Review: Nest Hotel Incheon Airport

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Introduction: Journey To Kazakhstan
Review: Korean Air First Class 747-8 Vancouver To Incheon
Review: Nest Hotel Incheon Airport
Review: Asiana Business Class Lounge Incheon Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class 767 Incheon To Almaty
Review: Ritz-Carlton Almaty
Review: Air Astana Lounge Almaty Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class A321 Almaty To Astana
Review: Marriott Astana
Review: Air Astana Lounge Astana Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class 757 Astana To London
Review: Sofitel London Heathrow Terminal 5
Review: United Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: Singapore Airlines Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: United First Class 777 London To Los Angeles


My flight from Vancouver arrived at 5:35PM, while my flight to Almaty the next day was at 12:55PM. Initially when I booked this trip I was going to stay at the Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport, which is a nice enough airport hotel. I thought that would be the only decent option, though when I looked at Starwood’s website I noticed that Nest Hotel was near Incheon Airport, which is a Design Hotels property.

Design Hotels isn’t fully integrated into Starwood, but rather Starwood just has a marketing partnership with them. This means you don’t receive full elite benefits at Design Hotels. Instead you get the following perks:

  • SPG members receive high-speed internet access and complimentary bottled water in-room
  • Gold and Platinum members automatically receive a Starpoints bonus as their welcome gift
  • SPG members only earn Starpoints and elite qualifying stays/nights if they’re booking through Starwood channels
  • Starpoints can be accrued at the same rate as at other SPG properties:
  • Starpoints can be redeemed at Design Hotels

Design Hotels properties look quirky and fun, which are a nice change of pace from many of the cookie cutter hotels we may otherwise be used to. But perhaps my biggest motivator in wanting to stay here is that Starwood has a 2016 brand bonus, where you earn 11,000 Starpoints if you stay at 11 Starwood brands. I haven’t yet stayed at a Design Hotels property, so this stay would allow me to earn 11,000 bonus Starpoints (I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each).

Starwood-Brand-Bonus

The rate for my one night stay was ~$130. This is a Category 3 SPG property, meaning a free night redemption would have cost 7,000 Starpoints. In this case paying seemed like the better value.

Upon arriving at Incheon Airport I cleared immigration (which was surprisingly quick, despite how busy the immigration area was). I headed into the arrivals area, and then walked outside the terminal and to the right. There are various bus zones, and Nest Hotel picks up at gate 14C with the following schedule:

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So you have to walk to the far right of the terminal.

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Incheon Airport Nest Hotel shuttle pick-up area

From there you have to cross the street to the first “island,” where you’ll see the signage for 14C.

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Incheon Airport Nest Hotel shuttle pick-up area

I had to wait about 15 minutes, and sure enough at exactly 6:25PM the Nest Hotel shuttle showed up.

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Nest Hotel bus from Incheon Airport

The bus was large, and initially was empty when it left the airport.

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Nest Hotel bus from Incheon Airport

However, the bus makes a stop on the way, and we picked up a massive Chinese tour group there, so every seat was taken.

The Nest Hotel is a bit further from the airport than the Grand Hyatt, so the ride took about 15 minutes.

Design Hotels properties are all about design (as the name suggests). In the case of this property, from the outside I couldn’t tell if it looked more like a modern minimalist hotel or a prison.

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Nest Hotel Incheon Airport exterior

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Nest Hotel Incheon Airport driveway

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Nest Hotel Design Hotels signage

While the outside decor of the hotel doesn’t work all that well (in my opinion), I think the interior is much more stylish. I also generally love the exposed-concrete design, but I know everyone has different preferences.

The lobby was massive and featured really high ceilings, with a few nice sitting areas.

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Nest Hotel Incheon lobby

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Nest Hotel Incheon lobby

At the far end of the lobby was the reception desk, where I was promptly helped (I was sure to get off the bus quickly and beat the group, because moments later where were a few dozen people queued behind me).

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Nest Hotel Incheon reception

Check-in was extremely efficient, and friendly in a distant way. I was presented with a fact sheet explaining the dining options at the hotel. For what it’s worth, my rate didn’t include breakfast or anything else.

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Nest Hotel Incheon welcome letter

I headed towards the elevators, located over near the middle of the lobby. There were four elevators, and keys were required to access the individual floors. Stupidly the elevators on the two sides of the hall weren’t connected, so if you pushed the call button it would only call two of them. That meant most people pushed both sets of buttons, meaning elevators kept stopping unnecessarily. I don’t get why some hotels do that.

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Nest Hotel Incheon elevators

I loved the decor on the individual floors even more, thanks to a cool carpet that almost looked like grass. I thought it provided a nice contrast to the concrete walls.

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Nest Hotel Incheon hallway

The hallways were dark, though, with very little natural (or even artificial) light.

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Nest Hotel Incheon hallway

My room was located about halfway down the hall and on the left.

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Nest Hotel Incheon floorpla

The room itself was a good size for a standard room, at ~350 square feet. The room featured an entryway with a closet on the right and bathroom on the left.

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Nest Hotel Incheon standard queen room

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Nest Hotel Incheon standard queen room

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Nest Hotel Incheon standard queen room

The room had a comfortable queen size bed.

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Nest Hotel Incheon standard queen room

Across from the bed was a wall-mounted flat screen TV.

