IF YOUR MIND IS A PRISONER OF YOUR LIMITED THOUGHTS, HELP IT BREAK FREE. TRAVEL

- SAJJID MITHA

IF YOUR MIND IS A PRISONER OF YOUR LIMITED THOUGHTS, HELP IT BREAK FREE. TRAVEL
- SAJJID MITHA

Stylish Elegance at the Four Seasons Hotel, Seoul

On a recent business trip to Seoul, South Korea, I chose to stay at the Four Seasons Hotel. Not only had I heard from friends, that the relatively new glass-and-steel hotel, designed by Su Sin Tao of Singapore, offered guests a perfect blend of luxury and style, but also that the location of the hotel on Seoul’s north Bank, was hard to beat.

Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai, Chef Koji Sawada, Cheonggyecheon, Four Seasons Hotel Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Su Sin Tao, traditional Korean Sauna, Yoony Song, Yu Yuan
Sajjid Mitha at THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL

I was very warmly welcomed at the hotel by Ms Sui Kim, the soft spoken and charming Hotel Assistant Manager and was smoothly checked in and shown to my room. I was delighted to be upgraded to the large 900 sq ft, studio suite, although the views I was looking forward to and had heard so much about, were sadly not to be from the room I had been allocated. Friends had told me about the magnificent views they had enjoyed of the Gyeongbokgung Palace and the green hills of Samcheong from their floor-to-ceiling windows. All I could see were skyscrapers and an under construction building, although the sound proof windows, thankfully kept out all of the outside noise.

Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai, Chef Koji Sawada, Cheonggyecheon, Four Seasons Hotel Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Su Sin Tao, traditional Korean Sauna, Yoony Song, Yu Yuan

Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai, Chef Koji Sawada, Cheonggyecheon, Four Seasons Hotel Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Su Sin Tao, traditional Korean Sauna, Yoony Song, Yu YuanThe room itself was neatly decorated with warm soothing colours. I was thrilled to see an espresso machine and a bathroom made entirely of white Italian marble. The complimentary Lorenzo Villoresi amenities in the bathroom were also a plus while the King-sized bed was supremely comfortable with large soft pillows and a mattress which was neither too soft nor too hard.

Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai, Chef Koji Sawada, Cheonggyecheon, Four Seasons Hotel Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Su Sin Tao, traditional Korean Sauna, Yoony Song, Yu Yuan

Once i settled in, I took a walk to the Cheonggyecheon stream, which was a short distance from the Four Seasons hotel, Seoul. Cheonggyecheon, is a 10.9 kilometre, public recreation space which is popular with locals and offers some super photo opportunities of peace and quiet within the urban sprawl.

Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai, Chef Koji Sawada, Cheonggyecheon, Four Seasons Hotel Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Su Sin Tao, traditional Korean Sauna, Yoony Song, Yu Yuan
Cheonggyecheon stream near THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL
Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai, Chef Koji Sawada, Cheonggyecheon, Four Seasons Hotel Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Su Sin Tao, traditional Korean Sauna, Yoony Song, Yu Yuan
Kioku - a high-end Japanese restaurant

I had a late afternoon meeting at the executive lounge at the hotel so I returned for lunch and chose to have my meal at Kioku, a high-end Japanese restaurant built on two levels. Although I love Sushi, I gave it a skip and chose to eat at the Kyoto style area of the restaurant. And the food cooked up by Michelin starred

Sajjid Mitha

Chef Koji Sawada was beyond top-notch. Post lunch I stepped out for a short walk and for some fresh air. And then I returned and sat in the hotel lobby where I was to meet my business guests. The lobby at the Four Seasons hotel, Seoul, is elegant and stylish and is built around a fireplace which rests on a bronze sculpture representing a map of the Korean peninsula. The high ceiling, the fabulous flower arrangement by Nicolai Bergman and the plush sofas, complete that feeling of distinct and refined luxury, the Four Seasons brand is so well known for. While waiting for my guests, I grabbed a coffee at 'Confections by Four Seasons' on the lobby level.

Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai, Chef Koji Sawada, Cheonggyecheon, Four Seasons Hotel Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Su Sin Tao, traditional Korean Sauna, Yoony Song, Yu Yuan
Business meeting at executive lounge on the 28th floor

When my guests arrived, we immediately went up to the executive lounge on the 28th floor of the hotel. A private room was set-up for our meeting and the lounge staff offered us tea and coffee and politely excused themselves and offered us privacy to carry on with our business meeting. The executive lounge at the Four Seasons, Seoul, is lovely and from one section overlooks the Gyeongbokgung palace. I planned to return to the lounge the next morning for breakfast and then again for evening cocktails. Sadly, I did not have time for the elaborate afternoon tea I was told about, as I had previous work commitments.

Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai, Chef Koji Sawada, Cheonggyecheon, Four Seasons Hotel Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Su Sin Tao, traditional Korean Sauna, Yoony Song, Yu Yuan

Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai, Chef Koji Sawada, Cheonggyecheon, Four Seasons Hotel Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Su Sin Tao, traditional Korean Sauna, Yoony Song, Yu YuanBreakfast at the lounge was fantastic. From the many different club lounges I have been fortunate to have experienced, I would rate this as one of my top 5, given that the breakfast buffet spread includes many well known Korean dishes which my palate finds very appealing. And while some may find the local spices to be a trifle bit alien to taste at that early hour of the morning, I have developed a liking toward Asian tastes, especially pulgogi, which is a delicious Korean broiled beef. Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai, Chef Koji Sawada, Cheonggyecheon, Four Seasons Hotel Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Su Sin Tao, traditional Korean Sauna, Yoony Song, Yu YuanWhile at breakfast at the executive club lounge, I was lucky to have met the very lovely and elegant hotel manager, Ms. Esther Kostecky, who walked over to my table and introduced herself. I remember having interacted with her husband, James Kostecky, when he was the GM at the Four Seasons, Chiang Mai, in Thailand, many years ago. Charming and ever so welcoming, Esther shared some wonderful tips with me about the area and recommended I visit the Charles H bar, located behind an unmarked secret door at the basement of the hotel. She said that it was rated as one of Asia’s top bars.

Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai, Chef Koji Sawada, Cheonggyecheon, Four Seasons Hotel Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Su Sin Tao, traditional Korean Sauna, Yoony Song, Yu YuanAfter spending the day out at work, I returned to the lounge for a drink in the evening and while pouring myself a delicious French bordeaux at the lounge bar, I met a most affable and endearing couple, who I ended up spending most of my evening with. Rohan Moore and his pretty Korean wife Ji Seon, are super successful entrepreneurs and the humble owners of the renowned English Clothing brand, ‘Olive’.Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai, Chef Koji Sawada, Cheonggyecheon, Four Seasons Hotel Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Su Sin Tao, traditional Korean Sauna, Yoony Song, Yu YuanThe Moore’s travel to Seoul every year and their choice of hotel, for their usually long, 3-week stays, is always the Four Seasons, Seoul. After spending an interesting hour in conversation at the lounge, Ji Seon, Rohan and I headed down to the famed Charles H bar, a tribute to the famous cocktail 'bon vivant' Charles H, who wrote for Esquire in the 1930s . He is known to have traveled to Korea way back in 1931 from where, like on his travels to other parts of the world, he collected drink recipes which he shared with his readers. My choice of drink for the evening was the 'Manhattan flight', a classic cocktail, made from rye whiskey. I found the drink to be delicious, almost dangerously so, with it’s strong, cool and sweet taste which helped it retain a slight edge over the common martini.

Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai, Chef Koji Sawada, Cheonggyecheon, Four Seasons Hotel Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Su Sin Tao, traditional Korean Sauna, Yoony Song, Yu YuanThe next day I was up early. My meetings were scheduled to begin at 11 am, so I had a few hours to explore the city. I put on my sports shoes and jogged over to the Bukchon Hanok Village, a traditional village in Seoul, located on the top of a hill between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and the Jongmyo Royal Shrine. Since it was early, there were very few tourists and I was therefore able to capture some precious shots of empty streets and what life may have been like in ancient Korea. The fascinating designs of the homes, offered a peak into the culture of Korean life. Given the ideal location of the hotel, a visit to this village is an absolute must.

Later that evening, I chose to dine at Micheline-starred Yu Yuan, a fine dining restaurant at the hotel, done up in a grand and distinct style of Shanghai in the 1920s. With private rooms, a favourite of local celebrities, the restaurant offered a delicious Cantonese menu put together by Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai. The live Abalone and the Beijing Duck rated high on my choice of favourites from the menu and I cannot wait to return to the restaurant on my next visit to Seoul.

Chef de Cuisine Koo Kwok Fai, Chef Koji Sawada, Cheonggyecheon, Four Seasons Hotel Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Su Sin Tao, traditional Korean Sauna, Yoony Song, Yu Yuan

The staff at the hotel stand tall above other luxury brand hotels, in that they are extremely polite, courteous, attentive and caring. I was lucky to have met with Yoony Song, Director of Guest relations, Claire Kim, assistant guest relations manager, Sui Kim, Assistant Hotel manager and of course the lovely Esther Kostecky, manager at the Four Seasons, Seoul. This Four Seasons hotel, Seoul, which offers an alluring mix of spanking new with a mysterious twist of tradition, in my opinion is by far the city's best luxury hotel on offer. Value for money with a wide choice of restaurants to dine at, superior interiors with great hotel facilities including a 8700 sq ft fitness centre, a lovely outdoor garden terrace on the 15th floor of the hotel, a traditional Korean Sauna, comfortable guest rooms, is perfect whether you're in Seoul on work or pleasure. I haven't stopped talking about my experience at the hotel and I plan to return soon with Laveena, so that she too can experience the magic of this grand hotel property.


