#nykstays: Nest Hotel, Incheon, South Korea

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Welcome to my Nest!

This is a review of my stay at Nest Hotel in September 2016. Although this was not the first time I’ve visited Seoul, it was the first time that I opted to stay in Incheon. I was in Seoul only on transit, and I didn’t want the hassle of travelling to the city.

Service – Rating: 4/5

I arrived the hotel at about 8 pm and the entire lobby was empty. Other than the two staff manning the reception, there was no other form of life around. The lady who attended to me was friendly enough.

After checking me in, the receptionist passed me a tiny bottle of facial foam which was kind of interesting. Never in my experience have I received facial foam as a.. welcome gift? That aside, she offered to bring my luggage to my room which I kindly refused.

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Sterile lobby

Having only spent one night at the hotel, my interaction with the hotel staff was minimal. However, one thing I noticed was that all the staff whom I had contact with could converse well in English. Some even initiated small talks with me, which was surprising. If you are familiar with their culture, you will know that Koreans are generally quite reserved.

Room – Rating: 4.5/5

The rooms in the hotel came with either a sea view, or a mountain view. I stayed in a Standard Double room on the 7th floor that was facing the sea.

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Minimalist design

Although the Standard Room was the lowest category in this hotel, the room size was adequate (32.9 sqm). There were the standard amenities such as TV, coffee making facilities, minibar, a small desk . Nothing more, nothing less.

The firmness of the King-size bed was to my liking. It was neither too soft, nor was it too hard. I’m not sure if it had anything to do with me being too tired, but I had 8 hours of good, uninterrupted sleep. That’s considered a luxury for me.

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XX enjoying the comfy bed too!

The bathroom was all decked in white tiles and harsh white lights that made the entire space felt like some lab in a sci-fi movie. This was a stark contrast to the dimly-lit room. Other than that, the rest of the bathroom iwas rather nondescript.

The toilet came with a bidet which is a common fixture in hotels in Korea. There was no bathtub, only a standing shower which I didn’t mind. The water heater was working well, and the water pressure from the shower head was strong.

Squeaky clean bathroom

On top of the basic toiletries like shampoo and shower gel, the hotel also provided a jar of bath salt which I’m a little skeptical of. I mean, who knows how many people have reached their hand into the jar right? The thought of it is just gross.

My room also came with a tiny balcony that could barely accommodate one. As I arrived the hotel at night, I only managed to enjoy the sea view the next morning.

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Clean, fresh air

The view was not exactly spectacular, but a view of the sea is always appreciated. The air was fresh, and I could hear the seagulls cry early in the morning. Peaceful and relaxing. A nice break from the hectic city life I have back at home.

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Looking down from my room

Food – Rating: N/A

There are only two places where you can find food in this hotel: The Platz and Kunst Lounge.

The Platz is the hotel’s main restaurant. I was told that they serve international-style buffets, but I didn’t have the chance to try it. This is where breakfast will be served if your room package comes with it.

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The two-story restaurant has large floor-to-ceiling windows that provide an unobstructed view of the sea. This view, combined with the terraced seating, reminded me of a dining rooms on a cruise ship. During the day, the windows allowed plenty of light in which also help lit up the adjoining lobby.

Although I have not sampled their food, I would rate the restaurant 5 out of 5 just for the spectacular view.

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The other food establishment in the hotel is the Kunst Lounge. It is a small-ish cafe that serves light snacks and premium coffee. However, it doesn’t open till 10 am so I didn’t get to try it either. No coffee for the early birds like me 😦

Facilities – Rating: 4/5

Being a member of the Design Hotels, it is not surprising to find photo-worthy moments at every corner of the hotel. The hotel is designed in a minimalist, industrial style, which explains the extensive use of raw concrete.

I found this concept rather fresh as most of the hotels I have stayed tend to go for something warm and cozy. Although this is not a facility per se, it certainly is one of the key features of this property.

Art spaces everywhere

My favourite spot in this hotel has got to be the huge outdoor garden/patio. I had a quick morning jog around the hotel premises before work and it was refreshing. There were surprisingly many locals jogging along the river.

If you choose to jog along the river, you will see that the area around the hotel is full of natural grown reeds. Not only did the hotel decided to preserve these plants while building the hotel, the hotel even decorated their own patio with plants to blend in with its surroundings. How cool is that?

Day view v.s. Night view

Location – Rating: 3.5/5

If you’re just in Seoul on a short transit and you just want a place to rest, this hotel is perfect. The hotel is just a 10-minute drive from Incheon International Airport. There’s a free shuttle bus service that runs between the hotel and airport (Bus schedule here) which is really handy.

However, I wouldn’t recommend this hotel if you’re coming to Seoul on a holiday. The hotel is really remote. To get out of the hotel, you’ll have to either take the shuttle bus from the hotel, or the Incheon Airport Maglev from Yongyu Station (5-minute walk from the hotel) to first get to the airport. It is only there that you can find means of transportation to get to Seoul. You probably need to spend an hour or two on the trains just to get to town.

In addition to its remote location, the hotel is also isolated from all forms of commercial activities. There are no decent convenience store or coffee joint near the hotel. The nearest mini-mart is about 15 minutes from the hotel by foot. If you are staying in this hotel, I recommend that you stock up on your groceries at the airport before making your way to the hotel.

Alrighty, here’s some mesmerizing lights at the porch to end this post:

Address: 19-5 Yeongjonghaeannam-ro (Wunseo-dong), Jung-gu, Incheon Metropolitan City, 400-340

Tel: +82 32 743 9000

Website: http://www.nesthotel.co.kr/english/

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