Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Korea 2012: Somerset Palace Seoul, Jongno-Gu

Why stay: Excellent short & long-term stay serviced apartments in Seoul central
Nearest Station: Anguk {Line 3}, Gwanghawmun {Line 5}, Jonggak {Line 1}

As far as possible, we prefer to stay in serviced apartments when we travel as a family because of the space and amenities. This time round we stayed at Somerset Palace Seoul, and it definitely made our holiday very comfortable :) The serviced residence actually houses a lot of expats {and their families} working in Korea so the staff are relatively proficient in English & other foreign languages.

We had a two-room apartment with 2 queen-sized beds, home entertainment system, a living room, a dining room, two toilets, a small laundry area with washing machine, and a well-equipped kitchenette. Lil Pumpkin had an awesome time running around in the big apartment!

Another place in Somerset Palace Seoul that Lil Pumpkin thoroughly enjoyed was the common playroom! Yes, there's one right on the second-floor complete with a tv, toys, ball pit and kiddy gym. You probably saw me post a lot of pictures there because we went at least once a day after our complimentary buffet breakfast, sometimes twice at night too! She was pleased to interact with the other kids in the serviced apartments there. Actually, I liked lying in the ball pit too haha... it is not often that you find places that allow adults into the children ball pit ;p Gotta relish in it while I can!!

Somerset Palace Seoul also has a rooftop pool & sauna {unfortunately was closed when we were there due to the cold weather}, bbq pits, gym, meeting rooms, fitness centre and free daily shuttle services to various areas around Seoul. We took those a few times and it was interesting to see Seoul like on a "tour bus" haha..

Somerset Palace Seoul is very convenient and you can walk to the imperial palaces Gyeongbokgung & Changdeokgung, Korean culture hub Insadong, popular Cheongyecheon Plaza and just a few train stops away from shopping meccas Dongdaemun & Myeongdong, and the famous market at Nandaemun.  Its central location really gives easy access to explore downtown Seoul and is actually just about an hour away from Incheon International Airport.

One thing that we found bothersome was that they switched off all the air-conditioners during winter time, which is fine for the cold except that there was no air circulation in the room. First time we encountered this in any hotels.. and haven't they heard of heater mode?? We had to open the windows so that it wasn't so stuffy. Nevertheless, I would recommend this place to stay, especially if you are traveling on a leisure trip with children.

What types of holiday accommodations do you prefer?

More posts on my Korean travels here

Other Korea travel posts:
Le Chef Korean Restaurant @ Sotetsu Hotels The Splaisir Seoul Dongdaemun


Grace said...

We generally go for a place that has a pool and playground for the kids. We also prefer to stay in something a little less upmarket so we don't feel so bad if the twinlets trash the place (ahems...)

Lee said...

Like Grace, we tend to go a bit low star too so we don't have to be too precious with things. I wish I could go there without the kids though!

lisacng said...

If I'm ever in Korea, looks like a great place to stay!

Ai Sakura said...

Grace: yes, it is a bonus when there are facilities for the kids too!

Lee: when my girl is in a hotel room she loves to play with the phones so I just unplug them.. thankfully not really that destructive haha

Lisa: it is :) hope you are enjoying ur current trip!

EssentiallyJess said...

We like serviced apartments, though we haven't really done a lot of traveling that's not in our camper van, which means we are very self sufficient anyway.
Maybe one day....

Stacy said...

Nice! I've stayed in Somerset Shanghai for a 7-month work assignment, so I guess this place has the same high standards. Err but I wouldn't stay here if I were paying myself. Some more you went for a TWO-room apartment... I'm definitely too cheapskate for that!

Ai Sakura said...

Jess: oh I've always thought of going on a road trip in a camper van.. so awesome you own one!!

Stacy: wow 7 months! that's quite some time to be away from the family.. we received a good corporate rate on this so it wasn't too bad :)

Denyse Whelan. said...

That's really interesting to know more about...my travels are not likely to take me OS much at all but I see from the comments, that your accommodation suits many, especially with kids.
I'm here from #TeamIbot,,,and it's great to be here too

Stacy said...

Oh, I've stopped travelling for work after having Jo Ern. :)