Though situated close enough to some tourist areas like Dongdaemun, the hotel is a short walk to the nearest subway. However, there is a convenient shuttle bus service to the city and also to the subway station if one is lazy to walk.
First impressions are indeed impressive, and the drive up the grand entrance to the hotel is a beautiful one, with pleasant greenery and water features.
Rooms are expensive but you pay for the luxurious style and the curt attentive service provided by the many many hotel staff loitering about. (On a side note I visited the Lotte Hotel Seoul to dine at one of their establishments and noticed a considerably lower number of staff as well as the ability to converse well in English compared to the Shilla.) While the Shilla staff are all well spoken and fluent in English, I would say service is brusque and professional rather than warm and genuine. Perfectly trained to attend to business visitors, I suppose.
Rooms are not extremely spacious, but they serve their function. The design is sleek, modern and soothing to the eye. Amenities are luxurious, as one would expect for the prices charged. Molton Brown toiletries and thick towels (look under your sink if you can't find the extras!). Beds and pillows are extremely soft (which can be a good or bad thing).
Overall I rate this establishment four stars though it is through and through a five star hotel because our water temperature was not impressive throughout our 5 night stay. As temperatures still dropped during the night a lukewarm shower with weak water pressure at the end of the day was not enjoyable.
Unfortunately we did not dine within the hotel, but we did pay a visit to the nearby duty free store, also owned by Shilla (and the Samsung group). Crowded with mainland tourists, the store has all major luxury brands (e.g. Louis Vuitton, Prada etc) and in the lower floor, you can purchase more touristy items like Korean skin care brands or food items (omiyage). However I had purchased some items there and two days later, purchased similar items at the Lotte Duty Free in Myeongdong and noticed that Lotte gave tourists better discounts. Hope this helps! :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Shilla Seoul represents the best hotel in Korea, with contemporary design blending well with traditional patterns and style used back in the Shilla Dynasty. Next to the main building stands the former guesthouse that was once used to welcome special guests from around the world. The main building is replete with restaurants offering outstanding international cuisine, a shopping arcade featuring global brand goods, a pool, and a luxurious spa while in a separate building within the property lies a grand duty-free shop. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Shilla Seoul Hotel Seoul
- Shilla Hotel Seoul
- The Shilla Hotel Seoul