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.

Photographs ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

The photograph on the left shows the exterior of the Aloft Seoul Gangnam hotel property; while the photograph on the right shows the lobby to the left of the entrance. The furnishings in the lobby were stylish; but they were not very comfortable. Photographs ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

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.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

The hallway on the ninth floor inside of the Aloft Seoul Gangnam hotel property. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

I entered the room and slid my plastic key card into the slot near the door, as shown below:

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

I was treated to the sight of the rays of a setting sun beaming into my room.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

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.

Photographs ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

During the last gasp of the setting sun, it was time for me to check out the room and its amenities.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

The bed. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Note the glass partitions which separate the bathroom from the area of the room with the bed. You can slide open one of the partitions to give the entire room a more open feel but still ensure privacy when necessary. The oblong white shape is the back of the mirror above the vanity in the bathroom. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

The bathroom is behind the frosted glass — which is tinted green — on the left; while the closet is located in the entrance area. The television with a big screen is built into the wooden area of the wall on the right but is not visible in this photograph. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

A television with a big screen is on the left of the work area. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

This is a closer view of the work area. Notice that there are two electrical outlets conveniently located on the wall, which was perfect for charging both my portable electronic device and my laptop computer; and no converter is necessary to use them. Most of the other outlets in the room do require converters. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

I suppose this area could be a place to store your luggage outside of the closet area; or it could be an extension of the work area; or perhaps a person could even rest here temporarily. Regardless, I did not need to use it. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Here is everything you need for a lifeline to escape from the building along its exterior in the unlikely event of an emergency. Because I found this kit in another hotel property in Seoul, I am guessing that this is required equipment. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

On the left is a photograph of the closet, which contained two robes, an ironing board, an iron, and slippers. On the right is the entrance to the shower in the bathroom. Photographs ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

In the shower area are two dispensers: one for shampoo and conditioner; the other for body wash. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

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.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

I liked the way the sun beamed in through the glass of the bathroom. The bed is located behind that frosted glass partition. Notice that there are two shower heads with which you can shower: a shower rain head above and a hand-held shower head. I felt very refreshed when I showered after a long flight from Europe. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Amenities found in the bathroom include cotton balls, cotton swabs, a shower cap, a bar of soap, a comb, an emory board, and body lotion. Photographs ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

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.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

I like hotel properties which place most of the controls of the room right next to the bed. This electrical outlet does not need a converter in order for you to use it. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Two complimentary bottles of cold water awaited me in the refrigerator — a welcome sight after a long trip. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

The room with the lights on at night. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

The thermostat and emergency flashlight are mounted on the side of the closet wall. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

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.

One thought on “Review: Aloft Seoul Gangnam”

  1. Joey says:

    Great to hear you enjoyed your stay at Aloft Gangnam! Out of all the brand hotels in SPG, the Aloft properties are actually my favorite. They’re modern, no frills, free internet, and have a very techie style.

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