Andaz brand debuts in South Korea

Andaz Seoul Gangnam has opened in the South Korean capital, marking the brand's entry into the country.

The property was designed by Dutch firm Studio Piet Boon. With direct access to Apgujeong metro station and located by a bridge connecting northern and southern Seoul, Andaz Seoul Gangnam’s design fuses traditional local culture and modern living. The hotel's overall concept was inspired by “bojagi”, a traditional Korean wrapping cloth used in significant ceremonies and as gift wrap to preserve good luck, according to Korean folklore.

The property has 241 guestrooms, all offering views of the downtown district from floor-to-ceiling windows. The diagonal walls inspired by the asymmetric angles of “bojagi” patchwork complement the layout and furniture.

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Guests looking to entertain may choose one of two rooftop “hospitality suites” spanning the entire 17th floor with private outdoor terraces overlooking Han River and the city. The 1,755-square-foot (163-square-meter) Gangnam Penthouse Suite has an entertainment terrace, a multifunctional living space with a bar and dining area that can accommodate up to 20 persons, a TV den with a theatre AV system, and a bathroom with a circular tub with city views.

The hotel's bars and restaurants are led by executive chef Hamish Neale and Sora Choi, the youngest Hyatt food and beverage director in Korea.

On Level 1, A'+Z has a communal table and bar counter.

When ascending the central staircase, guests arrive at JOGAKBO, which has three drinking and dining venues. JOGAKBO – Long House has three distinct spaces; JOGAKBO – Middle House has a charcoal grill; and JOGAKBO – South House has a marble-clad show kitchen.

The Summer House has wellness facilities, including a 52-foot (16-meter) pool surrounded by a whirlpool and cold and warm baths, cabana-style niches and a 23-foot-wide (seven-meter) LED screen. Guests also may relax in the infrared sauna, herbal bath, cool, warm and hot baths, marble-clad wet and dry saunas and ice fountains.

The event spaces provide open areas to encourage social interaction, as well as four flexible event spaces that can cater up to 250 attendees.

All of the artwork featured in the hotel was created by artists either from Seoul or with a strong connection to the city. Greeting guests at the entrance is “Wish”, an eight-foot-high (2.5-meter) bronze abstract of a mother with overlapping hands by Choi Jong-tae, a notable Korean contemporary artist. At the check-in counter, on display is “Dialogue”, an oil painting by Oh Su-fan. In A'+Z bar, “Brush” is a realistic depiction of a Chinese calligraphy brush on Korean rice paper by Lee Jung-woong.

Juan Mercadante is the general manager of Andaz Seoul Gangnam.

Photo credit: Andaz Seoul Gangnam

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