Seoul is too fascinating a city to not get out and go exploring. Yet one could be tempted to linger a little longer at the recently opened Four Seasons in South Korea's capital.
Within the walls of the 25-story, multipurpose building, designed by Heerim Architects & Planners in Seoul's Central Business District, are 317 magnificently appointed rooms (including 32 suites) with floor-to-ceiling windows revealing dramatic cityscapes as well as a three-story, 57,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art spa and health club with three pools and seven high-concept restaurants and bars.
The living room of a City-View executive suite.
The lighting schemes throughout the property were created with an emphasis on natural illumination. Guests using the 8,000- and 5,000-square-foot grand ballrooms and seven additional function spaces should especially appreciate the warm, soft luminance that subtly creates a feeling of relaxation.
Top interior designers, including LTW Designworks, Andre Fu and Avroko, were brought in to give the Four Seasons Seoul its unique character in its public spaces, including restaurants and bars, all designed to attract both guests and locals.
Its Italian restaurant, Boccalino, takes inspiration from the trendsetting fashion and design culture of midcentury Milan. Yu Yuan, named after Shanghai's famous rock garden, reflects the opulence and glamour of life along the Bund during its version of the roaring 1920s.
The Four Seasons has 317 rooms, including 32 suites, in Seoul’s Central Business District.
The hotel's Japanese restaurant, Kioku, with chef Sawada Kazumi, who gained fame at Tokyo's Michelin-starred Banreki Ryukodo, is housed in a sky-lit, three-story interior wooded space accented by red maple leaves. The Market Kitchen on the lower level offers buffet-style pan-Asian and international fare.
The Four Seasons' top watering holes, the Bar Boccalino and Charles H., are already attracting the who's who of Seoul's "Gangnam Style" crowd, who mix seamlessly with cocktail connoisseurs and international business travelers.
Part of the mystique of Charles H. is its New York Prohibition-era speakeasy-inspired design behind a hidden entrance door with no signs. Vinod Narayan, director of food and beverage at the hotel, sees each of its offerings as "a destination unto itself, with one-of-a-kind concepts that are stylish yet unpretentious."
The hotel reflects classic Four Seasons elegance infused with Korean tradition, contemporary fashion and cutting-edge technology, making it perfectly suited for a destination designated a Unesco City of Design for its abundant displays of cultural heritage and active pursuit of diverse design policies. The Four Seasons Seoul can rightfully claim to be the essence of style in the heart of capital.