Where to stay: SOUTH KOREA
For people who care where they stay. Authentic. Soulful. Charm. Design. Indie. Local.
Situated in Myeongdong, the L’Escape Hotel is a Parisian escape in Seoul. From the moment you step into the black-and-white tiles lobby, you are transported you to 19th century Paris in all its glory. The boutique hotel opened in July 2018 and designed by Jacques Gracia, who has also designed Hotel Costes in Paris and NoMad Hotel in New York.
Andaz Seoul Gangnam is designed by award-winning, internationally renowned Dutch design firm Studio Piet Boon. As guests move through the hotel's light-filled interiors, unique layouts unfold to reveal unconventional corners and dynamic architectural angles that are layered with contemporary bojagi (a traditional Korean wrapping cloth used in significant ceremonies and as gift wrap to preserve good luck) patterns cloaked in soothing muted shades and subtle textures.
Located in Gangnam Gu, Seoul, Owall Hotel is set behind a marble-clad exterior. Interiors are a minimalist dream styled after Korean homes with locally sourced wood, Italian marble and granite. Sleek rooms come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, and luxury bathrooms. Bugeoguk, a rich broth made from dried pollack is served for breakfast in the hotel restaurant. The gallery on the ground floor has monthly exhibitions featuring rising Korean artists.
A converted 1960s building in the South Korean capital Seoul, Small House Big Door is a 25-room boutique hotel with a small art gallery, a bistro and an events area on the ground floor, and a rooftop lounge. Minimalist style rooms come with a large double bed, a small work desk, air-conditioning, and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. The dining area includes a refrigerator and an electric kettle. Private bathrooms have a hairdryer and complimentary toiletries.
Mondria Seoul Iaewon marks the fifth property in the Mondrian portfolio. The hotel features 296 guestrooms, an outdoor pool and pool bar with a spacious viewing deck overlooking the city, and Asia's first Cleo restaurant delivering the brand's famous blend of Miami vibes and Mediterranean cuisine. There's a rooftop bar, while the Rumpus Room and Blind Spot provide more intimate settings for after-work drinks or to relax and chill with the sounds of an in-house DJ.
Perched on a cliff edge on the volcanic Ulleungdo Island, which lies 350km east of Seoul in the Sea of Japan, is this striking retreat by Seoul-based architects The System Lab. With a steep sugar loaf-shaped peak as a backdrop, it comprises Villa Kosmo, a private four-bedroom villa with two saunas and an infinity hot tub, and Villa Terre, which houses seven guest rooms, all with sea views and sweeping ceilings.
Boasting an eco-friendly concept, the hotel is a spin-off of furniture brand Casamia. Using furniture from its mother brand, the hotel evokes a homely atmosphere with style and comfort. The hotel exhibits works of noted local artists Paik Nam-june, Min Jeong-ki and Choi Jeong-hwa throughout.
A resort style property located a 10-minute drive from the Incheon International Airport ( with a free shuttle service offered every 45 minutes). Several beaches can be found in the vicinity. This hotel takes away the usual blandness of airport hotels with a sleek design and first class amenities such such as a library café, a mini-theater, a spa, and world-class dining.
Seoul's Hongdae neighbourhood showcases self-expression and individuality at every turn, and the RYSE hotel cleverly celebrates the neighborhood’s neon candy box aesthetic in a sophisticated way. Interiors feature bare concrete, industrial brass metal, glossy pink flooring and modern art installations. The hotel’s art concept starts from an artistic outdoor mural and continues through the lobby where pop-up exhibitions feature unexpected hanging sculptures.