There is certainly no lack of luxury hotels and unique stays in Seoul but few experiences would allow you to experience the city quite like its boutique hotels. These places each have their own personality and focus with a big emphasis on design.

We’ve rounded up seven best boutique hotels in Seoul for you to check out, each one completely different from the other. There’s L’Escape, a heavily-themed boudoir boutique hotel perfect for lovers, while Owall Hotel is a gorgeous contemporary take on the traditional Korean home. It also has a sad backstory, being the final legacy of late Korean designer Paik-Sun Kim.

Those looking to reduce their carbon footprint will appreciate La Casa Hotel Gwangmyeong, a nature hotel with an eco-friendly theme. We’ve also included RYSE, Autograph Collection as the latest hot topic in Seoul’s hotel industry, thanks to its heavy creative focus. There’s also something for the minimalists in the form of Small House Big Door, a converted warehouse with a white interior.

Beyond staying in a gorgeous space, these craftily designed hotels will also help enhance and fuel your creativity. After all, there’s nothing like being inspired while on holiday. Continue reading below for the full list of uniquely design-centric boutique hotels in Seoul for your next trip there.

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia KL.

Hotel Crescendo Seoul managed by Accor & Ambassador

Hotel Crescendo Seoul seems to have several monikers and is also known as The Alcove Hotel. But what remains constant is that it’s the first boutique hotel in South Korea by the AccorHotels group. The hotel itself has a timeless look and feel with elegant wooden fittings and a gorgeous bathroom with monochromatic mosaic tiles. The rooms are compact but cosy and have been designed to maximise comfort and sleep levels. Be sure to dine in Salmanazar, the in-house classic American bistro that’s quickly gaining popularity within the neighbourhood.

(Image credit: AccorHotels)

L'Escape Hotel

A heavily-themed hotel has its time and place during a holiday, but if you’re planning something romantic with your significant other, you might want to consider the extremely-boudoir L’Escape Hotel. Designed by French interior designer Jacques Garcia, the hotel takes on a 19th-century classical French style favoured by aristocrats. Rooms feature plenty of velvet and dark red, while the royal blue Marque d’Amour by L’Amant Secret bar offers a creative selection of craft cocktails.

(Image credit: Agoda)

La Casa Hotel Gwangmyeong

Although located slightly out of the main city area, La Casa Hotel Gwangmyeong is banking on that aspect to match its brand identity of being an eco-friendly hotel and a nature getaway out of the hustle and bustle of the city. There’s plenty of natural light around the property, and thanks to its outskirts location, the grounds are more expansive than any other boutique hotels you can find in Seoul. Around the hotel, you’ll find artworks from notable local artists such as Paik Nam-June, Min Jeong-ki and Choi Jeong-Hwa.

(Image credit: Agoda)

Makers Hotel

Stepping into Makers Hotel almost feels like going back in time to the American 60s era. The interior takes on a moodier colour palette with dark exposed brick walls, leather Chesterfield sofas, while the rooms are predominantly decked in wood and black steel. There are plenty of little touches throughout the hotel that holds the design ethos together, and we appreciate that.

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Owall Hotel

This hotel is a minimalist’s haven, given a “mi” – contemporary Korean beauty – concept. It was designed by property developer Hyon-Sook Park and her good friend, the late designer Paik-Sun Kim. In fact, Owall Hotel is his last project before he passed away. Every detail was personally designed by him, and you can tell by the way every piece in the hotel goes harmoniously together. Everything is imbued with a sense of lightness, and natural finishes of wood, marble, and granite are seen throughout the hotel. Despite looking so modern, the hotel actually does its own take on the traditional Korean home, and traditional local dishes are also available in the hotel, such as Bugeoguk – dried pollack broth – served during breakfast.

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RYSE, Autograph Collection

One of the bigger names in the boutique hotel scene in Seoul, RYSE is the latest darling of the city, branded as a hotel for creatives. In the same vein, its rooms are aptly named Creator, Editor, Director, Producer, Executive Producer, and Artist. We’ll leave you to guess which is the higher-ranking room of the list. There’s also an art gallery in the basement of the hotel, in line with the rest of the property that has a sleek and contemporary look – including the lobby, decked in millennial pink. The in-house dining outlets are not to be missed as well, with international Thai restaurant Long Chim, San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery, and craft cocktails in The Side Note Club.

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Small House Big Door

Small, stylish, and almost completely decked in white – that’s what you’ll find at the artsy Small House Big Door boutique hotel. Located close to Myeongdong, the former 54-year-old storage space was completely transformed thanks to design group Design Methods. Its bare minimum design means that the rooms have been stripped of any unnecessary design, leaving you with a blank canvas of handmade furniture and beds, white and immaculate. Most rooms are small, but pay a little bit more and you can upgrade to a larger square foot room with outdoor sitting areas and sky windows. There’s a bistro and art gallery on the ground floor and a rooftop lounge to hang out with drinks.

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Pohnee Chin