All Images Courtesy of the Four Seasons Hotels Seoul Communication Department
Constantly surprising, always captivating, Seoul is a city of contrasts, where deep tradition lives in harmony with innovative technology and leading-edge fashion, imaginative pop culture and fiery food, trendsetting style and a playful attitude. Now, in the heart of it all and welcoming the world for the first time, is the new Four SeasonsHotel Seoul.
“Seoul has emerged as one of the most exciting, inventive and inspiring cities in the world, and Four Seasons is right in the centre of the energy,” says General Manager Lubosh Barta, who oversees the 317-room hotel, an eclectic collection of seven unique restaurants and bars, a three-story spa and fitness complex, and more – all at one fabulous Four Seasons address.
The new building in the Korean capital’s Central Business District, designed by Heerim Architects & Planners, is also home to the city’s best choice of event venues ranging from elegant ballrooms to myriad private entertaining options. Opening his first shop in Korea within Four Seasons, celebrated Tokyo-based floral designer Nicolai Bergmann’s beautiful creations are on display throughout the Hotel, complemented by an expertly curated art collection in rooms and public spaces created by LTW Designworks.
One of Korea’s most revered religious landmarks, The Jongmyo Shrine is the oldest and most authentic of the Confucian royal shrines to have been preserved. Dedicated to the forefathers of the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), the shrine has existed in its present form since the 16th century and houses tablets bearing the teachings of members of the former royal family. Ritual ceremonies linking music, song and dance still take place there, perpetuating a tradition that goes back to the 14th century. The shrine is a symbolic structure that conveys the legitimacy of the royal family, where the king visited regularly to participate in the ancestral rites to wish for the safety and security of the people and state. Jongmyo is the oldest and most authentic of the Confucian royal ancestral shrines, with a unique spatial layout that has been preserved in its entirety. It was originally built in the late 14th century, but was destroyed during the Japanese invasion during the 16th century, and was rebuilt in the early 17th century with a few expansions made to the buildings thereafter.
Jongmyo and its grounds occupy a 19.4 ha oval site. The buildings are set in valleys and surrounded by low hills, with artificial additions built to reinforce the site’s balance of natural elements, in accordance with traditional pungsu principles. The main features of Jongmyo are Jeongjeon (the main shrine), and Yeongnyeongjeon (the Hall of Eternal Peace, an auxiliary shrine). Other features include Mangmyoru, a wooden structure where the king thought about the ancestral kings in memory; Gongmingdang, the shrine to the Goryeo King Gongmin, built by the Joseon King Taejo; Hyangdaecheong, the storage building for ritual utensils; and Jaegung, a main hall with two wings, where the King and participants waited for the rites to take place. Jongmyo was built faithfully abiding by the Confucian ideology of ancestral worship and its ritual formalities under strict royal supervision, and still maintains its original form dating from the Joseon Dynasty.
One of the primary shopping districts in Seoul, Myeong-dong is a maze of streets and alleys that draws you in with a unique energy that is unmistakably Seoul. At night, the area is awash in neon, with signs advertising name brand shoes, clothes, accessories and beauty products, and the delicious aroma of Korean delicacies wafts through the air from the many small restaurants and street stalls. The neighborhood also includes some of Seoul’s most well-known department stores, including Lotte Department Store and Shinsegae Department Store.
The Sensual Style of Four Seasons in Seoul
Four Seasons Hotel Seoul invited some of today’s most creative minds into a world of possibility guided by an unwavering commitment to quality, and the result is truly extraordinary. Sensory delights abound from the finest textures and finishes to the carefully chosen music in each area of the Hotel and the signature scent created exclusively for Four Seasons by Lorenzo Villoresi Firenze.
In 317 rooms and suites, guests will find a private sanctuary for rest and relaxation. The new, fully customizable Four Seasons Bed is in every room, and thoughtful features include motorised window coverings that allow guests to instantly choose between complete darkness, veiled natural light or crystal-clear vistas across the city – including unobstructed views of Gyeongbok Palace and the landmark N Seoul Tower from selected suites.
The look is a modern reflection of Korean tradition, with light-filled spaces and every modern convenience at hand. More than 160 contemporary artworks feed the soul, while attentive Four Seasons staff ensure every need and want is met.
Among the world’s most impressive hotel suites, the penthouse Presidential Three-Bedroom Suite at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul encompasses an expansive 413 square meters (4,445 square feet). Every detail has been custom-designed to the highest residential standards – embellished with a curated art collection featuring sculptures, blown glass and paintings from celebrated local and international artists.
From the formal foyer with powder room, step into an extra-wide living and dining room with the backdrop of a full wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, including views of the N Seoul Tower. Adjoining are a complete kitchen, media room and private office. With dazzling corner views, the oversized master bedroom includes a sitting area and desk, a large walk-in closet, as well as a steam shower, sauna and a treatment room allowing for private spa therapies. Two additional bedrooms complete this extraordinary suite – also enhanced with access to the Executive Club Lounge. Continue reading