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Conrad Gets Some Seoul At Last

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  Site Where: 23-1 Yeouido-dong Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Korea
November 12, 2012 at 12:53 PM | by | Comments (0)

Courtesy of South Korean pop star Psy’s video-gone-viral, Seoul has gotten quite a bit of attention the last few months. Today, Hilton’s luxury Conrad brand is getting in on the action by opening the doors to its latest hotel in the city (but no word yet on any Gangnam packages).

We were tempted by British Airways’ astoundingly brilliant offer on its new route to Incheon (the home of Seoul’s award-winning airport) to drop £777 ($1235) on a business class return and spend a weekend here ourselves, but with our rational side kicking in we’ll have to settle for a look at the hotel from afar for the moment.

Set within the International Financial Center in the Yeouido business district (dubbed “Korea’s Wall Street”), the Conrad’s 434 guestrooms start at 48 square meters, making them the largest in Seoul. Renderings show the de-rigueur neutral palette of modern business luxury, with lots of blond wood, creams, and greys. Bathrooms follow the same tone with pale marble, and a minor version of the peek-a-boo trend. The hotel has “pure” anti-allergy rooms available.

All rooms offer “Smart Luxury”, using Apple-based technology with an all-in-one multimedia hub, allowing you to either surf the web and access content from your own device or use the in-room Mac computer.

We’re happy to see that a giant development like the IFC, and a luxury hotel within it, does not mean that the environment is forgotten. Grey water is used for all toilets, and rainwater is harvested for irrigation. Solar panels are installed to generate electricity and heat water, with dual-sheet glass for more efficient climate control.

Floors 8 and 9 are dedicated to Pulse8 fitness center and the Conrad Spa, with the former extensive enough to include a golf driving range. A number of restaurants are onsite, including 37 Grill and Bar, which has 360-degree views of Seoul from the 37th floor. Aside from the obvious business ties to the IFC, guests staying here can find a luxury shopping mall and movie theater within the complex. A subway station makes it easy to get around the city.

Asia will continue to be a major focus for Conrad in the next few years, with openings planned in Beijing (now indeed 2013, not this year), Suzhou and Guangzhou (2014), Mumbai and Xiamen (2015), Qingdao (2016), and way out in 2020, Binhai, Tianjin. Elsewhere hotels will arrive in Dubai (2013) and Mecca (2014, but will you be able to stay here?).

Should you have taken the plunge and booked that BA deal, a King Deluxe room is available early December for KRW341,000 ($313), which throws in a choice of breakfast for two or a room upgrade. An Executive floor room costs KRW70,000 ($65) more.

[Photos: Conrad Hotels]

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