The Best Hotels to Book in Seoul, South Korea

Youll have the chance to reflect at some of Seouls best hotels – including Banyan Tree Club & Spa
You'll have the chance to reflect at some of Seoul's best hotels – including Banyan Tree Club & Spa | © Banyan Tree Club & Spa / Expedia
Linda Dunsmore

The South Korean capital, Seoul, is a bold mixture of tradition and future-thinking, and this is reflected in its vast number of design hotels. From Gangnam to Dongdaemun, we’ve found the best hotels in Seoul so that you don’t have to – and they’re all bookable on Culture Trip.

1. Mondrian Seoul Itaewon, for playful luxury


Roof terrace at Mondrian Seoul Itaewon, with black-metal tables and chairs, a large central bar, and views across the local area
© Mondrian Seoul Itaewon / Expedia

You won’t know whether to admire your floral wallpapered ceiling and slatted walls or the dreamy foliage-filled spaces in this beautiful boutique hotel in the diverse Itaewon district, a five-minute drive from the hillside N Seoul Tower. You’d better don your best swimwear when you dive into the social-media-savvy glass-walled outdoor pool before soaking up the city sights from the viewing platform, pausing at the Altitude pool bar for tacos and fried prawns, accompanied by Med-style chill-out tunes.

2. Sunbee Hotel Insadong Seoul, for soothing city spaces


Room with basic decor at Sunbee Hotel Insadong Seoul, with a large bed with white bedding, wooden storage furniture, and a wall-mounted TV
© Sunbee Hotel Insadong Seoul / Expedia

This hotel in Seoul is set among the teahouses, shops and galleries of the atmospheric Insa-dong neighbourhood. Spacious and minimal rooms favour cream and pale wood across all types – some sleep up to four. Sit and do nothing, or read a book over a cup of green tea in the inviting paved courtyard. Don’t miss the Jongmyo Confucian shrine, a Unesco World Heritage Site, a 13-minute walk away.

3. Walkerhill Douglas House, for vegan-friendly suites


Cool and contemporary room at Walkerhill Douglas House, with a large bed, wood-panelled walls and patio doors leading to balcony
© Walkerhill Douglas House / Expedia

If you’re a conscious kind of traveller, book this Gwangjin-Gu district retreat, with dreamy gardens on a forested hillside, close to the Hangang River. But if you’re a vegan then you’re in luck: green-accented Grand Vegan Suites go all out to create a fresh, vegan-friendly environment, from plant-based hanji leather, fair-trade cotton linens and vegan-friendly wine and snacks in the mini bar to the eco amenities, slippers and robes. A bevy of places to eat include spots for an organic salad but you can also tuck into pizza and cake at the Le Passage deli and delicate teas at The Pavilion.

4. L7 Hotel Myeongdong, for industrial chic


Sleek room at L7 Hotel Myeongdong, with white walls, a large bed with white bedding, and a black desk
© L7 Hotel Myeongdong / Expedia

A minute’s walk from Myeongdong subway station, you’ve no excuse for not riding around on the metro sightseeing when you stay at this sleek Seoul hotel. Modernist-style suites naturally have whitewalls with the odd pops of bright, bold shades. Check into the foot spa for a little relaxation for your feet – and your eyes, as you look across to Seoul’s Namsan mountain peak and park. You’ll flip out for the American-style breakfasts at Butter Finger Pancakes, although don’t miss the Korean dinner dishes.

5. RYSE, Autograph Collection, for a hip urban hangout

Business Hotel, Hotel

Modern twin room at RYSE, Autograph Collection, with two beds, a contemporary design grey headboard, a sofa, and wooden flooring
© RYSE, Autograph Collection / Expedia

Seoul hotels don’t come swankier than the RYSE. The black metal-and-glass facade of this business district hotel will please fans of contemporary architecture and design. Polished concrete floors, modular lobby loungers, lashings of teal paint and colour-matched fabrics in the rooms create a plush-but-cool vibe. Smack in the heart of the buzzy Hongdae district, you’re a four-minute walk from Trickeye Museum Seoul, the place for a selfie backdrop, lined with fantastical paintings and installations. Start each day at the San Francisco-style coffee bar with fruit tarts and freshly brewed coffee.

6. Park Hyatt Seoul, for swimming with a view


Heated indoor pool at Park Hyatt Seoul with a city view, surrounded by marble floors and wooden seating
© Park Hyatt Seoul / Expedia

The Park Hyatt in Seoul is one of the top properties in Gangnam district. It’s not hard to see why this hotel deserves each of its five stars. If a heated indoor pool with a city view, top-floor spa and fitness center and three unique dining options sound good to you, the Park Hyatt Seoul is your best choice. Located only a few minutes from Samseong Subway Station, the hotel is easily accessible and close to Gangnam’s main attractions. Every room is thoughtfully designed with oak and stone to create a natural feel. Relax in your own large bathtub or under the calming rain shower.

7. JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul, for retail therapy


Rooftop bar with views of the city at JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul, with wooden flooring, and several tables and chairs
© JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul / Expedia
This luxurious five-star property is located in the heart of Seoul’s Dongdaemun district, famous for shopping and retail. All rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows with splendid city views. The marble floors in the bathrooms will take your breath away. Be sure to order a cocktail from the rooftop Griffin Bar to take in views of the pulsating city. The hotel has a 24-hour fitness centre, various meeting rooms, banquet halls and a relaxing indoor pool.

