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Have you heard about Seoul's hotness? South Korea's hipper-than-thou capital is gaining street cred due to a recent opening of a 10 Corso Como, a Fashion Week growing quickly in international regard, and not to mention the popularity of Korean TV dramas around the world.
The development of Seoul as a sort of new Tokyo (albeit slightly more affordable) is creating a distinctive thirst among tourists and locals alike: for luxury and high design.
This is why, in a city where women wear high heels everywhere, the Metro Hotel Myungdong looks and feels so good. So it doesn't have the best views, but then what is a great view in a city planned without much regard to green spaces and well...city planning?
You know the scene. You open the door to your brand new hotel room, run over to the window, open the blinds and bam, you are hit with the anti-view. Maybe you are looking down a dirty alley, witnessing a drug deal, staring at an air shaft in the face, or seeing a brick wall. Whatever you are viewing it is not extremely pleasurable. Help out your fellow hotel mavens by uploading your anti-views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number with the not-so-easy-on-the-eyes view.
Before we talk about the view from Seoul's Metro Hotel Myungdong, let's talk about what their website promises:
A Journey ... Not the Same ... You will have plenty to feel satisfied about, plenty to smile about in Metro.
That's a big promise and if we check the view from this room, we're not smiling too hard or feeling enormously satisfied yet. There's a lovely concrete jungle, if you can smile about that kind of thing, and some weird architecture going on with the building next door. What are these big squares all about, and who is meant to see them, other than guests at this level or higher in the Metro Hotel? It kind of looks like a part of the building that they've put on in the wrong place.
We shouldn't be too hard on the Metro Hotel's view--Seoul's a huge city and there can't be too many killer views from Seoul hotels. To its credit, the Metro is centrally located and offers reasonably-priced rooms from around $100 a night. There are 75 rooms that include an internet connection, satellite TV channels and double glazed windows to keep out some of the city noise.
If you're still balancing up the bad view versus the decent hotel ideas, here's a quote from the Metro's website to tip the scales: "Seoul's Metro Hotel fits like a well-made Korean glove." Say no more.
· Hotels in Seoul [HotelChatter]
· Travel Stories in Seoul [Jaunted]
The Lotte Hotel Seoul just won a gong as the "Best Individual Hotel in Asia", as decided by Global Traveler USA magazine. The Lotte Hotel is a 1349-room extravaganza, recently refurbished (and 370 rooms were added brand new), and with a new grand lobby on the 14th floor.
While its specialization is "super-deluxe service for business travelers", there are obviously enough rooms for everyone and tourists also pick it for the central location. A few gripes include the expensive charges for the internet and the hotel's so big that it can sometimes feel a bit impersonal.
The Lotte Hotel is actually part of a huge complex called Lotte World which also includes an amusement park, sports center, water slide park, folk museum and a huge shopping center--promoters describe it as a mini-city. So you could go to Lotte World, stay in the luxury of the Lotte Hotel, and never actually see Seoul, apart from the trip from the airport. But that'd be a bit Seoul-less, wouldn't it?
· Lotte Hotel Seoul reviews [TripAdvisor]