Sheraton Incheon Hotel: Review

With a significant layover in Seoul recently, I decided to find a hotel where I could get some sleep. Not knowing much about Seoul, I looked for hotels that advertised themselves as close to the airport or having an airport shuttle. There were two hotels at the airport, a Hyatt and a Best Western and both were very expensive. I found the Sheraton Incheon for a reasonable price and decided to book it. I tried several times to call the hotel and arrange for the airport shuttle, but wasn’t able to get through. So upon arriving in Seoul, I got a taxi and the driver informed me that it would be a 30 min drive and $80! Whoa, I was not expecting an $80 cab ride. I had no other way to get to the hotel, so I had to take the cab. I told him I had $60 USD and asked if he would take that, he agreed. So apparently, it’s okay to negotiate and people like US dollars.

The hotel opened in 2009 and is the only all non-smoking 5-star hotel is South Korea. The lobby is large and modern. There is a Sheraton Link, a lobby bar and buffet restaurant on the first floor. I arrived at 7am after a red-eye flight. I used my “Your 24” SPG benefit to ensure I could check in early. I was told I had been upgraded to an Executive floor room, but was told that breakfast wasn’t included for that day, but I could have breakfast the following day. I explained that I was checking out around 5pm and asked if I could have breakfast, but they said no.

Since I didn’t sleep on my flight, I was looking forward to getting some rest. I made my way to the Executive floor and into my room. It was quite large and very modern. There was an electric control panel with a button for everything including all the lights, the stereo, and air/heat. I had a plate of fruit and a bottle of wine waiting for me in the room. It was a very nice touch, and I appreciated the fruit, but the wine was lost on me at 7am.

The bathroom was huge and included a soaking tub with bath salts, a shower and separate dressing area. My room had a king sized bed and lots of fluffy pillows. There was a large screen TV, a working desk and couch and chair in the room. After taking a nap, I decided to grab some lunch in the restaurant.

The restaurant in the lobby only serves a buffet, so I sat at the bar and ordered from their “snack” menu. I really had no idea what the exchange rate was, but I figured it would be typical hotel prices. I ordered a soda which came in a 6 oz can and chicken skewers, there were 6. The soda cost $6 plus tax and the skewers, off the “snack” menu cost $40! I was shocked when I saw the bill.

After lunch I arranged for the hotel shuttle. It turns out that the shuttle is actually a Korean Air Lines shuttle bus that stops at several hotels and other stops. The ride is about 40 minutes, but only cost $7.

I only spent ½ day at the Sheraton Incheon, but it was a very nice and welcoming hotel. I don’t think I’d choose to stay there again on a layover given the distance from the airport – the name of the hotel is deceptive – but I would stay there if I had business in the area.

 

6 Comments on "Sheraton Incheon Hotel: Review"

  1. Taxi ride should have cost you around $35~45 for regular, $40~60 for deluxe on meter.
    It’s well-explained on their official website.
    //www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/area/transportation.html?propertyID=3342

    Also, Full-size lunch buffet would have cost you around $50~55 total. Snack menu at the bar is over-priced to take an advantage of drunk people.

    Personally, I don’t recommend Sheraton Incheon nor Hyatt Regency Inchoen. Both are over-rated and extremely over-priced considering where they are located.
    Might better off w/ Incheon Airport Transit hotel, located inside of ICN, for 6 hours or less stay. //www.airgardenhotel.com/english/index.php

    Hope you get better layover-stay in Korea next time.

  2. Stacey, I think you got cheated with your cab fare unless it was a black taxi cab. Do you remember what color cab you took? My fares to/from Incheon Airport to Seoul is around $90-$100 USD and that’s almost a 1-1.5 hr ride depending on traffic.

  3. Also, I hope this experience doesn’t give you a bad image of Korea. I go there almost every year since I’m Korean and have a lot of family there. The fact that you paid $40 USD for a skewer snack and can of coke is ridiculous. Korean food tastes amazing which is why a lot of Americans have been getting into it lately, it’s also very affordable!

  4. I think $60 is reasonable cab fare to Sheraton Incheon, because it’s within the same city so taxi driver has to turn on the meter, and for 30 min ride can go up to $60. But if you are going to seoul then they don’t turn on the meter and just charge you flat rate.

  5. I stayed in the MCL hotel in Yeosu. Curiously Internet was free but looked like use of a tea bag or coffee in the room would cost $6 USD. On the way I stayed in a mid range typical business hotel in Seoul. Dreary all round. Was surpized, but perhaps should not have been, to find a sign by the bed offering concierge help arranging in room massage. Hmm… I did like the south of Korea and the Korean people, but did not find much of interest as I passed through Seoul.

  6. @Jimgotkp – It was a black mini-van. Yes, it seems I got ripped off! Gonna chock it up to jet lag 🙂

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