SOUTH KOREA’S contemporary cultural make-up is largely dictated by K-pop – the music genre that consists of catchy pop hooks, good-looking stars, and lurid audio-visual elements. But beyond the music, South Korea’s art and culture scene is equally robust even if not as prominent on the world stage.
Whether it’s fashion, art or food, Seoul is a hotspot for some of the coolest joints in the country including vintage boutiques selling distressed denim, cutesy dessert cafés with teenagers huddled around colorful bowls of shaved ice, and secondhand bookstores in tiny alleys.
To fully immerse in the city’s effortless cool factor, here are three hotels to consider if you’re planning a visit.
To truly experience the quirks and idiosyncrasies of a city as cool as Seoul, you absolutely must stay in a funky boutique hotel. That’s where Hotel Cappuccino comes in – playful in aesthetic but still functional for the millennial luxury traveler.
The hotel is smack in the middle of the trendy Gangnam district along Han River, put on the map by way of one viral hit song that took the world by storm. The area has been called the “Mayfair of Seoul” and is often seen as an affluent, high-rise district where upmarket shopping strips and boutiques abound.
Each Instagram-worthy room is compact, comfortable, and minimalist; where they lack in frills they make up for in top-quality mattresses, monochromatic hues, and an unfussy outlook. A bonus: Every room comes with eco-friendly bath products by STOP THE WATER WHILE USING ME!, free wireless internet, and international satellite TV.
We know it’s hard to leave your little pooch behind when going on holiday but the Bark Room – a stylish enclave for your furry friends – means you can bring your pets along. While you’re out and about the city, your furkid can rest on beds made of birch while they don customized pyjamas specifically designed for four-legged guests. Take it a step further with dental chews, pads, and room service menus curated for pets. Read more…
This chic hotel in the district of Gwanak-Gu is close to Seoul National University, Seoul National University Museum of Art, and Seoul Arts Center, all of which are important landmarks to the cultural make-up of the city. In particular, the Arts Center draws in tourists with classical music performances, local plays, and even calligraphy exhibitions.
The hotel’s interior and lobby strays from the ordinary with zebra-style black-and-white hues juxtaposed against jagged textures and raw brick. Meanwhile, the rooms are elegant and minimalist; think browns against greys, wood against concrete.
In tune with the theme of peace and harmony is the spa-inspired bathrooms in the suites, designed to melt your worries and stresses away. Adding to that are amenities and services such as free WiFi in all rooms, 24-hour security, daily housekeeping, private check-in, and taxi services.
As its name suggests, Hotel Loft is stylish, breezy and comfortable; it’s perfect for the fuss-free traveler who doesn’t need the frills but still wants to be seen. The hotel is located in the heart of Seoul, and is only a 5-minute walk to Exit 12 of Dangsan Subway Station. It’s also close to Yoido Full Gospel Church, the Trickeye Museum, and popular shopping spot IFC Seoul.
The hotel especially pulls in young couples who visit from overseas or from interstate for staycations. The area of Yeongdeungpo-Gu attracts yuppies and social media-crazed travelers interested in city trips, cafés and city walks. Location wise, it’s bang on if you’re keen to explore Seoul’s hip fashion and art scene.
Much like a Melbourne-style café, the rooms here carry raw brick walls, hardwood floors, funky steel furniture, and pops of freshness by way of potted plants. To cater to the demographic of young, on-the-pulse travelers, free WiFi is available in all areas of the hotel.
*Some of the properties featured in this article are commercial partners of Travel Wire Asia.