5 South Korea Luxury Hotels Loved by Song Joong-Ki, Blackpink’s Rosé and Other Celebrities
The Singapore and South Korea vaccinated travel lane, which begins November 15, offers a chance for a quarantine-free holiday; here’s a host of stylish hotels that you can book for that much-needed vacation
The announcement of the Singapore and South Korea vaccinated travel lane (VTL) is definitely good news for both the waning tourism industry and for those who are travel-hungry. South Korea has made a name for itself on the global stage, with the cultural phenomenon known as Hallyu making rapid waves around the globe.
If you’ve already snapped up plane tickets and have half-packed your luggage, it’s time to book a hotel stay for your trip. If you’re looking for a truly luxurious stay, these stylish and design-forward hotels not only offer a stellar setting to unwind in but also boast a significant star presence—they’ve been visited by Korean celebrities that include Song Joong-ki, Blackpink, and more.
Paradise City is a luxury integrated development comprising two hotels and various other facilities such as an art gallery, spa and a casino (Image: Courtesy of Paradise City)
Cimer spa at Paradise City features various themed spa experience zones, swimming pools and saunas (Image: Courtesy of Paradise City)
Soak in the sun at the resort's many pools and cabanas, which are designed for luxury comfort (Image: Courtesy of Paradise City)
Escape the bustle of the city and unwind at Paradise City, a tranquil oasis located a short drive away from Incheon International Airport. Set within Yeongjong Island, the sprawling integrated development spans 330,000sqm and includes two hotels, a casino, convention center, theme park, art gallery, spa, nightclub and more. Each building in the resort is a work of art and carries its individual charm.
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The boutique hotel Art Paradiso features a sense of glamour that differs from Paradise Hotel (Image: Courtesy of Paradise City)
Designed by Alessandro Mendini, the rooms in Paradise Hotel feature a chic contemporary design approach (Image: Courtesy of Paradise City)
Eye-catching artworks and sculptures can be found throughout the hotel's grounds (Image: Courtesy of Paradise City)
Indulge in a lavish getaway at Paradise Hotel & Resort, designed by the late and great Italian architect Alessandro Mendini. The luxurious rooms within the five-star property feature marble and wood accents alongside a soothing colour palette that consists of calming shades like beige, sage green and turquoise.
If you prefer a different view, check out Art Paradiso instead. Inspired by the grandeur of European hotels, the boutique hotel’s 58 suites are dressed in a monochromatic colour scheme, metallic details and jewel-toned velvet furnishings.
Another draw of this integrated development is the large collection of artworks on display. With the intention of creating a recreational destination that provides ‘art-tainment’, the resort’s diverse art collection—which includes 3,000 works from different artists the likes of Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, and Yayoi Kusama—can be found throughout the property.
The resort is also linked to a plethora of notable Korean celebrity names. It’s not uncommon to find singers and groups such as Rain, JYP, and Mamamoo filming music videos and promotional content at the resort, and celebrity couple Min Hyorin and Big Bang’s Taeyang even held their captivating wedding reception at the hotel.
Ambassadors for the luxury resort include actors Kim Soo-hyun and Lee Byung-hun, Korean group Winner, JYJ’s Kim Jae-joong and Blackpink member Rosé recently enjoyed a brief getaway at the resort before heading off to New York for the Met Gala.
The Shilla Seoul
The oldest luxury hotel in Seoul, the Shilla Seoul underwent a contemporary redesign in 2013 (Image: Courtesy of The Shilla Seoul)
Designed by Peter Remedios, the rooms feature a layered look with the use of mahogany wood and soft linens (Image: Courtesy of The Shilla Seoul)
Rooms reference traditional Korean aesthetics with modern technology (Image: Courtesy of The Shilla Seoul)
Greeting guests with a sparkle, the lobby features a striking chandelier that's the visual focus of the space (Image: Courtesy of The Shilla Seoul)
Taking its name after the ancient dynasty Shilla, a golden age kingdom in the history of Korea, The Shilla Seoul is located behind the capital’s old castle walls. Established in 1979, the Samsung-owned hotel is the oldest luxury hotel in Seoul. Despite its age, the five-star hotel manages to balances its nostalgic sense of sophistication with contemporary elements and cutting-edge technology that perfectly encapsulates Seoul’s metropolistic scene.
The hotel underwent a refresh in 2013. Hong Kong-based designer Peter Remedios breathed new life within the interiors with an East-meets-West theme. Traditional Korean aesthetics in the form of sliding rice paper screens and wood furnishings are combined with modern sensibilities and smart technology.
