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2 Aug 2014

Where I Stayed in Seoul

Hotel ShinShin Robes and Towels
A couple of weeks ago I got take my first trip to Seoul. Edward (The Husband) had to go for a conference and I got to tag along. So whilst he was busy going to meetings, I got to explore.

However, let's start at the beginning and the basics of the trip - Where we stayed and How we got there.

Who I flew with: Korean Air
I used Skycanner to find a matching flight so that I could fly with Edward. I think I've mentioned my feelings on Korean Air before when we flew to New York. What's not to love about an airline that has seats that actually fit normal sized human beings so you don't have to tuck your knees into your nostrils. Again, Korean Air got 2 thumbs up from me.

Now for the hotels...
On this trip we stayed in two hotels.

Where I stayed: Millenium Seoul Hilton
This was the first hotel we stayed at and was provided as part of the conference. If we were just going to Seoul for a holiday, I don't know if this would be a hotel we would choose. There was nothing wrong with this hotel, in fact it was very nice; very grown up with chandeliers and a live pianist in the lobby. It was a classic Hilton hotel.
Edward admiring the Seoul city view 
Millenium Seoul Hotel
The rooms were functional, but not very exciting. I did like our view of Namsan Seoul Tower though. The bed was huge and comfortable, and just to give them double bonus points - the toiletries were by Peter Thomas Roth. I do like a hotel that has nice toiletries.

Peter Thomas Roth Toiletries
It had lots of amenties I didn't get to try like the spa or the indoor heated swimming pool, so this isn't a comprehensive review. You can view the full list of what the hotel offers - here. One thing that I did find incredibly useful was the ATM they had. This meant I didn't have to roam the streets of Seoul looking for one.

Other info: To get from Incheon airport to the hotel we took an Airport 'Limousine'. A limousine to me is a long stretch car that celebrities from the '80s and '90s drove to premieres in. An airport limousine is a coach, albeit a slightly fancier coach. It cost about 16,000 Korean Won per person and drops you off right at your hotel. It took an hour and felt like the longest bus ride ever. I think I have been spoilt by the speed of the Hong Kong Airport Express.

Once we arrived at the hotel, I looked up how we could avoid doing that bus ride again. That's when I discovered AREX. An express train that goes straight from Incheon Airport to Seoul Station in 43 minutes. It's cheaper than the limousine, at just 8,000 Korean Won per person (one way), and the Millenium Hilton has a complimentary shuttle bus that will take you from Seoul Station to the hotel.

Once the conference was over and Edward could get in to holiday mode, we moved hotels. Our next hotel was...

Where we stayed: Hotel ShinShin
When we decided I was going to come along to Seoul, I started looking at hotels. Hotel ShinShin was one that stood out. Call me superficial, but it was mainly because it had a nice website, and I liked the look of their accessories. It was pretty much the yellow and white robe that won me over. Oh, also they offered free wifi in rooms.

Even though we had decided on Hotel ShinShin, we didn't book it. This meant by the time we went to book a room (the day before we needed to check in) they only had ONE room left. A twin room with two single beds. Arrrgh. We couldn't be bothered to look for another hotel and we didn't want to stay at the Hilton as we wanted to try another hotel, so we booked the room using Booking.com.

Our twin room with single beds

Aveda toiletries at Hotel ShinShin
Things I liked:
- Simple modern design
- Electronic toilet
- Aveda toileties
- Heated floor (didn't use it but like the fact it was an option)
- Good use of a small space
- The location

Things I didn't like:
- Not enough natural light. Not enough light in general, even when we turned on all of the lights.
- Single beds.  This was our own fault for booking late

Other info: Hotel ShinShin doesn't offer in-room dining but it does have a restaurant called Dine Hall. We only ate lunch their once and it was very tasty. It's open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Bruschetta at Dine Hall
Hotel ShinShin is located just 10 mins from the popular area of Myeongdong and the nearest station is City Hall making it easy to get around to explore the rest of Seoul. 

All in all, I would definitely stay at Hotel ShinShin again but of course I would book further in advance to ensure we wouldn't be stuck with single beds again. 

More posts about Seoul:

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