WHAT’S IT LIKE? The property is housed in one of those modern towers now so intrinsic to Seoul’s urban contour. As the entrance is off the main road, it would be easy to miss, but this provides that discreet arrival. Guests are quickly ushered in through a central lobby shared with the office block next door and to a smaller room where check in is conducted.
WHERE IS IT? The Yeouido Park Centre is an emerging business hub, located on an islet along the mighty Han River, and linked to the mainland by a series of bridges like the Seoul and Mapo Bridges. The National Assembly, Korea Broadcasting System, 3M, Allianz and LG Electronics are among the prominent residents of this low-key neighbourhood. However, upon completion of the International Financial Center, which will comprise four office towers, a hotel, a three-floor mall and cinemas, the activity level is certain to rise. Expect Yeouido to give Gangnam and the CBD in Gangbuk a run for their won in the years ahead.
Car pickup can be arranged at Incheon International and takes between 30 and 40 minutes going westward. Alternatively, if you opt for the very efficient airport limousine bus whose bay is along Gate 5A/11B, alight at Yeouido Station and call MEA’s front desk (tel 82 2 2090 8000) for the shuttle bus.
HOW MANY UNITS? A total of 103 fully furnished Studios, One-, Two- and Three-Bedroom Apartments, all possessing contemporary but comfortable furnishings. Clever use of space as in the One-Bedroom Suite was evident with a vanity table made to occupy a tiny corner in the bedroom that would have otherwise been left empty.
IN-UNIT FACILITIES: A kitchen equipped with microwave, dishwasher, separate dining area, washer/dryer cunningly concealed in oversized closets, home entertainment system and large LCD TVs. Units do not lack windows, and in fact, there is an abundance of them.
F&B: Park Café on the second floor is an unusually sprawling (for a serviced residence) all-day dining café that flows into the wine bar (also unusual), which in turn leads to the spacious “library”. Clearly, the owners made an unequivocal commitment to offer residents an F&B product comparable to a hotel offering, and despite the probability they would prefer to cook their own meals. We urge you not to miss the Sunday brunch – you’ll want to stay in after that feast.
BUSINESS FACILITIES: The business centre and seven meeting rooms are located in the office building next door, and can accommodate between 10 and 40 people. Equipment such as projectors, built-in screens and HD LCD TVs are permanent features.
Other services available include mobile phone rental, photocopying, translation and flight booking among others.
LEISURE FACILITIES: In the Soo Fitness & Spa, residents enjoy what is really a well thought-out leisure complex, and not merely individual facilities strung together for the sake of satisfying lodging requirements. Not only are the expected indoor heated swimming pool (five lanes) and state-of-the-art health club available, there’s also a chic spa with seven treatment rooms, hydrotherapy bath and couple’s suite and a golf practice range.
PRICE: The call-in benchmark rate starts from US$195 for a Studio, US$212 for One Bedroom and US$230 for a One-Bedroom Suite. There is a three-tier pricing based on the length of stay: 30 nights to 89 nights, 90 nights to 179 nights and over 180 nights.
VERDICT: The staff were instantly welcoming and always enquired if I needed anything. What I enjoyed about my apartment was its compact design. While not having shops or restaurants in view took some getting used to (I like to shop and eat), I learned to deal with the missing “buzz”. I even managed to finish the novel I had been meaning to for some time.
CONTACT: 28-3, Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul 150-881, Korea, tel 82 2 2090 8000, www.measeoul.com
Margie T Logarta