I stayed the nights of May 7 and 8 in Busan, South Korea. Busan is Korea’s second largest city, and it sits on the ocean, offering a few beaches in a cosmopolitan setting. The retail cost of each night was $258, but this stay was redeemed through the annual benefit of the Chase Hyatt Visa Card. Every year, the Hyatt Card offers a free night in any Hyatt, up to Category 4. Conveniently, the Park Hyatt Busan is about the maximum redemption value one can extract from this annual free night.
For an international traveler, one should skip Busan, as it is clean and modern but does not offer much else. The city holds 3.5 million people, but it feels downright sleepy, compared to Seoul. I walked along Haeundae Beach, visited the largest department store in the world, and won $5 at blackjack in a casino. Having a luxury hotel without much outside culture led me to indulge in the hotel much of the time.
The Busan location is the second Park Hyatt I have ever stayed in, but I tested its reputation for service immediately. I accidentally left my iPhone in the backseat of the taxicab, having arrived via train from Seoul. Within five minutes of entering the hotel, I realized I left my mobile. I calmly contacted the concierge, who said she would make an effort. I received a few update calls within 10 minutes, saying that the security footage had been checked to obtain the taxi plate number. Then, the hotel contacted the taxicab company and driver to retrieve my iPhone. I had it back within 30 minutes! When I tried to offer a gratuity to the hotel staff, they politely refused it.