Immortalised in the hit song by Korean rapper Psy, Gangnam is Seoul’s most exclusive district. Although it’s not quite as central as areas like Hongdae and Myeongdong, on the other side of the Han River, it’s popular with visitors thanks to the high chances of K-pop celebrity sightings, a glitzy nightlife scene and stylish shopping outlets. Here’s a selection of the best hotels in Gangnam.
L7 Gangnam by Lotte
One of the spacious rooms at L7 Gangnam by Lotte | Courtesy of Hotels.com
If you’re looking to live it up Gangnam-style like a true Korean, this is the place to stay. Lotte is a multinational Korean conglomerate that you can’t miss if you spend any time in the country; from giant amusement parks to cosy café chains and iconic confectionery, Lotte does it all. L7 Gangnam is one of the newest locations in the L7 hotel brand, and offers four-star accommodation that is modern and well-designed. A particularly nice feature is the terrace-level ‘Floating Bar’.
Gangnam Artnouveau City is five minutes’ walk from Gangnam metro station, making it convenient for sightseeing and travel. Its large rooms are furnished in a plush, European-inspired Art Nouveau style; if you’ve ever seen one of those K-pop videos where they channel Victorian-era vintage, that’s the vibe Artnouveau City gives off. Rooms come equipped with a well-furnished kitchenette and washing machines. The hotel has a rooftop garden with good views out over Seoul. Its small ground-level restaurant, Bella, serves excellent pizza.
Hotel Newv opened in June 2018, making it one of the more recent additions to the Gangnam hotel world, but it’s already becoming established as a great place to stay. It’s furnished in a sleek, contemporary style, and lots of attention has been paid to design (the elegant bathtubs are an especially nice feature). As well as a fitness centre, wellness facilities include yoga classes and a sauna. All rooms are equipped with complimentary smartphones for use during your stay.
Cheongdam Guesthouse is a hostel rather than a hotel; it has no room service, and facilities are fairly basic. It’s included in this list, however, because it’s a fabulous option for budget travellers and female friends (note that the accommodation is women-only). Rooms are airy and beautifully designed, with lots of Scandi-style wood flooring and floral accents. It’s very centrally located, and right next to a number of entertainment agencies, meaning that many of its guests are K-pop fans. The staff are friendly and helpful, and go out of their way to make visitors feel comfortable and welcome.
Surprisingly affordable given its swish, sophisticated design, Hotel Soulhada is a three-star boutique hotel close to the COEX Convention and Exhibition Centre. Rooms are elegantly decorated in a neutral, faintly masculine colour palette, and are equipped with irons (not always a given in hotels in this area, despite its status as a business district). Staff are friendly, and there’s a small rooftop terrace.
Opened in 2014, Aloft Seoul Gangnam is a funky, modern four-star hotel. It’s close to the river, and a number of rooms have riverside views. Although it’s geared more towards business than leisure travellers, it has a number of useful amenities including a coin laundry, 24-hour gym, and a roof terrace. It’s also dog-friendly.
Finally, we would be remiss to ignore Gangnam’s many five-star hotel offerings. The nicest of these is the Park Hyatt, which has an indoor infinity pool, range of spa services, and a vinyl music bar. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide great views overlooking the city.