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Le Méridien Seoul, South Korea [Master Thread]

Le Méridien Seoul, South Korea [Master Thread]

Old Jun 24, 20, 12:30 pm
  #31  
 
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I completed two 5-night stays on points as a Titanium here in the past month, and I think this may now be my go-to full-service hotel when I'm in Korea. Adding the caveat that my experience may be somewhat unique as I visited during the COVID pandemic, and some hotel offerings may have been different (though I don't feel like they had any serious service impacts).

This was my first stay at a Le Meridien anywhere, and I was very pleasantly surprised by the the Le Meridien Seoul.

For the first stay, upon check-in I was given an upgrade to a balcony suite without asking. This upgrade was provided even though I had weekend stay, which I found to be a very nice surprise, as my experience is that it is difficult to get upgrades on the weekends due to the number of locals that do staycations (and presumably pay for suites). The suite I received was one of the suites with a smaller balcony, as opposed to the large terraces featured on the photos on the website. Mid-stay (Monday morning), I inquired about a room with one of the large terraces, and was graciously given the option to move rooms, which I accepted. I think the odds of getting upgraded are high, as I recall seeing a hotel fact sheet that indicated that ~50% of the rooms are suites (I may be misremembering the numbers exactly, but I do remember thinking they had a high number of suites).

For the welcome amenity, I was given a choice of 1000 points or breakfast at the restaurant, and chose breakfast at the restaurant.

I found the lounge to be above average relative to other executive lounge offerings in Seoul. Evening happy hours include beer, wine, liquor, and cordials. Nothing standout in terms of alcohol.
The offerings at the lounge were tasty, though I found the variety a bit limited for breakfast and evening happy hours.
Afternoon tea is also served at the lounge for those interested in that offering.

The fitness center and pool are very nice, and as is common with most other full-service hotels in Seoul, the fitness center provides workout wear also.
Those with status or access to the lounge also receive complimentary access to the sauna/baths. They have three baths, two hot baths, and one cold bath. In addition, they have two jetted tubs available on the men's side. My wife says that there are two massage chairs available on the women's side, which the men's side does not have. There is also a steam room and wood-paneled sauna.
The sauna area also has a TV playing in the bath area and one in the wood-paneled sauna as well as (presumably tinted) windows facing the front street. This isn't unheard of, but I found it to be uncommon as at other hotels they usually have the sauna enclosed, and for mental stimulation you can stare at the wall or the hourglass timers.

The pool area is designed not just for fitness, but to be a place for folks to hang out. They offer poolside service where you can order snacks/drinks, and have wooden swings (for adults) in the outdoor terrace area, as well as hammocks and the like.

If you have any questions about the fitness center complex, I found the staff to be very friendly, and they will show you to whatever it is that you are looking to do.

As far as dining, breakfast at the restaurant (Chef's Palette) had a large variety of foods, though not much in terms of rotation day-to-day. Still, enough variety that I was able to try something a little different for breakfast every day. Offerings included western breakfast foods, breads, cheeses, Korean breakfast foods, and Chinese breakfast foods.
I also had the buffet lunch at Chef's Palette and found it to be a much, much better offering than breakfast.
Chef de Grille is another restaurant/concept that I took part in, where you can order food that you grill on charcoal grills at your table outside. This is different from the typical Korean BBQ meal, and more like a fancy American backyard grill outing. I enjoyed the meal, but found out later that the Titanium discount (typically 20%) did not apply. I have posted my experiences regarding this in another thread, and this was the only real issue that I had with the property.
Chef's Palette (the buffet) did apply a 20% discount to my lunch meal.

The hotel also has some other amenities that folks may find interesting. They have a seasonal art exhibit on the first floor, which apparently is complimentary for guests.
The first floor also has a very posh looking virtual golf studio, and a barber shop, though these are a bit out of the way (and not well advertised, IMO).

Regarding the barber shop. There are actually two barber shops at the hotel. One at the fitness center/sauna, and one on the first floor between the golf studio and the main elevators. I did not get a haircut, but did get a hot lather/towel shave at both. I found the experience at the first floor barber shop to be much better than the one at the sauna. The price for the shave was about the same for each location (50k KRW).

The barber shops and golf studio can charge to the room, but there is a 5% commission added if you opt to do that. Chef de Grille and Chef's Palette did not impose a 5% commission (at least that I recall), though I'm not sure about the other restaurants at the property.

As far as the neighborhood goes, the property is located approximately two blocks away from the Sinnonhyeon subway station, and a ~8-ish or so blocks away from the Gangnam subway station. I don't recall seeing any major malls or department stores, but there is a decent amount of stuff going on 24 hours a day at the back streets around the Sinnonheyon station. Just walk down to the station from the hotel, cross the major intersection, and hang a left. I was able to find a row of bars and restaurants open and serving (what looked to be mostly young professional) folks even at 3am.

Not too much touristy stuff going on, so if you're looking for museums or interesting sites to visit, this may not be the best location.

I found the staff to be friendly and professional, and willing to take ownership and accommodate requests within their power.

Like other hotels in Seoul, it does get busy on the weekends, just FYI.

All in all, great stays each time. I do plan on returning.
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Old Nov 25, 20, 6:15 am
  #32  
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I've heard this hotel is up for sale.
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Old Jan 24, 21, 8:50 pm
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
I've heard this hotel is up for sale.
Does anyone know if this has been sold? Or if there is any other news regarding it?

