Review: Grand Hyatt Incheon

On our return journey home from Vietnam which included a delightful stay at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc, we had a brief one-night stay in South Korea ahead of our Asiana Airlines A350 business class flight back to North America. Although we had hoped to have some time to explore Seoul during the day, the one-hour journey each way to and from Incheon Airport (ICN) made it impractical. Consequently, we opted to stay in close proximity to ICN for the sake of convenience.

Although this property has a lot more amenities than the standard run-of-the-mill airport hotel, its appeal is primarily geared towards overnight layovers thanks to its location. The surrounding area lacks much of anything noteworthy, limiting its suitability for extended stays as your home base while in South Korea.

Grand Hyatt Incheon offers an upscale take on the airport hotel experience, featuring all the amenities one could possibly need along with great service. This is my review of our overnight stay at Grand Hyatt Incheon, detailing everything you can anticipate during your visit.

Booking & Check-in

I booked a base level 1 King Bed room for one night, which came to $195 including all taxes. Although I usually redeem points for our accommodations, I prefer to reserve them for higher-end properties where their value can be maximized. This particular hotel falls under World of Hyatt Category 3 on their award chart, requiring 12,000 points per night, offering a reasonable redemption value, but not an extraordinary one. Therefore, I was satisfied just to pay the nightly cash rate and save my World of Hyatt points for some other properties I have my eye on.

To further enhance our stay, I utilized a soon-to-expire World of Hyatt Club Access Award. This upgrade would elevate us to a club level room in the West Tower of the hotel, providing access to the Grand Club on the 12th floor. In addition to the club access, this also included complimentary breakfast in the Grand Café in the morning.

Club Access Awards provide an excellent way to gain entry into Hyatt lounges, especially for individuals who are not Globalist members, as achieving Globalist status is a challenging process with no straightforward shortcuts. Complimentary access to Hyatt Club lounges is a perk only extended to top-tier World of Hyatt Globalist members.

Reaching World of Hyatt Globalist status requires completing 60 nights or earning 100,000 base points in a calendar year. However, through World of Hyatt’s Milestone Rewards, members can earn awards that extend some of the benefits associated with Globalist status, such as Club Access Awards and Guest of Honor privileges, to lower-tier members beginning at just 20 qualifying nights. This benefit extends with each subsequent set of 10 qualifying nights, reaching up to Globalist status and beyond.

The Grand Hyatt Incheon is a sprawling hotel (1,000-plus rooms) with two separate towers: the East Tower and the more recently constructed (and much nicer) West Tower, linked by a long sky-bridge. Consequently, each of the two towers features its own distinct amenities, including a pool, fitness center, club lounge, and more. Nevertheless, nearly all of the facilities in the East Tower were closed during our visit as we were staying during a low period for occupancy. Therefore, for added convenience, I suggest booking a room in the West Tower.

The lobbies are spacious and well-lit, boasting high ceilings and a ton of seating areas. I was pleasantly surprised by the overall elegance of the surroundings. Upon first glance, it was evident that this is a departure from the usual airport hotel experience.

We arrived at the hotel after midnight and check-in was completed within a few minutes. I was thanked for my World of Hyatt loyalty and we were promptly assigned room 1204 in the West Tower.

Location

Grand Hyatt Incheon is located just minutes from Incheon International Airport, surrounded predominantly by other airport hotels and administrative buildings related to airport operations and airlines. While the hotel provides a complimentary shuttle service, if you arrive or depart outside the shuttle’s operational hours, the hotel is still easily accessible, with only a 10-minute walk from Incheon Airport Terminal 1.

There are two Metro stations within walking distance as well as a small shopping center which has a few restaurants. Though, given our short layover time, and that we had just come from the beautiful weather on Phu Quoc to a snowstorm in Seoul, we weren’t inclined to venture very far. 

Parking

Valet private parking is available starting at 25,000 KRW ($25.50 CAD) and maxing out at 36,000 ($37 CAD) per night. 

Complimentary self-service parking is available to all registered guests of the hotel.

Room – 1 King Bed with Club Access West Tower

The rooms at the Grand Hyatt Incheon are modern and spacious, and our 12th-floor room provided some excellent views of the bustling activity at Incheon International.

Upon entering and proceeding past the closet area and bathroom entrance into the main area of the room, there was a king-sized bed with a nightstand on each side. Above each nightstand were two wall outlets and several switches to control the room’s lighting. Also, conveniently located next to the bed were the in-room temperature controls. 

Across from the bed was a large flat screen TV along with a desk and chair.

We enjoyed the excellent views from our room on the top floor, watching planes take off and land at ICN through the expansive windows.

The mini bar and coffee area as well as the closet are located near the entrance of the room, while the bathroom is situated across from them.

The room did not include a coffee maker; instead, it had a kettle and some instant coffee packets, along with a teapot and various tea selections. Directly below this was the in-room refrigerator. Although the lack of a coffee maker was kind of unexpected, the Grand Club, located just a short stroll down the hallway, had coffee available throughout the day.

Beside the mini bar and coffee area is the closet. Inside the closet was a bathrobe and a few pairs of slippers along with an iron and ironing board. Located inside one of the drawers was the in-room safe. 

Across from the closet is the entrance to the bathroom. While it only featured a single vanity, there was plenty of counter space. Directly beside the vanity is a large walk-in shower that includes a rainfall shower head as well as a tub. 

Of course, no luxury hotel in South Korea is complete without an ultra high-tech toilet equipped with all the bells and whistles one could possibly need. The toilet includes a heated seat and a comprehensive range of spraying and drying functions. After completing its cycle, it automatically flushes and serenades you with a cheerful jingle.

Overall, our room was spacious and comfortable and had all the amenities we required during our quick one-night stay. The rooms in the more recently built West Tower are modern and clean, and I particularly enjoyed the airport views from our room. 

