A luxury spot in Seoul's business hub
680 Rooms / 29 Suites
Millennium Seoul Hilton stands like a grand Chinese screen across the city, separating two of Seoul’s most iconic landmarks. To the west is Seoul Station, where passengers race through glass and steel doorways for KTX bullet trains that will whisk them to all points on the peninsula. On the other side is Mt. Namsan, a central lynchpin in this mountain city, sacred to generations of Koreans.
Like Namsan, the huge 22-story Millennium Seoul, located in the city’s business center, holds some of Korea’s Old World charms; but like Seoul Station, it is firmly rooted in new, modern South Korea. Loaded with glitzy amenities and a bevy of restaurants and bars, the luxury hotel lures in savvy international business travelers as well as those here on more leisurely pursuits.
Millennium Seoul has a whopping 407 Deluxe Rooms. Each 366-square-foot room is appointed with thick carpeting, plush beds, a 47-inch TV, a well-stocked minibar and cozy bathrooms. The décor in these rooms is simple and contemporary — it’s all sharp angles, simple geometric patterns, dark wood paneling and cream-colored wallpaper and furniture. Sleek but comfy couches were custom made for the hotel by Kukbo Design, a local company.
Floors four through 12 were renovated recently and they still smell like you’re test-driving a new BMW. Floors 16 through 22 are the executive floors, where you have exclusive use of the executive lounges, including a complimentary happy hour.
For those who want to splurge, the standout is the 21st- and 22nd-floor Namdaemoon Suite, named after Seoul’s acclaimed historical treasure, the city’s ancient southern gate. All 4,144 opulent square feet are floored in marble; a spiral staircase ascends from the first floor to the second, and it is the only suite with views of both the city and the mountain. On the living room table sit two beautiful Minga picture books with paintings and lithographs detailing ancient Korean dynasties.
As you enter the four-story lobby, flooded with natural light and appointed with 10 tubular Czech-made chandeliers, you will see the check-in desk stretch out to the right and the Cilantro Deli on the left. Despite its name, Cilantro is more of a patisserie than a deli, featuring delectable cakes and pastries. Across the main floor is Café 395, the centerpiece of Millennium Seoul dining, a mixed buffet and à la carte restaurant and bar with Korean and international food, a large outside terrace, and private dining rooms.
The Seoul hotel has other culinary delights, too. Seasons is a formal-looking French restaurant with beautiful iron-work grates, a semi-open kitchen and a seasonal menu of French favorites. Oak Room is a classic English bar, all dark wood and brass, which opens to a back terrace where garden parties and weddings are often held. Taipan is a Cantonese restaurant which features the cuisine of the enigmatic Howard Hideshima, a Japanese chef who graduated from one of Japan’s top culinary schools but went on to specialize in Chinese food.
At the Japanese restaurant Genji, you’ll find a rare treat in the city — two teppanyaki grills, as well as a sushi bar, and tables that look out over a classic Japanese garden. This charming spot also has lovely private tatami rooms — if you watch enough Korean movies, you’ll come to recognize them as the repeat setting for secret negotiations.
Il Ponte, the most casual and airy of Millennium Seoul’s dining options, is an Italian restaurant (the first to open in a Seoul hotel) with an open kitchen, a reasonably-priced menu, and the great chef trained in Italy.
Expect a host of wellness-related amenities here, including an indoor pool housed in a pretty glass atrium, a whirlpool, sauna, a modern gym, a driving range and an expansive sundeck.
The atrium is particularly lovely, with its outdoor terrace, which in the warmer months is like a secret garden surrounded by skyscrapers. A 24-hour business center can take care of all the copying, faxing and other business needs you have.
There is also an excellent Swiss Perfection Spa (it specializes in skincare), several tailors, a jeweler and shops selling crafts, souvenirs and clothing.
And if you’re feeling lucky, hit up Seven Luck Casino. Though attached to Millennium Seoul, it is run by a government-affiliated company, and by Korean law, only foreigners may enter.