Mini break in Seoul
After a week of meetings in Seoul, Nick invites girlfriend Maya to join him for a luxurious weekend of shopping, gastronomy and sightseeing.
My last business trip to Seoul lasted an entire week. Needless to say, Maya was not thrilled at the idea of being apart from yours truly for so long. To make it up to her, I checked out what to do in Seoul, then informed the new Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan that they could extend my stay until Sunday and prepare the room for two!
I’m afraid my good intentions were initially marred by poor planning. I’d been so excited about surprising Maya with a weekend in Seoul that I hadn’t actually allowed her enough time to pack and organise. Which meant bad vibes and sulking when I met her at the airport at the prospect of having to show up to luxury restaurants in Seoul without reservations in jeans and sneakers.
The frown turned into a smile as soon as Maya saw our room. Thanks to my Accor Plus card, I had more than enough Rewards points to upgrade our category. She doesn’t get to do this very often, work keeps her close to home, so I wanted to make this extra-special for her. Her smile got even bigger when I took her to Times Square Mall, one of the best places for shopping in Seoul, where she bought everything she would need (and probably a few things she wouldn’t) for our weekend getaway.
Saturday was spent sightseeing, which would normally involve more shopping. However, Maya had embraced her wanderlust and dragged me straight on a tour of the city’s many palaces. I was reminded of how much I love to travel with her, seeing new places through her eyes. Frequent flying has made me blasé. I’ve seen some amazing sights on the way to various business meetings, but rarely visit or appreciate them. Maya always likes to do her research beforehand. The fact that I didn’t give her time to do so didn’t prevent her from using her smartphone to provide juicy commentary throughout our explorations.
We were glad to have sneakers on for our long day out, and even more so to peel them off back at the hotel. After a quick dip in the pool, followed by a long leisurely shower, we were ready to hit the town – so to speak. With our feet aching from our extensive tour, we didn’t go far, taking full advantage of our prime location within Seoul Dragon City – an immense hotel and entertainment complex that boasts some of the best bars, restaurants and clubs in Seoul in its Sky Kingdom.
On Sunday we decided to take it easy. Breakfast in bed, yoga, a heavenly foot massage... We’d enjoyed a fantastic Korean BBQ the night before so we decided to go French for lunch. My Accor Plus card let us splash out more than usual, which may have led to me mentioning that I wished all my business trips could be so enjoyable. Oops, I think I’ve set myself up for high expectations in the future!