If you’re determined to stay in a fine, funky little boutique hotel, or you’re in the mood to have your mind blown by some outré experiments in interior design, then we regret to inform you that Seoul is not yet ready for you. But if you’re a fan of the classic Asian luxury hotel — if, that is to say, you find yourself re-watching Lost in Translation in order to get a look at the Park Hyatt rather than the female lead — then you’ll be well catered for in the Korean capital. And you’ll likely be drawn to one hotel in particular: the Grand Seoul InterContinental.
When it comes to the crucial blend of international style and local personality, the Grand seems to hit all the right notes. The western-style rooms are classic business luxury, with all the bells and whistles, and the ondol rooms are fitted out in traditional Korean style — radiant underfloor heating, kneeling-height furniture, plus the full complement of modern conveniences.
As for services, in this bracket you’ll lack for nothing. A variety of restaurants cater to a wide range of palates, and the health club is fully equipped, with an indoor pool, a fitness center, even a driving range. And there’s always the option of walking outside the hotel, if you feel that you must — the COEX convention center is practically next door, along with its own associated InterContinental hotel, whose facilities you are free to use.