The Last Aeroplan Hurrah: Hyatt Regency Incheon Airport

Introduction
United Global First Lounge San Francisco
Lufthansa First Class San Francisco to Munich
Le Meridien Munich
Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich, Swiss Business Class Munich to Zurich
Swiss First Class Lounge Zurich, Swiss First Class Zurich to Bangkok
St. Regis Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
Ritz Carlton Hong Kong
Exploring Hong Kong
United Club Hong Kong and Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge Hong Kong
Asiana Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon
Hyatt Regency Incheon Airport
Asiana First Class Lounge Seoul Incheon
Asiana First Class Seoul Incheon to Frankfurt
Sheraton Frankfurt Airport
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt, Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Seattle
Four Seasons Seattle


Overnights at Incheon are always a toughie for me. On one hand I like to go into the city whenever possible, and the Park Hyatt Seoul is nothing short of spectacular.

Unfortunately it really is a haul from Incheon Airport to the city, though. The first time I visited (maybe five years ago) my dad and I made the mistake of taking a cab from the airport to the city, not realizing how far it was and how expensive cabs are in Seoul. It cost us close to $200USD.

Given that we were landing at 5:50PM and that customs can take a while, I figured it would be 6:30PM before we’d be out of the airport. Then it’s another 90 minute bus ride to the Park Hyatt, so we would have made it there at 8PM. Our flight the following day was at 12PM, so we would have had to leave by about 8AM. I decided it wasn’t worth it, so we just booked the Hyatt Regency Incheon Airport. I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Incheon two years ago, so feel free to check out that review.

While revenue rates at the Hyatt Regency Incheon Airport are regularly upwards of $250USD per night, it’s only a category two hotel, making it 8,000 points per night. So just like last time I decided to use points for the stay.

The shuttle runs to and from the airport every 20 minutes, and we just happened to catch it right as we made it to the outside of the airport. The hotel is only about a five minute drive away, so we were there in no time. We seemed to be the only ones on the bus that weren’t Korean Air pilots.


Bus

Once in the lobby we headed straight for check-in, where a friendly agent helped us in no time.


Lobby


Lobby

At check-in I asked about the possibility of an upgrade to a deluxe room, which is basically a triangular room that’s a lot more spacious. I had been upgraded to it last time, though apparently the hotel was fully committed this time around.

Anyway, we were assigned a room on the 12th floor.


Hallway


Room

The room was a decent size, especially for South Korea, with a bed, large table with two chairs, and seat with ottoman. It’s worth noting though that the bed was really firm. I mean REALLY firm. Like, I’m pretty sure the Flinstones have more comfortable beds in Bedrock.


Room

I was happy to see that they finally upgraded the TVs to flat screens since my last stay.


Room


Desk


Seat and ottoman

There’s really nothing other than the airport in the hotel’s vicinity, so our view was of construction and the airport in the distance.


View from our room


View from our room

One thing this hotel deserves a lot of credit for is their Diamond amenity. Diamond members are supposed to get a food and beverage amenity at international properties, and many properties are really cheap about the amenities. The Hyatt Regency Incheon, on the other hand, offers a bottle of wine, a box of pralines, and some fruit. Compare that to the Hyatt Regency Mainz, which offers just four rotten apples, or the Grand Hyatt Bali, which offers a bowl of fruit (otherwise those are two fantastic hotels, but that’s one area in which they lag).


Diamond welcome amenity

The bathroom was separated from the bedroom by glass, though it had blinds that could be adjusted for privacy. There was a shower/tub as well as sink and toilet.


Shower


Sink


Toilet

The Regency Club is located on the 11th floor, and the facilities and food spread are actually reasonably nice. The issue is that the lounge is overcrowded and understaffed, so it’s not really a nice place to relax or get any work done. I think the main issue is that aside from the hotel restaurant there’s nowhere to eat in the vicinity, so just about everyone was trying to make dinner of the club lounge spread. As soon as a new dish was brought out, all of it was gone within a matter of minutes.


Regency Club


Regency Club


Self serve wine selection

The spread was pretty decent consisting of sushi, fruit, nuts, chips, cheese, meats, etc.


Evening spread


Evening spread


Evening spread

I think the lounge can best be summed up by a maybe eight year old boy that was in the Regency Club. He stood in front of the spread and then asked the waiter “where’s the dinner food?” No “dinner food” here!

Would I return? I dunno, I guess if I had to. Frankly in the future I’d try to schedule a stopover long enough so that I could comfortably go into the city (ideally for at least two days). Other than that I’d try to avoid an overnight in Incheon as much as possible, since there’s not really anything to do around the hotel. I’d rather have a 10 hour layover during the day, as Incheon Airport actually has some airside transit hotels that are convenient and fairly nice. And you can’t beat not having to leave security during your layover. Just for comparison purposes, here’s a picture of the transit hotel room I rented for eight hours at Incheon Airport about five years ago:

You can’t beat not having to leave security!

