Hotel Check: Courtyard by Marriott Seoul Botanic Park
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS On the edge of a new Botanic Park, this modern hotel is close to plentiful shopping and dining areas while also being near corporate offices and headquarters. It is also a short distance from Gimpo airport and a nearby subway station that puts the entire city at guests’ fingertips. Modern décor and contemporary rooms with large windows facing the park await guests, and like many Courtyard properties in Asia, there is an executive level with a private lounge offering all the associated perks.
PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room on the random dates we checked start at $113
CONTACT Courtyard by Marriott Seoul Botanic Park, Magokjungang 12-ro 10, Seoul, 07789, South Korea, Phone +82-2-6946-7000, https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/selcs-courtyard-seoul-botanic-park/
WHERE IS IT Located in the tech-focused Magok neighborhood, this hotel is a favorite of business travelers. Its convenience to Gimpo airport is a huge boon, and a complimentary airport shuttle was in the works during our visit. The drive from Incheon International Airport takes under an hour, but will soon be easily connected by a fast and direct train line to a station near the hotel. The drive to the city’s main shopping and many tourist sites can take up to an hour in traffic although the subway system can cut travel time in half. Not too far away is the urbane Hongdae neighborhood with its clever mix of shops and restaurants.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? This is the fourth and newest Courtyard to open in the city and follows the contemporary aesthetic that the brand provides in Asia including a beautifully designed and bright lobby that transitions into a modern bar and lounge area.
ROOM FACILITIES Hardwood floors offer the first impression of clean lines found throughout the room. A glass table with rolling leather chairs on either side serve as both a desk and dining table while ample storage space along the wall beneath the flat-screen TV is another great perk. Thickly padded mattresses have soft duvets and pillows with international power and USB outlets on either side. Small tables with sofas by the floor-to-ceiling windows provide another place to relax while taking in city or park views. Some rooms feature tubs in bathrooms, but most have glass-lined shower stalls separated from the main room by windows offering shutters for privacy. Suites are especially popular for their extra living areas, Nespresso machines, and LG Signature Air Purifier and LG Styler unit that can steam refresh clothes to remove wrinkles or unwanted odors. Many LG offices are located in the vicinity, and the Korean company actually owns the hotel. All rooms have robes, slippers, cherry blossom-scented toiletries, bottled water, and electronic do not disturb signs. Executive level rooms (a surprise to many Americans staying at a Courtyard hotel) comes with access to the club lounge for an impressive breakfast and evening appetizer spread, all-day snacks and refreshments, and happy hour from 5:30 to 9:30 each evening.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS At Garden Kitchen, three meals a day are served beginning with a buffet breakfast including eggs and noodle bowls prepared to order. Later in the day, the open kitchen environment allows guests to watch as a mix of Korean and international dishes are prepared from the a la carte menu. The coffee bar nearby turns into a lively cocktail station in the evening, and all-day snacks and pastries are available to take away.
LEISURE FACILITIES There is no pool, but the fitness center is always open and stocked with towels and bottled water. A jog in the park is another way to negate the effects of jet lag.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Free wireless Internet is available throughout the building with a business center offering additional computers and printing capability. With a dozen meeting rooms all offering natural light, the property is well-equipped to welcome the business traveler.
VERDICT Convenient, comfortable, and contemporary are all the right adjectives to describe this Courtyard by Marriott, which is among the largest brands in Marriott’s portfolio (more than 1,100 open and 274 in the pipeline), expanding particularly rapidly in Asia with 68 in the pipeline. It is the ideal home base for business travelers wanting bucolic views and modern amenities.
(Pictures by Courtyard by Marriott Seoul Botanic Park)
By Ramsey Qubein
Ramsey is a regular contributor to Business Traveler across all print, digital, web and social channels. He travels more than 400,000 miles a year criss-crossing the globe to report on hotels, airlines, loyalty programs, and all things travel.
You can find more from Ramsey at http://www.ramseyq.com/, on Twitter – @dailytraveltips and Instagram – @dailytraveltips