Such Great Heights
Towering above Seoul’s ritzy Gangnam business district, the Signiel Seoul (housed inside the world’s fifth-tallest skyscraper), is an elegant emblem of its past-meets-present surroundings. Standing out in the city’s most upscale neighborhood, which is also home to Seoul Olympic Park and Korea’s largest entertainment complex, is a tall order. But the Signiel, the newest luxury hotel by the prolific Lotte Group, poised at a staggering 1,820 feet, takes opulence to unprecedented heights, furnished with game-changers like a duty-free shopping center and its very own concert hall. Seoul’s shimmering skyline, which guests can take in from the sumptuous marble bathtubs in each of the suites, has never looked better. The stylish cityscape also plays a starring role at the 86th floor Evian Spa. Here, the treatment menu, focused on hydrotherapy and water immersion, takes cues from another soaring wonder of the natural kind: the Alps. A luxurious indoor pool, lined with emerald tiles, stretches across the entire 85th level.
Guests can partake in a sky-top feast, courtesy of three-Michelin star winner, Yannick Alléno, whose casual French menu takes the occasional Korean detour.
As You Wish
A few floors below—still stratospheric by normal standards—guests can partake in a sky-top feast, courtesy of three-Michelin star winner, Yannick Alléno, whose casual French menu takes the occasional Korean detour. The stylish space also features a tantalizing Pastry Library, where diners can watch a chef expertly craft decadent, made-to-order confections. Next door, at Bar 81, revelers sip champagne cocktails (you choose from over 80 labels of bubbly; there’s also an avant-garde art installation of dazzling white and gold crystal orbs, intended to mimic the fizz in your flute) amidst the clouds.
The seamless check-in process here eschews the typical setup and lets guests register from the comfort of their spacious suites instead. Though the opulent 79th floor lobby, with intricate woodwork by local craftsmen and expansive double-volume ceilings, is worth a visit anyway. Complimentary welcome tea service consists of a special proprietary blend of Korean pear and cinnamon, concocted by chef Yannick himself, and is the perfect preview for a slew of red-carpet treatments you can continue to expect at this mansion in the sky. It begins in your room, where hand-painted cherry blossoms grace the walls, personalized pillows float atop your feather-soft bed, and Diptyque toiletries await in the spa-like bathrooms. The VIP vibe extends to the hotel’s 79th floor, where an exclusive guests-only lounge reminiscent of a cavernous library offers a never-ending stream of gourmet snacks and unbeatable Han River views. Also on the hospitality menu: personal shopping concierges who can help navigate the nearby Lotte Avenuel, an ultra-luxe department store; and premier access to the onsite adventure playground, Lotte World Adventure, the world’s largest indoor theme park complete with an ice-skating rink, folk museum, and aquarium.