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The 15 Best Hotels in Seoul To Book With Points [Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, IHG]

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Lori Zaino
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Lori Zaino

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Lori is an intrepid traveler who loves creating itineraries that exude “luxe on a budget.” She’s written for CNN, NBC, The Infatuation, and more, and loves to muse about points-fueled trips to Sri Lan...
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Seoul is one of the world’s most expensive cities, so staying for free can make a visit to the South Korean capital significantly more affordable.

With options from major brands like Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, and Hilton, you can find whatever type of accommodation you need on this list, from family-friendly hotels to luxury digs to locally inspired boutique gems.

These are the best hotels in Seoul to stay at for free using points, as well as some that offer exciting perks and benefits during your stay.

Where To Stay in Seoul

Seoul has many different neighborhoods, and it’s a good idea to be somewhere close to a metro so you can get around easily. If you’re taking a very short trip, also know that Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN) can be around an hour-and-a-half drive from the city center (or 45 minutes by train), which may be a factor in your decision.

These are some of the top areas in Seoul and who they’re best for:

  • Myeongdong: The Times Square of Seoul, this area has everything you might want, like restaurants, nightlife, tourist attractions, and more. However, if you’re looking for a tranquil or local stay, this area might not be the right choice.
  • Hongdae: This area is hip and cool, with lots of street food, nightlife, and youthful locals.
  • Bukchon Hanok Village: This is a quiet and historical area, so you won’t find large chain hotels here. Instead, this is the area to stay in for a traditional homestay or affordable guesthouse.
  • Dongdaemun: This is one of Seoul’s most popular shopping neighborhoods and is close to some of the city’s top attractions.
  • Insadong: Art galleries, teahouses, under-the-radar temples, and shops galore are features of Insadong. It’s close to all the action, but there are fewer tourists here than in Myeongdong.
  • Gangnam: You’ll find luxury hotels, fancy restaurants, and posh hotels in Gangnam.
  • Incheon: This area is outside of Seoul and near Incheon Airport. Still, there’s plenty to do (including beaches) if you have a long layover, a quick trip, or just need somewhere to stay close to the airport when you have a very early flight leaving or a very late flight arriving.
Hot Tip:

“Dong” means neighborhood in South Korea, while “gu” means district. For example, Insa-dong is a neighborhood (dong) inside of the Jongno-gu (district).

The 5 Best Marriott Hotels in Seoul

With nearly 30 hotels in Seoul, Marriott enthusiasts have many options, including 2 each from JW Marriott (both featured on this list), AC Hotels, and Aloft Hotels, among many others. These are the best Marriott hotels in Seoul.

1. JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul

JW Marriot Dongdaemum
The JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul overlooks the Heunginjimun Gate. Image Credit: Marriott

One of the most emblematic hotels in Seoul, The JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul is near tourist attractions and markets like Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Dongdaemun Market, and Dongdaemun Flea Market, just outside the famed Heunginjimun Gate (which you can see from the floor-to-ceiling windows of some guest rooms).

The hotel has 5 different eateries, from a baking company to a lounge with a piano overlooking scenic gardens and a steakhouse, but the winner is The Griffin, a rooftop bar that offers live jazz and incredible views of Seoul. This JW also has an indoor pool, spa, large fitness center, and a virtual golf simulator range.

Rates start at $250 or 57,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

2. JW Marriott Hotel Seoul

JW Marriott Hotel Seoul
We love the leather headboards at the JW Marriott Hotel Seoul. Image Credit: Marriott

Seoul has not 1 but 2 JW Marriotts. The JW Marriott Hotel Seoul is in Gangnam and has 376 rooms and suites, including 2 penthouses. Even the lowest-category rooms each feature expansive views of the Seoul skyline, a small seating area, local photographs and artwork, a marble bathroom, and a king bed with a massive leather headboard.

One of the top hotels in Seoul, this property also features a large fitness complex (complete with basketball courts, a jogging track, and much more), a massive indoor pool and whirlpool, a spa, and 7 restaurants featuring varying types of cuisine — and some restaurants have outdoor seating.

Rates start at $450 or 76,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

3. Le Méridien Seoul, Myeongdong

Le Meridien Seoul
Le Méridien Seoul brings in some bright colors. Image Credit: Marriott

Le Méridien Seoul, Myeongdong, is perfect for travelers who want to be right in the middle of all the Myeongdong action. This modern, centrally-located hotel brightens up its 200 guest rooms and suites with colorful, geometric artwork and touches of bold blue. This hotel brings us into contemporary living with AI voice controls in rooms and new technology systems.

The hotel also has a small, heated indoor swimming pool, an on-site fitness center, and 2 French-inspired restaurants: La Palette Paris and Lumière.

Rates start at $280 or 48,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

4. Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seoul Gangnam

Josun Palace
The Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seoul Gangnam, is an elegant, upscale hotel. Image Credit: Marriott

For a step above when it comes to luxury, head to Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seoul Gangnam. From an impressive and regal entrance and lobby dripping in modern gold splendor to art deco guest rooms decked out in muted tones and geometric designs, a stay at Josun is memorable.

With 5 restaurants and cafes to choose from, you can dine in style at this hotel, as many of the eateries feature floor-to-ceiling windows with incredible views and chic, trendy furnishings. There’s a fitness center, and the indoor pool area feels like a destination in itself, with inviting beds and modern chandeliers that dangle over the water, backed with more windows so you can enjoy stunning views of Seoul’s skyscape.

Rates start at $360 or 65,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

5. RYSE, Autograph Collection

RYSE
RYSE, Autograph Collection, is located in the Hongdae neighborhood. Image Credit: Marriott

RYSE, Autograph Collection, located in Hongdae, is warm and welcoming — you feel the essence of the hotel upon entering as you walk into a luminous lobby decorated with light wood paneling, gray stone, and pastels, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows. This boutique-style hotel features rooms and suites with character — think dark-hued walls, big mirrors, and fun artwork.

Although you can dine at Charr, RYSE’s steakhouse, or pop into the fitness center, you shouldn’t leave without visiting Side Note Club, a rooftop bar with bird’s eye views of Seoul.

Room rates start at $230 or 43,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Hot Tip:

Of Marriott’s co-branded credit cards, the midrange Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card and Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card have the same annual fee, a generous welcome offer, and an automatic Gold Elite status.

The 3 Best Hyatt Hotels in Seoul

Hyatt has a limited portfolio in Seoul, but we love the 3 luxury properties in the city center.

Do note that in addition to these top Hyatt hotels in Seoul, those who want to be close to the airport should consider the Category 3 Grant Hyatt Incheon, which is the closest hotel to ICN (right next to Terminal 1 and 20 minutes from Terminal 2). This hotel also provides a complimentary shuttle bus for travelers to and from the airport.

1. Grand Hyatt Seoul

Grand Hyatt Seoul pool
The Grand Hyatt Seoul has a large outdoor pool. Image Credit: Hyatt

Many Seoul hotels have indoor pools, but the Grand Hyatt Seoul features a massive outdoor swimming pool, perfect for taking a dip on a balmy Seoul summer night. The hotel is in the Hannam neighborhood on a hill, a posh area often referred to by locals as the Beverly Hills of Seoul, just steps from the Namsan Botanical Garden.

The Grand Hyatt Seoul is huge, with more than 600 guest rooms and suites, 4 restaurants, and a spa. It’s also home to a massive fitness center, Club Olympus, that has an indoor pool, ice rink, sauna, tennis courts, and more.

Rates for the Category 5 hotel start at $265 or 17,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

2. Park Hyatt Seoul

Park Hyatt Seoul
The Park Hyatt Seoul is ideal for business travelers and family travelers. Image Credit: Hyatt

Park Hyatt Seoul is ideal for business travelers and is close to the COEX Convention & Exhibition Center. Even the smallest guest rooms at this sleek Gangnam hotel feel spacious, at more than 450 square meters (about 4,850 square feet). Each comes equipped with amenities like a Bose sound bar, Nespresso machine, and floor-to-ceiling windows that allow the light to flood in.

Dine at Cornerstone, the Italian restaurant; Timber House for Asian cuisine; Citrus bar for light bites; or sip tea at the Lounge, which offers gorgeous views of the city. The indoor pool is modern and cool, complete with mood lighting, and there’s also a fitness center and spa. This is also a nice family-friendly hotel in Seoul, as it offers kid-friendly amenities like homemade baby food, Hartan stroller rental service, and babysitting.

Rates for the Category 6 hotel start at $350 or 21,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

3. Andaz Seoul Gangnam

Andaz Seoul Gangnam
Swim in the Andaz Seoul Gangnam’s indoor pool. Image Credit: Hyatt

The Andaz Seoul Gangnam deems itself a “luxury lifestyle hotel,” and we’re inclined to agree. From its contemporary and luminous guest rooms and suites to its lifestyle amenities like an indoor pool, the Ocelas Spa, and a fitness center, travelers can hang out at the hotel or hop on the nearby metro to explore Seoul.

