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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Review: RYSE Autograph Collection – where style meets hospitality

Hongdae is always full of youthful energy

During my visit to Korea in 2022, I wanted to go for a night out on my last day.

Typically, I’m a huge fan of Itaewon (and I can only fit in with that age group now sadly πŸ˜‚)

Highly recommend watching Itaewon Class if you haven’t watched yet!

but due to the Halloween tragedy that happened in Itaewon, I had no choice but to hangout in Hongdae instead.

Since the nightlife in Seoul continues until almost sunrise, I decided to stay the night in Hongdae so I could retire to bed immediately when the night is over.

That’s when I came across RYSE Autograph Collection, a boutique-oriented brand under the Marriott umbrella.

Booking (Nov 2022)

I was able to book a standard king room for around 220,000KRW.

The travel industry had not fully recovered yet from covid during this time, allowing me to secure this rate.

But as of 2024, the rooms typically hover around 300,000-400,000 KRW.

Location

The hotel is located just 3-minute walk from Hongik University subway station.

This not only gives guests easy access to subway line 2 but also provides a direct transit option to Incheon International Airport via the airport railway.

Hongdae is known for its youthful energy and artistic culture.

The area is filled with cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it a must-visit spot for touristsβ€”even if you’re not a party-goer like me.

Lobby & Check-in

Entrance

There are two entrances to the building, but you’ll most likely enter from the front.

The entrance a like a typical corporate office building, an average pedestrian probably wouldn’t recognize it as a hotel.

Main Entrance – RYSE Autograph Collection

Ground Floor Lobby

Unlike its boring exterior look, stepping inside felt like entering an art department on a university campus.

You’re greeted with chich lighting, artsy designs on the walls, and a cozy coffee shop called Blue Bottle Coffee.

While there is a small service desk, the actual check-in takes place on the third floor.

Check-In Lobby

The check in area was quite unique, and I’d describe it as “common area in a funky library”

Several shelves placed around the area showcased books, magazines, and vinyl records.

The check-in process was very smooth.

I had originally booked a standard king room (Creator Room) but was upgraded to a Director Suite via suite-talking technique beforehand.

Room (Director Suite)

Despite not having a separate living room, the room was quite spacious for Seoul standard (although this size might just be a deluxe room in the western countries).

Foyer

Walking into the room, there’s a foyer with an open closet on the left and a super long wall-mounted shelf.

Foyer – RYSE Autograph Collection

Welcome Gift

Stepping into the bedroom, I noticed a generous welcome gift from the hotel.

It was a bottle of wine and a snack called Brittle, which tasted like a caramelized Dalgona cracker(?)

Generous Welcome Gift

In addition to the welcome gift, there was a Korean traditional game called Gonggi.

As it was my favorite childhood game, it was quite nostalgic to find a set of Gonggi at the hotel.

I spent a good 5 minutes playing it by myself before checking out the bed lol.

Gongginori – maybe they’ll play this in Squid Games Season 2?

Bed

The king size bed was quite simple with a leather padded headboard.

There were nightstands on both sides of the bed, equipped with full light controls and power outlets.

Interestingly, on the left nightstand, there was a pair of facial masks (with a nice touch phrase “Ryse and Shine”), reminding me that I need to do beauty care while in Korea. πŸ˜†

View

Facing south, I could see the Han River on the horizon, although the view was somewhat obscured by Seoul’s smoky air.

Closet Area

Next to the bathroom, there’s a open concept closet featuring a pair of custom bathrobes designed exclusively for the hotel by the streetwear brand IISE.

Two drawers at the bottom of the closet contain a safety deposit box, a laundry bag, and flip-flops. (I’m not quite sure why they provide flip-flops as there is no pool in this hotel)

Mini bar

Next to the closet is a shelf with a Bluetooth speaker, coffee, tea, and a fridge.

Unlike a typical hotel, it features an electric kettle with pour-over coffee packets instead of a coffee machine or a Nespresso.

I preferred this setup since I usually avoid using in-room coffee machines due to concerns about their cleanliness.

Desk Area

Surprisingly there was no desk. (I literally realized this while writing this review πŸ˜…)

Bathroom

The terrazzo-tiled bathroom, with its glass door design, was spacious enough for two people to move around comfortably. (Although I wished they had made the toilet door at least opaque glass)

There was a small bathtub, seemingly designed for a half-body bath.

The toiletries were provided in communal bottles without any indication of the brand.

I’m usually not picky with these so I went ahead and used them.

They were easy on my skin and had a pleasant floral scent.

One generous touch in the bathroom was the amenity kit, which came in a pouch that you could take home if you wanted.

(or maybe it was to impress Ajummas who always take them anyway?πŸ€”)

Breakfast

The breakfast is served in the CHARR restaurant located on the 4th floor.

It’s serve from 7 AM to 11 AM daily, complimentary for Marriott Bonvoy Platinum elite members and above.

The restaurant was quite small, which explained why I was informed to arrive before 9 AM to avoid the crowd.

The restaurant offers a buffet-style breakfast, featuring a well-balanced mix of Korean dishes and Western plates.

Despite the restaurant’s small size, the variety of dishes was quite impressive.

I’d never skip breakfast if every hotel served it like this.

Amenities

Gym

RYSE hotel doesn’t have a pool but has a 24-hour gym located on the 4th floor.

The gym is quite compact, but has decent array of equipments.

It doesn’t carry any weight machines, but it has a full set of free weights, bench press, and a smith machine. (I actually prefer this setup as it allows me to complete all my workouts effectively.)

Co-working Space

On the fifth floor, you’ll find RYSE Space, a co-working space with an industrial vibe.

This area offers diverse seating choices like desks, round tables, sofas, and meeting rooms, making it a perfect place to work, chill, and relax.

This is probably to compensate the absence of a desk in guest rooms.

Interestingly, there were also two arcade machines for guests to enjoy.

They had a huge database of games, including some classics I used to play in front of a stationary store during my childhood.

It was a another wonderful trip down memory lane in addition to the Gonggi from my room.

Anyone played King of Fighters? πŸ˜†

Final Thoughts

RYSE, Autograph Collection, is nestled in the heart of Hongdae, a vibrant district in Seoul known for its cutting-edge fashion, music, art, and food scenes.

Despite being part of the traditional Marriott brand,

the hotel did a very good job displaying its unique personality, proving that hospitality can be both stylish and characterful.

I highly recommend RYSE Hotel when visiting Seoul; it’s an experience that will leave you enchanted by its distinctive charm and attention to detail.

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During my visit to Korea in 2022, I wanted to go for a night out on my last day. Typically, I'm a huge fan of Itaewon (and I can only fit in with that age group now sadly πŸ˜‚) Highly recommend watching Itaewon Class if you...Review: RYSE Autograph Collection - where style meets hospitality