The luxury hotel is also a go-to destination for Korean stars to hold their wedding receptions. South Korean actors Song Hye-kyo and Song Joong-ki—who unfortunately divorced—held their famous star-studded Song-Song wedding ceremony at the hotel. Actress Jun Ji-Hyun also held her wedding with banker Choi Joon-hyuk at The Shilla Seoul in 2012, while famous comedian and ‘Nation’s MC’ Yoo Jae-suk married his wife Na Kyung-eun at the hotel in 2008.
Conrad Hotel Seoul
The rooms feature gingko leaves motifs, a symbol of love and fortune in Korea (Image: Courtesy of Conrad Hotel Seoul)
Designed by Arquitectonica, the rooms in Conrad Hotel Seoul features large windows that offer a view of the Han River and Seoul skyline (Image: Courtesy of Conrad Hotel Seoul)
A bathroom in Conrad Hotel Seoul, designed to provide comfort and luxury (Image: Courtesy of Conrad Hotel Seoul)
The Conrad chain of hotels is synonymous with sophisticated luxury and impeccable service, and its Seoul outpost is no different. Strategically located in the heart of the buzzy Yeouido Business District—often dubbed the Manhattan of Seoul—the contemporary retreat offers stunning views of the city’s famous Han River as well as Seoul’s night-time skyline and distant mountains.
Designed by Miami-based firm Arquitectonica, the 434 guest rooms are crafted with elegance and opulence in mind. References to gingko leaves, which is a symbol of peace, love and fortune in Korea, can be found throughout the property, whether it’s the striking amber chandeliers in the lobby, or the various motifs found on the rugs, walls, and artworks scattered around the hotel. Lofty ceilings add a heightened sense of drama, while warm, ambient lighting creates a mellow atmosphere within the cosy cocoons.
The Korean drama Vincenzo was filmed in the penthouse suite of the Conrad Hotel Seoul (Image: Courtesy of Netflix)
The penthouse suite was also the home of K-drama Start Up's Han Ji-pyeong, played by actor Kim Seon-ho. (Image: Courtesy of Netflix)
The luxury hotel is a trendy filming hotspot for various Korean television hits as well. The hotel’s 36th-floor penthouse suite served as a base of sorts for Song Joong-ki’s character in Vincenzo, while Ko Moon-young (played by actress Seo Ye-ji) is seen staying in this room in the first episode of It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. Other notable hits that were filmed at the hotel include The Devil Judge, Itaewon Class, and Start Up.
The Seaes Hotel & Resort Jeju
Rooms in the Seaes Hotel & Resort Jeju feature contemporary rooms with natural elements that highlight the verdant setting (Image: The Seaes Hotel & Resort Jeju)
Located in close proximity to the sea, the resort offers panoramic views of the beach and surrounding nature (Image: The Seaes Hotel & Resort Jeju)
The Seaes Hotel & Resort Jeju offers a tranquil respite from bustling city life (Image: The Seaes Hotel & Resort Jeju)
The 2009 Korean drama hit Boys Over Flowers briefly filmed at The Seaes Hotel & Resort Jeju (Image: Courtesy of KBS)
Nicknamed the Hawaii of South Korea, Jeju Island is known for its picturesque landscapes and quirky museums. Embrace a slower pace of life at The Seaes Hotel & Resort Jeju, a tropical-like paradise that offers guests a scenic perspective of the surrounding lush landscape and sea views.
Exuding an aura of tranquility, the idyllic retreat boasts 29 suites and 10 individual villas for those looking for a little more privacy. Drawing cues from traditional Korean architecture, the rooms feature an artful combination of wood and stone, layered with soft cotton finishings.
Besides its sensational views, the resort is also known for being a popular Korean drama filming location as well. The famous bench scene in the 2010 sensational hit Secret Garden was filmed here, as was the romantic getaway scene in the popular television series Boys Over Flowers.
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The Westin Chosun Busan
Busan, South Korea’s second largest city, is known for spectacular seaside beaches, having some of the best seafood on the planet, as well as one of the most significant film festivals in Asia: the Busan International Film Festival. The Westin Chosun Busan is known to be the go-to hotel for guests of the festival; this year’s high-profile line-up includes celebrities such as Song Joong-ki, Jeon Yeo-been, and Bong Joon-ho.
The living area of the presidential suite in The Westin Chosun Busan, which features a minimalist design (Image: The Westin Chosun Busan)
Rooms in the Westin Chosun Busan feature large windows that offer guests a view of the panoramic beaches (Image: The Westin Chosun Busan)
Located at the western end of Haeundae Beach, one of the most famous beaches in South Korea, The Westin Chosun Busan offers a restorative respite with its five-star accommodations. The 290 rooms and suites are effortlessly chic and stylish; a minimalist design approach and a neutral colour palette made up of beige and light brown tones create a peaceful setting. Large windows line the length of an entire wall within each room, framing a scenic panorama of the beautiful Haeundae coastline.