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The Shilla Seoul
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Reviews (1,706)
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Reviewed 14 July 2012

Stayed twice here on a trip to Kprea. The first time was in a superior guest room which was rather small with a tiny cramped bathroom. The second occasion was in an executive room which was a larger room with a decent sized bathroom. Although more expensive the executive room represented better overall value.

The Japanese Ariake restaurant is a refined experience delivering first class food. We also ate from the evening buffet in the Parkview restaurant which was really very good for buffet type food. However, the service at the table for things like drinks was too slow, although polite and pleasant. It was also very busy so not a relaxing or romantic experience.

The breakfast buffet, also in the Parkview, was superb; huge choice of Korean, Japanese and European breakfast items.

The conceirge was very efficient in providing help. They booked a trip to the demilitarised zone which was good and made several excellent restaurant recommendations.

The bar had good live music and offered some premium wines by the glass which was nice.

Room Tip: If the company running a demilitarise zone trip says the visit to the meeting room is closed because of security try another firm. We were told it was closed for security but on our bus were people booked to visit it with the same company. They tell you it's closed so you book the other types of trips with them rather than go elsewhere.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Greenpen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2012

Lets better start with the negative part and then the positive ones.

To talk about truth, there isn't really any negative thing to say about that Hotel, part of. The only thing I could say is that, the communication kind of leaked a bit, as in talking in English or understanding it. So to speak, was also the check-out (one of the worst in my life). The woman at the Front-Desk told me that my credit-card was not working and that I could not check-out, which was quite bad as I had another flight to catch for Bangkok. After trying to make here understand that my Card was actually fine(used it a day before) she asked another woman to come and talk to me. I could just then tell here to us another machine (which she than did) and suddenly the card worked.
What may could have been also better also are the rooms. the deco/architecture of each room (had 2) was actually really NOT updated for a Hotel of that standard. it was quite outdated and "triste looking". But the Hotels L'OCCITANE toiletry (shampoo's...) was a total + point.

Even if I had my misunderstandings with them at the end, the Shilla Hotel is still one of the best I have ever been too. What makes me say that, is the fact that the service in that particular Hotel is truly amazing. I.e., the breakfast is great, you can eat any asian breakfast (japanese, korean, chinese,...) but also america/European breakfast. Just before going back to our rooms, the staff (better said, "all the people present in the Restaurant"...20 persons) tried to say good-bye in german to us (as we told them at the beginning that we were from Germany). And all that on our FIRST DAY.
At the Shilla what you need to get used too, is the fact that A LOT of Staff surrounds you. We had around 5 people at breakfast asking us if we needed anything or/and stayed just around the corner so that if you needed them they are right there for you (very attentive).
What I also truely loved in that Hotel, is that it was the cleanest Hotel I have ever been too. You can fined NOWHERE dusk or anything dirty.

p.s If you get lost in Seoul (like us) don't worry because EVERY taxi driver knows the Shilla Hotel

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank MichelleD208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2012

I had the opportunity to work in Seoul Korea for 9 months, and there is no better hotel to stay at while visiting Korea. Conveniently located for all transportation, the Shilla has outstanding luxury accommodations and the food is the best that you'll find for both traditional Korean and American offerings. Customer Service is unparalled...I was severely injured during my stay in 2003 on a weekend hike, the Shilla took care of every aspect of my care until I got back on the plane to the US for surgery. For this, I will never forget the kindness and care of the Korean people. I have returned several times since for the friendship, their special balsamic chicken with arugula, boulgogi beef & rice and their sweet pumpkin soup...which you can only get like this in Korea.

Room Tip: All rooms have an excellent view of downtown Seoul.
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled on business
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Thank r0ckc0ttagegardens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2012

I found Seoul a place where speaking fluent English was not practiced often. But every employee in this Hotel was fluent. It really made a difference to my stay. Also, the food was excellent. Large rooms, big hotel, a little old but still has all the glam from its diplomatic hey day. One thing however, I am a well paid professional yet have many tattoos. I see them as art, but even in this 5 star hotel, they were seen as offensive and part of the underworld. I was not permitted to swim in the pool with some of my clients. A serious issue.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank John A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2012

This hotel is set on a big property and the landscaping is traditional yet serene. The public area inside the hotel is modern and beautiful but the decor in the room is dated. We had a room with city view. Not the best choice for the first day we arrived because there was protestors outside. The demonstration wasn't hotel related and it was away from the hotel property but we could still hear them from our room because loud speakers were used. Fortunately, the demonstration stopped at 5pm so no one lost any sleep.
One of the nights we stayed had a wedding on in the hotel. So there was a big queue for the cabs. And the day we checked out also had some medical conference happening. You could tell they were getting busy receiving incoming guests and it would get even more hectic. I assume this hotel hosts events often and I imagine all that must affect hotel guests in some way.
The staff we came across all spoke English well, which is a treat in Seoul. Concierge was very helpful and took intiative to meet our needs. Food was great in the lobby restaurant. We also had some great treats from the hotel patisserie. We wouldn't mind trying other restuarants in the hotel if time allowed. The Guerlain Spa in the hotel was very nice.
The hotel building is about 10 minutes from the main road but getting a cab wasn't a problem because it's a busy hotel. The hotel also has a courtesy shuttle that takes you to the main shopping districts. Or you can walk 10 minutes down hill to the subway station, and it' on the main road, right outside of the main gain of the hotel.
Shilla's own duty free/department store in a seperate building about 5 minutes away on foot. The cafe on the top floor of the duty free is quite cheap compare to the hotel's own.
My final verdict on this hotel is I'd love to return to this hotel if they bring the decor in the rooms to the level of the rest of the hotel, because the service and the food are both great in this hotel. Once again, the property and landscape makes you forget your are in the heart of a city. So I am happy to pay the price or even a bit more once they renovated the rooms. Until then, there are many other choices in Seoul in the same price bracket.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Bonbonh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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