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Aloft Seoul Myeongdong, South Korea [Master Thread]

Aloft Seoul Myeongdong, South Korea [Master Thread]

Old May 13, 17, 3:32 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2016
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Aloft Seoul Myeongdong, South Korea [Master Thread]

Looking for some experiences at this new Aloft location. Any success with upgrades for Gold/Platinum member? How does it compare to the nearby Westin Chosun?

Thanks!
adampadam123 is offline  
Old May 19, 17, 9:34 pm
  #2  
 
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as it currently stands I will be there in July, so will report back then :-)
ukinny2000 is offline  
Old May 19, 17, 11:30 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
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I think alofts are not required to offer upgrades to platinum members. Interested in the report!
myko85 is offline  
Old May 23, 17, 7:07 pm
  #4  
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Just staying there now - end of May 2017.

I'm a Plat 75 and lifetime member.

I switched from the Westin Chosun to this hotel half way through my stay just to try it out.
The hotel is literally a block from the Westin.

There is normally no upgrades but the manager was made known that I was coming from Westin to try their hotel so they put in extra effort.

I was given a deluxe room on the 19th floor. The bathroom is next to the bedroom - a very well design. Floor to ceiling windows. So if you open the curtains, you can technically walk out of the shower, and see your bed, then the window, then the office buildings across the street and the Lotte Department store (something I would contemplate doing if I have extraordinarily good looks like Brad Pitt).

​​​​The manager and the front desk supervisor gave me their business cards to ask me to let them know if there is anything they can assist. A further follow up call was given upon few minutes after entering the room.

A plate of ​​​​​​snacks was on the table. Let's say I really appreciate the effort.

I chose the breakfast instead of the 500 points. It's a buffet. Though not the same level as the Westin, it has manned person for eggs and noodles. Since I am paying about 50% of the price of Westin, the buffet is about 50% of what Westin has. Still a strong offering - pancakes, toasts, 3 types of fruits, fruit juices, milk cereal, hot food.. etc. The environment probably is less elegant than Westin since the resturant is in Windowsless basement but food is solid enough.

There is a top floor bar that I haven't checked out yet. I have't seen the gym so I'll update this post as I know more.



​​​​For the price paid so far, it's a pretty good deal on the near center of Seoul.

Last edited by yeunganson; Jun 2, 17 at 6:44 pm
yeunganson is offline  
Old May 23, 17, 10:11 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by yeunganson View Post
(something I would contemplate doing if I have extraordinarily good looks like Brad Pitt).

Since I am paying about 50% of the price of Westin, the buffet is about 50% of what Westin has.

the resturant is in Windowsless basement but food is solid enough.

Thank you for that! I really enjoy your style of writing
travelswithmyself is offline  
Old May 24, 17, 9:16 am
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Thank you for the review
atlion25 is offline  
Old Jun 2, 17, 6:43 pm
  #7  
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the Me, Rooftop upper restaurant and the Gym

Update: June 2017

I have returned from my Seoul trip. I will continue to complete my report on my previous post (post #4 ).

I Rooftop restaurant is incomplete. Management have not decided if the rooftop should be a bar or a restaurant. Currently, you're not allow to enter the top floor as the topfloor button of the elevator is disabled.

The gym is a very tough comparison with the Westin Chosun gym. The Westin Chosun gym is like cream la cream of gyms (like those secret ones found in New York). It consist of two floors, pool/steamroom/sauna, massage spa, a full floor of gym/cardio equipment, floor to ceiling windows overlooking street level downtown Seoul - and every like 20 steps - a fridge with cold bottled mineral water and refrigerated wet towels in the fridge. I think I will remember that Westin Chosun Gym a decade from now and the feeling of that refreshing feeling of cold crisp hand towel on my forehead. In huge contrast with the Westin Chosun gym, the Aloft gym is in a windowless room, has 2 Cardio equipment and a number of weights. It's situated next to the laundry room. It appears the gym was there to meet minimum requirements to qualify for a Aloft branding.

In the Aloft hotels defense, the clientele seems to be mainly mainland Chinese. Their exercise and cardio isn't done at the gym, Chinese weight lifting and endurance training is done at the monstrous Lotte Department stores (3 buildings, 8-10+ stories high each) across Aloft through carrying all those shopping loots, shopper dodging, and multi-hour leg muscle speed walking.

The most valuable addition in this hotel was the coin op laundry room. I traveled light and ran out of undershirts (and such) due to hot weather. I couldn't' stomach the laundry prices at the Westin Chosun (when it's cheaper to buy new ones in cheap casual stores like uniqlo ($US 10 for 3 undershirts!). Aloft's coin-op laundry was a life saver. Suddenly for $US 5, I got clean clothes for another 5 days!

Location wise, the hotel is a block away (on the opposite side of the road) from Lotte Department stores. It's a block away from a night market that serves lots and lots of street food in various qualities. Because we are in a tourist area, bad street food stalls can still somehow sucker people. Bad as in Corn on Cob tastes like dried out rubber (worst than KFC corn-on-cob you get in USA and that speaks volumes) or fried noodles that are sauce too heavy. Cheap it isn't - street food varies from $US3 - 5 for standard fare to a unexpected $US 15 for cheese on lobster.

