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  • Writer's pictureSasha Huang

What to Eat, Drink & Do in Seoul, According to Signiel Seoul's General Manager Clara Bae

INTERVIEW



In the glamourous capital of Korea, Signiel Seoul is an exquisite establishment as the first luxury landmark hotel of the nation. The Lotte Hotels & Resorts signature hotel encapsulates the city’s pristine glory.


Signiel Seoul hosts a total of 235 spacious rooms, two one Michelin-starred restaurants, modern French gastronomy at STAY by multi-Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno, contemporary Korean gourmet dining at BICENA, and champaign bar Bar 81. Capturing the beautiful city skyline and the lively scene of Lotte Amusement Park, every space is intricately designed for luxurious comfort as a home away from home, welcoming the return of countless guests all throughout the year. We chat with Clara Bae, general manager of Signiel Seoul, for her thoughts on this mesmerising property.



1. How did you start a career in hospitality?


I initially aspired to become a diplomat when I was younger, but a fortuitous opportunity led me to start my career at Lotte Hotel. Through dedicated hard work and taking on responsibilities one task at a time, I found myself drawn to the world of hospitality diplomacy. Over time, I had the opportunity to engage with many wonderful people, and I now find myself working as a general manager with a deep sense of satisfaction, acting as a private diplomat in my own right.



2. What are your favourite things to do in Seoul?


There is no shortage of things to see and do in Seoul, but if I had to recommend just a few, I would suggest exploring the city's shopping and culinary scenes. You'll find an incredible array of shopping options throughout the city, from high-end department stores and duty-free shops to sprawling malls and even corner convenience stores. And when it comes to food, Seoul truly has something for everyone, with dishes from all corners of the country available right here in the city. For those seeking more excitement, I highly recommend visiting Lotte World, the only indoor theme park in Korea. It's a great destination for families, as it offers a wide range of activities that can be enjoyed year-round, rain or shine.



3. What makes Signiel Seoul different from the other hotels?


The location of Signiel Seoul, situated between the 76th and 101st floors of the 123-story building (the sixth tallest in the world at 555m), is a clear point of distinction. This vantage point provides guests with a singular experience not found anywhere else, with sweeping views from the lobby, guest rooms, and restaurants that are truly unparalleled in Seoul. The sensation of standing amid the clouds with airplanes passing beneath your feet is something truly unique to Signiel Seoul, and our guests can take in the precious night views of the city from the comfort of their rooms, helping to rejuvenate and refresh them after a long day


As Signiel Seoul is located between 76th and 101st floor in the 123-story building (555m-tall), the views from the lobby, guest rooms, and restaurants are a unique attraction, which cannot be enjoyed anywhere else in Seoul. The rare experience of clouds and airplanes being laid underneath the feet is only possible in Signiel Seoul. Guests can completely forget the tiredness of a day in their rooms while looking at the precious night view of Seoul.




"As the hotel with the most breathtaking view in Korea, we will continue to make the best use of our unique selling point to provide our guests with unforgettable memories that they will cherish for a lifetime."



4. How would you describe a stay at the Signiel Seoul?


Our brand new spa, "retreat Signiel Spa," opened just last year, and provides top-notch therapy services, accompanied by a welcome tea service that highlights the timeless beauty of the Orient.


At Salon de Signiel, our in-house guest lounge, all guests can enjoy a peaceful atmosphere, perfect for reading or sipping tea while enjoying refreshments and drinks throughout the day. During our "evening delight time" from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., guests can indulge in cheese and snacks, as well as unlimited Pemmery champagne and sparkling wine.

For those with more time, we offer customised personal training at our fitness centre or a chance to unwind in our indoor swimming pool while taking in the stunning views.



5. What do you hope the guests are will take away from their stays?


As the general manager of Signiel Seoul, I believe that what sets our hotel apart is the unforgettable experience that we provide for our guests. Our location on the 76th to 101st floors of the Lotte World Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the world, offers stunning views of the clouds and sunset that leave a lasting impression on our guests. We strive to exceed our guests' expectations and create a truly unique and magical experience that they will never forget. Many of our guests return to celebrate special occasions such as wedding anniversaries and birthdays.


As the hotel with the most breathtaking view in Korea, we will continue to make the best use of our unique selling point to provide our guests with unforgettable memories that they will cherish for a lifetime.


6. Can you share 5 foodie spots that every traveller should visit in Seoul?


  1. Lotte World Mall - Indulge in the Gordon Ramsay burger, Brooklyn burger, or any other food that suits your taste. The newly opened Forest Kitchen offers vegan fine dining, and trendy dessert cafes like Knotted Doughnut and the London Bagel Museum are also available.

  2. Songridan-gil - Located just a 5-minute walk from Lotte World Tower, this popular area is home to many Instagram-famous restaurants To avoid long lines, visit during off-peak hours for a late lunch or early dinner. After enjoying a delicious meal, head to a rooftop bar for cocktails and a fabulous view of Seoul. You can take in the panoramic view of Lotte World Tower or the Han River reflecting the city's lights from an outdoor bar.

  3. Gwangjang Market - This traditional market is a must-visit for foodies. It's famous for its delicious street food, including mung bean pancakes, spicy rice cakes, and addictive seaweed rice rolls.

  4. Bukchon Hanok Village - This traditional Korean village is home to many cafes and restaurants serving authentic Korean cuisine. From bibimbap to Korean BBQ, you can experience Korean flavors in a beautiful historic setting.

  5. SIGNIEL Seoul - This hotel is a gourmet paradise for foodies. located high above the city with breathtaking views. There are several dining options to choose from, including:

STAY: Led by three-star Michelin chef Yannick Alleno, this French restaurant offers a unique culinary experience featuring French cuisine with Korean ingredients.

BICENA: This Korean restaurant has been awarded one Michelin star and specializes in traditional Korean cuisine with a modern twist.

THE LOUNGE: Curated by world-famous chef Yannick Alléno, this spot serves an extensive range of food and afternoon tea sets.


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All imagery is provided by Signiel Seoul Hotel.



Address: LOTTE World Tower 300, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul, 05551 Korea | Website: signielhotels.com | Phone: +82 2-3213-1000 | Instagram: @signielhotels | Facebook: @signielhotels

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