Arrival Experience: Located just a free shuttle ride away from the terminal, this convenient airport hotel boasts nearly 1,000 rooms now that a new tower has opened (connected via a glass walkway). With the new addition comes a new name. It was formerly the Hyatt Regency, but has been upgraded to the more upscale Grand Hyatt brand. The new tower is a striking building of curvaceous glass that can be seen when planes are taking off and landing. Once inside, the look is all-white, all-minimalistic. Quite unusual for an airport hotel, this space is meant to follow the appearance of a ship with its curving ends forming the hull of the ship and waves simulated on the walls and surfaces. The staff is doting and welcoming; they are quick to notice if you have stayed at the hotel before and welcome you back while remembering past preferences. Cushioned seating areas mark the length of the lobby providing plenty of space to relax. The hotel is owned by Korean Air, but there is no connection inside. The artwork, colorful glass sculptures, and curving staircases give guests plenty to see and do as they move about the hotel.
Dining: Guests staying in either tower can use the facilities of the other as it is all the same hotel. The East Tower features Restaurant 8 offering numerous living cooking stations including fresh sushi, deli, noodle bar, and grill. A wall of wine is housed in a glass display that stretches from floor to ceiling. The West Tower has the Grand Café serving three meals a day also from an impressive buffet selection. Nearby, the Swell Lounge serves light meals and coffee, but in the evening it livens up with cocktails and small seating nooks for private conversations. Back in the East Tower, the karaoke bar can get busy after a few glasses of wine have been ordered. By the swimming pool, a grill and al fresco dining area is popular in warm weather. This hotel is a choice spot for locals to coordinate a staycation, and weekends see quite a few Korean families bunking down here to enjoy the dining outlets and pools.
Rooms: The new tower features beautiful guest rooms with monochrome palettes creating a calming scene. Large Grand Beds, a Hyatt signature, cocoon guests in sweet slumber with thick duvets and pillows. Bedside clocks, iPod docking stations, and power outlets are appreciated perks as are the free bottled water and armchairs with ottomans. Oversized glass desks have rolling desk chairs, free wireless high speed Internet, speaker phones with voice mail, and excellent lighting. Frosted glass walls separate the bedroom and bathroom providing privacy while also permitting natural light to enter the shower. Rainfall showers share the space with deep soaking tubs. June Jacobs spa toiletries are a favorite of regular Grand Hyatt guests. The club level provides guests access to a Grand Club lounge with a breakfast and evening snack spread. Servers deliver hot dishes upon request and replenish drinks during the evening happy hour. Refrigerators keep soft drinks, juice, and bottled water for guests to enjoy 24-7. Each tower has its own club lounge, which is a wise move given the number of guest rooms here. Nearly half the rooms have an excellent view of the runway and airport terminal making them popular with repeat guests. Soundproofing here is excellent through double-paned windows.
Amenities: Two large ballrooms can seat as many as 1,250 making this one of the largest conference spaces in the area. Free wireless Internet and a modern business center keep visitors connected. Each tower has its own indoor swimming pool, and a special pool for families provides ample splashing room for small kids. Day beds, lounge chairs, and a play ground round out the poolside amenities. A pair of fitness centers is packed with the latest workout equipment. A sauna is perfect to distress after a long flight, but the Paradise Casino (only open to non-Koreans) provides another outlet to kick back (although you may lose a lot more than stress there). Green thumbs will appreciate that the new tower was built to LEED Gold certifications. This is a heck of an airport hotel, and the fact that it attracts locals for a staycation proves its wealth of amenities and notable high standards.