With an early morning flight to catch from Seoul’s Gimpo Airport, I decided to spend the previous night at a nearby hotel. Not the cheapest option in these parts, but it was by far the most conveniently located – and the extra investment was rewarded with a spacious, comfortable room.
Welcome to the Lotte City Hotel Gimpo Airport.
Hotel name : Lotte City Hotel Gimpo Airport
Link : Official Site
Address : 38, Haneul-gil, Gangseo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Date of stay : 23-24 January 2020 (1 night)
Room type : Standard Double
Room rate : KRW 107,800 (promotional rate)
As the name suggests, this particular Lotte City Hotel is located near Seoul’s Gimpo International Airport (IATA code: GMP). The hotel building is connected to a Lotte Mall branch, and the entire complex is nestled within the triangle of land between GMP’s domestic and international terminals.
Although GMP handles some regional flights, the majority of its passengers are domestic travellers. One might think of GMP in simple terms as the South Korean capital’s domestic airport, with Incheon International Airport (IATA code: ICN) filling the role of its global gateway.
As the local hub for domestic air routes, GMP – and by extension the Lotte City Hotel nearby – is well connected to both ICN in the west and downtown Seoul in the east. I won’t go into detail here, but the hotel’s own access page outlines the various options. And given Lotte City’s proximity to the airport, those staying at the hotel may also find the access information pages of GMP useful for route planning.
On the one hand, the neighbourhood sits near Seoul’s westernmost limits, making this hotel less than convenient as a sightseeing base. (Fast and efficient the Seoul Metro might be, but plain old distance is your enemy.) On the other hand, the location is very convenient for passengers flying through GMP, since both terminals are within walking distance of the hotel.
As a general reference, here’s a card supplied at reception that offers a simplified view of the neighbourhood.
For detailed directions and transport options, please refer to the hotel’s official website.
Now for my own experience. I travelled from ICN to GMP by express bus, disembarking at the latter’s domestic terminal. It was about mid-afternoon and Lotte Mall was still open, so I took the “Daytime” route described on the hotel website:
Take an escalator between Exit 1 and 2 and Go downstairs → Take a moving walk and Go to Subway station → Go towards Gimpo Airport Station Exit 3 → Enter LOTTE Mall GF → Turn left at the pillar in front of the GF entrance, towards the hotel and supermarket → Go straight about 60m and take the hotel elevator on the left → Arrive at the 1st floor hotel lobby
It’s a long walk from the domestic terminal, but fully sheltered and aided at points by travelators. There were signs throughout the mall pointing towards the hotel, and the lifts took me straight from the retail level to the reception lobby.
Returning to the domestic terminal for my early morning flight was a wee bit more challenging. With Lotte Mall closed, I exited the hotel and followed a surface path to the nearest subway entrance, where I descended and continued on to the airport through the underground station passageways. What made things a bit tricky was that the shortest course to the subway station (which runs behind the hotel and mall) was very poorly lit – so much so that I even considered using my mobile phone as a torch to light the way. Note to management: a few lampposts along the path please!
Staying at the hotel
After checking in, I returned to the lifts and moved up to my assigned floor. For security reasons, accessing the guest floors requires a tap of your room key card.
The City Hotels brand is used for those Lotte establishments that cater mainly to business travellers (or so I’ve read). With that market in mind, the clean, modern, no-nonsense design of the lift lobbies and corridors makes sense.
Here we are.
Tap of the key and straight in we go. This particular room is a Standard Double.
I won’t show you the view from the window, mainly because there wasn’t much of a view to begin with. My room faced onto the back of a neighbouring structure, which blocked out a good chunk of the landscape beyond.
The bed was far larger than what I needed as a solo traveller. All for the best of course, since the wide surface gave me plenty of real estate to spread out clothes and repack luggage on.
And yes, I found it supremely comfortable. 🙂
The bedside table is fitted with a telephone and touch-screen control panel (which I couldn’t seem to make work properly, haha). Above that – out of view – are a couple of power points.
The room is spacious enough for a chair, table, and footstool to be set out near the window.
Much of the room’s equipment is fitted on or near its spacious work desk. Apart from the usual empty sets of drawers, there’s a flat-screen TV…
…and a set of power points, compatible with a variety of plug designs. My corner of the world uses two flat pins, whereas Korea employs European-style pairs of round pins. I did pack a couple of adaptors, but there was no need to dig them out as I could plug my chargers straight into these sockets.
You’ll find the usual coffee and tea equipment tucked away in a set of drawers. The mini-refrigerator is empty by default, save for two complimentary bottles of water.
Let’s swing around and inspect the ensuite bathroom, as well as the closet across the hall from it.
Glass-walled hotel bathrooms are strangely commonplace in East Asia (except for Japan, though I’ve seen them there as well). I’ve read various explanations, but I confess to still being puzzled by the practice despite holidaying regularly in this corner of the world. Perhaps mindful of the international makeup of its clientele, Lotte seem to have settled on a compromise by using glass only in the bathroom door, and keeping the walls solid.
That said, light will of course flood out from this frosted pane if the bathroom is illuminated, which might be a sticking point if one’s travelling companions are still sleeping. (I’m not certain how much of a problem it might be though, or if it’s even a problem at all, as I neglected to test whether the light is strong enough to trickle over into the bedroom area.)
In any event, I had no particular concerns on this occasion – regarding privacy or lighting – as I was travelling alone.
Let’s have a look inside.
The usual toiletries are supplied, with dental kits underneath the washbasin and bath liquids above the tub.
Speaking of the tub: if memory serves, there’s also a rain shower fitted into the ceiling (not shown below) in addition to the handheld shower head.
Here’s the toilet area.
Japanese-style electronic “washlet”, complete with push-button control panel (labels are in English).
Next, let’s check out the closet.
Sliding doors with built-in mirror. Clothes hangers, room slippers, and extra-long shoe horn on one side; bathrobes and keypad-equipped room safe on the other.
In short: all the essentials and then some. I approve. 🙂
I stayed only one night at the hotel, and left very early the following morning. This didn’t give me much of an opportunity to try out the hotel’s various facilities.
That said, the official website catalogues a range of offerings that may be of interest to prospective guests, including a restaurant and a gym. I also recall seeing an automated foreign currency exchange machine in the hotel lobby, not far from the reception desk. (I didn’t use it but I remember thinking that the displayed USD-KRW rate looked fair – certainly better than what I got at ICN!)
And of course, during opening hours, the Gimpo Airport branch of Lotte Mall – of which the hotel is an extended part – offers even more options for dining, shopping, and leisure.
A clean, modern, well-equipped facility, with good transportation links and extensive shopping/dining options just a short lift ride away. Not a convenient base for sightseeing in central Seoul, yet handily located for those flying through nearby Gimpo Airport (you’ll only have yourself to blame, not a train delay or a traffic jam, for being late!). Budget travellers might find this place a little expensive, but the rate is reasonable for what I was after: a comfortable night’s rest very close to my departure terminal. It’s also worth noting that promotional offers are regularly published on the hotel website, which may help lighten the load and sweeten the deal.
Overall, I was satisfied with my stay at the Lotte City Hotel Gimpo Airport and will be happy to book a room there again if it suits my travel plans.