Launched in 1998 with the opening of the W New York, W Hotels & Resorts have grown into a chain of some 50 luxury hotels in 24 countries worldwide. Owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, W hotels are generally marketed toward a younger crowd, sporting clean, iconic, minimalist design features & boasting contemporary 5-star luxury. I spent a night in W Hotel Wakerhill, in the east of the South Korean capital of Seoul, where I developed something of an affinity for the brand’s huge, ever-present, shiny, silver W logo, its cutting edge this & its funky, ultrahip that.

W is For || Wonderful Room

Wonderful room, W Hotel, Seoul

The W Hotel’s Wonderful Room shares a common theme with all W Hotel rooms, that of a minimalist modern decor. Amenities include a bed wider than it is deep, remote control everything, piped music & a Bose Wave Radio complete with W Hotel soundtrack CD (yours for only KRW30,000 (€19)). Temptations include a bedside drink-&-you-pay-KRW17,000 (€11) jug of mineral water & 5-star-priced mini bar & room service menus. All of that meant this room was pretty Wonderful, but also pretty dangerous. W Hotel, Walkerhill, Seoul, South Korea.

Wonderful room bathroom, W Hotel, Walkerhill, Seoul.

Wonderful Room bathroom, a nirvana of gleaming white ceramic, polished chrome, glass and of course the usual hotel-branded bathroom freebies. W Hotel, Walkerhill, Seoul.

W Hotel bathrobe, W Hotel, Walkerhill, Seoul.

W Hotel bathrobe. Not that you would of course, but pocket of these & your credit card will be down a tidy KRW150,000 (€96), with, I assume, no discount for pocketing two. W Hotel, Walkerhill, Seoul.

Everything about the W Hotel – from the architecture to the decor to the music played in the rooms to the hallway lighting – is funky & hip; it’s a 5-star hotel for the young Korean gentry, most of whom you’ll find hanging out in the Woo Bar, the hotel’s lobby bar which boasts the longest bar-top in Seoul & serves some of the city’s most expensive drinks (KRW15,000 (€9.50) bottles of Heineken & KRW25,000 (€16) cocktails).

Paperweight. W Hotel, Walkerhill, Seoul.

W paperweight, Wonderful Room, W Hotel, Walkerhill, Seoul.

W Hotel || Features
Contemporary luxury. Informal contemporary luxury. That’s the W Hotel way. Room names of Wonderful, Fabulous, & Fantastic are all very positive, while the informality stretches to the lobby, more commonly known as the Living Room. Oh, & of course the W appears whenever possible: the concierge is known as Whatever Whenever; the laundry bag is christened Wash; & the swimming pool is aptly known as WET.

W is For || WET

WET, the indoor pool of the W Hotel, Walkerhill, Seoul.

WET, the indoor pool of the W Hotel offering views over the Han river to east Seoul. Walkerhill, Seoul.

Pods in WET, the indoor pool of the W Hotel, Walkerhill, Seoul.

The pods in WET. They are funky and look oh so cool, but are totally functionless as rising out of the water to mount them is next to impossible. W Hotel, Walkerhill, Seoul.

Room Service

Room service, W Hotel, Walkerhill, Seoul.

A room service purchase, a morsel of cheesecake costing KRW20,000 (€13). Expensive? You bet. Worth it? You bet. I should have ordered two. W Hotel, Walkerhill, Seoul.

W is For || (A)Wesome

My W Hotel was aWesome (see what I did there?) & my only regret in spending one night in W Hotel Walkerhill was that I didn’t have more nights at my disposal.


Contact || Book
W Hotels
W Hotel, Walkerhill Seoul || Rates start at KRW300,000 (€200)/night.


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