luxe - W Seoul-Walkerhill
Written by Gregg Henglein
A common theme carried out with uncommon class, W Hotels’ Seoul entry stays true to the boutique hotel group’s spirit while staking its own identity.
There’s nothing small about the W. Designers RAD, Toni Chi, and Studio Gaia were presented with the unique challenge of creating a boutique feel in a grand setting. For example, the 465ft2 double-height lobby, referred to as ‘The Living Room’, is grand yet intimate, split into several smaller zones without walls, allowing for ?owing sitting areas throughout.
Details abound: floating rings glow and serve to light the elevator; low-slung sofas are built right into the stairs; while egg-shaped chairs from the psychedelic ’70s are elevated to create intimate spaces. Artistic endeavours include ‘The Wooden Mirror’ to engage guests with an interactive artistic experience.
The W’s goal was to colour – abundantly – outside the lines of cookie-cutter boutiques. Enter the rooms, which come in four types, such as the vividly red Wonderful Room – the largest standard room in Seoul – or the placid blue hue of the Fabulous Scent Room, with a balcony overlooking the Han River and signature aromatherapy options. Add a pillow menu for optimal comfort and the W stands, quite clearly, for ‘Welcome!’
At the base of Mount Acha and overlooking the Han River, the W Seoul-Walkerhill sits not in the heart of Seoul city, but rather outside it on 180 acres of lush parkland. Fear not, though, as everywhere you could want to go is easily accessible. The W offers a free shuttle bus to Seoul’s efficient subway system less than ten minutes away. Taxis are also reasonably priced for a more direct connection, as you’re only 15 minutes from the bustling Gangnam financial and business district.