An hour drive outside of Seoul in Hwaseong, Rolling Hills Hotel is an excellent staycation choice for healing, those seeking retreat in surrounding nature and all-inclusive activities to stay physically active. Even when the weather is at it’s worst, you’ll find a much more enjoyable time inside than typical hotels, thanks to the raft of things to do. The deluxe room is spacious, dining at The Kitchen offers a high quality selection of dishes worth the price, and plenty of leisure activities inclusive during your stay. That alone puts this above many other hotels alone.
COUNTRY SOUTH KOREA REGION HWASEONG OFFICIAL RATING 4-STAR ROOM REVIEWED DELUXE KING GARDEN VIEW CHECK IN FROM 3PM CHECK-OUT BY 12PM (EXTENDED UNTIL 2PM) FACILITIES RESTAURANTS, LOUNGE, SAUNA, GARDENS, PARKING ACTIVITIES INDOOR POOL, SQUASH, TABLE TENNIS, ARCADE, TENNIS, BASKETBALL, KIDS PARK
Deluxe King Room
I stayed at the deluxe king room which offer a view of the inside garden. It’s 31 sqm, which translates to a very spacious size. It’s far bigger than what I captured as the bathroom is close to the entrance with a long path that leads to the rear balcony. The modern LED TV is big (50″ approx.) is outfitted with plenty of channels to watch directly opposite the king-sized bed pictured. The bed is a little on the firmer side and I found it comfortable to sleep on. The blanket is big and thick which makes it easy to warm up, but air conditioning worked well in keeping the room cool to my liking.
The room focuses more on floor space and the ability to move around. It feels more open thanks to the bright sliding doors that open up to the balcony. There’s no proper table to eat on, but the long table that extends the full width of the wall is excellent if you plan to bring plenty of luggage or bring food inside. There’s a generous amount of storage under the counter together with the wardrobe, fit for larger groups or longer stays. The single lounge chair with detachable foot stool is great if you want to watch away from the bed. I enjoyed chillingon the balcony as the air is fresh, with a comfortable view of the grounds and surrounding trees. A cold coffee brew hearing the bird’s chirp away is a nice change from the city noise of Seoul. The rails obscure the view somewhat but the landscape of trees is refreshing enough to enjoy seated.
The bathroom is big enough, a bidet toilet and a walk in shower with ceiling-to-floor glass divider. The shower area is spacious to walk in and well-kitted out with amenities, although if you’re a fan of rainforest shower heads like me, sadly it’s pretty standard here. Water is responsive in power and temperature though, so you don’t need to worry about freshening up here. Overall, a very comfortable and pleasant room experience with the essentials you expect and need. One thing I forgot to show in the video are the glass and cups with included teabags and coffee sachets.
pool, fitness, squash and arcade
What I loved about Rolling Hills Hwaseong during my stay is the fact there are many activities you can do with no extra charge – the indoor 25m swimming pool open until 9-10pm, plenty of equipment in the fitness studio, 2 x squash courts and 2 x table tennis spots all located on the first basement floor. If the weather is good, there’s a single tennis court within the basketball area as well as a nature garden walk and kid-friendly outdoor park, making it suitable for all ages to enjoy. sports equipment are free to rent including rackets, a swimming cap, table tennis bats, basketball and tennis balls from the swimming reception. There’s also a sauna but it was out of commission due to pandemic restrictions.
The swimming pool is indoors, with good ambient lighting and socially distant chairs to relax around the perimeter. They allow swimming continuously per hour, and then require everyone to jump out for 15 minutes as part of the pandemic measures. The fact it’s open with guidelines adhered and enforced is good to see in the hotel’s care and safety for guests. I enjoyed the lengthy swim, which is split over 4 lanes for those who want to get some strokes in, while the other two lanes are more for leisure.
I haven’t played squash much, but the ease of booking the court made it worth trying. Got some good mileage in these good quality indoor squash courts and decent rackets I borrowed. Plenty of squash balls inside each court to play to your hearts content. There are seats against the wall of each court when you want to rest, while other guests can sit on the platform above with a water machine. Table tennis was easily one of my favourite activities and is situated just outside of the arcade. Two tables, with a choice of traditional or modern bats, you can play with the swimming pool just on the other side of the glass. You definitely want to schedule a couple playing sessions!
