THE HOTEL REVIEW
Situated strategically adjacent to the iconic Gyeongbukgung Palace in the city’s business centre Gwanghwamun, Four Seasons Seoul has taken approximately ten years to realise – and for very good reasons. Not only is the five-star luxury hotel extremely particular when it comes to location, but also, the uniqueness of the design, décor, as well as the story of the zip code. A breathtaking panoramic view of the palace is framed against the sturdy mountains that surround Seoul, while night lights fall in the most effervescent manner once twilight calls.
THE LOBBY (because first impressions matter)
You can definitely expect some serious interior design fans to spazz when they step through the door. Designed by Heerim Architects & Planners, decorated by floral designer Nicolai Bergmann, there is light where it needs light in particular shafts; there is romance where you need romance. Every detail is taken care of with precision to enrapture you, and that is no overstatement.
The hotel design takes a leaf from the Korean patterns of traditional Korean hanok, and traditional artisanal craft and preserves authentic Joseon dynasty relics, which can be viewed behind glass panes around the hotel, fusing them with clean sleek lines and the most modern amenities ever in the hotel world. For the first time after countless visits to Seoul, I was met with impeccable English, and was shown to my room in one flourish. There it is - the Four Seasons five-star treatment that has not let me down so far, whether it be in Hong Kong or Kyoto or Seoul.
(Now, down to brass tacks…)
What Four Seasons can bring, in addition to their signature clean sleek lines and flawless glass panes, is also the latest technology, complete with all the electronic gadgets and paraphernalia that you can possibly imagine, at your disposal. I fell instantly in love with the walk-in wardrobe (as you can see in the video), and was further floored when I arrived in the main bedroom, where the view of the Palace was right before me, in its full glory. Major points too for the excellent tea section at the mini bar - anyone who endorses O’sulloc knows great tea. For techies, you will definitely rejoice in the mini iPad, widescreen television, and automated-everything. You literally could lie on your bed and lift a finger to have everything within control.
THE ROOM SERVICE (fussy eaters, heads up)
I remember a great bibimbap on the menu, but as I have specific dietary requirements, I always ask for a tailor-made dish - the results? Patience and precision on their part. I have no qualms in doling out plaudits with regards to the excellent service of Four Seasons, and Seoul is no exception. It was brand spanking new when I first visited in October, which possibly could be one of the many reasons why the staffers were so on their ball - but as I have said, Four Seasons rarely disappoints when it comes to room service, and going beyond beck and call.
And for ladies who wish to seek for a few hours of peace, seek no further than the refuge that is The Spa at Four Seasons Seoul. Apart from a Korean sauna that takes detox to a whole new level, rituals that cull from the deep-seated traditional healing and medicinal arts will have you rejuvenated and pampered to the brim. Did I mention too that you can sit by the panoramic window and sip on complimentary nokcha? Divine.
Four Seasons Seoul, 97 Saemunan-ro, Dangju-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea