Grand Hyatt Seoul Review

Megan

Seoul, South Korea was the first stop of our family of five’s 2.5 week trip to South Korea and Japan. I originally booked two rooms at the Holiday Inn Express Seoul Hongdae with IHG points. However, after realizing we would want more comfort for our first few nights in Asia while we adjust to the time change, I switched to the Grand Hyatt Seoul. Spoiler: this incredibly family-friendly hotel did not disappoint!

 

Grand Hyatt Seoul

 

How to Get to the Grand Hyatt Seoul from Incheon Airport (ICN)

The Grand Hyatt Seoul is a Category 5 Hyatt hotel located in Seoul, South Korea. It is situated at the top of a large hill overlooking the city of Seoul. The only downside to this hotel is that it’s about a 15-20-minute walk downhill to the closest metro station, Itaewon Station. This means that at the end of a long day site-seeing, you have an uphill walk for 15-20 minutes to reach your hotel. Yikes.

While researching for this trip, I saw that taking the metro from ICN airport to Grand Hyatt Seoul was possible. Google Maps said it would take about 1.5 hours by metro, including that uphill walk. While we usually travel only by public transportation in big cities, I knew that after a long travel day (over 24 hours), this would not be fun or easy for us. So, instead, I booked a car transfer ahead of time.

Pre-Arranged Car Pick Up

I reserved a 9-passenger van with K-Vans Korea through Viator. It was about $100 total (with 10% cash back on Rakuten!), and I would definitely recommend it.

 

Grand Hyatt Seoul Lobby

Grand Hyatt Seoul Lobby

 

Grand Hyatt Seoul Rooms on Points + Cash

As with many hotels outside the U.S., the room occupancy rates are tricky for a family of 5. At the Grand Hyatt Seoul, a standard room will fit a maximum of 4 guests.

For our stay, I booked a king room with a sofa bed for one adult and two kids for 20k points per night. Room two was a two-twin room for one adult and one kid on cash. I had asked if the Hyatt Family Rate plan was available, and it was not, so we paid cash for the second room.

At the time of booking, Grand Hyatt Seoul was running a special for staying two nights and getting the third night free. I booked that special for our second room.

I also want to note that while the room occupancy is for four people, in my opinion, this would be very tight. Also, there is no space in the standard rooms for a rollaway bed. I can see how three people could be comfortable in either of these rooms, with one person sleeping on the twin-sized foldout couch. For our family of 5, we had connecting king + twin rooms. Even with the two rooms, it was tight for five us.

 

Notes on Booking Two Rooms for Your Family

While booking our rooms, I requested that they be connected. After I booked our first room, I put a note in the comments for room 2, including the confirmation number from the first room. Connecting rooms isn’t always guaranteed, but it worked perfectly this time.

I have found that booking a king room and two twin/queen/double rooms usually gives the best chances of connecting. Typically, two king rooms do not connect. After a stop at the front desk to ask for extra blankets and pillows to set up the foldout couch for the girls, we were off to our rooms. The girls each had their own single bed in their room, and we had the king bed in ours.

 

Grand Hyatt Seoul Standard King Room

 

Grand Hyatt Seoul Standard Twin Room

 

Grand Hyatt Seoul River View Rooms

The bathrooms are small and not modern, but they were clean and just fine for what we needed. There is a single sink with plenty of countertop space, a toilet, and a tub and shower combo. Extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, cotton swabs, and a hair dryer were also on the counter.

 

 

My husband has Discoverist status with Hyatt, and we were upgraded (without any request) to River View rooms. Four free bottles of water were provided each day for each room, and a late checkout time of 12 p.m. was offered.

 

Grand Hyatt Seoul River View Room

Grand Hyatt Seoul River View Room with views of the Han River

 

Hyatt Club Access Awards

I applied a gifted Hyatt Club Access Award to each room. The Grand Hyatt Seoul Club Lounge is open from 7 am-10 am for breakfast and 6 pm-8 pm for cocktail hour. However, children under age 13 are not permitted in the lounge for evening cocktail hour. At check-in, our lovely front desk attendant told us that because of this, we could order three children’s meals from room service each night for free!

