Saturday, December 17, 2011

Courtyard by Marriott Seoul Times Square

After the five night stay at the Westin Chosun, I had run out of SPG points =) so another hotel was needed.  The lucky winner was the Courtyard by Marriott Seoul Times Square, embedded deep within the Times Square shopping mall.  It was embedded so deeply that it took a bit of detective work and wandering around before the entrance and lobby of the hotel were found.  The easiest way is likely from the street, past the Shinsegae department store.  The more difficult path is through the mall, making sure you continue to the very end...

Once you reach the atrium, keep going up to the very top floor, where you will then see the inconspicuous Marriott sign at the exit.

Follow the sign to exit and the tall building almost directly in front of you is the hotel.  As you walk in, you will obviously notice that the lobby of the hotel is quite large and immaculate, decorated with many art nouveau pieces throughout.

As a gold member, I was upgraded to the executive floor and I quickly headed up to toss my luggage into the room and took a few pictures:

and the view from the window,

I headed up for some snacks from the executive lounge.  Here I must extol some of the benefits of Marriott Gold membership. With Gold Elite membership, the complimentary lounge access and the complimentary breakfast made the stay all the more satisfying. For those interested in getting a taste of gold elite status, it is certainly worth a try contacting Marriott to enrol in their status challenge program (particularly if you have elite status with Starwood or Hilton) which will provide you with complimentary Gold Elite status for 3 months while you attempt to finish their stay challenge. Just from this stay alone, I can tell you that it is absolutely worth it. That evening, they had an assorted selection of deli meat and cheeses, oyster mushrooms, tuna salad, spring rolls, fresh greens and a vegetable, corn and cheese dish.

After wandering around the mall for a bit, the lounge offered a nice selection of desserts and fruits for the evening.

Breakfast the next morning, offered in the Momo Cafe next to the lounge, was probably the best part of the stay.  With a scrumptious selection of western and korean style foods, there was something to please everyone.  I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

As a Marriott category 3 (now 4) hotel, the redemption rate was excellent value for the 15k Marriott points required for one night.  As the two night stay was simply too short for me to enjoy the hotel, the following night, I decided there was no need for me to find dinner as the happy hour snack of jap chae, tomato salad, mashed potatoes and the dessert soon after was sufficient to keep my stomach happy for the rest of the evening. ^_^

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