Cradled by mountains on the southeast corner of the Korean Peninsula, Busan has been transforming itself from a rough-and-tumble port town into one of South Korea’s most enticing destinations. And while the country’s second-largest metropolis lacks the historical treasures of Seoul, it does have a spectacular seaside setting, as well as a stylish new hotel from which to take it all in. Opened in February, the Park Hyatt Busan has a prime position in Haeundae, an affluent waterfront community of condo towers, thermal spas, shopping complexes (including the world’s largest department store, Shinsegae Centum City), and attractions such as the Busan Museum of Modern Art, a leading showcase of contemporary Korean talent. Views from the hotel’s sleek 33rd-floor lobby take in Suyeongman Bay and thelandmark span of theGwangan Bridge,an outlook shared by most of the 269 rooms and suites; designed with Zen-like restraint by Tokyo-based Super Potato, these feature floor-to-ceiling windows, light oak floors, and granite-clad bathrooms. Busan’s famed Jagalchi seafood market is just down the coast, making sourcing the city’s freshest fish easy for the chefs at the 32nd-floor Dining Room, where three open kitchens include a sushi and sashimi station. A range of sophisticated treatments—among them, a body scrub of granulated pumice, thermal minerals, and Siberian fir oil—await guests at the seven-room Lumi Spa, while a heated rooftop heated pool rounds out the attractions.
51 Marine City 1-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan; 82-51/990-1234; doubles from US$405