Today we are heading to the Nest Hotel Incheon. I’m hoping for a relaxing end to our whirlwind trip to Korea, combining sightseeing in Seoul and skiing in Phoenix Park and YongPyeong. Our bodies are battered and bruised and ready for some serious R &R, not to mention we are celebrating our wedding anniversary and are seeking some solitude before boarding our return flight.
Starwood Preferred Guest Partner
The hotel is a partner of the Starwood Preferred Guest programme and I booked one night FREE using my welcome points from the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card. If you sign up and spend £1,000 within one month, you earn 10,000 points (be sure to sign up with this link to earn a bonus 1,000 points). This is enough for 3 nights in a Category 1 hotel, but in our case, the points pay for one night (7,000 redemption for a Category 3 hotel) with change left over for a future trip.
I booked the remaining night through my SPG account for a price of 166,826 Won (caround £118) for a standard double mountain room.
This hotel is 2.5 miles from Incheon airport and is served by a free shuttle bus. It is thus perfect for an overnight stay before or after your flight, or for an escape from the city. Whilst only 40 minutes from downtown Seoul, the hotel feels like a mile away from civilisation. Nestled on the banks of the West Sea, distant islands shimmering in the ocean, it feels more like a tropical paradise than airport or city hotel.
There’s parks and exotic looking beaches within the vicinity of the hotel and it’s motto of ‘your own hideout’ seems highly fitting. Just a short walk away, you can hop on a ferry and visit the neighbouring island of Muidoo for a very different side to Seoul.
It’s not called a design hotel for nothing. As the first hotel in Korea to receive this accolade, it is a pretty bold design. Stark, bare concrete walls greet you as you enter the sleek reception with black marble desks. It feels more like an art museum than a hotel, and with a sheer glass wall overlooking the sea, is bright and airy.
The concrete theme continues into the bedrooms with plain walls, a gleaming white bathroom, and distinct lack of colour. It’s chic and minimalist but if I’m honest, not to my taste. I like rooms with colourful art and soft furnishings to remind me of the comforts of home, but this feels a little like being in a bunker.
That said, our room has some really awesome features which allow me to see past the sterile décor. Take, the whopping Bluetooth speaker I discover behind the headboard. Pretty awesome!
Or, this view for instance (thanks to Nest Incheon for a complimentary upgrade to seaview by the way). Seriously, can you believe you are on the outskirts of a major city?
I find myself wandering outside in my sleepwear expecting it to be thirty degrees. I last a few seconds before I realise appearances are deceptive. You can find amazing photos like this on the Nest Instagram channel showing that that tropical looking water actually FREEZES!
The bed may lack colourful cushions and bolsters, but it is a dream. It’s comfy with crisp linens, and sufficiently big that I can escape to my own little island of tranquillity.
The desk area comes equipped with chargers for key gadgets which is a great touch. Nothing worse than arriving after a long flight and having to find chargers before heading to the bar.
There’s also plenty of storage to hide away toiletries and clothing. The bathroom spa products are high quality, smell divine and I’m delighted to discover a frothy face wash – perfect timing as mine is virtually exhausted.
One of my favourite things about the room is the door which alternates between a door to the bathroom and a screen for the toilet. The toilet automatically flushes when you close the door which is another fabulous feature and of course, it would be remiss to overlook mention of the multi-function toilet features. Check out these options!
Eating and drinking
There are two options to choose from. The Platz which offers six course menus for two from 85,000 and individual dishes from around 20,000. The Kunst Lounge is a more relaxed dining and drinking area offering individual dishes and snacks.
The Platz is essentially a big glass box with panoramic views of the ocean from its three tiers. What a great idea to raise the levels, allowing more people the opportunity to enjoy the astonishing vistas. I personally find the décor a little too bright, too IKEA and too minimalist, but the food is spectacular. It looks pretty, tastes great and we are delighted to discover a giant Yorkshire pudding in our bread basket!
The Kunst Lounge
THe Kunst Lounge is more like a design studio or cafeteria and certainly not somewhere I would ever lounge long enough to get drunk. The lack of sofas and comfortable seating to relax into is a huge put off for me. I love the fact that there are books to enjoy and plenty of terminals for you to surf the internet, but it is just too sterile for my taste. I feel like I’m hanging out at my student common area rather than chilling in a upmarket hotel bar.
The hotel offers access to a sauna and fitness room. The fitness room has a boxing ring which is a first for me, and if Jason hadn’t pulled his back on our last day of skiing, I would be definitely jumping in there to release some aggression.
The Piece de resistance however is the sauna and plunge pool area. In grey slate this is my kind of chill area! The luxurious changing area, complete with every possible amenity leads into a stylish bathing area. You can take your pick from a cool 24C or tropical 40c. There’s a sauna to ease any aches and pains and outside is a further 40c pool.
Even though it is chilly outside, the temperature is perfect. I slide into the empty pool and lounge in solitude, enjoying the fresh air and steaming water. Little do I realise I am supposed to be starkers, but as I am alone, I get away with wearing a bathing suit!
This is an hotel that will appeal to those with minimalist tastes, wanting airport convenience with a taste of luxury in a scenic location. This is unlike any airport hotel I have stayed in before and you could certainly find enough to amuse yourself here for a few days.
The decor may not be to everyone’s tastes but it is impossible to be anything other than impressed with the little extras to really help you feel at home!