I spent a few months in Korea in 1993. Since then I’ve come through Seoul several times but never more than for a day or two. This time I wanted to travel around Korea a bit and stay in Seoul long enough to get to know the city better. My brother decided to meet me in Seoul and one of his friends who loves Korean food joined us from NY as well so after traveling alone for four months in India, I am with two traveling companions. We checked into the gorgeously modern Park Hyatt Seoul on Monday and we’ve been enjoying what this hotel and Seoul has to offer. My brother picked this hotel and I have to say, I am exceedingly happy that he did.
Just like this technologically advanced city of Seoul, the Park Hyatt Seoul feels as if I’ve stepped into the future. I knew that after once I left India I would encounter a change of scenery but I didn’t expect Seoul to be as clean and modern as it is. The Park Hyatt Seoul is in Gangnam which is a posh neighborhood with shopping malls, sophisticated restaurants, and high rise office buildings. Just a few weeks ago I had a padlock on my door and mosquito nets over my windows at the Aurovalley ashram in India and here, there are blackout shades and automatic window curtains that cover the floor to ceiling windows. The hotel room keys are small plastic cards (my brother says they are RF cards). Aside from opening the door to my room, when you touch a keypad panel with it in the elevator, your floor is recognized and lights up like magic.
I had a field day looking around my room, finding thoughtful design touches and enjoying the view. In a cupboard hidden in the wall, I found an electronic tea kettle which I’ve been using every morning to make tea. The lighting is warm and strategic, and all the light wood furniture and floor make the room feel very cozy. The large closet in the room is not only practical but also very clever, in that I can access it from the living area as well as from the bathroom via two sets of doors. But the bathroom is by far my favorite. I actually laughed out loud when I discovered that the granite floor of the bathroom is heated (as is the toilet seat). The sleek and modern bathtub is one of the largest and the deepest I’ve ever seen, and the rain shower has washed away most of my memories of all the cold plastic bucket showers I had in India. It took me a few days to figure it out but I realized that at 6PM each night the bathroom floor gets heated, the temperature in the room is adjusted, and the turn down service comes by. At night, if I get up to go to the bathroom a small motion sensor light comes on to make sure I don’t stumble!
I can take cold showers, share my room with geckos, sleep on hard mattresses night after night. I think having done so makes this experience that much sweeter. I’m looking forward to a rainy day so that I can stay in all day and maybe take a bath, but the thought of wasting all that water makes me uneasy. Maybe I’m cut out for this life of luxury after all…
Address: 995-14 대치3동, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea