World ? Asia ? South Korea

South Korea: Best Hotel Bets

The Best Local Accommodations

  • Holiday In Korea Hostel (tel. 02/3672-3113): Great for budget-conscious travelers in Seoul, this hostel is cozy and centrally located. The owners throw a party every Saturday night, which is especially great for single travelers looking to make friends.

  • Kim's Guest House (tel. 02/337-9894): It's hard to find a better bargain in Seoul with this kind of hospitality. You'll get a simple dorm-style room, but the owner makes you feel like you're visiting family.

  • Sarangchae (tel. 054/773-4868): Walking distance to Tumuli Park, this family-run minbak (homestay) in Gyeongju is not only a bargain, but a great way to experience warm Korean hospitality firsthand.

  • Busan Youth Hostel Arpina (tel. 051/731-9800): For the price, the location, and the convenience, this is the best budget accommodation in Busan. The rooms are modest, but some of them have views of Haeundae Beach. Suites are great for traveling families or groups.

  • Jazz Village (tel. 064/738-9300): This Korean-style pension in Jeju-do has both hotel-style rooms and condo-style facilities, complete with kitchens. A bit off the beaten path, its facilities are great for vacationing families, and the piped-in soft jazz is a fun touch.

    The Best Hotels

  • Westin Chosun (tel. 02/771-0500): Just like an old standard, this hotel is dependable and delightful for travelers who want a place that's high tech and centrally located. Leave your shoes by the door and they'll be shined by the next morning. The friendly, professional staff is helpful with everything from dining recommendations to hailing you a cab.

  • The Shilla Seoul (tel. 02/2233-3131): Located in the green oasis of Namsan in the middle of the city, you won't find quieter digs than this. The service is also nearly perfect. Spacious rooms and polite staff add to a nice stay.

  • Chungmu Marina Resort Condo (tel. 055/643-8000): Convenient for traveling families or groups, this resort has oceanview rooms complete with kitchens and living rooms. This apartment-style spot is a great place to enjoy the dramatic beauty of Tongyeong.

  • Novotel Ambassador Busan (tel. 051/743-1234): With a prime location on Haeundae Beach, this is one of the best luxury hotels in the city. You'll find incredibly comfortable beds and up-to-date facilities, and its location is prime for spur-of-the-moment beach strolls. And if you get hungry any time of day or night, they have 24-hour dining on-site.

  • Hyatt Regency Jeju (tel. 064/733-1234 or 800/492-8804 in U.S. and Canada): A Jungmun Beach standard, this elegant resort hotel is one of the best on the island. Unlike the newer tourist properties, this hotel has kept its understated elegance. The open lobby with glass elevators is a nice touch.

  • Jeju Lotte Hotel (tel. 064/731-1000): The best hotel in the Lotte chain, this expansive resort overlooks the ocean in the Jungmun beach complex. Look past its cheesy Las Vegas-style water show to see its expansive grounds and spacious rooms.

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