8. The Plaza Seoul, Autograph Collection, for spa treatments

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Twin room at The Plaza Seoul, with two beds, red seating, red lighting and two large wall mirrors
© The Plaza Seoul / Expedia

Modern design and soft tones make the Plaza Seoul one of the best locations in the city centre. Located near City Hall, the hotel is not only easily accessible, but also close to major attractions, including palaces, temples and shopping. Guests especially enjoy the large spa and fitness area where you can get a variety of spa treatments and massages. The dining options are also very varied with anything from healthy Chinese cuisine, Mediterranean buffet options and Japanese cuisine to choose from.

9. The Shilla Seoul, for a choice of cuisines


Outdoor swimming pool at The Shilla Seoul, with a waterfall feature, and sunbeds surrounding it
© The Shilla Seoul / Expedia
The Shilla Seoul has been one of the most renowned addresses in town for years for good reason. Six dining options, a full-service spa, duty-free shopping, free shuttle buses, an indoor golf range, a 24-hour fitness centre with yoga and aerobics trainers, a sculpture garden – the list goes on. You’ll never need to leave the hotel with all-day restaurants offering French, Chinese and Japanese food. The property also houses an award-winning Michelin-starred restaurant with Korean cuisine.

10. Seoul Hotel SR, for easy access to Gimpo Airport


Room at Seoul Hotel SR with modern decor – including dark-wood room dividers, a bed with grey and white bedding, and a grey sofa
© Seoul Hotel SR / Expedia
This property is ideal if you are looking for a comfortable and classy stay near Gimpo Airport. The modern design and wooden textures give this location a sophisticated look. The hotel restaurant offers affordable Italian dishes that can also be ordered as room service. Each room is also equipped with a smart sound system that you can hook your phone up to and listen to your favorite songs while relaxing in the ensuite bathtub or on the large bed. Guests have also access to a business center and fitness center. If you didn’t bring your laptop, you can simply borrow one from the front desk. A free drop-off service for Gimpo Airport is available every two hours between 5.30am and 9.30pm.

11. Hotel Cappuccino, for a stay that keeps it cool


Roof terrace at Hotel Cappuccino, with wooden tables and chairs, festoon lighting, and views across the city
© Hotel Cappuccino / Expedia
If you’d like to stay at one of the 25 coolest hotels in the world according to Forbes, then Hotel Cappuccino is the hotel of your choice. Its on-site bar is popular with locals and guests alike. All rooms are air-conditioned and equipped with a flat-screen TV. Guests also have access to a business centre with computers and printers.

12. Amanti Hotel Seoul, for nearby K-pop clubs

Hotel, Luxury

A luxurious design room at Amanti Hotel Seoul, with dark-wood flooring, a wooden bed with white bedding, a blue sofa and a wooden coffee table
© Amanti Hotel Seoul / Expedia

Amanti Hotel hits a high note in Hongdae, a creative quarter that gets its name from Hongik University, one of South Korea’s most prestigious art schools. The hotel’s monochromatic palette and minimalist furnishings are in keeping with the area’s forward-thinking attitude and the rooftop pool has a buzzy vibe, especially around sundown. Hongdae’s many bars, restaurants and K-pop clubs are within dancing distance.

13. Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel, for European influence

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

A split-level suite at Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel, with exposed brick walls, white furniture and a white kitchen
© Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel / Expedia

Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel is an artsy, up-to-the-minute stay in Itaewon, a liberal district in Seoul’s city centre. The lobby is filled with chrome and mirror-clad artworks and the rooms are usually monochromatic, save for a colourful mural above the bed. Running along the north bank of the Han River, Itaewon has long been popular with European expats, on display in the area’s burgeoning cafe and restaurant scene.

14. Small House Big Door, for proximity to the premier shopping district


Minimalist-design room at Small House Big Door, with white floors and walls, a wooden bed with white bedding, and a wooden bedside table
© Small House Big Door / Expedia

Small House Big Door is an ultra-minimalist design hotel right on the edge of Myeongdong, Seoul’s premier shopping district. The stripped-back interiors and monastic sense of calm are the perfect counterpart to a day spent trawling the markets, Korean cosmetic shops and street-food stalls in this neon-washed hive of commerce.

15. Banyan Tree Club & Spa, for Zen-inducing interiors


A pool suite at Banyan Tree Club & Spa with a stone-clad hot tub overlooking the skyline and mountainside
© Banyan Tree Club & Spa / Expedia

On the forested slopes of Namsam Mountain, Banyan Tree Club & Spa lays claim to some of the most verdant views in the city. Even the entry-level rooms have Zen-inducing interiors and impressive outlooks, but if you can, swing for one of the pool suites, which have stone-clad hot tubs overlooking the skyline and mountainside. Other diversions include a signature Banyan Tree Spa, three restaurants and an ice rink in winter.

Hamish Roy and Jo Fernandez contributed additional reporting to this article.

Fancy discovering even more stunning hotels in Seoul? Check out our guide to the best boutique hotels in Seoul. For more plush hotels, check out the best hotels in Myeongdongsome, or for budget-friendly options, discover the best hostels in Seoul and book now on Culture Trip.

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