With 3 different restaurants, guests can eat at American-style steakhouse Meat & Co., try modern Korean dishes at Jogakbo Kitchen, or enjoy beer, wine, and snacks at Bites & Wine.

Rates for the Category 5 hotel start at $270 or 17,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

Hot Tip:

If you need more Hyatt points, you could snap up The World of Hyatt Credit Card, one of the best credit cards for Hyatt loyalists. And don’t forget that Bilt Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio.

The 2 Best Hilton Hotels in Seoul

Hilton has a light presence in Seoul, mainly consisting of a couple of DoubleTree properties. Still, there are popular hotels in Seoul you should consider if you’re a Hilton loyalist.

1. Conrad Seoul

Conrad Seoul
The large Conrad lobby has elegant features. Image Credit: Hilton

From the lobby’s marble-clad reception desks and transparent spiral staircase to the stunning views of Seoul’s skyscrapers, Yeouido Park, and the Han River, the Conrad Seoul is ideal for a luxury stay. The hotel claims its lowest category rooms are still the largest in Seoul (in this category), at more than 500 square feet. Expect room amenities like a pillow menu, a Nespresso machine, and Byredo bath products.

The hotel is in Yeouido, with 7 restaurants, a spa, and the Pulse8 fitness club, which offers group classes and has an indoor pool wrapped in glass so you can enjoy the views alongside a dip.

Rates start at $340 or 70,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

2. Hilton Garden Inn Seoul Gangnam

Hilton Garden Inn Gangnam
The Hilton Garden Inn Seoul Gangnam has a coveted feature: an outdoor swimming pool. Image Credit: Hilton

If you’re looking for an affordable hotel near COEX, the Hilton Garden Inn Seoul Gangnam is a safe bet. Guest rooms are rather nondescript but comfortable and clean, with large windows and views of Seoul’s high-rises, separate work and living spaces, and beds with 250-thread-count sheets.

This hotel boasts an outdoor rooftop pool, a feature many Seoul hotels don’t have (most properties have an indoor pool, if any). Guests can also dine at 2 restaurants: Garden Bisto, which has a buffet breakfast and lunchtime salad bar, and Cafe 253, a bar and restaurant with light bites.

Rates start at $220 or 51,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Hot Tip:

Need more Hilton points? One of our top Hilton credit card picks is the Hilton Honors American Express Card, a $0-annual-fee option that offers complimentary Silver elite status, 7x points on Hilton spend, and 5x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. Not bad for a card that has a $0 annual fee!

The 2 Best IHG Hotels in Seoul

IHG has a handful of hotels in Seoul, complete with 2 InterContinental properties and, soon, 2 voco properties. These are the best IHG hotels in Seoul.

1. InterContinental Grand Seoul Parnas

InterContinetal Grand Seoul Parnas
The InterContinental Grand Seoul Parnas has a gorgeous lobby bar. Image Credit: IHG

The InterContinental Grand Seoul Parnas is in Gangnam and sits on one side of COEX, with the other InterContinental Seoul COEX property on the other. However, the latter is set to change to a Westin in 2025, so that’s why we’re picking the InterContinental Grand Seoul Parnas as a top choice if you’re an IHG enthusiast.

Guest rooms have large windows with lots of light and are decorated with contemporary furnishings that bring in Korean touches, like clean lines and simple, neutral tones. The hotel has an indoor pool, fitness center, and 6 restaurants that offer Chinese, Japanese, and international cuisine, as well as a stunning lobby bar with high ceilings and modern, geometric decor.

Rates start at $335 or 64,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

Hot Tip:

IHG has 3 co-branded credit cards. Compare them to see which IHG credit card would be the best fit for you so you can start earning additional IHG reward points.

2. voco Seoul Gangnam

voco Seoul Gangnam
The voco Seoul Gangnam has bright and welcoming spaces. Image Credit: IHG

Another Gangnam property, voco Seoul Gangnam offers bright and fun guest rooms, complemented with bright blue, yellow, and orange furnishings and decor.

Ideal for businesspeople, digital nomads, and families, this hotel has a fitness center, an all-day restaurant called Amarillo, and practical amenities like a self-service laundromat and 24/7 communal kitchen.

Room rates start at $160 or 27,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

Hot Tip:

If you’re a fan of the voco brand, good news is coming your way: A second voco Seoul, the voco Seoul Myeongdong, is opening at the end of 2024.

