Since I always get such great advice from fellow Insiders, I'm once again planning a trip that will combine business with a bit of time for sightseeing and experiencing the country. I will have 3 days in Seoul and 3 days in Busan.
First of all, should I suck it up and pay the extra $$$ for the JW? It sounds perfect for me, female traveling on my own. But the prices are much better at the Ritz, Courtyard and Ren. Advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm not a great walker, but I do like taking subways and buses as opposed to taxis. So access to these are important to me.
I'm a fairly adventurous traveler and not fond of tours, but I do want to explore interesting places. Suggestions appreciated!
When I am some place new, I usually to a quick 2-3 hr organized tour to get the lay of the land, and figure out where everything is that I want to see. Also, its good to have a guide you can ask questions of, like what they think is good to eat, or see. The locals usually have great recommendations. Have also gotten great advice from the Marriott staff on where to go, what to eat, etc. Not just the touristy stuff, but what do they like, where do they go with family and friends, what do they think is special and show their house guests, etc.
Sometimes if its hard to get around (or expensive) I buy the step on step off bus service cause it usually loops through everything I want to see, and is usually reasonable.
If I do, first I ride the entire route (in BCN there were 5 separate buses and routes), and then I decide which ones I will get off at, and in what order. Also check out all the paper work and booklet they give you. Often there are coupons for free or discounted entrance fees.
Unforutnately I have not been, but I don't think you can go wrong with any of the Marriotts.
If you are going to be there a while, checkin at one, then visit the others, and see if you want to change hotels. Have done this a few times once I got somewhere and saw it in person, and changed my mind.
From reading other posts it looks like the JW has the best CL, but I think all of them do give breakfast. The JW looks amazing and is in a great location, but as $400 per night with no option to use points, it's a bit of stretch for my budget. Since the best prices for the Marriott's there are pre-paid rates, I won't have the option to switch hotels...so I'm attempting to pick well before making the reservation!
I just ticked the box, "My Dates Are Flexible" and found the following
I have been meaning to write a full review of my trip, but have been swamped with work lately...finally just getting a chance to catch-up with MI today. First of all, I really loved South Korea!!! It's an interesting, not so touristy place with wonderful people. My daughter ended up joining me on my trip at the last minute, so my plans changed a bit for what we did. Also, a friend had a friend there that took us out one day for authentic Korean food...so I didn't end-up doing the Foodie Tour. The tour looked interesting, but I found it very easy (and safe) to explore everything from neighborhood restaurants to street food on my own. Never got sick or had any problems. Things are super clean there, so you have nothing to worry about. I'm going to try to crank out my full review now, so try to read that and I'll be happy to answer any further questions if I can help.