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T+L Reports: Cool in Korea

In Seoul, a city notorious for its indecipherable urban layout, there's a certain comfort that comes from checking in to a hotel with a familiar feel. The pod chairs, the whatever/whenever concierges, the living-room-style lobby—such W Hotel signatures are a welcome relief from the frenetic pace of this neon-lit Tokyo-on-a-budget metropolis. Set in the Walker Hill development—home to Seoul's only casino—Asia's first W is a slightly surreal pileup of high-tech Zen and Las Vegas theatrics. The 253 rooms, for instance, come in four varieties: Scent (outfitted for aromatherapy), Media (with an interactive art display), Spa (tubs looking out at the river), and Wonderful (standard rooms with water or mountain views). The hotel's WooBar has all the trappings of a jet-set hangout, with DJ's and multimedia installations, while the vast Away Spa—50,000 square feet, 21 treatment rooms—will have the city's traditional bathhouses scrambling for a Reiki expert. (21 Gwangjang-Dong, Gwangjin-Gu, Seoul; 877/946-8357 or 82-2/465-2222; www.whotels.com)
—Luke Barr

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