What’s the best and cheapest Marriott Bonvoy hotel in Seoul: JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square vs. JW Marriott Hotel vs. Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam Hotel vs. The Westin Chosun Seoul vs. Courtyard Namdaemun vs. Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam Hotel vs. Sheraton Seoul D Cube City Hotel.
Whether you are paying for your stay or redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points, whether you are traveling as a family or a couple or on business, it’s worth knowing which is the best and best value Marriott Bonvoy property in Seoul and why.
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JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul
JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul is an excellent hotel that treats its Marriott Bonvoy members particularly well with frequent upgrades for their Gold level customers to the executive level. We think that this is the best Marriott Bonvoy hotel in Seoul, although arguably, given the cheaper point redemption cost of the JW Marriott Hotel Seoul, I would save my points and book the main JW Marriott as they are both great properties.
The location of JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square is great, in the Dongdaemun area which is lively and fun, and the areas of Insadong (the most happening area in Seoul) and Itaewon are super close by. It is near the touristy areas in Seoul, like a Korean traditional market and Zaha Hadid designed Design Plaza.
It is considered boutique by some as it only has around 170 rooms (some of which look out over Dongdaemun gate). The pool at the JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square is nice but too small for all the paying guests staying, so they charge for access.
In the club lounge, you get the usual breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening canapes and cocktails with food, including hot options at breakfast and dinner, more than enough to fill you up and designed by decent chefs with high-end ingredients. Find out how this club lounge compares to others in our review of the best club or executive lounge in Seoul. No one under 18 is allowed to use the indoor driving range, so bear this in mind if you are traveling with kids.
The JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul comes in at 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night on a redemption booking.
JW Marriott Hotel Seoul
This is the second JW Marriott hotel in Seoul and the first one that was built, but we list it as second because we prefer the more intimate size of the JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul listed above. This hotel recently reopened after a complete renovation.
The JW Marriott Hotel Seoul is a very large hotel with extensive conferences and events going on. It is also directly connected to a large mall with a very high-end department store that has a liquor store in the basement if you need to stock up (at reasonable prices). The mall also connects to the Express Bus Terminal. But it is not your usual bus terminal. There are loads of tasty and affordable Korean and Chinese restaurants here, right on your doorstep, and they are very nice, not like your average bus terminal, although there are also the usual US fast-food chains represented too, including Shake Shack and See’s Candies.
Both the JW Marriott Hotel Seoul and the JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square are similarly comfortable, and both have excellent executive floor lounges. Both hotels also have good access to the subway.
The executive lounge at the JW Marriott Hotel Seoul is similarly excellent to the JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square. It is amazingly large, and Bonvoy Platinum members can access the lounge (1 person and a plus one, per room) without extra charge.
The JW Marriott Hotel Seoul comes in at 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night on a redemption booking, so is a much better and cheaper deal than the JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul, bearing in mind that these hotels are comparative in luxury.
The Plaza and Westin Seoul are both in great tourist locations for exploring the Seoul Palaces and Myeongdong. The club lounge Plaza Seoul (an Autograph Collection hotel) has some advantages over the two JW Marriotts reviewed above, but their breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvre is not as good for this level of hotel. If I were redeeming points, I would pick the JW Marriott Hotel Seoul over the Plaza as they currently cost the same.
The gym and sauna here is included in the room rate and is excellent, but it is located in a separate building. So you either have to cross the street or go via the subway tunnel in the basement. There is also a golf driving range which you have to pay extra for.
The neighborhood around the Plaza is great and nicer than the area around JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul, with lots of restaurants, convenience stores, Karaoke rooms, etc but the rooms, though comfortable, are small.
The Plaza Seoul comes in at 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
Sheraton Seoul D Cube City Hotel
Sheraton Seoul D Cube City Hotel is definitely located outside of the main action in the city, but it sits on top of two of the busiest subway lines (line#1 and line#2), so you are 30ish minutes away from touristy areas. It is also connected to the mall/department store, where you can find loads of restaurants and coffee shops. There is also a movie theatre available if you want to catch a movie.
It’s a very nice property located within a building that houses a mall/department store and offices. Because of that, the lobby is found on the 41st floor, the highest floor of the building. Dedicated express elevators take you from the first floor to the 41st floor, and from the 41st floor, there are elevators that service the hotel and guest rooms specifically. The express elevators have stops at the 28th floor (gym/sauna), the 38th floor (club lounge), and the 41st floor (lobby/reception/restaurants/bar).
Platinum Bonvoy members tend to be upgraded to corner deluxe rooms here and are invited to take advantage of the club lounge (for free) as well as the restaurant during the weekdays because the lounge is closed for breakfast during the weekdays, so breakfast is taken at Feast restaurant.
The breakfast offerings in the restaurant are excellent, and a full and complete breakfast with Japanese, Western and Korean style breakfast is available. The breakfast in the lounge is also good, much like the restaurant but with less variety.
Evening cocktails included a number of hot food dishes available, as well as a wide variety of snacks; a light-medium buffet dinner. Spirits, wines, and beer on tap or in cans are all free, although there are no bottles.
Platinum Bonvoy members get free access to the sauna and gym, and other guests have to pay a fee. They also have a golf simulator for a fee.
Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and are nice if a little small. The pool here isn’t anything special; a regulation-length pool separated into three lanes with a hot tub along to the side, at a similar level to the pool at the Plaza Seoul. The pool is much nicer at the JW Marriott Dongdaemun. It feels similar to the pool at the Plaza Seoul.
Points-wise, Sheraton Seoul D Cube costs the same as the Sheraton Gangnam, at 35,000 points, which is in a much better location, but the Sheraton Gangnam has even smaller standard rooms.
Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam Hotel
The club lounge at the Sheraton Gangnam is very good with excellent breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres, but this is a strange lounge as there is no dedicated space for this lounge, which means that, after a certain time, you will get kicked out of the lounge because it turns into a bar.
The Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam Hotel comes in at 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night on a redemption booking.
The Westin Chosun Seoul
The Westin Chosun Seoul has a club lounge, but the club rooms are somewhat smaller than other hotel club rooms in Seoul, even though they are well-appointed. The Club serves a very good breakfast with hot and cold dishes and all the usual suspects, along with afternoon nites and evening canapes and alcoholic drinks. The location of the hotel is great for business downtown, and it is close to the Namdemun open market and department stores for shopping.
The Westin Chosun Seoul comes in at 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night on a redemption booking.
The lounge at the Courtyard Namdaemun is medium size and offers a pretty good selection for a Courtyard hotel. It is above average considering the branding of the hotel. Breakfast is the usual stuff you find at most Marriotts, but the main reason to choose this hotel is the price, which is half that of the Westin, which is around the corner, whilst sharing the same location benefits. The location is absolutely amazing for getting around Seoul.
The Courtyard Namdaemun comes in at 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night on a redemption booking and is one of the cheapest hotels with a club lounge in Seoul, although, for this point redemption price, I would probably choose one of the Sheraton hotels instead.
Le Méridien Seoul, Sinchon will soon be opening in Seoul and will probably have a club lounge, and the Le Méridien Seoul is another option for Marriott Bonvoy members. Both come in at 35,000 points per night. Finally, there are a number of Design Hotels in Seoul that can also be booked via the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.