Destination Seoul: Mondrian Seoul Itaewon is a hipster hangout

Located in the stylish spot, check into the effortlessly cool hotel. 

South Korea is fast becoming an international destination. The capital Seoul is a hub for business travellers, and it boasts hotels to match. While K-dramas and K-pop have put the city on the map, few hotels reflect the country’s hip and happening cultural scene – that was, until the arrival of Mondrian Seoul Itaewon.

Mondrian Seoul Itaewon was the first Mondrian hotel in Asia. It opened in August 2020 and is situated in the trendy Itaewon neighbourhood, which is popular with young Koreans. In 1997, Itaewon was the first designated tourist zone, and the crowd has shifted from the United States military to uber-cool kids. By day, it’s superb for shops. By night, it’s all about the laidback bars, beers, and beats.

Mondrian Seoul Itaewon is the ultimate hipster hangout. The hotel wouldn’t look out of place in New York’s Brooklyn or London’s Shoreditch. Designed by the Singaporean architecture firm, Asylum, it boasts a bold, bright design.

The lobby gives bar meets co-working space vibes, as designer suitcases are wheeled in and millennials work on their laptops. Look out for the large-scale installations by local artists, which make the most of the high ceilings. The check-in desk is a short and seamless lift ride away. And, the staff were largely made up of Koreans, who were warm and welcoming.

Rooms and suites

Mondrian Seoul Itaewon is home to 295 rooms and suites, which are spread over 18 floors. The rooms range from the Itaewon Single at 22 square metres to the Mondrian Suite at 84 square metres. We checked into the Itaewon King, which overlooked Jangmun-ro.

Art Deco meets Mad Men in the rooms. The aesthetic combined an old-school charm with contemporary mod cons. Curved corners could be found across the furniture, from the mirrors to the sink. Features included gold touches, round lights and brown leather chairs. The open plan layout means the sink is near the bed, and the toilet and shower are separate behind frosted doors – and with Ciel bath products.

Restaurants and bars 

Mondrian Seoul Itaewon attracts locals as well as tourists to its restaurants and bars. The brand’s restaurant, Cleo, specialises in Mediterranean food. The all-day restaurant was busy at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and we even spotted diners from the Middle East. The menu spanned mezze, starters, mains, pizza, pastas, sides and desserts. The highlights included the Lamb Kofte, Seabass Shish Kebab and Truffle Pide.

On our visit, Privilege Bar reopened for the summer. Located on the rooftop, the bar included an indoor and outdoor area. We sat outside, admired the view, and sipped on drinks while listening to the DJ spin 1990s tunes.

The hotel is also home to Blind Spot for cakes and coffee, Rumpus Room for premium drinks and jazz bands, and Altitude Pool and Lounge for poolside bites and beverages. Don’t miss the basement arcade with additional restaurants, bars and shops, which are superb for souvenirs.  


Mondrian Seoul Itaewon’s Altitude Pool and Lounge draws in the fun and fashionable crowd. The sun loungers and sofas are also available for day guests. The fitness club brings together Tehcnogym’s state-of-the-art equipment, and a 1.5-metre-long swimming pool. Note: access to the gym and pool are limited to once per night on weekends for in-house guests.

Mondrian Seoul Itaewon: plush, playful and packed with personality. 

GO: Visit for more information. 

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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