For all its big-city gloss, Seoul has been oddly lacking in design-conscious hotels—at least until recently. The opening of the W Seoul Walker Hill in 2004 gave visitors to the Korean capital their first trendy alternative to the traditional (and near-identical) business hotels. Now, there's the slick new Park Hyatt Seoul. Granted, it's part of a large chain, but its striking décor and Modernist touches give it a fashionably individual air.
Located in Gangnam—Seoul's business heart—the 185-room hotel is the work of avant-garde Tokyo design studio SuperPotato. Fashioned from stone, oak and maple—and featuring lots of natural light—its public spaces are minimalist without being austere. A similar approach is used in guest rooms—but the highlight here is undoubtedly the lavish bathroom in each. Occupying one-third of a standard room, each bathroom features walls of floor-to-ceiling glass, looking over the city skyline as well as into the bedroom. As for amenities, there's a rooftop pool and spa (the views are stunning) and a glitzy restaurant, Cornerstone, which serves modern Italian cuisine. Looks like Seoul-bound fashionistas finally have the hotel they, and the city, deserve.