyway needed.

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After a refreshing breakfast, I went back to my room, blogged for awhile, then returned to the lounge to checkout. I was on my way to the Park Hyatt at the other side of town, but I ended up returning to Chosun area later in the day to walk around and eat dinner.

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This is also a great hotel to stay at if you are planning a DMZ tour—most tours depart form the Lotte complex which is just one block away from the hotel. I have nothing bad to say about this hotel—I chose to stay here one night because I had heard great things about the property and due to the free resort nights promotion Starwood was running at the time and left very pleased. If location and comfort is your concern, this is the hotel to stay in.

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Comments

#1
Steve July 18, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I am curious what the people of South Korea are like, especially to non locals. Are they really friendly and accepting? Also, is it a fairly safe place to visit?

Thanks!

Steve, those are excellent questions.

To be honest, I have been to much friendlier places. I think to some extent it is a language issue, but I found Koreans to be closer to Chinese than Japanese when it came to friendliness (i.e. less friendly, not more friendly).

Of course that is a gross generalization and I did receive friendly service at the hotels and exceptional service in Asiana First (trip report coming). I was only in South Korea for a few days, but I interacted with enough people to get that impression.

As for safety, I felt very safe walking around central Seoul after midnight.

#3
tot July 22, 2011 at 06:22 pm

Will you be posting your review on Park Hyatt Seoul?

@tot: Yes, I am in the process of writing it and it should be published NLT than the end of next week.

This club floor looks much nicer than the club floor at the Grand Hyatt.

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