Apr 21, 2011
SEOUL’S DEVELOPERS WERE ONCE UNCONCERNED with design, their dense, cookie-cutter high rises flooding the capital following the destruction of the Korean War. Though most are architectural eyesores, a few iconic structures have been worth preserving. Case in point: Kim Swoo-geun’s soaring white Tower Hotel, originally constructed in 1967, on the slopes of Mount Namsam. Now remodeled as a boutique resort by Architrave, Banyan Tree’s in-house design team, the property unveiled 34 luxurious guest rooms, each with an in-room plunge pool; panoramic views of mountain and city can be had from outdoor wine bars, dining cabanas and an open-air gym. The clean, modern design pays homage to Korea’s close relationship with nature: think leaf-shaped loungers, rugged granite pillars, marble-and-pebble interiors and a profusion of fountains and streams.