Restaurants & Bars

Grand Hyatt Incheon has five unique dining and bar establishments. Due to only being at the hotel for one night, the only dining location we visited was the Grand Café for breakfast.

All of the dining menus, including the room service menu can be viewed here.

World of Hyatt Globalist & Grand Club Guest Complimentary Breakfast

The Grand Café is open exclusively to World of Hyatt Globalist members or lower status guests that are staying in a Grand Club level room. A daily breakfast and evening cocktail hour are served in the Grand Café.

The breakfast spread was an extensive buffet of both Korean and North American fare along with a made-to-order egg station. Cold items that were available included fruit, yogurt, salads, meats, and cheeses.

More cold items included cereals, and a nice variety of breads and pastries including croissants, danishes, cakes and bread pudding. 

Hot items included baked beans, bacon, sausages, poached chicken, porridge, grilled vegetables, grilled potatoes and a couple of soups.

As for beverages, there were several juices along with coffee and tea.

Finally, there were several jars filled with candies and sweets, which we saw as a chance to grab some snacks for our upcoming flight.

Much like every breakfast we had on our trip through Southeast Asia, the Grand Hyatt Incheon offered a diverse array of food, providing an excellent beginning to our day. The service at the Grand Café was mostly self-serve, except for the egg station, and while there isn’t much to elaborate on, every staff member we encountered, both in the café and across the property, was friendly and helpful.

Restaurant 8

As I mentioned earlier, we didn’t have time to dine at any of the on-site restaurants. However, there were some intriguing options that I thought might merit a visit if we had more time on our hands. The property’s signature dining venue Restaurant 8 is a unique dining concept featuring eight distinctive restaurants in one: Café, Cucina, Noodle, Grill, Sushi, Yakitori, Deli and Desserts. Restaurant 8 is also where breakfast is served for guests that do not have access to the Grand Café.

Swell Lounge & Vy Bar and Karaoke

The rest of the bars and lounges were either closed for the season or not open until later in the evening. Swell Bar serves coffee and light meals throughout the afternoon and transitions into a cocktail bar in the evening. Vy Bar and Karaoke offers a unique drink selection and sophisticated design blended with a state-of-the-art lighting and Karaoke sound system

Facilities

The two towers at Grand Hyatt Incheon essentially mirror each other, as each tower has its own reception lobby, club lounge, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, etc. However, because we were visiting during the low season, all of the facilities in the East Tower were closed. All of the facilities in the West Tower are modern, well-appointed, and included everything we needed during our stay. 

Grand Club

The Grand Club lounge is a rather underutilized lounge space compared to others that I have visited, as both the morning and evening food services are served in the Grand Café. As a result, the Grand Club just serves a light afternoon tea service that includes some snacks and refreshments throughout the day. As well, it offers a quiet place to sit and perhaps get some work done while enjoying the sweeping views overlooking Incheon International. 

Available all day is coffee, soda, juice, water and some cookies. 

The afternoon tea service consisted of eight different types of tea and some additional food items, which only amounted to some pastries, pretzels, chips, and candy.

Although the food choices at the Grand Club left me slightly underwhelmed, it did offer a pleasant environment for me to work on my laptop for a bit. Furthermore, I liked the convenience of the lounge having a staffed desk for Club members to quickly check-out, bypassing any lines in the lobby.

Fitness Center

The fitness facility was generously spacious, befitting a hotel of this size, outfitted with all the equipment one would anticipate at a high-end property. There was a long row of treadmills and stationary bikes lined up along the windows overlooking the outdoor terrace.

Additionally, there were around a dozen weight machines, a couple of rowing machines, and various free weights. While the weight machines appeared to be a bit dated, everything worked well and appeared to be maintained and in good condition. 

Pool

Each tower features an almost identical indoor swimming pool facility. A long skylight stretches across the pool’s length, with loungers flanking either side. Additionally, three cabanas are situated at the far end of the pool.

Even though the indoor pool in the East Tower is currently not open for the season, I did manage to sneak in and take some pictures. It features the same glass panels as in the West Tower pool that invite ample natural light. Additionally, the pool deck is adorned with plenty of loungers and daybeds for guests to enjoy.

Spa

I didn’t get the chance to check out the spa during our stay.  Nevertheless, considering the high standard of the rest of the hotel’s other facilities, I imagine the spa to be equally impressive. 

You can view the spa menu here.

Amenities

Complimentary Airport Shuttle Service

Grand Hyatt Incheon offers a complimentary shuttle service operating from 5:30 am to 10:30 pm every day, providing departures every 30 minutes between the hotel and Incheon International Airport.

Free shuttle bus at the Grand Hyatt Incheon

Conclusion

Despite the availability of more budget-friendly choices for a single-night stopover at ICN, the excellent property amenities, combined with a comfortable and contemporary room, justified the slightly higher price for us.

Factoring in all of that, combined with its convenient location, welcoming staff, and an outstanding breakfast in the Grand Café, this property provided everything that we needed during our brief layover. In fact, it far exceeds the typical offerings of a hotel primarily focused on airport accommodations.

Jeff Jamieson

Jeff Jamieson

Contributor at Frugal Flyer
Jeff stepped into the ring of points and miles in 2018, this was during his first trip to Italy where he had only just dipped his toe into what was possible with loyalty programs. After eating pizza twice a day for two weeks straight and taking in all that Tuscany of Rome had to offer he knew he was hooked on “la dolce vita” of points and miles. Always fascinated with aviation, Jeff obtained his Private Pilot’s License in 2006. Now he fuels his affection for travel and aviation by seeking out new strategies while building upon existing opportunities along with the help of his close circle of fellow travel enthusiasts.

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