HKTravelBlog

Solid But Unexciting: Review of the Westin Chosun, Seoul

I recently spent a week at the Westin Chosun Seoul a decade after last visiting the property. Here is how it shapes up.

Location

The big selling point of the hotel for me is its excellent location. Seoul has multiple centres of gravity but for the one around City Hall it is unbeatable. The hotel is connected to Myeongdong by underground arcade so if one wants to shop in Myeongdong it is just a few minutes’ walk away.

Checkin

I gave my Starwood Preferred Guest number at checkin but the agent said there was no point even inputting it as I had not booked direct with the hotel but through an agent. Some loyalty programme.

There was a small box of Swiss chocolates in my room upon arrival, which was appreciated. 

Room

The main part of the room was decently spacious, with a very comfortable double bed, a slightly oddly shaped sofa and a good desk.

It was quiet and the curtains blocked the light well. The power sockets were too close together, so when using an adapter I could not use the two at the desk at the same time – a basic design flaw.

The desk had a smartphone with features including free local calls and data. This I found useful.

The bathroom though a bit heavy in feeling with lots of marble was decent, with a proper bathtub. Again, though, details were not great: the tap was a mixer tap which worked only by moving through cold water to get to hot water, which I never like.

The hotel is in a curve, so if the curtains are open and one is by the window, it may be visible to other guests.

Food

My rate included breakfast and it was fine but not at the level of a five-star hotel in Asia. Specifically there are a few issues. The range is adequate but not stellar so if staying for a week as I did it gets a bit repetitive. The restaurant does not feel premium, particularly at weekends when it was mobbed with local non-residents, giving it the scrum feeling of a tourist buffet. Lastly, the service is lacking. Specifically, there is no table service so a coffee requires waiting – typically in a queue – while a single staff member makes teas and coffees. Queuing for several minutes every time I wanted a coffee felt like a poor use of my time in the morning.

Facilities

The lobby bar though decent and atmospheric felt pretty overpriced, even during happy hour.

There was a gym, although the sauna would cost extra. I did use the pool, but it is a bit poky. It was divided into lanes, so one morning although only three fellow patrons were using it there was no space for me to swim.

Service

The staff were consistently well-meaning and eager to please. Language was a little problematic, although as I do not speak Korean that was more my fault than theirs. However, I did make several specific requests where the response underwhelmed me. For example, the business centre opens only after nine o’clock, and when I asked the guest services staff to help me print two files (not cheaply) when I came to pick them up in a rush, I checked and discovered that only one was printed. They waived the printing fee for the second one, but I would rather they had got things right first time.

Conclusion

I’d go back to the Westin Chosun for location but for location alone.

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