Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) announced today that Andaz Seoul Gangnam has opened in the heart of the South Korean capital, marking the Andaz brand’s entry into the country.
The Andaz name – ‘personal style’ in Hindi – encapsulates the very essence of the brand’s driving philosophy that celebrates, respects, and caters to guests’ personal style and preferences, in an atmosphere that fully embraces each hotel’s locale. From New York to London and now to Seoul, Andaz hotels and resorts draw direct inspiration from a location’s history, culture and architecture, and by distilling the best of its locale, allow guests to truly engage with a destination and experience it authentically, rather than merely visit.
“We are honored to bring the distinctive Andaz brand to South Korea in our first collaboration with KT Estate,” said David Udell, group president, Asia Pacific, Hyatt. “With Andaz Seoul Gangnam, we look forward to inspiring our guests, immersing them in the local culture and showcasing warm Korean hospitality.”
“We are delighted to be part of the vibrant Apgujeong neighborhood in Gangnam district, which is known for its high-end retail stores and K-Pop studios,” said Juan Mercadante, general manager, Andaz Seoul Gangnam. “We hope to inspire and stimulate the senses of our guests, from the hotel’s design which reflects Gangnam’s sophisticated ambiance and dynamic gourmet alleyway dining hotspots, to our custom-made scents.”
With direct access to Apgujeong metro station and located by a bridge connecting northern and southern Seoul, Andaz Seoul Gangnam is designed to fuse traditional local culture and creative modern living. The hotel’s overall concept is inspired by bojagi – a traditional Korean wrapping cloth used in significant ceremonies and as gift wrap to preserve good luck, according to traditional Korean folklore.
Andaz Seoul Gangnam is designed by award-winning, internationally renowned Dutch design firm Studio Piet Boon. As guests move through the hotel’s light-filled interiors, unique layouts unfold to reveal unconventional corners and dynamic architectural angles that are layered with contemporary bojagi patterns cloaked in soothing muted shades and subtle textures.
All of the artwork featured in the hotel is created by artists either from Seoul or with a strong connection to the city, and the hotel will actively nurture local talent, offering a platform for emerging young artists. Greeting guests at the entrance is Wish, an 8-foot-high (2.5 meter) bronze abstract of a mother with overlapping hands by Choi Jong-tae, a notable Korean contemporary artist. While checking in, guests can admire Dialogue, an oil painting of frantic brushstrokes in cobalt blue by Oh Su-fan, who combines eastern calligraphy with western abstraction. In A’+Z bar, Brush is a strikingly hyper-realistic depiction of a Chinese calligraphy brush on Korean rice paper by Lee Jung-woong.
Andaz Seoul Gangnam houses 241 contemporary and stylish guestrooms, all offering a bird’s-eye view of the bustling downtown district through floor-to-ceiling windows. The striking diagonal walls inspired by the asymmetric angles of bojagi patchwork complement the fluid layout and clean-lined furniture which provide a floating illusion. Guests looking to entertain may opt for one of two rooftop ‘hospitality suites’ spanning the entire seventeenth floor with private outdoor terraces overlooking Han River and the city. For the ultimate indulgence, the 1,755 square-foot (163-square-meter) Gangnam Penthouse Suite houses a vast entertainment terrace, a multifunctional living space with a bar and dining area that can accommodate up to 20 people, a TV den with a theatre AV system, and a luxurious bathroom with a circular tub from which one can soak in the city views.
Drinking and Dining
The hotel’s bars and restaurants – led by Executive Chef Hamish Neale and Sora Choi, the youngest Hyatt food and beverage director in Korea – showcase the vibrant local neighborhood through authentic culinary experiences.
On Level 1, A’+Z has been conceived as an all-day bar where guests and passersby can drop in for coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon and a tipple at night. Freshly prepared savories, cakes and pastries are available for guests to either grab ‘n’ go or enjoy at the communal table or bar counter.
Ascending the central staircase guests arrive at JOGAKBO, which means 'traditional patchwork’ in Korean, offers a sophisticated reinterpretation of Seoul’s immersive street and alleyway dining. Three drinking and dining venues flow seamlessly into adjacent spaces, allowing guests to conveniently explore a variety of creative, locally inspired cuisine:
- JOGAKBO – Long House features three distinct spaces – Champagne & Chocolate where pralines, truffles and petit pastries are paired with champagne; Bites & Wine, an interactive open bar and kitchen where guests can enjoy home-style Korean tapas and comfort dishes accompanied by premium Korean tea or a glass of wine; while Cocktail Bar serves Seoul-inspired cocktails all day long.
- JOGAKBO – Middle House serves pan-Asian cuisine, specializing in locally sourced, sustainable seafood and premium meat cooked to perfection atop a charcoal grill.
- A marble-clad show kitchen takes center stage in JOGAKBO – South House where guests are treated to an interactive culinary theatre as the chefs prepare Asian-inspired dishes using charcoal ovens. There are also two private dining rooms that seat six to ten people.
The Summer House features rejuvenating 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 showing immersive scenes of Seoul. Guests can also relax in the infrared sauna, herbal bath, cool, warm and hot baths, marble-clad wet and dry saunas and ice fountains. The spa offers cutting-edge treatments using products from premium K-beauty brand AmorePacific as well as Ling New York by facialist Ling Chan, a favorite of A-list models and celebrities. The 24-hour Fitness Center is outfitted with the latest Life Fitness and Pilates equipment for energizing workouts, while the Juice Bar serves fresh pressed drinks.
The inspiring event spaces at Andaz Seoul Gangnam break the confines of traditional conference rooms by providing open areas to encourage social interaction, as well as four flexible event spaces that can cater to anything from a small meeting to a grand wedding for up to 250 people.
To bring the Andaz brand’s signature multisensory experience to life, Andaz Seoul Gangnam has collaborated with several Korean brands to create an authentic local lifestyle experience for guests. The art-inspired perfume brand Tamburins developed a signature fragrance for the hotel’s public areas inspired by the nostalgic scent of mugwort rice cakes wrapped in bojagi, as well as an exquisite blend of amber, pine needles and sweet wormwood. Local lifestyle brand Hohodang, which aims to preserve Korean traditions in modern life, will host a series of exclusive Andaz Salon events on bojagi wrapping.
To mark its grand opening, Andaz Seoul Gangnam is offering an ‘Opening Celebration’ room package where guests can enjoy a 30% discount on its restaurants and bars (excluding alcoholic drinks and in-room dining), plus a late check-out until 3pm, upon request. Reservations must be made before September 30, 2019, and stays must take place before December 20, 2019.
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