POSTED: September 27th 2011

SPORTS TRAVEL: Seoul perfect first stop for PyeongChang 2018 Olympic trip

The lobby bar features a vibrant atmosphere and sweeping views of the city / Grand Hyatt
The lobby bar features a vibrant atmosphere and sweeping views of the city / Grand Hyatt

An ice rink is erected in the winter season / Grand Hyatt
An ice rink is erected in the winter season / Grand Hyatt

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA/SEOUL: If you are thinking of visiting PyeongChang for the 2018 Winter Olympics you might want to make a stopover in Seoul first to explore a special corner of the city.

One way to start your trip off right is by treating yourself to an evening at the luxurious Grand Hyatt Seoul hotel situated in the heart of Seoul among the landscaped gardens on Mt. Namsan.

General manager, Peter Walshaw, spoke about his reaction when he heard PyeongChang won the vote to host the winter Olympics.

He said, "When I heard the announcement that PyeongChang would be the location for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, I was just as excited as the rest of the nation. Gangwon Province has been one of my favorite regions of Korea, particularly PyeongChang and all the natural beauty that surrounds it.

“I highly recommend dropping into Seoul before or after the Olympic Games, where you can enjoy a completely unique experience, as Seoul is home to shopping, dining, outdoor activities, night time entertainment, and even historical landmarks and cultural heritage sites as well. Travelers will experience the full spectrum of Korea’s unique offerings, from natural beauty of PyeongChang to the dynamic vibrancy of the capital city.

“Also Grand Hyatt Seoul, a multidimensional urban resort in this Korean metropolis, provides convenient access to every part of Seoul and offers a great variety of culinary and recreational activities, along with panoramic views of this vibrant city.”

As you arrive at Incheon International airport there is an easy and affordable Korean Air limousine service that brings you right to the front door. By 2018 the new high-speed train will be built and make it even easier to get into the city and to the hotel.

The location on Mt. Namsan boasts some of the most panoramic and sweeping views of Seoul and also one of the most accommodating lobby café and cocktail bars I have ever seen. In the evening it is very animated and features live music and a glittering view of the city lights.

After a long day of travel, there is nothing better than a prolonged pampering, and The Spa at the Grand Hyatt has that covered. Located in a botanical garden on the grounds, The Spa is deeply invested in natural vitality and incorporates both Korean and European spa philosophies.

The Spa’s signature Ginseng Massage is a fantastic example of Korean massage techniques blended with Korean herbs to maximize your wellbeing. Or try European aromatherapy-infused treatments that focus on nourishing, energizing, and soothing your body.

The Grand Hyatt also has several excellent restaurants.

The Paris Grill, famous for its European-style comfort and sophistication, as well as its contemporary continental cuisine (classical European cooking with a modern twist), was designed in the style of a 1930's Paris brassiere, decorated in dark wood and marble and features an open kitchen with a wood-burning oven, rotisserie and grill.

The hotel also houses The Chinese Restaurant, where customers can choose from 65 dishes of authentic Northern Chinese dishes, and Akasaka, a Japanese restaurant with a superb fresh sushi bar and skilled chefs that prepare their specialties in front of the guests.

If you do feel like leaving the rich comforts of the Grand Hyatt, Seoul is a bustling, modern city that has managed to preserve many traces of its rich culture and history. Temples, shrines, royal palaces, museums and lush gardens abound in the city, even in the downtown district around the hotel.

At the top of Mt. Namsan, in the park directly across from the hotel, is N Seoul Tower, one of the most famous and beautiful towers in Asia. It is often colorfully lit at night, and during the day visitors can ascend to the top and survey the entire city below them.

It will be cold in Seoul in February, which is when the Games are held, so indoor activities will probably be best. However a skating rink is set up in the winter to indulge aspiring figure skaters.

Olympic TOP Sponsor Samsung has established the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art nearby, featuring one building devoted to traditional Korean artwork and one showcasing contemporary and modern artwork. Both of these are fabulous collections, but the traditional artwork is especially noteworthy because it includes dozens of artifacts designated as National Treasures.

The National Museum of Korea, one of the largest museums in the world and housing thousands of cultural, historical, and archaeological artifacts, is also close to the hotel.

All in all a visit to Seoul either on arrival or before you leave is a great way to plan your Olympic trip to South Korea for the 2018 winter Games.

Keywords · Seoul · PyeongChang 2018 · Olympics · Grand Hyatt Seoul · Samsung Leeum Museum

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

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