Nest Hotel Incheon is one of the many airport transit hotels situated around Incheon airport in Seoul. I have a weird liking for airport transit hotels. After living in Australia and New Zealand for 10 years I spent a lot of time shuttling to England via Singapore and the Transit Hotel inside Changi airport was where I spent my stopover. I’d get off my plane at 9pm, check in, grab a beer and a Subway and sit watching Star Movies in my spartan, but homely, hotel room. Jetlag would wake me up at silly o’clock and so I’d go for a swim at the pool – or, potter round Gucci at 7am just because I could. It was where my holiday began.
I also stayed the Bloc Hotel in Gatwick recently. Again, it was like a little pod of joy – I’d been working on a really hard work project and was frankly, broken. I handed in the job and got on the train to Gatwick to go away for the weekend. I arrived at my tiny room with a view of the runway, sank onto the bed with a Diet Coke and a packet of Pringles and just watched the planes go past for an hour. It was blissful.
However as much as I had a lovely time at both those hotels recently, on the way back from my trip to Sydney I found the transit hotel of joy. We had a 19 hour gap between our flights in Seoul. There is a transit hotel in Seoul airport (I’ve stayed there too, it’s also nice and comfy) but, we wanted to head out in the big world and so we booked a one night stay in the Nest Hotel Incheon, a short 15 minute shuttle bus ride away from the airport. And OMG, it was healthy person heaven!
For starters, there’s a gym – that has its own boxing ring. Seriously, this is a hotel gym with a full on square for sparring. This confused me….you need two people for boxing. Do people bring their sparring buddy with them on holiday? Or, maybe it’s for warring couples who’ve spent two weeks together and wish to thrash out their differences before returning to normal life. The Boyfriend and I do attempt to kill each other when sleeping in a smaller than normal bed (he snores, I fidget – it’s a recipe for 2am arguments) maybe this could be the answer, we could safely spar it out in the hotel boxing ring and the loser gets to sleep in the bathroom.
I’m aware this is however an unlikely reason why they have such a facility, but I was intrigued – maybe boxing was THE in fitness trend in Seoul and every gym had a ring? I emailed Design Hotels who run the Nest Hotel Incheon and asked, why they had put it in there – and the response was just ‘we wanted to be a bit different. Well it’s worked the gym is now the most photographed place in the hotel. And it is quite fabulous. It’s got all the normal equipment, and a rather fabulous vibrating belt machine that you stand it to wobble off your fat – but my favourite things was the trainer cupboard. Because it’s a transit hotel they know people might not be carrying all their luggage so they’ve also got trainers you can borrow. Look they’re racked up in little shelves (try not to think about the sweaty feet in them before you).
Because I didn’t know about the ‘trainers to lend’ cupboard, I hadn’t brought my gym kit – but I had packed my swimmy togs, because the hotel also has a sauna, steam room – and, the thing I wanted to try most, the outdoor hot tub. Sadly this is gender segregated so I had to go in alone, but oh wow it was fabulous. Lovely hot steamy water, looking out to a bright blue sky – and, because it was October it was a nice cool day so my face was cool while my body bubbled in blissful warmth. I’m lucky I didn’t miss my flight.
Should you want some fresh air between your trips in large, sealed, metal tubes in the sky you can also take a walk outside the hotel – there’s a walkway along the seafront. Yes that’s right – it’s by the sea. Having spent all my last trip to Seoul in the beauty shops of Gangnam I had no idea Seoul actually has a seaside – and this hotel is overlooks the water (NB: don’t expect Thailand-like white sand and a bars a go-go (or go-go bars). If you just want a short walk you can wander round the very pretty reeds walk in the hotel grounds (they also have lots of chill out seats in this area), or, we went further afield walking along the road to the small town nearby where we found the brilliant junk park full of statues made of all manner of oddities. I can’t find any info on this online so you might need to ask the hotel exactly how to find it. The town and sea walk was also packed with tiny traditional Korean seafood restaurants – and, if my map deciphering was right, there was a huge sushi plaza right next door. Sadly, we couldn’t stay any longer to explore them properly as we had a plane to catch, but we absolutely loved our 14 hours at Nest Hotel Incheon. And the best bit. It was only £70 for the night. In a city where hotels cost a lot more than that, it was a bargain. If you want to check it out for yourself, here’s where t book or find out more.
- This post contains an affiliate link – but it was written before I even knew what they were so it’s a completely honest review