Our arrival day was super delayed, and we didn’t arrive at the hotel until almost 8 pm. I asked what time the restaurant served dinner, and the front desk attendant said that since we missed cocktail hour in the lounge, she would send a complimentary bottle of wine to our room. We must have looked desperate after a 24+ hour travel day from NY to South Korea with three kids in tow. 😅

 

 

Once we arrived at our rooms, the girls showered, and my husband called to order three kids’ meals for room service, plus a hamburger and club sandwich for us. The server delivering our food put a white tablecloth on our little table and nicely set out all the plates and silverware.

 

Grand Hyatt Seoul Club room service

It was a nice surprise to get three free kid’s meals each night for dinner because of our club lounge access.

 

Grand Hyatt Seoul Club Lounge

The club lounge is located on the Lower Lobby Floor and has tons of seating. Because of the crazy time change, we were wide awake at 2 a.m. and were waiting for them to open at 7 a.m. on the first day. Needless to say, it was a long morning.

Breakfast at the Grand Club is from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. (it goes until 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday). It includes an assortment of pastries, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, coffee, tea, juice (watermelon, beet/apple, apple, and orange), a mixture of Korean and Western foods, and omelets made to order by a chef.

 

Grand Hyatt Seoul Club Lounge Breakfast

Grand Hyatt Seoul Club Lounge Breakfast

 

Daytime snacks are available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. They include cookies and cakes, coffee, tea, sodas, and fresh fruit.

The evening cocktail hour is from 6 pm-8 pm. There is enough food here in the evenings for a complete dinner. Many hot small plate options, soups, desserts, and a self-serve wine/beer/liquor area are also included.

Again, children under 13 are not permitted in the club lounge during evening cocktail hour. They are very strict about this, and this rule applies to infants. So, each night, my husband and I took turns going to the club lounge for an hour to enjoy some quiet with food and wine.

 

Early Checkout To-Go Breakfast Boxes

On our final day, we would check out at 6 am to catch an 8:25 am flight to Osaka, Japan. We had mentioned to the attendants at the club lounge breakfast of our early checkout the next morning, and they prepared to-go boxes of breakfast foods for us to take with us. We could pick these up at the front desk at 6 am before heading to the airport. In these boxes were two coffees, three bottles of water, and five breakfast boxes with bread, pastries, yogurt, and fresh fruit. This was so appreciated.

 

Hotel Amenities

There is an indoor swimming pool open from 6:30 am-10 pm. There is unlimited access Monday-Friday, however weekend and holiday dates, guests are limited to 1 hour time slot per night. You book this by scanning the QR code included with the information in your room.

In the summer, there is an outdoor pool and tennis courts. In the winter, a little holiday market and skating rink are set up. We stayed here at the end of March and missed these fun events.

 

Grand Hyatt Seoul Indoor Pool

Grand Hyatt Seoul Indoor Pool

 

There is a 24-hour gym; you can borrow sportswear (t-shirts and shorts) for free. The gym is rather large, with many treadmills, bikes, and weights.

Surprisingly, there is also a kids’ lounge and movie room! This is not a drop-off kids’ club but more like a playroom where parents can hang out with their kiddos. It operates on weekends only from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is closed from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. It is temporarily located on the Lower Lobby Floor, though it wasn’t clear if they would be opening a permanent location.

The kid’s lounge wasn’t too big and mostly had toddler-aged toys. The movie room was Peppa Pig-themed and had cartoons running all day.

 

Grand Hyatt Seoul Kids Lounge

Grand Hyatt Seoul Kids Lounge

 

Bottom Line

We loved this hotel. After an extremely long travel day and a tough time change, walking into a nice hotel with wonderful service felt amazing. It was incredibly family-friendly, too! However, due to the location to get on the metro, I think if we were to have a longer stay, have young kids/a stroller, or people with mobility issues, we would consider staying at the Andaz Seoul Gangham. The Andaz has a metro station right in the basement of the hotel. While the walk to the hotel from Itaewon station was steep, we really didn’t mind it for the two days we made the walk. Taxis were also readily available if you didn’t have to worry about car seats/booster seats.

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. I would recommend it to families looking for a comfortable hotel to start a family vacation in Asia.

 

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