13 Replies Latest reply: Jan 13, 2013 5:36 PM by jasper100 RSS

Upcoming Trip to South Korea...Advice Appreciated!

mgoes2 Alumni Steward Platinum 1 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

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!

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
Seoul, South Korea Courtyard By Marriott Courtyard Seoul Times Square
Seoul, South Korea The Ritz-Carlton Courtyard Seoul Times Square
Seoul, South Korea JW Marriott JW Marriott Hotel Seoul
Seoul, South Korea Renaissance Hotels Renaissance Seoul Hotel
Seoul, South Korea Marriott Executive Apartments Yeouido Park Centre, Seoul - Marriott Executive Apartments
  • Re: Upcoming Trip to South Korea...Advice Appreciated!
    GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    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.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Upcoming Trip to South Korea...Advice Appreciated!
      mgoes2 Alumni Steward Platinum 1 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thank you GemPrincess...great suggestions!

       

      I'm having a hard time deciding which Marriott property to book.  The JW would be a no-brainer if it weren't so expensive.  Really can't decide among the other options which area will be best for me to stay in.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Upcoming Trip to South Korea...Advice Appreciated!
        GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        mgoes2

         

        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.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Upcoming Trip to South Korea...Advice Appreciated!
          GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          p.s. was reading the interview that jasper posted with a Marriott exec and basically its says that the Asian Marriotts all provide breakfast.

           

          another thing to consider is which has a CL, or the best CL.

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: Upcoming Trip to South Korea...Advice Appreciated!
            mgoes2 Alumni Steward Platinum 1 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            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!

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: Upcoming Trip to South Korea...Advice Appreciated!
              GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              I just ticked the box, "My Dates Are Flexible" and found the following

              • AAA Rate - Sep 30th- Oct 4th is $255 [this is what happened to me at London St. Pancras which was originally 400+ GBP, but days before droped to 200 GBP about 1w before]
              • Marriott Std Rate - Sep 30th-Oct 4th is $269
              • 30K Points per night available
                • Sept 30th - Oct 6th [again, same thing happened to me at St. Pancras, a couple days before the points room became available]

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

              • Re: Upcoming Trip to South Korea...Advice Appreciated!
                mgoes2 Alumni Steward Platinum 1 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                Unfortunately, I have no flexibility with the dates.  I'm stuck with the high rates on the dates I will be there

                (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                • Re: Upcoming Trip to South Korea...Advice Appreciated!
                  GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  I would book the one you can afford, and keep checking the more expensive one.

                   

                  About 1 week before travel, if they are not fully booked, rates will drop.

                   

                  and a few days before travel, points reservations became available that had not previously existed.

                  (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                  • Re: Upcoming Trip to South Korea...Advice Appreciated!
                    mgoes2 Alumni Steward Platinum 1 Reviews
                    Currently Being Moderated

                    I have booked the Ritz...looking forward to the trip!  Even found a Foodie Tour in Seoul!!!

                    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                    • Re: Upcoming Trip to South Korea...Advice Appreciated!
                      GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
                      Currently Being Moderated

                      mgoes2,

                       

                      looking forward to hearing more, as I have not visited Korea yet, but have heard lots of stories from friends and family that have.  Any feedback you can provide would be most helpful when planning a trip there.

                      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                    • Re: Upcoming Trip to South Korea...Advice Appreciated!
                      jakevalentine Gold 17 Reviews
                      Currently Being Moderated

                      Mgoes,

                       

                      Can you give any kind of insight as to whether you enjoyed your foodie tour? I will be there in February and think it sounds like a really good idea.

                       

                      Thanks Much!!

                      Jake

                      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                      • Re: Upcoming Trip to South Korea...Advice Appreciated!
                        mgoes2 Alumni Steward Platinum 1 Reviews
                        Currently Being Moderated

                        Hi Jake!

                         

                        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.

                        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                        • Re: Upcoming Trip to South Korea...Advice Appreciated!
                          jasper100 Alumni Steward Platinum 10 Reviews
                          Currently Being Moderated

                          Thanks...I am going to Seoul in April, staying at the Ritz-Carlton so looking forward to your full trip report. I am in the process of booking the Demilitarized Zone including JSA and 3rd Tunnel tour sanctioned by USO.

                          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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