After spending Christmas at home I began my trek to Busan. I took the KTX, of course, since I wanted to make the most of the 2 days I had there.
One 2.5 hour train ride, one 30-minute bus ride, one ill-timed disembarkation and one unintentional 15-minute walk later, I finally arrived at the Park Hyatt.
The check-in process was pretty smooth: the staff on the first floor took my bag and then showed me the way to the 30th floor, where the actual check-in desk was located. I was greeted warmly and given all of the information I needed before I got my room key.
The layout of this hotel is a little confusing because there are two sets of elevators: one set hits all of the floors, including the guestrooms (if you have a keycard), and the other set just goes to the spa and the 30th floor, where you can access the check-in desk and all of the restaurants. The guest elevators are a little hidden from view on the ground floor, probably to discourage visitors from using them.
I stayed in a standard Park King room on the 27th floor. The room was pretty, but the layout was angular and weird, making it appear smaller than it always was. The bathroom was spacious and stocked with Le Labo toiletries.
After I got to the room, I decided to explore the area surrounding the hotel. The Park Hyatt is located in the ever-developing Marine City area, which is kind of secluded from the rest of Busan: the popular Haeundae beach and its subway station are about a 15-minute walk away and, save for the bus, there’s not much more in the way of public transportation. There are a few restaurants in the area, and a premium outlet mall is slowly developing just down the street: hopefully by the summer season you’ll see some heavy-hitting brands like Givenchy and Burberry, but for now you can just take the quick cab ride to a mall that houses the Shinsegae department store, a movie theatre, and tons of other stuff.
Since I aggravated an old cartilage injury I couldn’t take advantage of the gym, but I can tell you that the facility was smaller than I expected. I did use the pool, though, and I was totally surprised at its appearance: I thought I was in the tropics for a minute.
I decided to get a massage because
I just wanted to I was in some pain and thought it would help me to feel better. Because I was getting a treatment I could use the sauna for no extra charge (it would have been around $45 otherwise). The sauna was smaller than the one at the Shilla, but it still squeezed in two hot pools, a dunking pool, wet and dry sauna rooms and a few showers with no problem. With the Gwangali bridge as a backdrop, the sauna oozed coziness and tranquility. Afterwards I had my 90-minute massage treatment, and the masseuse was friendly and accommodating. I went back to my room afterwards feeling nice and relaxed but still in pain.
I also decided to try one of the restaurants during my stay. The Park Hyatt has two restaurants: the Living Room, with French cuisine, on the 31st floor and the Dining Room on the 32nd floor. I decided to try the Living Room and, for the most part, I wasn’t too disappointed. I started with an assiette plate and mushroom soup, followed by an upgraded (both in style and taste) pomodoro pasta dish. My meal was great until I got the Austrailian beef sirloin, which was way too chewy.
The service itself was good, if a bit reserved: I don’t think they knew what to do with a foreigner who was dining by herself (Koreans usually eat out in groups). It would explain why my server put the ice bucket with my wine all the way across the table where I’d have to get up and take it (rather than wait for who-knows-how-long for someone to come by and pour it for me). Other than that, I liked my experience. And there was also fire.
I spent my last morning eating breakfast and chilling by the pool before I had to go back to Seoul.
Overall, my stay was nice, but it wasn’t remarkable. The hotel opened in 2013, but it felt a bit older than that, especially the rooms: not old old, mind you, because it was still a really nice room…but it just looked older than you’d think a 2-year-old (at the time) hotel would look. Still, I’d stay here again, but I’d probably try to get a bigger room.
After this I went to the other Park Hyatt: the one in Seoul, and I have plenty to say about it. I’ll be back soon!
Note: This was not a comped stay; I stayed here on my own dime and wrote this blog post for pleasure.