Situated on the western edge of the Korean capital, Sheraton Seoul D Cube City may not be the most conveniently located hotel for tourists and travelers in Korea, but it is not without its charms. I was able to experience its superb amenities, culinary specialties and unrivaled views firsthand when I was invited to stay for an evening last month.
Although it was my first time to the hotel, I had visited the D-Cube City shopping complex a number of times since its opening in 2011. Attached to Sindorim Station, it is easily accessed and it boasts a fantastic variety of international brands that cater to all budgets. Additionally, the food court, decorated to resemble a traditional Korean restaurant- complete with floor seating and lots of wooden accents- allows visitors to experience an authentic taste of the country's cuisine. Complete with a movie theater and performance hall, there's plenty of entertainment facilities for those staying at the hotel, which is connected by the mall's elevator.
Unlike most hotels, the lobby is located on the 41st floor. A separate elevator must be taken to access guest rooms and facilities, which is no doubt to ensure security, but is quite confusing, to say the least. The benefit of the lobby's location, though, is an incredible panoramic view of the sprawling Seoul metropolis unlike any other I have ever seen in Seoul. I was immediately stunned by the spectacular scenery, which is visible through most of the hotel thanks to its floor-to-ceiling glass windows. In addition to the reception area, the lobby consists of a small business center and Lobby Lounge.Bar, a stunning bar which has great drink specials in the evening, including the current promotion of a glass of Moët for only ₩15,000.
Check-in was a breeze and although they had me down for the wrong type of bed, they were quick to correct the error and wished me a pleasant stay.
I arrived at my room on the 32nd floor to be greeted by more views of the city. Of course the scenery was the real highlight, but the rest of the room was nice, too. Although the amenities were average, the room was clean and quiet and the beds, draped with fluffy duvets, were very comfortable. Seeing as the majority of the hotel's guests are business travelers, there's a great work area with a spacious desk and plenty of electrical outlets. The marble bathroom was memorable, complete with an over-sized tub and separate shower and toilet. A large window looked into the room and could easily be covered with an electric blind.
I had reserved the room as part of the "Autumn Refresh Package" which included access to the swimming pool and fitness center, coupons for spa services, and the hotel's signature afternoon tea set, delivered straight to my room. It didn't take long for my sweet tooth to get the best of me and I dialed up room service to have the tea set to be sent up.
Bringing in the set, the attendant was all smiles and manners, explaining that he brought along extra tea leaves in case we wanted to make more tea later. My eyes took in the tower of colorful tea snacks, seemingly straight out of Candy Land and I struggled in figuring out where to start. Lemon scones, caramel macarons, Foie-gras mousse with pistachio brioche, port wine jelly, chocolate truffles and dragon fruit tarts paired perfectly with the pot of earl gray I slowly sipped as I took in the incredible city panorama that only grew more impressive as evening settled over the city.
I had brought along my swimsuit but opted not to take advantage of the pool or spa, considering my sugar high and stuffed belly. If you didn't guess already, I didn't make it to the fitness center, either. But, both looked superior, with state-of-the-art equipment and lots of windows for even more views. No matter where you find yourself in Sheraton Seoul D Cube City Hotel, it seems, you'll feel as if you're on the top of the world.
This proves to be particularly true at Feast, the hotel's restaurant located just next to the lobby. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and brunch on the weekends), the restaurant provides guests with an array of dishes (quite literally a feast) from all corners of the world. Considering it's a buffet, it is only open for a small time frame at each meal to ensure freshness.
My friend and I reserved a spot for lunch and were seated at a great table with views of nearby Yeouido and the National Assembly Building. Like with the tea set the previous day, I didn't know where to begin... the salad bar, which was loaded up with fresh veggies and unique salad toppings, the noodle station or the sushi bar? I also hovered over the condiment and bread bar, which was unlike anything I had ever seen at a buffet: varieties of bread and cheese sat alongside a number of oils and about 15 different kinds of artisanal salts.
I had the privilege of meeting Chef Paul Dodd, former sous chef at Conrad Tokyo's Gordon Ramsay. Fortunately, he eased my decision-making stress and recommended where to start. After loading up on slices of tender galbi, colorful grilled veggies, polenta, salad and tandoori chicken, I returned to the table to find a test tube of what seemed to be green slime waiting for me. The server explained that the beverage, made from wahsong, a type of Korean cactus, is a digestive which was surprisingly tasty.
Next, I was treated to an off-the-menu item that I'll be unlikely to forget anytime soon. Perched on a smooth stone encircled by crushed ice and edible flowers was an exquisite tuna roll stuffed with cream cheese and topped with caviar and gold flecks. It tasted as indulgent as it looked and I found myself in a moment of bliss. The euphoria returned with the next dish of a delectably nutty foie gras, served with fig compote. I didn't think I could be spoiled anymore until a slab of beautifully prepared sushi was placed in front of me. It was noted that, thanks to the hotel's close proximity to Seoul's Noryangjin Fisheries Market, the seafood is extremely fresh, which I noticed immediately with the first bite.
Although I was dining on a weekday, those that visit Feast on Saturday nights will be treated to a seafood buffet of abundant quantities of king prawns, abalone, snow crabs, scallops, salmon, octopus, lobster, whelk and seasonal fish. A tuna station is also operated to present guests with fresh tuna sashimi, served alongside cooked dishes such as lobster tail, seafood pasta with shrimp and abalone, and seafood chowder.
Also not to be missed at Feast is the restaurant's acclaimed dessert bar. Displayed in refrigerated cases, guests can pick and choose from an endless selection of tarts, cakes and pastries that are guaranteed to be fresh and delicious. There's also a fondue dipping station, a selection of Italian-style gelato and for those watching their figures, a variety of fruit. But where's the fun in that? The pastry chef was happy to recommend a nice persimmon crème brûlée which I barely had room for after all that food.
I somehow managed to waddle out the restaurant to reception, where the staff had been holding my bags. They wished me well, making sure that I knew how to get to my next destination. I hopped the subway and twenty minutes later, I was in central Seoul, an easy and quick ride.
Apparently, location isn't everything when it comes to choosing one's travel accommodations, which was made clear during my stay at Sheraton Seoul D Cube City. In fact, the hotel's quality service, stellar views and incredible food make it the ideal place to stay during a trip to Seoul, or even for a weekend splurge.
More Information: Sheraton Seoul D Cube City Hotel
Address: 360-51, Sindorim-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 2-2211-2000
Price: Autumn Refresh Package Promotion Starts at ₩250,000 (*exclusive of 10% VAT). Includes one night stay in a deluxe room, two afternoon tea sets in room, Aequalis Spa body massage ₩30,000 discount coupon, facial treatment ₩10,000 discount coupon, complimentary use of Sheraton Fitness and swimming pool (until Nov. 30, 2014); Feast Seafood Buffet ₩89,000 per person.
Feast Hours: 6:30am-10pm; Breakfast 6:30am-10:30pm; Lunch (Mon-Sat) 12-2:30pm; Sinnder (Sun-Fri) 6:00-10:00pm; Seafood @ Feast (Sat) 1st setting: 5:30-7:30pm; 2nd setting: 8-10pm; Brunch (Sun) 11:30am-2:30pm
Lobby Lounge. Bar Hours: 8:00am-1:00am
Reservations: 02-2211-2100 or Click Here
Disclaimer: Although this post is partially sponsored, the opinions are, of course, my own.
Words and photos by Mimsie Ladner of Seoul Searching. Content may not be reproduced unless authorized.