Comments

  1. Pegasus says

    I just stayed here during a long layover. I gave the bottle of wine to the shuttle driver and I think I made his day based on his facial expression. Not bad for 8k points as you said.

  2. says

    Cabs are cheap in Seoul – ICN to the city should be 40 to 50 bucks.

    The new subway to the airport is quite nice and operates early enough to make an 8am. I seem to remember it taking something like 40 minutes from Hongdae, slightly longer from the center. Faster than Tokyo->NRT, for sure.

  3. lucky says

    @ Pegasus — Hah, great idea. I don’t really drink so I’m always torn as to what to do with the bottle of wine. Usually I just leave it in the room, though I’d love to put it to better use.

    @ Kevin — Hmmm, then either I’m going crazy or we got screwed. While the 40 minute ride does sound faster, there’s still the time waiting for the subway and also getting from the hotel to the subway, so in this instance I still think it probably wasn’t worth going into the city. Have to plan a longer layover next time!

  4. NYCWahoo says

    I stayed at this property and as usual, almost exact review as Lucky. I had a long/interesting conversation w/ an American pilot working for Korean Air. Taxi: Lucky, you took a “Black Taxi” which is more luxury. Next time I am going to stay at one of hotels in the westside of the city which will take max an hour to get there.

  5. Mac says

    We’ve got the same dilemma next month. With a 4p arrival into ICN and a 8:20am flight the next day which would you choose? I’m a Hyatt Diamond and have booked a room using points, but now after reading this review I’m not sure. Not enought time to visit the city so that leaves the transit hotel or the Hyatt.

    The transit hotel runs ~$115 for 12 hrs, but we could land, visit the lounge and then crash at like 7p. Then go straight to the plane at 7a. Do you think this is a better plan than the Hyatt?

  6. lucky says

    @ Mac — That’s a toughie. I’d say 16 hours is a bit too long of a layover for the transit hotel. At the end of the day the rooms are really small and I suspect you’ll feel rather “trapped” in the terminal, so I’d go with the Hyatt. If you landed at 8PM or later I’d say go for the transit hotel, as I suspect a 12 hour layover is about my tolerance for that. Also, how do you plan on accessing the lounge? Keep in mind that if it’s based on your ticket, you’re only typically allowed in with a same day departing boarding pass, so you may be out of luck.

  7. Darren says

    This hotel certainly seems like a good place to crash for a night before catching a mid day flight the next day. Especially if your inbound flight is a red-eye. I wouldn’t like to stay in one of the lounges for more than 6 hours. Did you manage to get some comfortable sleep lucky? Mabe it would have been better if you had slept on the floor with one of those Cathay duvets. Too bad they don’t let you take them or even buy them.

  8. Darren says

    This hotel certainly seems like a good place to crash for a night before catching a mid day flight the next day. Especially if your inbound flight is a red-eye. Did you manage to get some comfortable sleep lucky? Mabe it would have been better if you had slept on the floor with one of those Cathay duvets. Too bad they don’t let you take them or even buy them.

  9. lucky says

    @ Darren — The sleep would have been a lot more comfortable if the bed weren’t so hard! But definitely a comfortable place to sleep nonetheless!

  10. orlando says

    Need help. Arriving at incheon by 5am and need to have a 12 hour layover to catch my next flight around 445pm.

    Any advice. I want to save cause i cannot afford to pay for a hotel.

    How much is this spa on air for? I dont mind sharing as long as it is safe and comfortable. thanks

  11. lucky says

    @ orlando — A dayroom at one of the airside transit hotels would be maybe $60 for the 12 hour block, so I might consider that if it’s within your budget.

  12. Asya says

    We just stayed over at this hotel last night. Not *all* the rooms have the upgraded flat panel TVs – ours still has the big old fashioned TV (it was the first thing I noticed!)

    The pleasant surprise was the same amenity that you got (even though I’m at Platinum with Hyatt right now).

  13. says

    Just arrived at the hotel — got the same amenity (sans wine) without status (my Platinum expired yesterday).

    But you’re right about nothing to do around here — flight landed 6pm, I was at the hotel at 7pm, but my flight tomorrow is at 9am so difficult to justify going into the city. The only thing to do around the hotel is to take the shuttle back to the airport and check out stuff pre-security.

  14. drew says

    Will be staying here on our way to S. Africa next december/january and i agree with you in terms of not having enough feasible time to go into the city and do the park hyatt. Given that there is not much around the area, do you feel it is worth it to upgrade the extra 4K points to get club access?

  15. says

    @ drew — That’s a toughie. Assuming it’s two people I would probably say yes. I value 4,000 points at $60, and that seems like a reasonable premium for evening snacks and drinks and then breakfast in the club lounge.

  16. Jay says

    http://www.intltaxi.co.kr/en/rates.html

    After I read $200 I knew for sure you were conned lol I am new to your blog, so reading things as I find them, reading your recent taxi woes it seems like being a target for con men is nothing new. When you are in Singapore next MSG me, I shall counsel you on the finer points of avoiding bullshit. :)

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