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Nest Hotel Incheon standard queen room

Next to that was a rather odd stool with a small table.

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Nest Hotel Incheon standard queen room sitting area

Fortunately in addition to that there was a desk built into the wall.

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Nest Hotel Incheon standard queen room desk

I appreciated how functional the desk was, between the USB chargers and built-in iPhone plugs, as well as the international adapters.

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Nest Hotel Incheon standard queen room desk outlets

On the far side of the room next to the bed was a chair.

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Nest Hotel Incheon standard queen room sitting area

Back near the entrance was the bathroom, which featured a sink, Japanese toilet, and walk-in shower.

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Nest Hotel Incheon standard queen room bathroom

Ironically the Japanese toilet was from “American Standard.” I’d far prefer a “Japanese Standard” toilet. 😉

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Nest Hotel Incheon standard queen room toilet

The shower featured both a rainforest shower head as well as a handheld one, and the water pressure and temperature control were pretty good.

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Nest Hotel Incheon standard queen room shower

The room had a surprising number of amenities, including toiletries from Kudos Spa (which I haven’t heard of before, though the products were quite good).

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Nest Hotel Incheon standard queen room toiletries

Across from the bathroom was a console with the minibar, kettle, ice bucket, etc.

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Nest Hotel Incheon minibar

The room had four complimentary bottles of still water, including two at room temperature and two in the minibar.

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Nest Hotel Incheon minibar

On top of the console was a small welcome note with two bottles of sparkling water. I assume that’s because my SPG profile says that I like sparkling water, or maybe it was just a coincidence.

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Nest Hotel Incheon welcome note

Next to the console and closer to the door was a small closet.

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Nest Hotel Incheon closet

The room had a peaceful view of the surrounding landscape.

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Nest Hotel Incheon view

The hotel even appears to have a rather odd and small (manmade) beach.

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Nest Hotel Incheon view

The room technically had a balcony, though it was tiny and didn’t have seating, so I couldn’t imagine spending any time there.

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Nest Hotel Incheon view

Overall I loved the design of the room. It was well thought out and comfortable. The wifi in the room was usable, though certainly not high speed.

While breakfast wasn’t included in my rate, the following morning I was hungry around breakfast time, so decided to check out the breakfast buffet. Breakfast is served daily in The Platz, located off the lobby. It’s served from 6:30AM until 10AM, and costs 31,000KRW (~$28) if not included with your room rate.

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant

The restaurant itself is stunning, with several tiers of seating that add a cool visual effect.

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant

The buffet was good if you like Korean and/or hot food for breakfast. While I like Korean food in general, for breakfast I typically only want cold food, so prefer things like fresh fruit, yogurt, etc.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant breakfast buffet

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant breakfast buffet

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant breakfast buffet

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant breakfast buffet

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant breakfast buffet

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant breakfast buffet

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant breakfast buffet

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant breakfast buffet

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant breakfast buffet

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant breakfast buffet

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant breakfast buffet

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Nest Hotel Incheon The Platz Restaurant breakfast buffet

A lot of airline crews seem to stay here, so it was fun to watch the number of crews in uniform having breakfast.

Before checking out of the hotel I checked out the gym, located one level above the lobby. The gym was functional, and even had a boxing ring, which you don’t often see.

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Nest Hotel Incheon gym

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Nest Hotel Incheon gym

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Nest Hotel Incheon gym

The following morning I took the 9:45AM shuttle to the airport, and arrived by 10AM.

Nest Hotel Incheon bottom line

I really enjoyed my first Design Hotels stay. The hotel was quirky, modern, and unique, all of which are things I like. Keeping in mind that this is an airport hotel, I imagine some of the destination properties they have are great.

However, as a top tier hotel elite member I’m a bit conflicted. On one hand I’d like to stay here again, while on the other hand as a Hyatt Diamond member I’d have a hard time not staying at the Grand Hyatt, which is closer to the airport, and where I’d get an upgraded room and free access to their club lounge.

Overall this hotel certainly met my expectations, and perhaps even exceeded them.

If only Design Hotels were fully integrated into Starwood (which I suspect is even less likely now that Starwood has been taken over by Marriott).

Have you stayed at a Design Hotels property, and if so, what was your experience like?

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About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. There are actually a lot of surprisingly nice and very affordable hotels around Incheon, though I understand why you would want to stick with hotels where you have status. I’ve stayed in a few random hotels in the area and never been disappointed. Incheon is actually one of my favorite airports too, the jjimjilbang there is just the thing after a long flight 🙂

  2. When was the last time you used SPG points to stay in a hotel? How many cents per point did you get?

  3. If I didn’t want free breakfast, I’d stay at a Courtyard 🙂 although in Asia you still get breakfast at CY as a platinum. At least you got extra points for the promo.

  4. I stayed at this property in 2015 before it was a Design hotel.

    Air Canada uses this property for IRROPS handling, which was the reason why I stayed here.

  5. Particularly interested in that ‘manmade beach’! Something new to try when next transitting in Incheon.

  6. I’m staying at this property this weekend and whilst I love the location, I’m not a massive fan of the minimalist design. There’s no doubt it has some great features like the Bluetooth speaker in the headboard and it’s convenient with great views. I’d like a little more colour though

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