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Hotels in Korea compared to other East Asian countries?

Hotels in Korea compared to other East Asian countries?

Old Oct 23, 19, 5:10 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2011
Programs: Bonvoy, BA, United
Posts: 32
Hotels in Korea compared to other East Asian countries?

Question for those that have visited hotels in the eastern Asian area and are familiar with the Marriott scene in Korea. This is somewhat Marriott-centric, as I have status with Marriott, but would be interested in other hotel families as well.

I'm US-based, and have stayed at a number of Korean Marriott family brands for the past couple of years as a Titanium (or equivalent before the merger). Every full-service hotel I've been to in Korea has given me access to the sauna on top of the fitness center and lounge. This includes:
  • Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam
  • JW Marriott Seoul
  • Sheraton Seoul D Cube
  • Sheraton Grand Incheon
  • The Plaza
  • Westin Chosun Busan
I've also stayed at the JW Marriott Dongdaemun, which has a sauna, but did not include access (they charged 40,000KRW per-visit iirc).

The sauna has (in addition to the sauna) at least three baths, a hot bath, a really hot bath, and a cold bath. They usually also offer a body scrub (for an additional fee) and have grooming stations (where you can blow-dry your hair, lotion up, etc) and other small amenities. Some also have barbershops inside, a relaxation lounge, etc.

My wife and I were considering visiting other East Asian countries, and weren't sure if this sort of offering was a uniquely Korean thing, an East Asian thing, or a non-USA thing. I've never seen this sort of thing offered at any of my American stays. I rather enjoy this particular perk, and would like to know if any of the other more traveled FTers can offer insight into whether properties in other countries also include this for members with status.

Also would be curious to know if any of the Courtyards (or any other in the Marriott family (or really other hotel families)) in Korea have this amenity. It's very hard to discern whether a property offers this from their websites, and short of having a stay there (or asking people who have utilized it), I don't know how I could find out if a particular property offers this or not.

Appreciate the help!
falcon9xr is offline  
Old Oct 23, 19, 10:26 pm
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea
Programs: KE Skypass Morning Calm Member, OZ Club, JL Mileage Bank
Posts: 1,715
I can't speak to many other countries - but I know many Japanese hotels will directly advertise a sauna or "hot springs" in the hotel. China, not really a thing there IMO. In Taiwan, I've been to the "sauna" in the pool area at a few hotels.

If you don't see it clearly listed - just email them to ask.
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mikesaidyes is offline  
Old Oct 24, 19, 5:33 am
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Programs: Bonvoy, BA, United
Posts: 32
Thanks mikesaidyes !

Yea, my wife and I figured that Japanese hotels would offer that amenity, but we were leaning towards probably not for the majority of other east Asian countries, just wanted to see if any of the other more well-traveled FTers could offer insight.

We may have to send a bunch of emails, but were hoping to avoid that (it's a bit of a slog to find Marriott hotel email addresses). I do wish the amenity was clearly advertised on the hotel website, as I think other Westerners would find value in it as well. It's like an abbreviated jjimjilbang, without the mineral rooms.

I know that Spa Castle in New York (and Texas?) brought the jjimjilbang concept to America, and apparently it has been having some decent success with non-Korean folks. I know that if I was the GM of a Korean hotel that catered to Westerners, I'd be advertising it for sure. But I'm also not in the hospitality business, so could just be my naivety, heh.
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