Getting into Seoul after 16 hours in transit, never leaves you happy … even flying business class, however when there is a check in desk at the airport that allows the following
- Checked me into my room, painlessly without a question
- Recognized my “Plat” status immediately
- Apologized 25 times for no immediate upgrade
- Attempted to take my luggage to the Korean Airlines bus counter
- Helped me order my bus ticket and waited for me to get on the bus – while making small chit chat
This is a check in process that is worthy of an A+. I don’t think I’ve had a better check in experience, I have had much better upgrades initially, but definitely not an overall better check in. The only way, it could have been improved was if she offered me a hot towel/coffee and maybe a single malt scotch
The Korean Airlines bus, while not part of the Westin, is a great service. It’s convenient, easy and drops you in front of all the major hotels. I’ll make a note of them later.
As for the first room, I was checked into 1801. This was a standard executive room. Nothing special about the room, except for ….
the toilet. I think I love hotels in Japan and Korea just because I get to do my business on one of these thrones.
I cannot express to anyone reading this, how awesome these toilets are. This is like the Cadillac of toilets. I want and will have one in our next house.
I love these toilets so much, that I’ve devoted 1/2 my video walkthrough in Suite 1801 to the damn toilet. I was upgraded from 1801 to 1702, hence after the walkthrough, it’s Suite 1801.
In Suite 1801, it’s a “typical” Westin Jr. Suite that you’ve seen in other great Westins like the Westin Napa Valley, Westin Chicago North, Westin Bangkok or Westin Camino Real in Guatemala … unlike our crappy Westins in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton.
As for the rest of the facilities … the lounge and gym are all awesome. Pictures to come
Finally, I have to give a shout out for more great customer service. The guest service team really took care of me, especially in my quest for the more exotic things on the menu. The quest for Bosintang, has proved to be surprisingly curious for my curious friends. Everyone on staff has had a raised eyebrow, when asked about THAT type of meat. Donald Liou was kind enough to above and beyond with the search to find me one of this recommendations, along with google print out and pictures of the place, along with the handy “Take me to” cards. These cards are absolutely essential to a non Korean roaming around. Culturally, while there are a lot of English speakers in Seoul, there will be a lot of hesitation in using that English. You can research the cultural attitude around this on your own time.
|High Speed Wired/Wireless Internet Access||Paid Wi-Fi access, but complimentary Wi-Fi for Plats.|
|Concierge||The concierge services were great, especially as I hadn’t put any serious thought into this trip, aside from the food planning.|
|Parking/Valet||Valet is available … I didn’t drive, hence I didn’t use it.|
|Dining||There are 6 different restaurants onsite and they will definitely cater to a foreign crowd. However I only wanted Korean food …|
|Pool||There are one outdoor pool and jacuzzi and they are heated|
|Gym||Absolutely first class gym – there is just as much equipment as a full regular service gym. There is a phenomenal lap pool, along with saunas and massage services.|
|Business Center||Fully decked out business center, but I didn’t use it, hence cannot offer detail|
This is a great business hotel and personally rates a strong 8 for me, which is definitely what I expect from the Westin.
|Staff attitude, conduct and support||As expected, customer service in Korea is great. If only service in North America, could have service levels like Starwood properties in Asia, the business world would be much happier. The checkin process at the AIRPORT, was fantastic. The clerk checked me in, explained and apologized and apologized about not getting me the upgrade for the first night, but that the rest of the stay would upgraded. She helped me get the Korean Air bus, by walking me out the door, then ordering the ticket for me, then offering to take my luggage to the bus … all the while waiting on|
|Hotel Cleanliness||Met with the Westin expectations.|
|Location||Absolutely phenomenal location to stay in Seoul. It’s close to all the best shopping and is definitely convenient to see all the palaces and sights within downtown.|
|Would I return?||I would definitely return to the hotel.|
||While this is a business hotel, this is also a “prestige” hotel in Seoul. As such, I did see young families with grandparents roaming around.|
|Good for business travellers?
||This is a business oriented hotel. There are tons of expense account restaurants here and the lounge is definitely a superior Westin lounge, as compared to my current live in accommodation at the Westin Edmonton, which is a terrible representation of the Westin brand.|
|Value for price paid?
||There are a lot of cheaper accommodations than the Westin in Seoul. I was quite tempted to stay in a Hanok but then I had a mental tantrum about no upgrades, no gym and no awesome view breakfast. In the end, Starwood won. This is why I would not class this as a value property. However, if you’re coming to Seoul and you’re not that price sensitive, then I would put this at a strong recommend.|