WHAT’S IT LIKE? For close to 30 years, The Shilla Seoul is the jewel in the crown of Seoul’s hospitality industry. Heads of states, dignitaries, global business leaders and celebrities have made it their home in the Korean capital. Famed designer Peter M Remedios of Remedios Siembieda, who had spearheaded the hotel’s contemporary Korean makeover, blended understated elegance with authentic local style as expressed in leather, woods, fabrics and lights.
WHERE IS IT? Located in the middle of a 9.3-hectare landscaped woodland with a commanding view of downtown Seoul. It is accessible through subway line 3 (Dongdaeipgu stop).
HOW MANY ROOMS? 465 including 34 suites.
ROOM FACILITIES: All rooms and suites are fitted with marble bathrooms and amenities like goose-down comforter, hairdryer, safe, 100 percent cotton bathrobe and slippers, satellite TV with 28 channels, minibar, phone and Wi-Fi. On the executive floors, guests have access to a mobile phone with a local number that they can use within and outside the hotel.
RESTAURANTS: Five – Continental for fine European dining, The Park View for all-day, casual dining, Ariake for Japanese, Palsun for Chinese and Pastry Boutique for homemade cakes and pastries.
BAR: Library Bar & Lounge on the lobby floor features live jazz and an extensive wine cellar with the greatest collection of single malt whiskey in Korea, having over 70 single malt whiskey brands.
BUSINESS FACILITIES: The Shilla Seoul has one of the most technically advanced and innovative business centres in the region. A range of services is available such as interpretation, translation, copy, business card printing, secretarial services, air tickets reservations and confirmations, fax, typing and express courier service. There are eight meeting rooms, including two boardrooms, equipped to perform a four-way video conference for up to 26 people, and two exclusive connecting lounges.
LEISURE FACILITIES: A state-of-the-art fitness centre, a Guerlain Spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, four-hectare jogging course and sauna. The hotel is very close to popular shopping areas like Itaewon and Namdaemun markets.
PRICE: Internet room rate for a Superior Room in early July is KRW200,000 (US$194).
VERDICT: A worthy icon of Korean hospitality.
CONTACT: 202 Jangchung-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, 100-856, Korea, tel 82 2 2233 3131, www.shilla.net