Heart & Seoul
Design Anthology’s top five for where to stay in the Korean capital
Situated in the heart of one of Seoul’s most youthful and vibrant neighbourhoods is RYSE — a member of the Autograph collection. The SCAAA-designed tower has Instagram-friendly interiors by London-based Michaelis Boyd who were inspired by the natural contrasts of the Korean landscape. Embracing their locale — the heart of Seoul’s publishing community and the home to one of the city’s art schools — the hotel has incorporated a decidedly old school print and artsy bent to their facilities and events program. An in-house team used a vintage risograph machine to create much of the in-room art collection, there’s a vinyl stamping machine for musicians to lay down tracks, the lobby ‘print culture lounge’ has a collection of hard to find indie titles, respected local gallery Arario has an outpost in the basement and room types include the ‘editors’ room, to the ‘producers’ suite. A great home away from home in the Korean capital for the young at heart, and those that value all things art.
130 Yanghwa-ro, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul; tel: +82 2 330 7700
Four Seasons, Seoul
For a luxurious indulgence in South Korea's capital city, look no further than the Four Seasons, Seoul. Mindful of Korean architecture's ever-conscious relationship with its environment, LTW Designworks — who handled the interior design — strove for material harmony. Thus, translucent back-lit panels cast soft light across the space and co-conspire with a palette of muted earth tones to create a sense of lightness and openness throughout — helped also by the fact that rooms here are the largest in the city. The hotel’s anchor restaurants — Kioku serving Japanese and Yu Yuan serving Chinese — were designed by André Fu and are destinations in their own right.
97 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul; tel: +82 2 6388 5123
The Shilla Seoul
The Shilla Seoul is a veritable institution. Constructed in 1973 and occupying a prominent hilltop position in the centre of the city, it stood as a pinnacle of progress as the country rebuilt. Under the direction of Peter Remedios, interiors have recently seen a full update, now dominated by soothing beige and taupe tones. The property’s traditional hanok is a popular venue for weddings, and Korean restaurant La Yeon — one of eight dining outlets — was awarded three stars in last year’s inaugural Michelin Guide for Seoul.
249, Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul; tel: +82 2 2233 3131
The only DESIGN HOTELS member property in Seoul, GLAD Hotel guarantees a classy stay in a design-fringed atmosphere. The brand has two branches, one in hip Gangnam and another in Yeouido — Seoul’s financial district — with the latter offering luxuriously spacious rooms in a city facing ever-smaller hotel rooms. Ultra-comfortable beds, Italian designed Artemide lighting and a subdued, grayscale colour scheme with dark walnut flooring combine for a restful environment, ideal for a recharge. A business lounge, gym and ground-floor restaurant and cafe round out the offerings.
16 Uisadang-daero, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul; tel: +82 2 6222 5000
Conceived as a reflection of the growing importance attached by young millennials to sharing and communal values — and as an attempt to embody these in the realm of travel — Hotel Cappuccino offers a young and casual ambience. It also offers the unique amenity of suites where owners can host their furry friends, replete with a personalised chew toy at check-in and pet-friendly conveniences in the room. The 141-room hotel is spread across 18 floors with a hip cafe on the ground-floor and a rooftop terrace on the other extreme, which boasts sweeping panoramic views out over the Gangnam district.
155, Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul; tel:+82 2 2038 9500