The fitness studio is well-equipped with circulating cool air so definitely work up a sweat in the gym. There’s no lack of weighted dumbbells, treadmills, workout machines, mats, and recovery stuff too.
If you fancy arcade games with the little kids or want to do something less demanding, there are darts, a billiards table, arcade basketball hoops and a range of games to keep you preoccupied. You can order a selection of beverages and alcohol from the liquor bar and order chicken too. The place is known for their chicken which I tried and can say the fried chicken is a fairly generous portion, reasonably priced and super delicious.
It’s roughly 22K KRW if you takeaway (or 28K KRW if you eat-in) which is reasonable for a hotel and worth eating if you get the chance. I heard they used to allow food to be brought to the swimming pool, but it looks like that stopped during the pandemic, so I can’t comment on that but is pretty awesome to hear they do that for added comforts. Hopefully, that’ll come back once the situation improves.
blue sapphire and the kitchen
I enjoyed the contemporary styling and spacious layout of the reception. There are plenty of sofas and seats to chill and chat if you want to change the scenery from the room. The drop down bougie chandelier lighting looks abstract, while the yellow single sofa chairs stand out nicely to accent the modern décor.
As mentioned there were renovations and maintenance going on, but they’re hidden away which is why the full window view is obstructed a little. The outdoors is harmonious when you step outside however with winding paths for a relaxing stroll around the grounds. I had late check-out at 2pm which allowed me to make full use of the activities the next morning, alongside enjoying breakfast and resting before check-out.
Blue Sapphire is on ground floor and further down from reception. It’s a breakfast buffet which I added during check-in to save trying to find a place in the morning or limited selection from a convenience store. I’ll say that Blue Sapphire is worth the admission for a satisfying selection of continental, Asian, healthy and western food to indulge until 10am. There’s a great selection of juices including aloe vera, watermelon, orange, hot drinks from the coffee machine and plenty of food variety. It hits the mark when it comes to standard buffet breakfast in choice and quality and is also reasonably priced.
There are few eatery options a short drive away from Rolling Hills Hwaseong, but I would suggest the breakfast buffet and consider dining at The Kitchen. The Kitchen is again fairly priced as a hotel onsite restaurant, and justifies itself with quality options. I chose the burger set and pork dish, with the former a solid, safe choice to fill me up. The beefy patty was rich and fairly dense combined with crispy lettuce, fresh tomato slices and an airy bun. It’s a heavier dish than the pork. I enjoyed it, though is a safe, uninspiring choice to say the least..
The pork however was absolutely insane – a thick-cut served on the bone. It’s amazingly juicy, tender to slice through and just melts away in the mouth. I cannot remember the accompanying sauces for the life of me, but they were absolutely brilliant in enhancing the flavours. One sweet, the other subtle and mellow. I was blown away by the pork dish and gives greater confidence in the rest of the Kitchen menu. Sadly, the menu does rotate and after a quick search are both no longer available, but was delectable otherwise.
active staycation retreat
Would I come back to Rolling Hills Hwaseong hotel? Absolutely. It’s spacious, well-decorated and maintained, with a great F&B offering for an all-round high quality experience. It’s standout features are of course the excellent facilities with no extra charge, adding far more options to spend time at the hotel, whether that’s healing, relaxation or staying active.
Rolling Hills Hwaseong is most accessible by car with an outdoor parking lot. The surface is a little rocky so do expect some bumpiness while rolling luggage. With much more activities on offer than a typical hotel, if you plan to make the most of what Rolling Hills Hwaseong has to offer, you’ll find this an excellent modern staycation choice just outside of Seoul. It’s honestly the best value for money that is easy on the budget with luxury qualities throughout, making this a no-brainer destination anytime of the year.
Perfect staycation retreat with some of the best included activities to keep active or relax at your leisure. The onsire restaurant and breakfast buffet are worth the admission with an upscale experience to round off your stay.
activities included in price and free equipment rental
excellent quality food at the kitchen and buffet breakfast options