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Old Nov 7, 2001, 8:22 am
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anyone has experience with Grand Hyatt Seoul ?? i tried doing a search in this forum but it doesn't seem that it has been discussed before...

how's the location ? i'm going on leisure...is it close to shopping district and visitors' attractions ?

in particular, i have a suite upgrade that comes with my diamond kit...how's the suites in this Hyatt ? what kind of suites am i likely to get upgraded to, with the upgrade and as a diamond ?

thanks a lot !!
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Old Nov 7, 2001, 9:01 am
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It's a very nice propery on Namsam Hill, close to downtown and Itaewon.
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Old Nov 7, 2001, 9:06 am
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As doc says, but I think you need a taxi at least to get to Myondong, which I personally consider central ....

It's on a hill top and very nice. Taxis are not expensive. But I prefer the Westin in Seoul ....
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Old Nov 7, 2001, 9:37 am
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Two years ago I stayed there quite a time during winter, although I do not have experience with the suites.
The location is as mentioned on a hillside, therefore you have a nice view to the (new part) of the city. Unfortunately during winter the view ist mostly hazy due to the high pollution.
Outside of the gym you have a nice ice rink (the only one in Seoul) which is very popular in winter.
Generally the hotel is probably the most frequented expat gathering hole in Seoul due to the fact that a lot of embassies are on the Namsan hill and that the restaurants are quite nice.
In the driveway and around the ice rink all trees are completely covered with thousands of little lights, simply gorgeous.
As mentioned earlier you need a taxi from there, no public transport.
If you have to do business in Seoul make sure it is downtown and not in the new business area south of the river (Kangnam), because the bridges from across the river are constantly congested and it can take you an hour from the Hyatt to the Kangnam area.

Enjoy your stay, it is worth it. And if you need some really western food, the deli at the Hyatt has evrything you can ask for.
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Old Nov 7, 2001, 7:35 pm
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I stayed there this May, upgraded to suite using GP points. During check in they told me that I would be upgraded to Exec suite instead of Jr. suite since all Jr. suite was occupied. The suite was pretty nice I would rate it below GH Fukuoka/Osaka and above GH Taipei/Singapore.

Taxi is inexpensive and they have a free shuttle bus service to the shopping strip down the hill. If you need to go to different shopping district and/or visitors' attractions in the same day, make sure to have them write down all their name for you in Koran as most taxi driver doesn’t know English that well.

Have a nice trip.
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Old Nov 9, 2001, 9:15 am
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Grand Hyatt Seoul is a really nice property-- try to get a room overlooking the city. The f&B within the hotel is outstanding. The only problem, to which others have alluded, is that you'll need a taxi to get to just about everything.
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Old Nov 14, 2001, 7:44 am
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Agree with the comments above. Hyatt is quite nice.
For leisure, if you can get a comparable deal, would recommend the Westin since it's walking distance to many attractions and public transport.
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Old Jan 2, 2003, 9:28 pm
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Hyatt Grand Seoul?

Any experiences with this? I read that it's a 15 min hike from the train station, up a long hill. Any feedback? I am heading there Jan 19-25
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Old Jan 3, 2003, 12:36 am
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Don't know if you mean the subway station down the hill, if that is what you refer to then there is a free shuttle bus service (I think about 20min apart) to and from that area.
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Old Jan 3, 2003, 8:03 pm
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And if you miss the shuttle, its an extremely cheap taxi ride down the hill to Itaewon and its station. A bit longer ride around Namsan and down to Seoul station.
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Old Jun 15, 2003, 4:43 pm
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Grand Hyatt Seoul -- Good hotel in a terrible location

I'm writing this from Seoul. As a Diamond, I was upgraded to the club floor, where there is breakfast service and a "happy hour" with some food. That's good, because the hotel restaurants (including the take-out "deli") are breathtakingly expensive, and there isn't much in the way of alternatives nearby.

The hotel sits up on top of a steep hill, and the nearest subway station is at the bottom. It's a nontrivial walk, especially uphill, and you can get lost.

The hotel runs a half-hourly shuttle, starting too late at 10am, which runs on a long and strange loop. Insead, it should merely go to and from the bottom of the hill and run much more frequently. Fortunately, taxis are cheap (if you pick the right kind of taxi).

How about a guide to using the frequent city busses that go nearby?

Rooms are quite small, but there a few "corner king" rooms which are $20-25/night more and materially better. My suite upgrade, using the Diamond upgrade coupon, didn't materialize. They lost the request made through reservations, so I didn't see any suites -- I traded them the coupon for the corner king room.