Honorable Mentions: The 3 Best Amex FHR Hotels in Seoul

Although Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program is not a traditional hotel loyalty program where you use points to stay for free (unless you book these hotels using Amex Membership Reward points), you can certainly obtain many perks when booking your Seoul hotel, such as:

  • 12 p.m. check-in, when available
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Complimentary daily breakfast for 2 people
  • $100 experience credit, unique to each property
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout
Hot Tip:

The Park Hyatt Seoul, Grand Hyatt Seoul, and Conrad Seoul are all top hotels in Seoul on this list that are part of the FHR program. It’s worth noting that presently, these hotels have the following offers when booking through Amex FHR:

  • Conrad Seoul: Complimentary third night. Book by December 15, 2024, for travel by December 31, 2024.
  • Grand Hyatt Seoul: Complimentary third night. Book by December 28, 2024, for travel by December 31, 2024.
  • Park Hyatt Seoul: Complimentary fourth night. Book by August 27, 2024, for travel by August 31, 2024.

Additionally, you can book the following properties through Amex FHR to get additional perks:

1. Four Season Seoul

Four Seasons Seoul
Four Seasons Seoul has sophisticated guest rooms. Image Credit: Four Seasons

Four Seasons Seoul is ideal for sophisticated travelers — it features more than 160 original pieces of artwork, has guest rooms decorated with Korean silk and ceramics, and has a 3-story fitness and health center with various indoor pools.

Rates for this elegant Gwanghwamun property start at around $450 per night. Booking this property with Amex FHR means your $100 experience credit can be used for food and beverage during your stay, plus you get the aforementioned FHR benefits.

2. Signiel Seoul

Signiel Seoul
Signiel Seoul is located in the tallest building in Korea. Image Credit: Signiel Seoul

Signiel Seoul is the only hotel in Lotte World Tower, the tallest building in South Korea. The hotel’s 235 guest rooms and suites and other facilities occupy the 76th to 101st floors, ensuring you have incredible views no matter where you are in the hotel. Home to a spa, fitness center, indoor swimming pool, and 6 restaurants (including a pastry “salon”), there are plenty of spaces to relax and enjoy. This includes your room, where your bed comes with premium Italian bedding and pillow menus.

Room rates start around $400 per night.

Hot Tip:

Signiel Seoul also offers a complimentary third night when booked by September 27, 2024, for travel by September 30, 2024.

3. The Shilla Seoul

Shilla Seoul
The Shilla Seoul has one of the best hotel pools in the Korean capital. Image Credit: The Shilla Seoul

Those who want a resort experience combined with the convenience of an urban and central hotel should consider The Shilla Seoul, a retreat that offers comfortable and chic guest rooms, a convenient Dongho-ro location, and what the hotel calls their inviting and trendy outdoor swimming pool and lounge area, the Urban Island.

Room rates start at around $285 per night.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s a Myeongdong family-centric hotel or a Gangnam luxury hotel, Seoul has plenty of accommodation options on offer for anyone who has a stash of points and miles. Even if you don’t, you may be able to save some money and get some perks if you book through Amex FHR.

The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Centurion® Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place for foreigners to stay in Seoul?

Visitors new to Seoul who are coming for tourism may want to stay in areas like Insadong, Hongdae, or Myeongdong to be close to all the attractions and action. However, luxury tourists or business travelers may prefer to stay in Gangnam. While it’s a bit far from some of the top sites, it’s where many luxury hotels, top restaurants, and shopping centers are — as well as the COEX Convention and Exhibition Center.

What category is the Grand Hyatt Seoul?

The Grand Hyatt Seoul category has changed from a 4 to a 5 in Hyatt’s most recent list of category changes. Now, the Grand Hyatt Seoul is currently a Category 5 hotel, where points stays start at 17,000 points per night.

Is Gangnam a good place to stay in Seoul?

Gangnam is a clean and safe place to stay, with plenty of luxury hotels and entertainment, dining, and exploring. However, the area is a little far from Seoul’s top tourist attractions, such as temples and cultural sites. If you want to be closer to all the tourist highlights, consider staying in Myeongdong instead.

Is Seoul expensive for tourists?

Although it may be cheaper than other East Asian metropolises like Hong Kong and Tokyo, Seoul can be expensive for visitors, especially in summer when the weather is nice. Consider visiting in spring, fall, or winter, when prices drop for accommodation and activities.

Lori Zaino's image

About Lori Zaino

Lori is an intrepid traveler who loves creating itineraries that exude “luxe on a budget.” She’s written for CNN, NBC, The Infatuation, and more, and loves to muse about points-fueled trips to Sri Lanka, Sicily, and Myanmar.

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