 STYLISH ELEGANCE AT THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL, SEOUL


• Location: Google Maps • Address: Saemunan-ro, Sinmunno 1(il)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea • Hotel website: THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL, SEOUL

Our Rating


  • Location: 9/10
  • Food and Cuisine: 8/10
  • Design: 9/10
  • Rooms: 9/10
  • Service: 9/10
  • Overall experience: 9/10

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24 comments on “Stylish Elegance at the Four Seasons Hotel, Seoul”

Seema Wadhwa says :
13 Nov 2018 03:55 IST
This looks one heck of a place to be at for a vacation. I'm sure you must have had a great time.
Sajjid Mitha says :
15 Nov 2018 14:14 IST
In reply to Seema Wadhwa
I was in Seoul on work, but the hotel is indeed fantastic. And yes, Seoul, is also a lovely place to holiday. The country is rich in history and the city has ample to offer to visitors.
Jhilmil Bhansali says :
13 Nov 2018 06:37 IST
Four seasons Seoul hotel sounds a perfect place for the staycation. Their ambience, services, food says it all. Great images in the post.
Sajjid Mitha says :
15 Nov 2018 14:15 IST
In reply to Jhilmil Bhansali
Thank you Jhilmil. The Four Seasons brand is one of our favourites and they really do work hard to make each guest experience, a memorable one.
Hema says :
13 Nov 2018 12:24 IST
The place and Ambience look amazing. Would love to spend some quality time here. Thanks for the detailed post
Razia says :
13 Nov 2018 12:43 IST
Saj you write so beautifully !! Your descriptions of meals places & people takes the reader once again on a magical journey.
Sonam Jauhri Kumar says :
13 Nov 2018 16:28 IST
Wow! This hotel is like a dream come true. Would be perfect for a family getaway on a vacation!
Noor Anand Chawla says :
13 Nov 2018 17:37 IST
The property looks lovely. I will mark this post for when I plan my next trip to Seoul. I’m sure the holiday will only be enhanced by staying in this fabulous hotel.
Gunjan Upadhyay says :
13 Nov 2018 18:00 IST
woohoo! the place is so awesome for some long weekend or a family vacation. Will check the details.
Gurjeet Chhabra says :
13 Nov 2018 18:02 IST
the hotel looks really royal and luxurious. I am so impressed with it ambiance and food. one time stay is compulsory, I mean its so lavish
Snehalata Jain says :
13 Nov 2018 18:18 IST
Such a amazing views from hotel and I know this is must have vacation for us .four seasons is my personal fav too
Nisha says :
13 Nov 2018 18:20 IST
Wow this place looks very luxurious and serene. Would be a perfect stay for family vacation. Pictures are very beautiful.
Dipika Singh says :
13 Nov 2018 18:46 IST
Thanks for sharing this property in Seoul. Pictures speak a thousand words, and truly these images are spectacular review of the Hotel. Four seasons definitely has a reputation of good deeds.
Deepa says :
13 Nov 2018 19:08 IST
Four seasons are a trusted brand of hotel chains. The pictures look amazing. Good to know you had a great time there.
Milan says :
13 Nov 2018 19:16 IST
Four seasons is a reputed name in hospitality industry; your description about the property, food and ambience speaks volume about it.
Shubhada Bhide says :
13 Nov 2018 20:07 IST
Wow! that looks like an elegant and classy hotel to stay in with families. I am loving the inviting ambiance of this place.
Jiya says :
13 Nov 2018 20:42 IST
The interior of the Hotel is just fab and I love the picture. Four seasons is a great brand . The way you have shared your view on the hotel. I looks along with the beauty They are fab for comfort and service too.
Jhilmil D Saha says :
13 Nov 2018 20:51 IST
The hotel looks so luxurious and the ambience is definitely so pleasant. A stay so exotic like this will be memorable for long.
Nidhi KM says :
13 Nov 2018 21:02 IST
The Wow factor comes in as you name Four Seasons. The decor, ambiance, rooms, food, everything speaks high based on your photos. WOuld love to experience this property sooner than later.
Snigdha Prusti says :
13 Nov 2018 21:33 IST
The ambiance and the place is looking so luxurious and stunning. Definitely the best place to spend quality times with your loved one .
Charu Chittwal says :
13 Nov 2018 21:45 IST
Four Seasons hotels have always impressed me with the services they offer, and this blog looks no less, and must say the clicks are just amazing 🙌
Judy says :
13 Nov 2018 22:00 IST
Seriously the hotel looks very elegant and poised for business and personal stays. The restaurants look even more classy and sophisticated. Book marking the hotel for considering on my visit here.
Alexx bloom says :
14 Nov 2018 00:12 IST
The best part and most important one for me in a hotel is bathroom where I can feel relax and sing. I must say they have such set up of rooms love it
Jasmeet Kaur says :
14 Nov 2018 16:50 IST
Oh my god! This looks like a perfect place for a holiday.. I am very fond of all four season properties I have visited

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