Since Hyatt can't move the hotel, I sadly conclude that absent better connections to the rest of town, I would probably stay somewhere in a better location next time.
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Old Jun 15, 2003, 10:14 pm
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I've stayed at this hotel many, many times. The rooms are good, not great, and I really like the lobby and common areas (except when they have those inane singers waigook singers at the bar-lounge, talk about driving away the paying customer). The restaurants at the hotel are indeed breath-takingly expensive, but I think the Paris Grill and Bar is the best restaurant in Seoul.

I've always been treated very well here, and continue to patronize this hotel. My business takes me to Yoido, on the other side of the river, so I'm pretty much SOL since all the good hotels in Seoul (Shilla, RC, Chosun, Hyatt) are about equidistant from where I have to go, so I use the Hyatt.
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Old Jun 16, 2003, 7:21 am
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Shot. I have three FFN at this Hotel is September 2003. You are correct the rates are very expensive. At least more than I imagined. I also have another reservation at the Westin using a SPG50. I like the Hyatt because I will be out hardly no cash. The taxes and service alone are hefty. Can you tell me more about the rooms, if you had a chance to tour, that walk up and down the hill or if the shuttle has been ok? Any other thoughts are appreciated. The Hotel ranks high in Conde Nast. Thanks
Old Jun 16, 2003, 4:13 pm
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I did the walk down the hill once and got lost; it's perfectly safe, but a bit annoying. I never walked UP the hill, I always took a taxi (they are cheap at W1600 for that ride, about USD1.25, no tipping). It's about 1km from Itaewon subway station, and it's steep, you'll notice it if you walk uphill.

As I noted earlier, rooms are quite small and if you want a larger room, reserve and pay extra for the corner king.

There is a concierge desk on the ground floor but I think they mostly staff it with people from behind the desk. They were unable to answer any question I posed to them, even simple ones like "where do those bus lines that run next to the hotel go to?"

If you're not on the club floor, bring food or a lot of money. The restaurants are a popular destination for Seoul residents, so they probably are doing something right by making them exclusive and expensive. It's just rather scary if you are staying here.
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Old Jun 16, 2003, 9:57 pm
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I stayed pretty much on a weekly basis at this hotel, commuting from HK, for about six weeks. My routine would go as follows. Arrange pickup by hotel car from ICN, stay at hotel for a few nights. Upon checkout, would tell the front desk that I had left some luggage and some laundry in the room, and I'd pick them up when I returned a few days later. Take hotel car to airport. Whenever I came back, they would immediately bring up my luggage and my clean clothes to my room (not the PHT, mind you, where the laundry and the luggage would be already IN the room, but well done nonetheless). Service levels overall were very good. The staff throughout the hotel was unfailingly polite and professional (including the concierge, who arranged my visit to NK), and many of the staff would remember me and my name.

Many times I would change my arrival and departure dates, usually with no more than a few hours notice, and they always cheerfully obliged without any fees or complaints.

The rooms vary in quality. They are all adequate, but some of them have been remodeled more recently, and are more PHT-ish in fit and finish, although they aren't very large. Somewhere in between a Marriott/Hilton and true luxury. Nice view from the high floors, facing the river.

Also has a very nice gym and indoor/outdoor pool complex.

The best part is that they mis-entered my corporate rate, which should have been 224000 Won, but quoted me 175000 Won. I kept renewing reservations at this rate upon checkout for my return, and this rate was always honored. Eventually, I got a letter from the hotel manager, informing me of the error, and from then on forward, the rate would be 224000, but they would not apply any retroactive charges. I thought that was the right answer, especially since a couple of my team were also staying there and had been nailed with the 224000 rate from day one, and had mentioned this to the front desk. So although they knew I was underpaying, they didn't up my rate until I eventually checked out and not returned. Well done.

I ate a lot at the hotel, and had many a stogie and Glenmorangie at the Paris Bar. Very expensive, but the client was spending $10 million a day on the project, so our fees and an extra few hundred a day for my indulgences was well to the right of the decimal point.

As for mobility, taxes are cheap and plentiful (take the grey taxis, not the black ones). The walk to Itaewon is arduous. If the uphill/downhill climb doesn't kill you, the lack of sidewalk will. I usually took a taxi or hotel car everywhere, and that worked fine.

The funny part is that my team, which stayed at the hotel continously for over 2 months, did not get the same level of recognition and service that I did. I think that the trick is that I kept checking out and back in, and so that would jog their memory about me, especially since their CRM system has my history at the hotel.

Overall, a very positive experience, and I will be there (once again) in two weeks, but only for a few days.
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