The Best Hotels in Seoul, South Korea

South Korea's huge capital city, Seoul
South Korea's huge capital city, Seoul | © Jenny Kim / Unsplash
Photo of Linda Dunsmore
24 December 2020

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.

Grammos Hotel

Hotel
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Hotel Grammos
Courtesy of Grammos Hotel / Expedia

You’ll feel like a king when you check into Grammos Hotel in Gangnam. The stunning rooftop pool makes this property a unique location in Seoul. Moreover, the hotel features a business center, luggage storage services and complimentary wifi throughout the premises. The rooms are spacious and come with luxurious ensuite bathrooms. The hotel is located only a short walk from Yeoksam Subway Station near COEX in Gangnam.

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Park Hyatt Seoul

Hotel
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Views galore at the Park Hyatt | Courtesy of Hotels.com

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.

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JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul

Hotel
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JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul
Courtesy of 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 center, various meeting rooms, banquet halls and a relaxing indoor pool.
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The Plaza Seoul, Autograph Collection

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
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THE PLAZA Seoul
Courtesy of The Plaza Seoul / Expedia

Modern design and soft tones make the Plaza Seoul one of the best locations in the city center. 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.

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The Shilla Seoul

Hotel
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The Shilla
Courtesy of The Shilla / 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 center 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.
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Seoul Hotel SR

Hotel
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SR Hotel Seoul Magok
Courtesy of 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.
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Baiton Seoul Dongdaemun

Hotel
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Baiton Seoul Dongdaemun
Courtesy of Baiton Seoul Dongdaemun / Expedia
This property is located in a convenient part of Seoul with Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Bangsan Market only a short walk away. Baiton Seoul Dongdaemun has a 24-hour front desk, free luggage storage and a fitness center. Moreover, each room is equipped with a flat-screen TV, a desk, a seating area and a fridge. If you are looking for a convenient location in the center of Seoul near major attractions offering a comfortable atmosphere, this hotel is a great choice.
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Hotel Cappuccino

Hotel
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Hotel Cappuccino
Courtesy of Hotel Cappuccino / Expedia
If you’d like to stay at one of the 25 coolest hotels in the world according to Forbes, then Hotel Cappucino 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 center with computers and printers.
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Nox Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
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Nox Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Nox Boutique Hotel / Expedia
This fun boutique hotel is one of the most booked locations in Seoul due to its great entertainment facilities. Each room features a flat-screen 3D TV with a vast movie selection. It’s a popular location for those who like to party with a high-quality surround-sound system and soundproofed walls. The indoor pool is also often used for private pool parties. Nox Boutique Hotel is a great location for anyone looking for a great time in Seoul.
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Amanti Hotel Seoul

Hotel, Luxury
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Amanti Hotel Seoul
Courtesy of 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.

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  • Hotel the Artist Dongseon

    Hotel, Luxury
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    Hotel the Artist Dongseon
    Courtesy of Hotel the Artist Dongseon / Expedia

    Hotel the Artist Dongseon channels the lofts of New York with its exposed brick walls, poured concrete floors and stripped-back furnishings. This industrial-style stay is located in Seongbuk-gu, a student neighbourhood dotted with historic homes, enticing tea houses and worldly boutiques. As you stroll through the streets, keep an eye out for the house that once belonged to Han Yong-un, the poet and monk credited with modernising Buddhism in Korea.

    K-pop Stay

    Budget Hotel, Hostel
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    K-Pop Hotel
    Courtesy of K-Pop Hotel / Expedia

    Hostel K-pop Stay is in Hongdae, the haunt of artists, musicians and up-and-coming designers. Every bunk has power outlets, a reading light and a privacy curtain, so it’s suited to solo travellers and groups of friends. It’s also a monument to Korea’s favourite music genre: there’s K-pop art on the walls, music videos in the cafe and the terrace is soundtracked by the latest anthems. Hongdae is home to many of Seoul’s best music venues and bars, making it a playground for night owls.

    Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel

    Boutique Hotel, Hotel
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    Dining area at the Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel | Courtesy of Hotels.com

    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.

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    Small House Big Door

    Boutique Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of Small House Big Door / Hotels.com

    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.

    Banyan Tree Club & Spa

    Hotel
    Map View
    Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul
    Courtesy of Banyan Tree Club and Spa Seoul / 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.

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    Hamish Roy contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on December 24, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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