Looks like they aren't taking any bookings after 2/26/2021.
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Old Jan 24, 21, 9:22 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by falcon9xr View Post
Does anyone know if this has been sold? Or if there is any other news regarding it?

Looks like they aren't taking any bookings after 2/26/2021.
Yes I bought it and will keep it all to myself.

Jokes aside losing this would be very unfortunate. I'll probe my Marriott/SPG contacts in the city to figure it out.
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Old Jan 25, 21, 9:38 am
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by skywalkerLAX View Post
Yes I bought it and will keep it all to myself.

Jokes aside losing this would be very unfortunate. I'll probe my Marriott/SPG contacts in the city to figure it out.
Hotel is bought by a local fund + Hyundai with alleged plans to turn it into a residential complex (i.e. it will no longer be a hotel if this plan goes ahead).

For those that read Korean (or have access to good translating sites): 웰스·현대건설, '르메르디앙 서울' 7000억에 인수…"주거시설로 개발" - Chosunbiz > 부동산 > 부동산 일반
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Old Jan 26, 21, 1:22 am
  #36  
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Originally Posted by jaejaez View Post
Hotel is bought by a local fund + Hyundai with alleged plans to turn it into a residential complex (i.e. it will no longer be a hotel if this plan goes ahead).

For those that read Korean (or have access to good translating sites): 웰스·현대건설, '르메르디앙 서울' 7000억에 인수…"주거시설로 개발" - Chosunbiz > 부동산 > 부동산 일반
Wow, if this happens, what a sad demise of a property which was one of my fav when it was a Ritz.
Yes it was on the older side when it was a Ritz, but still I liked the location and especially the staff. Never had a chance to stay when it converted to the LM.
Am curious what is driving/motivation behind this plan - low occupancy after becoming an LM or due to all the problems - at least from what I read here in this forum - it had when it was converted to LM?

Cheers!
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Old Jan 26, 21, 4:32 am
  #37  
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Originally Posted by nldogbert View Post
Wow, if this happens, what a sad demise of a property which was one of my fav when it was a Ritz.
Yes it was on the older side when it was a Ritz, but still I liked the location and especially the staff. Never had a chance to stay when it converted to the LM.
Am curious what is driving/motivation behind this plan - low occupancy after becoming an LM or due to all the problems - at least from what I read here in this forum - it had when it was converted to LM?

Cheers!
Aside from possibly losing yet another Le Méridien, I'd be really pissed to see this one go. I stayed in September 2018 and absolutely LOVED this hotel - the renovation was clearly no-expenses-spared, they reconfigured the room layouts and knocked out floors for the creation of some suites, the artwork on display is gorgeous and from some prominent artists, the food and staff were excellent and the hotel was absolutely buzzing when we were there - and I'd always heard about it being a popular venue.

That being said, who knows what kind of weirdness might surround it. Between the drug bust at the hotel club and some other unsavory rumors I'd heard, corruption or dirty money was involved. Speaking purely of the property itself, it would truly be a shame to lose an investment of this caliber for yet another block of condos.

khabah
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Old Jan 26, 21, 6:54 am
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by nldogbert View Post
Am curious what is driving/motivation behind this plan - low occupancy after becoming an LM or due to all the problems - at least from what I read here in this forum - it had when it was converted to LM?

Cheers!
the article seems to suggest that the decision to sell was due to the financial troubles of the parent company rather than the property itself, which i believe was being run quite well even during the pandemic by attracting the local staycationers and buffet-goers. Probably a case of the parent co needing an urgent injection of large sum of capital to protect its balance sheet that led to this fire sale.

I am with the rest of you who are very sad to see this one go.
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Old Jan 28, 21, 2:40 pm
  #39  
 
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Man this is unfortunate.

I was really looking forward to returning to this property next time I was in Korea. I really thought it hit the right level of value, both in the hard and soft product, out of all the Marriott hotels in Korea.

Real shame to see it go.
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Old Jan 28, 21, 11:53 pm
  #40  
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According to this article...

When developing the site, Wells Advisors is in charge of the development and Hyundai E&C is in charge of the construction. Wells Advisors are known to be considering plans to demolish Le Méridien Seoul and develop it as a residential and commercial complex. The hotel will be closed on February 28th.

It looks like it's certainly leaving. What a waste of a stellar 97 million dollar renovation, and a real loss to the brand. So pissed off.

khabah
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Old Jan 30, 21, 2:53 pm
  #41  
 
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Very sad to lose this option
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Old Jan 30, 21, 6:45 pm
  #42  
 
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The last paragraph also mentioned the “burning sun incident”. That’s really a harm to the image of the hotel, really a pity for the owner when the incident bursted out just one year after the renovation.
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Old Feb 1, 21, 3:02 am
  #43  
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Sorry, but what was the burning sun incident?
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Old Feb 1, 21, 6:17 am
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Sorry, but what was the burning sun incident?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_Sun_scandal
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Old Feb 2, 21, 4:57 am
  #45  
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I was looking at Seoul hotels and noticed the Sheraton Palace Hotel isn't listed anymore. I asked my wife (Korean) to check it out and she confirmed that hotel is sold and will be demolished for condos. This hotel - Le Meridien has been sold and will be converted into apartments.

Sad as it was on my list of places to stay and I would have tried summer 2020 if Covid had not happened.
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