In Seoul, days begin with the quiet beauty of the morning mist, while night starts with a dusk that envelopes the blue evening sky hanging over the lively and eclectic metropolis. For visitors, one of the best ways to take it all in is from one of the handful of Seoul luxury hotels with panoramic views.
The Shilla Seoul
Here, contemporary design blends with traditional patterns and styles from the Shilla Dynasty, which ruled from the first century BCE to the seventh century CE, offering a robust look into the rich history of Korea. The hotel’s 1711-square-foot Shilla Suite offers incomparable views of the iconic Mount Namsan and the Seoul skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows. For true luxury, take it all in from the free-standing marble bathtub — nothing compares to watching the sunset while relaxing in the tub with a glass of Champagne.
You don’t have to be staying at the property to take it all in. If you’re just visiting for the day, head to The Executive Lounge on the 23rd floor for breakfast, afternoon tea, or happy hour. Urban Island, the third-floor outdoor pool open spring through fall, offers unobstructed views of Namsan Mountain. One floor down, the two Michelin-star La Yeon serves contemporary interpretations of classic Korean cuisine, while Ariake serves authentic Japanese cuisine that includes fresh seasonal seafood dishes with a choice of 37 different options of premium sake.
The Shilla Seoul: 249 Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Mondrian Seoul Itaewon
The Mondrian Seoul Itaewon is a lifestyle destination in its own right. Expressive, forward-thinking design and immersive décor make your stay here one that is full of sensory stimulation.
The 295 guestrooms have interiors designed by Singapore-based company Asylum that reflect the lively district with bold, vibrant, cutting-edge designs. The 904-square-foot Mondrian Suite is the real showstopper here, offering a dazzling view of Itaewon’s skyline, the Namsan Tower, and impressive views of the city that reflect the heart and soul of Seoul.
The hotel includes a premium fitness club, a 25-meter swimming pool, and a luxurious sauna, as well as convenient access to the Itaewon area. Try some mouthwatering Mediterranean cuisine at Cleo or wind down with soothing tea or sip on a collection of bespoke cocktails at Blind Spot. If you fancy something stronger, sample a selection of the finest malt whiskeys on the rooftop terrace at Privilege bar.
It’s hard to beat the location. Itaewon is known for its cosmopolitan dining and nightlife. It’s filled with Korean BBQ, bistros, and charming hole-in-the-wall restaurants. The famous Itaewon Antique Furniture Street is a stroll away, and the nearby War Memorial of Korea museum commemorates the South Korean and United Nation soldiers who died during the Korean War from June 25, 1950, to July 17, 1953, when North Korea invaded South Korea.
Mondrian Seoul Itaewon: 23 Jangmun-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Fairmont Ambassador Seoul
Situated at Parc.1 complex, one of Seoul’s most prominent new addresses in Yeouido Island, the five-star Fairmont Ambassador Seoul opened last year and offers breathtaking views of the Han River and the vibrant Yeouido skyline.
For suites with the best views, the expansive Presidential Suite on the 28th floor has floor-to-ceiling windows through which you can see the National Assembly building, Han River, and Yeouido skyline. A boardroom, dining room, and state-of-the-art cycling machine are also included. There’s also the Diplomatic Sky Suite, which has two bedrooms, a spacious dining room, and a generous amount of natural light with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a marble bathroom.
M29, the hotel’s signature rooftop bar serves custom-made cocktails best enjoyed with the view. The hotel’s gourmet restaurant on the 29th floor, Mariposa, is headed by Chef Andre Lee and serves modern European cuisine.
Located in Yeongdeungpo-gu, the hotel is a few minutes drive to the National Museum of Korea, the Lotte Outlets, the YG Entertainment Building, and Namsan Park. The popular shopping destination of Myeongdong Street is also close by for some retail therapy.
Fairmont Ambassador Seoul: 108 Yeoui-daero, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hotel Naru Seoul MGallery Ambassador
Named after the original name of the area, Maponaru, the boutique Hotel Naru Seoul MGallery Ambassador offers unparalleled views of the Han River and Bamseom islet from its 20th-floor lobby. Located on the northern banks of the Han River, it’s less than an hour drive to and from the Incheon International Airport.
Conceptualized with biophilic interior design that connects spaces occupied by people to nature, the hotel offers a tranquil setting in the middle of bustling Seoul.
To book a room with the best views, consider staying at the Naru Suite, which has a large terrace that’s nearly as large as the suite’s interior and has majestic views of Namsan and Lotte World Tower. The beauty isn’t limited to starting at what’s outside. The hotel collaborates with contemporary local artists who are passionate about representing Korean culture through their artwork.
Hotel Naru Seoul MGallery Ambassador: 8 Mapo-daero, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Located on floors 76 to 101 of Lotte World Tower — a remarkable 1,823-feet-high structure with 123 floors — the Signiel Seoul is the country’s tallest tower and the sixth tallest in the world. All 235 rooms have exceptional panoramic views of Seoul. Guests can enjoy views of the Han River, Jamsil neighborhood, N Seoul Tower, Mongchontoseong Fortress, the Olympic Park, and the Gangnam skyline and beyond.
Its crown jewel is the Royal Suite Room, which has hosted many high-profile clients and celebrities. The lavish suite features a spacious dining room with elegant minimalistic furnishings and fabrics, and a marble jacuzzi overlooking the scenic views of the Gangnam skyline.
The hotel is located in the Songpa-Gu district, in the southeastern part of Seoul, along the Han River. It is a quiet residential area, compared to the hustle and bustle of its neighbor, Gangnam. Major attractions in the area are Lotte World, the Olympic Park, and the Samjeondo Monument.
If you’re just looking for a night out instead of a full stay, dine at STAY, a French restaurant helmed by acclaimed chef Yannick Alleno; drink Champagne on the 81st floor at Bar 81, which has the largest Champagne collection in South Korea; or grab something sweet from Bakery Pastry Salon, which has desserts like cakes and tarts handpicked by Alleno and his team.
Signiel Seoul: 300 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seoul Gangnam
At the Josun Palace, check into one of the suites to catch one of Seoul’s famous views of the upscale Gangnam district. There are also sunset views beyond the distant mountain ranges of Mount Namsan.
The hotel’s 254 rooms and suites feature interiors designed with a modern twist to a 100-year-old legacy. The extravagant Josun Grand Master Suite, a Presidential Suite located on the Heritage Club level, is one of the most sought-after rooms in part thanks to mesmerizing views of Namsan and Lotte Signiel Tower.
The hotel is known for award-winning dining concepts at its five venues, including chef Son Jong-won’s Michelin-star restaurant Eatanic Garden, which serves contemporary Korean cuisine. To let your hair down, head to the 1914 Lounge & Bar for some warm tea at noon or dress up and sip cocktails in the evening while enjoying the stunning city views from 30-foot-tall glass windows. Not to be missed is the sky-high heated pool and deck offering gorgeous views of Gangnam.
Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seoul Gangnam: Teheran-ro, 231 Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea