Apparently brunch buffets are one of the number one amenities that people look for when booking a hotel, so says hotel guru Anthony Melchiorri. I didn’t really believe this at first, simply because as a toast and coffee sort of person, breakfast buffets have never been a huge selling point for me when choosing a place to stay. However, the more trips I plan, the more I have noticed reviews of a hotel’s breakfast offerings. It seems like an odd amenity to prioritize over things like location, value, and cleanliness, but I suppose every person has his or her preferences.
For those who care about things like free breakfast buffets, then this is totally your hotel.
Because this was a work trip, we stayed on the “Executive” level of the hotel, which had its very own lounge where guests could enjoy free food and beverages for breakfast, afternoon tea, and happy hour. Since I was just tagging along on this trip, we only had a pass for one person (and didn’t feel like coughing up the extra $22 per extra person). It worked out for us though because Sly often had to leave well before breakfast service and Sly rarely required more than our Nespresso coffee from the machine in our room and some fruit I purchased at 7-11. I suspect part of this also had to do with Sly knowing how excited I get around free food.
I spent my mornings lazing about solving crosswords in the English language Korea Times, filling dish after dish with fruit and smoked salmon, and drinking more than my fair share of whole milk cappuccinos. Yeah, so, basically ignore everything I said about hotel food in my last post, because I love me a good brunch buffet, especially when said brunch buffet comes with a pretty decent view.
Hotel Grand Ambassador Seoul | COST: $150-$250+/night, though you can find good/cheaper deals online | LOCATION: Jung-gu, a business district close to Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Myeongdong | DESCRIPTION: Business hotel with lots of amenities such as a heated indoor swimming pool, an indoor golf range, spa, free parking, shuttle bus service, free breakfast buffets, pillow menus, in-room Nespresso machines, etc. If you upgrade to the executive level, you can partake in nonstop food and drink service, including breakfast, tea, and happy hour. Non-executive level guests still get a free breakfast buffet, which I would imagine is exactly the same, just located on a different floor. In theory, you don’t ever have to leave the hotel! But, if you wanted to leave the hotel, there’s a very convenient free shuttle service that departs every hour from the front of the building that takes passengers to local hot spot tourist attraction, Myeongdong. If I’m not mistaken, there’s another shuttle that goes to Itaewon as well. The rooms are on the smaller side for a hotel like this, but by no means uncomfortable. We had more than enough room. The beds are not Korean-style hard mattress beds (at least I don’t remember them being so). Two subway stations are located about a 15-20 minute (downhill or uphill, depending if you’re coming or going) walk from the hotel. There isn’t a ton to do, see, or eat directly around the hotel and the hotel restaurants inside the hotel are quite expensive, but then the hotel is really close to Myeongdong, home to a number of street food and inexpensive dining options. | VERDICT: I’m pretty sure we would never stay here on our own if we were visiting Seoul as tourists simply because while we appreciate things like free breakfasts and pillow menus, they aren’t exactly priorities for us when we travel. For business travel, however, it has everything you need and then some. | BONUS POINTS: The Grand Ambassador is committed to sustainable development which includes recycling, energy efficiency, and sustainable seafood choices on their menus. You can read more about it here.