Review: Aloft Seoul Gangnam
T he grand opening of the Aloft Seoul Gangnam hotel property occurred exactly one month ago today; and I was a guest fewer than two weeks later.
Because it was my first destination after arriving at Incheon International Airport — which serves the greater Seoul metropolitan area — after I purchased my ticket for 10,000 South Korean won to ride on route 6006 of the airport limousine bus and queued up in line, I asked several employees of the bus company as to what stop I should get off of the bus which would be nearest to the hotel.
The same puzzled look appeared on every face. Confused, they conferred with each other, as none of them had heard of the brand-new hotel property. I showed them the address on my portable electronic device; but they were still confused.
Finally, one of them figured it out and said that I needed to get out at the stop for the Prima Hotel. I then boarded the bus for the ride to the Gangnam area.
When the bus arrived at the Prima Hotel, I stepped off of the bus but could not see the Aloft Seoul Gangnam hotel anywhere in sight. However, I saw by the street signs that I was on Yeongdong-daero, which was the correct boulevard. Facing the Prima Hotel, I then turned left and walked along the boulevard as it curved towards the right around a bend. The hotel property was across the street.
Afternoon was turning into evening as I walked into the hotel property. Kevin — who is the front office manager at this hotel property and was at the circular front desk — spoke English quite well and was incredibly helpful throughout the entire process of my checking in. He answered every question I had and gave me some tips as well.
As I was tired from a long but quite good flight from Amsterdam and I needed to wake up early the next morning to participate in a tour of the demilitarized zone and joint security area at the border of South Korea and North Korea, I was eager to get some rest.
My room was on the ninth floor.
I entered the room and slid my plastic key card into the slot near the door, as shown below:
I was treated to the sight of the rays of a setting sun beaming into my room.
Barely after putting my belongings down in a random spot, I immediately went over to the window to look outside to catch the sun moments before it set behind the buildings of the urban landscape.
During the last gasp of the setting sun, it was time for me to check out the room and its amenities.
At least these dispensers within the shower area clearly show that they are almost full — unlike the lone empty dispenser I encountered when I attempted to take a shower in the bathtub area of the bathroom at the Park Inn by Radisson Budapest hotel property.
Although there are fewer amenities in this hotel property than that of the Hyatt On The Bund hotel property in Shanghai — of which I intend to post a review — there is significantly less waste from the packaging of the amenities.
Complimentary access to the Internet via Wi-Fi proved to be fast and efficient, according to my experience with it.
This hotel property has a restaurant, three meeting rooms, a gym, a pantry of sorts where you can purchase snacks, and a place to have cocktails while listening to live music — although I used none of these facilities.
It also offers a shuttle bus service to the Coex mall, which is only minutes away. The Cheongdam stop on the 7 subway line is within a walk of five to eight minutes from this hotel property. Because the subway system in Seoul is remarkably efficient, that makes up for the lack of convenience to many areas of Seoul due to its location. However, there is plenty of upscale shopping nearby.
I highly recommend the Aloft Seoul Gangnam hotel property — especially at the rate of approximately $150.00 including all taxes and fees, which is a bargain when compared to the room rates of comparable hotel properties. The employees are very helpful and informative; the hotel property is clean; and the bed was quite comfortable. As the temperature was still warm outside, the air conditioning cooled the room quickly. Credit cards are accepted.
All photographs ©2014 by Brian Cohen. Click on each photograph for an enlargement.