Not really a problem, since the subway is connected, as is a huge shopping mall with ample F&B options. The hotel itself is 5 starred and international enough for our taste.
The second time we went to Seoul though, Frits had to choose a hotel near the office of his client, which brought us to the Stanford Hotel in Digital Media City.
|See the four girls on the square? The low rise building behind them was our hotel: the Stanford Hotel.|
That hotel lies near the World Cup Park (yes, every Seoulite knows the dutch soccer coach Guus Hiddink, who is considered nothing less then a hero here;-)) in the brand-new neighborhood DMC aka Digital Media City.
|Map of the neighborhood.
The DMC area lies on the extreme left side of Seoul, not far from the river. As you can see there is a large green patch between DMC and the river (that we did not get to explore). I read that it is a nice walking area.
Even more far out then our previous location, The Conrad Hotel, with way less shopping and F&B possibilities and a further away, less convenient subway station.
|Although there may not be much around, there ARE places to get coffee (there even is a Starbucks not too far from the hotel) and to grab a bite. There also is a cinema in the area, in case you get bored;-).|
|Neighborhood postoffice where I dropped of my snail mail.|
But at least there IS that DMC subway station and there is also a railway station from the Airport Railroad.
|I froze my butt of while waiting for a train here!|
Having all the time of the world, I know that I will get wherever I want to get somehow, so I was not upset about this location, but on the other hand I did not expect a whole lot of it.
The hotel brands itself as international, but is in fact pretty basic and ‘asian’. It’s ok enough though.
The neighborhood however was a nice surprise. It is still being build, with parts that are finished and in operation and parts that are under development or even still in a planning phase.
|Lots of cool architecture!|
Due to all the ongoing constructions, there are a lot of construction fences. Not just any fences, no! Wonderful Surprising Art Fences. They deserve a blogpost of there own, so stay tuned for more to come!
|Even while it is freezing, people use the benches. The fence is macrame-themed with real macrame on it; so cool!|
Back to DMC:
If you like contemporary architecture, media, art (in particular outdoor sculptures) and glass this is the neighborhood for you.
It is an ideal area to explore by foot or by bike. I mainly walked.
There is a lot of pedestrian space, special traffic-free footpaths, bike paths and self-serviced bike rental is provided.
|What a great way to stall your bike, in a giant curl.|
|Pay at the machine and take a bike e.g. for an hour.|
|Pedestrian path parallel to the main road, behind the first line of buildings. Brilliant idea; really peaceful.|
Benches are everywhere, so I think that in warmer weather (it even snowed while I was there) it is a nice place to people-watch and chill.
Shall we have a walk around and look at the architecture and art?
|My favorite building in the area. Shame on the ugly Mc-something banner, spoiling the futuristic look.|
|Spectacular, right? It was not in use yet; they were working on it.|
|What does it look like to you? I thought of a zeppelin, a spaceship, an egg and a torpedo.|
|A building with a peculiar annex.|
|Closer look at the annex.|
|Under construction, but already promising, with all the graphical lines.|
|Different, residential style.|
Korea has a law (the Art Decoration Law) that says that office buildings and public spaces are obliged to spend 0.7 percent of their construction cost on public art, and that shows, because there is art and sculptures everywhere!!!
|I love this art work! Lit up beautifully at night.|
|Art from the same ‘family’ as the one from above.|
|Way larger then life, in case you did not get the scale of it.|
|Also lit up at night.|
|Loving this one, because of the use of all sorts of industrial, mechanical parts to build the bull and rider.|
|Look at those skates!|
|As I said before: they seem to like silver mirroring balls art in Korea, since I saw several of them. This one worked well on this location.|
|See me in the bottom ball?|
|Don’t know what it means, but it looks fun to me.|
At night, many of the buildings, outdoor screens and art are beautifully lit up, worth another walk;-).
|Was hard to focus. Sorry for the blurry image.|
We visited several of the buildings like the Korean Film Archive and DMC Gallery. They will be featured in separate blogposts.
So what I expected to be an utterly boring, ugly area, turned out to be not bad at all.
The Art Fences definitely were the highlight. Believe me, you will be amazed!
You don’t believe me? You want a teaser? No problem; here goes:
And there’s more, much more. Believe me!
Have you been to DMC? Why were you there and what did you think of this neighborhood?
And if not, is it an area that appeals to you?