The hotel is also in a acceptable walking distance to a subway train station. If you look at the map, the hotel is literally between two different train stations. For the Myeongdong station (if you starting late afternoon), the shortest path goes through the food night market and you definitely don't want to do that if you have luggage. The other Hoehyeon station passes near another famous flea market (but you don't need to go through the flea) thus making it the prefer station if you have luggage to bring along. Hoehyeon is also one stop away from SEOUL station where there is direct train to the airport Inchon.

Both the Westin Chosun and the Aloft Seoul is walking distance to one of the Imperial Palace (The Deoksongung). On a personal note, as ethnically Chinese (but not Chinese from China), I am saddened that South Koreans abandon the Chinese written language in quest for Nationalization. All their imperial palace and ancient stuff is written in traditional Chinese. I (as well as those from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and North American Chinese) can read their text used in palace and historical documents, Koreans themselves can't read them and their ties to their own past is partially cut.

Aloft is also walking distance to the mountain with cable cars that take you up to see SEOUL Tower.

Overall, on the best bang for the dollar perspective AND WITHOUT UPGRADES, for half the price of Westin Chosun, you get slightly more than half of what Chosun has to offer. However, if both Westin and Chosun gives you an upgrade (Westin upgrades to a suite while Aloft upgrades to a high floor bigger room), AND you are staying with enough clean clothes or coming for a romantic getaway, the Westin has the edge, elegance and refinement.

Finally, if you're staying for a week or more, the Aloft coin laundry will be a life saver. I stayed for a week and for the life of me couldn't find a laundryman anywhere near the Westin Chosun.
yeunganson is offline  
Old Jun 3, 17, 2:44 pm
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The Aloft Myeongdong is an Aloft. The Westin Chosun is a Westin.

I've stayed at both. I know what I'm getting at each. There is no comparison.

They share a neighborhood and an airport express bus. That's it.
happygolucky_nomad likes this.
clublounger is offline  
Old Jun 4, 17, 4:45 pm
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Stayed at this property for 4 nights in early May. Was upgraded without asking from an Aloft Room to a Breezy Suite as a Plat50 and also provided with some light snack on arrival. As mentioned in the other posts the breakfast buffet is good but nothing special and the rooftop bar/restaurant is not yet open. At half the cost of the Westin And a great location I would happily stay here again.
happygolucky_nomad likes this.
fly_yag is offline  
Old Oct 5, 17, 5:04 pm
  #10  
 
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I'm in a bit of a dilemma (a good one!). Have Aloft Myeongdong booked at ~$100 USD for 4 nights but also holding Le Meridien for $240 and Four Seasons (wild card option) for $250.

Clearly these are all very different options and I do have SPG Platinum status for breakfast benefits at the Starwood properties.

This is part of a larger 2 week trip filled with other luxury props (Park Hyatts, Sofitels etc.), and I'm having a hard time justifying an additional $700-800 total for Le Meridien Seoul or FS Seoul, given how nice this Aloft appears to be.

Can anyone offer up any thoughts based on current stays? Much appreciated.
globetraveler is offline  
Old Oct 6, 17, 3:43 am
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Originally Posted by globetraveler View Post
I'm in a bit of a dilemma (a good one!). Have Aloft Myeongdong booked at ~$100 USD for 4 nights but also holding Le Meridien for $240 and Four Seasons (wild card option) for $250.

Clearly these are all very different options and I do have SPG Platinum status for breakfast benefits at the Starwood properties.

This is part of a larger 2 week trip filled with other luxury props (Park Hyatts, Sofitels etc.), and I'm having a hard time justifying an additional $700-800 total for Le Meridien Seoul or FS Seoul, given how nice this Aloft appears to be.

Can anyone offer up any thoughts based on current stays? Much appreciated.
i will choose the four seasons at that rate.
3rdworldresident is offline  
Old Nov 15, 19, 4:54 pm
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Anyone stayed here recently?

Any improvements to breakfast in the Nook restaurant?
FlyingFrZ is offline  
Old Nov 15, 19, 6:42 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by FlyingFrZ View Post
Anyone stayed here recently?

Any improvements to breakfast in the Nook restaurant?
I stayed there in February and it wasn't anything beyond basic breakfast.
Handcake is offline  
Old Nov 16, 19, 11:19 am
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Originally Posted by Handcake View Post
I stayed there in February and it wasn't anything beyond basic breakfast.
Thanks for the update. How was the property overall? I stayed there a couple years ago when they had just opened and they had some teething issues.
FlyingFrZ is offline  
Old Nov 21, 19, 4:05 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingFrZ View Post
Thanks for the update. How was the property overall? I stayed there a couple years ago when they had just opened and they had some teething issues.
I am considering it again! The room was amazingly comfortable. The experience was actually one of being a lot more comfortable than the Courtyard Naedaemun which is down the street.

I like that you can open the windows, as in winter the rooms are a bit over heated for my tastes, and some fresh air made the experience really good.

The service at the counter wasn't what you will get at a luxury hotel, but it was okay. They do answer the mobile app quickly though, and speak English.

Elevators you might have to wait a bit for.

The gym is really small. Hard pass on that. They have laundry machines, which I used and they are cheap with a real Western style dryer. That was a huge plus.

I'd go back to the hotel for the right price. I don't need to pay 30-40 dollars more a night for a hotel with a lounge, as right next door is Myeongdong where I can eat dinner for like 10 dollars a night.
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