WHILE location is king for hotels, Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun & Residences, the 500th Novotel of the global hotel group Accorhotels, won't rest on its laurel. The hotel’s address is prime, a confluence of history, culture, fashion and art— all attractions a short walk away. There’s an airport limousine bus stop by its doors and a subway station, too. But Novotel went beyond with the brand’s very first hotel and residence complex. It built an eye-catching, almost sculpture-like, modern structure that imbibes the character of its address (designed with the eaves of Heunginjimun Gate, aka Dongdaemun Gate, as motif) and enhanced with state-of-the-art details.

The hotel’s interior is as impressive as its exterior. The interior décor follows the design style of minimalism— exuding a very Japanese aesthetic— and to make it more exciting, injected with modern technology to deliver a unique, easy living and rich digital experience to the guests.

The digital experience is first encountered at check-in on the 20th floor. The elevator hall sports an expansive LED wall showing a 24/7 visual treat of Dongdaemun district. It leads to a modern lobby designed as a proper social space more than just a transient area. At the other end of the room are two food outlets, the Gourmet Bar and Food Exchange, the all-dining restaurant. The same floor gives access to the relaxation area where the spa, fitness center, and a Jacuzzi and an indoor swimming pool with natural lighting, automatic water temperature control, water purification system and a waterfall screen.

One floor up is Dongdaemun’s only rooftop pool. The outdoor pool is designed with a transparent acrylic floor to provide an unusual “pool?in the pool” view of the indoor pool below. Sharing the rooftop space is a bar, The Social 21. Day or night, wet or dry, sipping a fruit drink or a cocktail, the view of the Seoul bright under the sun or lit up under the dark blue of night is perfect company.

What makes Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun truly unique? It provides the first Artificial Intelligence hotel service in Korea. Each of the 523 tastefully decorated suites (331 hotel rooms and 192 residence rooms) is assigned with its own genie—the GigGA Genie. Genie-ya is to Novotel as Siri is to iPhone, and Ginie-ya is every guest’s access to a more comfortable living experience.

“Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun provides smart speaker GiGA Genie hotel service. It is designed to control room settings such as lighting, temperature, and music. Requested amenities can be transmitted to hotel front desk electronically through the gadget as well. The Genie phone is pre-loaded with hotel information, maps, as well as call and message functions when guests are out exploring the city,” shared Claire Yoo, the hotel’s marketing and communication supervisor.

“Guests can access their rooms via a QR code via the iStay app they can download on their smart phones,” she said. This eliminates the use of key cards. The app aslo provides guests useful hotel information including facilities, latest F&B and room promotions and a media wall that showcases a sketch of the Dongdaemun district.

Want to double the excitement on your trip to Seoul? Stay at the Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun. I speak from experience.

A member of the Accorhotels, Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun & Residences is at 238 Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul 04561 Korea.

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