Photos by Manuel Chua
Earlier this month, me and some of my friends decided to fly to South Korea for some Seoul searching. There were five of us and it would all be our first time so we didn’t know what to expect!
One of the many things we discussed was where to stay. We weren’t picky with the hotel since we’ll spend most of our time outside and we’ll just be there to rest. All we wanted was a clean, safe, and affordable place.
We discovered Seoul Dragon City, a hotelplex in Yongsan with four brands under its belt. Because we’re fans of Novotel Manila Araneta Center, we booked a few rooms in Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan. It was one of the best decisions of our trip!
Seoul Dragon City officially opened in October 2017, and is a gem to look at when you’re outside. The three towers look like the body of a dragon, and feature 1,700 rooms from Grand Mercure, Ibis Styles, Novotel, and Novotel Suites. Each hotel has its own personality and our favorite was Novotel!
Outside the hotelplex, there’s a giant golden statue of the dragon master Dodo, inspired by a hero from a German story who saves his country with his partner dragon. It’s perfectly Instagrammable!
The rooms are spacious, with everything you’ll need to relax in. There’s Novotel’s exclusive LIVE’N’Dream bed that feels like you’re sleeping on a cloud, a workstation with high-speed wi-fi, eco-friendly bath products for guilt-free showers, and an LED TV for movie marathons.
Perfect for travelers is the Handy smartphone, a device that lets users make free local and international calls, and provide data so they can stay connected when they’re going around. I was able to post on Instagram even if I didn’t activate my roaming!
If you’re a fitness junkie, you’ll enjoy the hotel’s SDC Fitness Club and the indoor swimming pool. I’m not but I was able to check it out when I toured the hotel. They were beautiful!
I’m more of a good guy so Food Exchange was right up my alley. Room bookings come with free breakfast at Food Exchange, where you can feast on delicious food like freshly-made omelettes, ham, bacon, pastries, and other breakfast staples.
Seoul Dragon City has five other restaurants and bars depending on your mood. There are five more lounge bars and a party room at the Sky Kingdom, an entertainment facility from the 31st to the 34th floor with a glass floor.
There’s also a grand ballroom and several meeting rooms in case that’s your thing.
On the second floor, there’s a 24-hour convenience store, a barber shop, and stores where you can buy dress shirts, trinkets, and skincare products. Everything you need is right inside the building!
If we’re talking about location, Novotel Yongsan is the perfect hotel because it’s just three minutes away from the Yongsan Station of the Seoul Metro. It seemed like a central station as it had access to many lines and had restaurants, coffee shops, and convenience stores. It’s also a few minutes away from a duty-free mall filled with tax-free Korean skincare products.
It’s a few stations away from popular spots like Itaewon, Namdaemun Market, Hongdae, Dongdaemun, Gangnam, Myeongdong, Yeouido, and the Gyeongbokgung Palace. We loved how they are just a few minutes away (by train) but far enough to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Novotel Yongsan is also accessible by train from the Incheon International Airport. Simply take the Airport Railroad to Seoul Station, transfer to Line No. 1, and get off at Yongsan Station.
The quality of service isn’t surprising when you consider that Novotel is part of the AccorHotels, a group of hotels, resorts, and residences that operate in 95 countries. Despite being a five-star hotel, Novotel is surprisingly affordable compared to other hotels of its kind.
When in Seoul, the Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan is the perfect place to stay in because it offers a clean, safe, and comfortable stay at a great value for money. It’s close by most of the tourist spots in the city but is far enough for peace and quiet every night. With our safety and comfort already in place, we focused on the important things: shopping for skincare products and eating Korean barbecue!
Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan
Address: 95, 20-gil, Cheongpa-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul