BEST FOR: CEOs, premium travelers, meetings meant to impress
DON’T MISS: The views, the views, the views – often above the clouds.
PRICE: Nightly rates start at around $335.
CONTACT: Hotel Lotte LOTTE World Tower 76F-101F, 300 Olympic-ro Songpa-gu, Seoul, Korea 02-3213-1000, https://www.lottehotel.com/seoul-signiel/en.html
BACKGROUND: Signiel Seoul, opened in 2017, sits on the 76th through 101st floors of the Lotte World Tower – at 1,820 feet, Korea’s tallest building and the fifth tallest in the world to date.
WHERE IS IT? Find the Lotte World Tower in Seoul’s premium shopping and business district of Jamsil. Access is easy through an underpass that connects the hotel and tower to Jamsil Station and a complex of megamalls by the Han River. The location is perfect for making quick shopping jaunts between appointments.
WHAT”S IT LIKE? While the altitudes may be dizzying the hotel is cozy and boutique by many standards with only 235 rooms and suites. Intimate public spaces maintain a casual quality that puts guests at ease. The initial ride up the elevator can be a bit daunting – it’s the world’s fastest and delivers riders from ground level to the hotel’s 121st floor lobby in one minute. A premium lounge at lobby level allows for relaxation most hours with complimentary snacks, dishes and refreshments.
ROOMS: The Signiel has nine room configurations and five suite categories, all with stunning views of the city skyline and the Han River. Rooms are designed with tasteful Asian touches, in soft pastels and woods with comfortable seating. A Korean Suite room with a tea room and traditional Korean décor is also available. The marble bathrooms offer the latest in Japanese commode design, a proactive toilet that opens before you enter and closes when you are done, anticipating all other possible wants and needs in between. The deep soaking bathtub has – what else? – a to-die-for view.
FOOD & DRINK: Signiel is making a statement not only in Korea but in the culinary world with its new restaurant, Stay, which is perched on the tower’s 81st floor. The establishment, run by three-Michelin-star chef Yannick Alléno, focuses on accessible haute gourmet and has already earned a star during its short life. The views, along with the Korean-French creative culinary works, make every meal from breakfast on an event. Specialized dining for important meetings or intimate meals can also be obtained at BICENA and the private room Signiel Club, for quintessential Korean oeuvres.
MEETINGS: This is the place for small meetings above the clouds. The Grand Ballroom, at some 6,000 square feet, is the world`s highest hotel banquet hall located on the 76th floor and offers a capacity to host 270 people.
LEISURE: A peaceful indoor swimming pool on the 85th floor is one of the hotel’s unsung gems. It connects to a sauna area and hotel gym. Evian Spa on the 86th floor presents a living multi-sensory approach to wellness.
VERDICT: One always has a sense of privacy and refinement at this property. The lack of crowds and noise in its spot above the fray is a welcomed escape after a day on Seoul’s teeming city streets. Unexpected: the attention to detail at each and every corner of the experience. Lark Gould